Today’s guest post is from fellow Canadian Greg Lynch. Greg is the author of Scenic Travel Canada, a website for travelers looking for lesser-known Canadian attractions and adventures.
Tucked in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, are a collection of provincial parks that few international hikers ever experience. Kananaskis Country is an uncrowded wilderness area one hour west of Calgary, the gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Adventure-seekers looking for a lesser known mountain paradise can get their high-altitude thrills in Alberta’s unspoiled backyard.
“Millions of visitors unwittingly pass K-Country on their way to the more popular Banff National Park” says Greg Lynch, an avid hiker & adventure seeker with Scenic Travel Canada. “Outdoor-lovers can hike, bike, kayak and canoe over hundreds of miles in undeveloped territory in the Front Range.”
There are plenty of things to do in Kananaskis Country, Alberta including:
- Take a road trip from Calgary on the highest paved highway in Canada. Highway 40 is open from June 15 to December 1 and winds through the pristine wilderness along the Highwood Pass. From your vehicle, you’ll get mile panoramic views of snowy peaks and endless valleys.
- In spring, prior to the opening of Highway 40 to traffic, many cyclists enjoy the open road all to themselves as they ride 95 kilometers from end-to-end. The best time to go is one month prior to opening (June 15). Any earlier, the road is still covered with snow.
- Take a mountain bike excursion to the Alberta-BC border. Carnarvon Lake is a small turquoise lake along the Continental Divide. You’ll follow an old logging road, ford rivers, scale a rock-wall and even take a chilly dip in the cold, colourful water.
- Saunter around Upper & Lower Kananaskis Lake and enjoy a classic Canadian mountain scene. A small boat launch is available for anglers, kayakers & canoeists. Hiking trails wind around the shore and deep into the surrounding canyons. You may recognize this picturesque location from movies such as X-Men & Brokeback Mountain.
- Slow down and enjoy a picnic at one of the many family recreation sites such as the Mount Lorette Picnic area. The green-water ponds are stocked with fish to introduce little anglers to the solitude & thrill of fishing.
- Take a bike tour around the only hotel in the area, which hosted the G8 summit meeting of world leaders in 2003. Paved trails wind through thick forests and along the immaculate Kananaskis River.
- There are lots of mountain adventures for thrill-seekers just outside of Calgary and Banff, Alberta.. On your next trip to the Canadian Rockies, head off the beaten path and enjoy the undeveloped and wild places of Kananaskis Country.