Skip out of work early, beat the traffic to the mountains
When fall comes, Calgarians beat a trail to the mountains to bask in the unparalleled scenery and Wild, Open, Free Kananaskis is a favoured destination. This weekly migration means heavy traffic so we recommend leaving as early in the afternoon as possible to make the drive as quick as possible. Highway 40 gets especially busy as a two-lane road, so enjoying the scenery on as empty a road as you can manage is recommended.
Check into the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge
Sometimes luxury is so unapproachable, most people don’t even bother. But the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge caters its luxury to actual normal people who want to experience comfort and relaxation without the pretension. Again, check-in gets busy on Friday evenings, so arriving as early as possible is recommended.
Dinner at Blacktail Bar or Forte Restaurant
Blacktail is a more casual restaurant & bar while Forte is a bit more sophisticated with a wider ranging menu. Your choice here will depend on whether you desire something quick and light or a more hearty meal. Enjoy!
From a basic breakfast to full on brunch delights, the in-room dining options get your day started out right. Considering the activity on slate for today, we recommend a big breakfast, because…
Hike Pocaterra Ridge
If you brought the kids out, we recommend Pocaterra Cirque, which is a kid-friendly 6.9km out-and-back hike. If it’s just the adults, tackle Pocaterra Ridge, an extra 3km past the cirque.
The Pocaterra Cirque and Ridge hikes are favourites year round (well, June to October!) in Kananaskis, but they are particularly spellbinding in the autumn. As summer fades all too quickly from the memories of Calgarians, the upper elevations of the Rocky Mountains contain a feast for the senses in the form of golden larch trees. Found only above 1800m in elevation, larche needles turn a unique golden hue for a few weeks in early-autumn, and the result is jaw-droppingly beautiful for hikers. Pocaterra Cirque and Ridge have become favourite hikes for the slightly more adventurous seeking larch viewing (as opposed to Ptarmigan Ridge, which is great for larches, but an easier hike).
Relax and Rejuvenate at Kananaskis Nordic Spa
You will be tired from the hike (but it was worth it!), but luckily the incomparable Kananaskis Nordic Spa is onsite at the Lodge to relax your pains away. Book ahead of time to secure your time and indulge yourself in the healing powers of ancient Nordic wisdom. All the tension will melt away as you embrace the elements in the alpine setting of the saunas and hydrotherapy pools. Body, mind and soul will thank you!
Dinner at Forte Restaurant
You went on a long hike and worked out the toxins in the Nordic Spa; enjoy Italian-inspired local cuisine that will rebuild your energy for the next day.
Breakfast then Barrier Lake
Sleep in a bit today, you’ve earned it! After breakfast and check out, on your way back to Calgary stop off at Barrier Lake to put the quiet cherry on top of your weekend getaway with a canoe rental from Kananaskis Outfitters. The scenery from the glassy waters is astounding and the solitude will refocus you for the week ahead.
Being so close to such a natural paradise as Kananaskis is a privilege that Albertans revel in. A weekend getaway in approachable luxury gets one back to nature while also cosseting one from the tension and crowds of the real world. Give yourself the gift of escape so close to home!