Paddling the Milk River

While Alberta is famous for it’s Rocky Mountain vistas, paddling the Milk River is a lesser known but quintessential Albertan activity.  The southern badlands that the Milk River carves through form a unique landscape and a beautiful sight to behold, especially from the water.

The Milk River was named by Lewis and Clark who thought that the water resembled the colour of a teaspoon of milk dissolved in a cup of tea. The river begins in Montana, flows into southern Alberta along the town of Milk River and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, and then carves southward to Montana through the Sweetgrass Hills before eventually joining the Mississippi watershed, making it one of the only rivers in Canada to do so.

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Zentraveller’s Alberta Summer Bucketlist

What’s new at Zen Travellers? We’re fortunate to live in a place that offers no shortage of exhilarating views and epic adventures.  We’ve put together an Alberta summer bucketlist because we know that travelling through Alberta in winter may not be everyone’s cup of tea and Alberta’s summers are short but truly spectacular.  It can take what feels like an eternity for the snow to leave the mountains, but once it does, the Rockies reveal their true splendour. 

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Celebrating Indigenous Tourism in Alberta

June in Canada is National Aboriginal month, with June 21st being also being National Aboriginal Day, a day which should become a national stat holiday in my humble opinion. As Canada marks its 150th anniversary of its confederation, any good Canadian will tell you that this beautiful land was home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial.

Perhaps an even more important milestone than Canada 150 is the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in 2015. A long and painful read, the report includes the testimony of brave residential school system survivors and outlines the painful legacy of Canada’s colonial past on Indigenous peoples. The report finishes with 94 calls to action, some of which focus on improving education about Indigenous peoples for both citizens and newcomers to Canada. By learning about Canada’s troubled history with Indigenous peoples, as well as their inspiring culture and history, Canadian citizens, newcomers to Canada and tourists alike can do their part to facilitate reconciliation.

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Midnight Zen: Seeing the Northern Lights in Canada

Few experiences are as awe-inspiring as seeing the northern lights in Canada. The way they swirl above your head and dance across the sky entrances all who are fortunate enough to witness the magic of the aurora borealis.  Canada is currently celebrating it’s 150th anniversary, so there has never been a better time to seek out the midnight Zen of the northern lights.  Continue reading “Midnight Zen: Seeing the Northern Lights in Canada”

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Camping on Maligne Lake

Camping on Maligne Lake is the ideal way to experience Spirit Island, one of the most popular attractions in Jasper National Park which frequently lands on “Most Photographed Places in Canada” lists.  Tourists come to Canada from all over the world see this tiny island.  Set against a backdrop of turquoise water and surrounded by massive glacier capped mountains, it’s hard to blame them.

Most opt for a 90 minute boat tour that drops you off at a view point where you get a hurried 15 minutes to soak in the view and snap as many pictures as you can.  As we began researching it quickly became clear that not only was this an Alberta Bucket List destination, but that the most Zen way to enjoy this world class sight would be to paddle the length of the lake  and camp along the way.  No doing things the easy way in a tourist boat for us! Continue reading “Camping on Maligne Lake”

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Celebrating Earth Day in Calgary

It is no secret that the natural world inspires us here at Zen Travellers and what better way to show it than by celebrating Earth Day and supporting causes that aim to protect it.  That is why on this Earth Day 2017 in Calgary, we are challenging ourselves to climb the staggering 1,188 stairs in the Bow Tower to raise funds for the Alberta Wilderness Association’s conservation efforts.

Moose in Kananaskis Country
Protecting wildlife like this Moose in Kananaskis Country, Alberta

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Winter Zen at Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake in British Columbia is an enchanting destination in both winter and summer although it is often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. While the crowds flock to Banff National Park in Alberta, those in the know head further afield to Yoho National Park, near Field BC, roughly an hour west of Banff along the TransCanada Highway. While not in Alberta, we decided it should be included in our Alberta Bucketlist because it is something extraordinary that can be visited on a weekend trip from Calgary or Banff.

Where to Stay at Emerald Lake

A site as captivating as Emerald Lake deserves equally exquisite lodging to round out the experience, and nowhere is more worthy than Emerald Lake Lodge. This iconic hotel is serious about allowing you to get away from it all.   There is no cell phone reception in the rooms, no Wifi (except at the lodge itself), and the rooms do not have TVs.  Instead, most rooms offer wood burning fireplaces, at the lodge itself there is a bar made of salvaged wood from an 1890s Yukon saloon, there is an outdoor hot tub with a view on the premises, and a few excellent restaurants, including one right on the lake.   Continue reading “Winter Zen at Emerald Lake”

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