After making our way from Calgary to our hike at Lake Louise, the original plan was to camp in Banff National Park, but the poor weather forecast forced us to reconsider. I’m so glad it did or otherwise we would have never gone over the border into British Columbia to stay in a real log cabin!
Kootenay Park Lodge
The lodge was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1923 to attract tourists to the beautiful area. We had the chance to meet Greg, one of the new owners, and learn more about all the restorations they are doing to this great property.
The cabins were built in the 1940s and were just the rustic touch we were looking for.
Ours came with two small beds in the back room…
…and a tiny living room with a pull-out couch and kitchenette. For one night, where we spent most of it outside, it was perfect.
We sat out on the porch in comfy clothes (it was chilly), drinking wine while Dave grilled us some sausage to go with our corn on the cob and salad. It was a perfect summer night, it a totally new province for my sister and I.
For dessert we attempted to make a smore dip…which didn’t look nearly as good as the recipe we’d found (we couldn’t toast the marshmallows!) but it still tasted amazing.
The next morning we heading over to the lodge for a nice breakfast of fruit, oatmeal and fresh baked goods.
Up until recently the main lodge had been closed down, but the new owners have worked hard to bring it back to life. It was the perfect place to stay for our great Canadian Rockies adventure.
After breakfast we headed to Radium, B.C. to go for a dip in the hot springs. This road is blasted right through the mountain. Just look at how high it goes!
And to the right of the road is a big cliff with a waterfall.
We just had to do the touristy thing…
Town of Banff
On our way back to Calgary, we stopped into the mountain resort town of Banff. I loved popping into all the little shops and then coming out to see mountains right in front of you.
We had lunch at the Elk and Oarsman Pub, where I tried my first bison burger. So good. The only picture I have from our lunch was of our littlest tour guide because when you have a baby in a bar for the first time (even if it is at lunchtime), you have to document it. (It made me think of Neighbours – “baby’s first rave!)
I still can’t get over that this is right in town. Our car was in a parking lot just on the waters edge on the right.
Only a five minute drive down the road and we were here…again, in town.
It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like for the first settlers to this area, and how they worked around all these forces of nature.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Another stop while we were in Banff was to one of the most famous hotels there. Built in 1887, the Banff Springs Hotel is one of Canada’s grand railway hotels. We saw the Château Lake Louise on our hike in Lake Louise, I’ve been to the Royal York in Toronto many times and walked by the Château Laurier in Ottawa and Château Frontenac in Quebec City. These buildings are like giant castles that contain multiple restaurants and tons of amenities. I would love to get the chance to stay at one of them someday.
This is the stellar view looking out the back terrace. To the right you can see a little sliver of their famous golf course.
There was a gallery of old photographs from when guests would come here for the summer. Just look at that view behind them!
I love this picture of Marilyn Monroe golfing at the course behind the hotel.
She sprained her ankle while she was staying there in 1953 to film River of No Return.
I loved our journey through the towns and parks of this beautiful area of Canada, and I cannot wait to come back again someday. I’ve been lucky enough to travel throughout Europe and the US, but there is something so great about seeing your own country too.
The True North strong and free.