Summer is here, August is in full swing and we all want to make the most of the warm weather. What better way to do so than with a weekend getaway with your family?! Pack up the car and explore the beautiful backyard we have right here in Alberta. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend vacation, there are so many gems in our province, you won’t even be thinking about that international trip you had to cancel.
It can be overwhelming to sit down and pick a weekend trip that’s close by, so we put together a list of our favourite places to check out; all within driving distance of Calgary. You’ll find a new appreciation for where you live once you start to explore the prairies, mountains and nearby towns. Plus, getting outside for fresh air and away from your home office is good for the soul.
Icefields in Jasper
Now is your chance to finally make the drive out to Jasper, especially if you’ve been putting it off because Banff is closer. Further exploring the Rockies and getting a closer look at the Icefields is what makes Jasper so special. The five-hour drive from Calgary is a non-stop stunning backdrop of trees, mountains and lakes. Stop at the Columbia Icefield Skywalk to learn about glaciers and actually get to step on the glacier itself or head to the river and try white water rafting with Athabasca Canyon Run Family Rafting.
Take in the full experience by staying in one of the mountain cabins or lodges and rent canoes or paddleboards to see for yourself the beauty Jasper holds. Did you know Jasper is 2nd largest Dark sky preserve? Definitely worth the drive for the weekend.
Photo: Edmonton Journal
Hiking in Waterton
Not only is Waterton a gorgeous place to stay for the weekend (only 2.5 hours from Calgary), the Prince of Wales hotel offers a little Southern Alberta history and is an iconic classic of the great Canadian lodges. If you’re thinking about staying there, just know that it’s haunted! Explore nature with the many hikes Waterton Lakes National Park has to offer, including the well-known Crypt Lake Trail. The day hike offers everything you need for a great family-friendly outdoor adventure: Take a ferry to the trailhead and spend the day hiking through the forest with waterfalls and a beautiful lake at the top. You’ll feel like a mountaineer using the cables and ladders on the hike, crawling through tunnels and scaling the mountain ledges. It’s an adventure to say the least.
Photo: Kira Hak
Yurting in Radium
If you want to try something a little different than your usual camping weekend, staying in a yurt is fun for everyone of all ages. A three-hour drive from Calgary, you’ll find Radius Retreat in Radium, BC. They have a number of yurts set up that you can choose from along their mountain trail. Stay close to the trailhead or seek a peaceful getaway with a view, a couple kilometers hike up from the trailhead. The yurts are sturdy and offer luxury in the backwoods – they have real beds and even fireplace stoves to keep the yurt warm if need be. It is already set up for you with a fire pit, wood and even a wood outhouse with toilet paper. All you have to bring is your sleeping gear, favourite camping meals and your camera. The large property has trails for you to hike and explore or head out for day trip activities like renting kayaks or paddleboards on Invermere Lake.
Photo: Rachel Antony
You don’t have to go far to experience the beauty the Rockies have to offer. We are so lucky to call this place home and be able to road trip to such stunning locations for just the weekend. This summer might look a little different than last year, but with so many weekend opportunities, you won’t be thinking of going anywhere else but our own backyard.
-The Genesis Land Team