Updated: Sep 28
The weather was going to be rocky. From mild-fall weather from our start in Calgary, Alberta to our day in near-winter Canmore to clean and crisp autumn weather in Banff National Park - our spa getaway weekend provided a recharge - just what we needed before the long, cold winter beats down upon us in Alberta.
Our first stop was in Canmore for a quick hike to Grassi Lakes, an easy hike up a mountain trail to two spectacular turquoise lakes and a tumbling moss-covered gentle waterfall. There are two routes to get to Grassi Lakes - one is an easy, low incline trail that is surrounded by forest while the harder route offers more sights of the Bow Valley and town of Canmore as well as a huge waterfall. The easier route through the forest is best for families or those that are not eager to test their hiking abilities. Both have slight elevation gains so be prepared with water and snacks and take a break if needed.
Once you reach the top of Grassi Lakes you will be surrounded by Rundle Mountain and Ha Ling Peaks (both of which offer great intermediate and advanced hiking trails). But the treasure at the end of this trail is the two perfectly clear turquoise lakes. They aren't huge and you can walk around bot admiring the beauty and taking photos of the mesmerizing water.
Several benches surround the lake trails so take a break here before making your way back down the trail.
We checked into the Sunset Resorts in Canmore for our first night. Our check in was fast and we drove into the heated underground parking and found our room easily. The room was a pleasant surprise from the typical hotel room you would find in a roadside hotel.
The Sunset Resorts room consisted of a condo interior with a full kitchen with all necessary appliances and kitchen needs, a living room with a pull out bed, fireplace, dining room, laundry room, two bedrooms, two washrooms and an indoor hot tub.
The room was very comfortable and I am confident in recommending the Sunset Resorts in Canmore if you are planning a one-night stay or thinking of making it your base camp and staying longer.
The Sunset Resorts in Canmore also had a pool with a waterslide, an indoor/outdoor hot tub and a children's splash pool with mini-slide.
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If you cannot stay a the Sunset Resorts Canmore here is a list of the most popular hotels in Canmore with the best pricing:
With giant mountains in Canmore's backyard, of course there is lots to do! But far below the soaring mountain peaks, you’ll find lots of ways to keep busy, like cozy cafes, one-of-a-kind boutiques, eclectic art galleries, craft breweries, and more.
We had brews and dinner at The Grizzly Paw Pub & Brewing Company.
The Grizzly Paw Pub serves up delicious traditional fare such as domestic and exotic, hand made burgers, salads, fish and chips, and a smoked brisket sandwich that's to die for.
Our favourite brews from this Canmore Brew Pub were:
Rutting Elk Red
A medium bodied Scottish style red ale, this beer has a rich malty flavor with layers of chocolate & roasted malts and just enough English hops for balance.
Beavertail Raspberry Ale
A pink hued unfiltered wheat ale made with loads of real whole raspberries. A combination of malt sweetness and raspberry tartness make for a very refreshing and light beer.
Three Sisters Pale Ale
Your prayers have been answered. A delicious, fruity pale ale has risen from the clear waters of the Bow River and anointed you with heavenly beer bliss. Salvation is one sip away.
Jack O' Lantern Pumpkin Ale
Our annual pumpkin ale will get you in the mood for Fall with oven roasted pumpkins and butternut squash finished with a hint of savoury spices, Northern Brewer and Fuggle Hops.
With food and brews taking care of for one day it was off to Banff for our Spa Retreat at Cedar & Sage Co., one of Banff's many spas. Cedar & Sage offered a great atmosphere with many spa options available. We took in an hour full body massage with a cascading rainfall shower afterwards. The massage was great and gave us energy for walking up and down Banff's main shopping thoroughfare where we picked up a great amethyst rock candle holder, chocolate, candies and treats.
On the way home we stopped for dinner at Patrinos Steak House for an amazing Alberta-Sirloin and meat-lover's pizza.
It was a quick two day getaway, but like always the Canadian Rockies always recharge with natural beauty, adventure, great food, great beer and fresh, clean air.