Camping in Kananaskis Country, Canada

I loathe it when people say I am so lucky to travel, I usually respond with: “It’s not luck! I’ve worked hard and saved my money – lived off pot noodles – I didn’t win this trip!” But I tell you what is travel luck, knowing someone where you are travelling to, they show you things off the tourist trail, the hidden spots, the secrets. Whats even better? Having family there.

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I was visiting family in Calgary, Canada, when my gorgeous cousin mentioned we were going to go camping for a few days…. “Camping? Like with a tent?” came my reply. I’d not been on a camping trip since I left the cub scouts at about the age of 10! So while I was a little apprehensive, I was actually very excited. Her husband and I checked out the tents in the back yard the day before, then loaded up the car with the camping equipment, food and the kids off for an adventure in nature.

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We were off to Kananaskis Country in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It’s about a 160 kilometre or 2 hour west drive from Calgary.

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Once we arrived at Lower Kannanaskis Lake, it took about an hour of enquires with those already camping to see who was leaving. Finally we scored a prime position just a short walk to the edge of the lake. My other cousin and his family arrived and found a campsite opposite us. Perfect!

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Look at that view! Thats the path that leads from our site to the edge of Lower Kannanaskis Lake.

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We were not only surrounded by natural beauty of the place but nature at its best, a family of ducks on the lake…

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…and a couple of chipmunks started sussing us out..

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…in fact they are quite inquisitive these little fellows and they hang out around our camp, I guess it’s really their home we are visiting.

All of the wildlife we encountered in this area are friendly, a Whisky Jack popped in to greet us guests. These birds are apparently quite friendly – well when it comes to humans and food – they are also colloquially known as ‘camp robbers’. While there are no sightings of bears of moose – thank goodness.

The stillness set against the dramatic backdrop makes the area just beautiful. Especially so when you feel like you are the only person seeing it. No crowds here!

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When its time for dinner, we light up the fire, there’s weiners for the kids and vegetable packs for us bigger kids.

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The packs are filled with healthy goodness, potatoes, carrots, yellow peppers – capsicum to us Aussies – with fresh beetroot and herbs from the garden – such an easy and delightful meal.

While the Canadians may call it a fire pit and those from a land Down Under say camp fire, there is one thing universally done after dinner when camping and thats roasting marshmallows.

Although North Americans do things differently with their roasted marshmallows, they make s’mores. A tradition around the campsite at night, the roasted marshmallow is sandwiched between two graham crackers with a layer of chocolate – mmm delish! When its time to hit the hey, we pack up all the food into the car, we DO NOT want to attract any hungry bears to our campsite!

The next morning we lock up the campsite and packed some lunch and were off to Upper Kannanaskis Lake. From the parking lot it’s about an 800 metre walk to the start of the trail. From there its a 2.7 kilometre hike gaining 300 metres to the lake.

While it doesn’t look that difficult, there was quite an incline to this track. There were a few moments I thought can I do this? I soldier on, if the little ones can do it so can I. Oh boy oh boy..

after about two hours, the track started to level out then suddenly cleared. WHOA!

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The area is just stunning, this was best reward for the hike.

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Crystal clear waters surrounded by rich green forest and left over remnants of winter with the powdery snow all framed by the towering mountains. Ahh the serenity.

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I was truly lucky to visit such a stunning area. I may have left with some leg muscles hurting I didn’t know I had but my face was hurting more from all the smiling. Sure there is Lake Louise and Banff and a myriad of other stunning places around Calgary and Alberta, Canada, but this was off the the tourist trail.  Yeah OK, I am lucky to travel and thanks Cuz!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. What gorgeous scenery photos! Is this why people camp? I can see the motivation now (I’m not a camper).

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