Ghosts, Glaciers, and Grizzlies
A epic family adventure in the Canadian Rockies.
By Nicholas Bubeck
Photos courtesy of the Bubeck family
Summertime is adventure time for me and my family. Over the summer, we spent two weeks in the Canadian Rockies and the experience was so cool.
Instead of states, Canada is made of provinces, once being Alberta. Alberta is where Banff is, Canada’s first National Park. Banff is an awesome place to explore; we saw bears, turquoise-colored lakes, and stayed at haunted hotels.
Here are six neat facts about visiting the area and why you’ll enjoy it.
- The Canadian Rockies is home to the world-famous Columbia Icefield Adventure where you get to walk on a real glacier! It’s the only tour in the world that brings you to a glacier via Ice Explorers (big ice-crawling buses only in Canada and Antarctica). The exciting experience lets you hang out on the glacier and touch the melted water. The road to the expedition, called the Icefields Parkway, is known as the prettiest in the world.
- About 30 minutes from Banff is Lake Louise, the world’s most photographed lake because it’s the craziest color blue you’ll ever see! This glacier-fed lake owes its shade of turquoise to the particles of rock flour resulting from glacial erosion. You can canoe on the lake, and if you’re brave, take a refreshing dip in the 40-degree water… my brothers and I did (I went under the chilly water twice!).
- Known as Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and it’s over 130 years old. Staying there is like really experiencing a castle, but it’s also said to be haunted. According to legends, a young couple decided to get married at the hotel around the time it opened. As the bride walked down some stairs, her dress caught fire from a candle, and she died. Ever since, many say they’ve seen a ghost bride gliding down the stairs.
- The Lake Louise ski mountain is super snowy in the winter, but in summer, it’s super sunny and bears come out. The scenic chairlift is a fun ride where you can safely scan for grizzlies… and guess what, we spotted a few! We learned that bears in the Canadian Rockies eat over 200,000 berries a day, equal to 75 burgers a day! Other common wildlife in Banff includes elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolves, marmots, wolverines, bald eagles, and pumas.
- Nearby Alberta in Golden, British Columbia is the Golden Sky Bridge, an adventure park for thrill-seekers like me. Have you ever been on a skybridge? Well, the skybridges there hang nearly 500 feet above canyons–– they’re the highest suspension bridges in Canada! There’s also a mountain coaster, ropes course, rock climbing, a long zipline, and a super fun playground.
- Want to know something crazy? How about mountains that are older than dinosaurs? Dinosaurs lived over 60 million years ago and the mountains in Banff today are as old as 120 million years!
Nicholas Bubeck is an Epic Kids monthly columnist and CEO of creationsbynicholas.com. You can follow his adventures on Instagram, @creationsbynicholas and @mamaandmyboys.