You could spend hours just relaxing inside each of Lake Louise Ski Resort's four lodges. Warmth spills from the fireplaces constructed of river rock at the Lodge of The Ten Peaks, constructed with hand-skinned logs, vaulted ceilings, and windows that look out onto Banff National Park. From the fresh-baked pizza to domestic beers, the onsite Powderkeg Lounge serves treats that feel close to home, even though its thousands of feet up a mountain.
But the lodges are mere prelude to the real draw?the mountainside. During winter, powdered snow and forests of towering evergreen trees blanket the resort's 4,200 acres of skiable terrain, which includes some of the Rocky Mountains' most challenging chutes and bowls as well as novice-friendly trails. The variety of runs helped win the resort the title of "Canada's Best Ski Resort" at the World Ski Awards in 2013 and 2014. Lake Louise Ski Resort also employs experienced ski instructors for kids and adults, and they teach both private and group classes at six skill levels. Beyond skiing, jumps and rails let snowboarders execute tricks at the terrain park; and visitors soar over snow at Sunny Tube Park on inner tubes, which is how early humans in the Ice Age travelled after the wheel itself proved worthless.
The mountain's unique terrain?glaciers carved many of the features?also makes for myriad sights during warmer months. Guided walks safely take groups into the heart of bear country, while The Wildlife Interpretation Centre and its guides educate visitors on the area's plants and animals. Getting to that center?however?demands a bit of adventure. Its doors wait at the end of a sightseeing gondola ride, which climbs up the mountain to 2088 meters. A grizzly bear might even make an appearance along the way.
In the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, you'll find Mukwah, a whitewater rafting outfit dedicated to taking groups of all kinds through the rapids of the Upper Red Deer River. These thrilling adventures combine scenery and adrenaline into half-day, full-day, and even overnight trips, where participants feel the force of the river as they run through rapids with names like Big Rock and Sauna Hole. Experienced instructors trained in CPR, first-aid, and swift-water rescue guide each trip, and load guests up with all the necessary safety gear, including wetsuits, life jackets, helmets, and more. After all, Mukwah, meaning bear, was named after the great protector of the Ojibway tribe.
After their trip, guests are welcome to repose back at base camp, which brims with relaxing amenities. They can sink into the hot tub, sweat it out in the sauna, or perform an interpretive dance around the fire pit to express their feelings about their favorite rapid. Mukwah also provides camping and kayaking packages.
Geologically speaking, islands seldom crop up in the middle of the prairie?unless, of course, you're at Collicutt Siding Golf Club. There, in the midst of a front nine that boasts all the characteristics of true prairieland?flat, open terrain dotted only with low trees?golfers encounter a true island green at the sixth hole, a 530-yard par five. More topographical variety awaits on the back nine, which features streams, undulations, and a links style?a change of pace from the wide-open front side. Instead of attempting to drive a ball through their neighbor's doggy door, golfers can hone their swing at the course's driving range before rounds.
It's a typical night at Evolution Entertainment Centre. Billiards players congregate around pool tables, letting out cheers and whistles as balls are sent careening across the green felt. Bartenders bustle about behind the bar, uncapping bottles of frosty beers. Servers parade out from the kitchen, balancing trays of juicy burgers, sauce-drenched wings, and plump hot dogs topped with bacon, cheese, and banana peppers. Throughout the month, this lively pool hall features special events, including karaoke nights and Name that Tune contests with live DJs.
Set in scenic Carstairs, Alberta, the Carstairs Golf Club offers 18 holes of championship golf. Players will have to skirt nine holes with water hazards and more than 50 sand traps before navigating rolling greens. To prepare, consider warming up on the putting green or at the short game area.
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