Canmore and Banff

1 Jul

IN or OUT.
THEY ARE IN.
But why?

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Boardwalk, Canmore

           Canmore and Banff, a fifteen to twenty minute drive apart (depending on how you drive) are ideal summer locations. Located in Alberta, Canada, both towns triple in size through summer demonstrating that this is the season they come alive. With the flowers in bloom, the wildlife everywhere, the smells of summer and the sound of the train, you know that these towns have kicked into gear.

            Mountain bike season opening in the last weekend of June starts off the summer activities, with the school kids starting summer break not long after. The outdoor free manmade lake in Canmore is in full swing. The water still possesses an icy tinge, but living in a valley, it has to be expected.

          Both Banff and Canmore are 360 degrees surrounded by mouth gaping views of the mountains. The endless number of hikes between the two places will have you walking until your feet fall off. If you are looking to spot the local wildlife, you are more likely to see it in Banff…because it is in a National Park! Just be aware you will have to pay for a National Park pass for the day. But there are common sightings of black bears, elk, deer, and the occasional grizzly. So invest in the 40 dollars to buy the bear spray! There have been a few cougar sightings, but trust me, its not an animal you want to see… Just lucky to live to tell the tale. But it is not like you will not see the wildlife in Canmore. Elk and deer are commonly on the sides of the roads, and there is a black bear whose home is just outside of town. Just be camera ready!

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Banff River, Banff

           If you the adventurous type there are the opportunities for rafting, mountain and downhill biking. In Canmore, there is one trail called “The Reclaimer”. Only for the brave. It has claimed the bones of many and if the hospital heard you were mountain biking, it’s the first place they ask that claimed you. Of course, not all are for the brave. Both places have multiple tracks for both age groups. Canmore also has ‘Elevation Place’. A recent development that has rock-climbing, swimming, and a place to workout; perfect place to use any reserved energy.

         Banff is the tourist destination of the two. It is designed for tourists, and you will notice this the moment you walk down main street. The street is lined with souvenir shops ready for you to buy memorabilia of all types. It is a lot easier to find a souvenir shop than it is to find the grocery store… If you want a more family oriented area, Canmore is the place. It is a more settled and established area that has more cafes than souvenir shops. That is not to say that being a tourist destination is a bad thing. Banff Gondola takes you up Sulphur Mountain to let you see another breathtaking view of the Rockies.

         Recently surviving the devastating Alberta Floods last month, these towns prove how strong they are and how much they don’t even let natural disasters stop them. They have or are rebuilding everything as fast as they can, and the amount of volunteers that have surfaced was amazing.

          So with all the activities and adventure that can be created for an indivdual, a group of friends of a family; Canmore and Banff are definitely “in right now”!

– Jecca

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