Before the border closed Jacob and I loved driving up to Canmore, AB. From there we would drive around Banff and up to Lake Louise. As we started getting into dark sky photography we started making plans to head up to Jasper for the Dark Sky Preserve. Our next trip, whenever the border reopens, will be an adventure to remember.
When we went up to Canmore, AB for Thanksgiving 2019 we spent a total of 3 days there. Each day was spent filled with adventure and splendor. We should note that it is helpful to rent or buy a CHAdeMO adapter for the Tesla if you are driving between the United States and the Canadian Rockies.
There are few things as relaxing as cozying up by a fire, or exploring the magic wonderlands of ice and snow, hiking around during the heat of summer, or the magic of the changing carnelian deciduous leaves and emerald evergreens of autumn. We currently live in Montana, but it truly does not hold a candle to what lies a little farther north in the Rocky Mountains.
Hiking around in the snow, even in subzero alpine climates, is a lot of fun. The powder is like glittering diamond dust you can play in for hours. We could have made diamondesque snow castles with the right molds. Someone else did! We stumbled upon this beauty near the Cosmic Ray Station.
Speaking of the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station that was an excellent hike and adventure. You can take the gondola up and down, or you can hike up and take the gondola down for free! They sometimes are running special events and policies are changing all the time, so be sure to check their website before you go.
We ate lunch in the Northern Lights Alpine Kitchen – this was a wonderful choice and worked out very well for us. We have ALL THE FOOD ALLERGIES and celiac disease, so we recognize that eating out is never an easy task. They were extremely accommodating. We would definitely go back.
On the observation deck at the top of the gondola there was some amazing outdoor art. I loved this mirror bear.
Even Jacob couldn’t resist getting a picture with such a cool art piece!
Next, we drove up to Lake Louise for brunch at the Fairmont and Ice Skating! Brunch at the Fairmont’s tea room does not require reservations, but it’s a good idea to get there early. One of the great things about driving a Tesla is that because we were eating at the hotel and ice skating, we got to charge for free in the garage there.
While there, I went ice skating on an actual lake for the first time! The ice skate rental was not expensive compared to similar skate rentals in the United States (this surprised me). Jacob is not a big fan of ice skating and instead chose to operate the camera. I’m the one in the red scarf.
One of the strangest aspects of ice skating on a real lake is that you can hear the ice cracking underneath of you. It’s a deep sound that no one else seemed to respond to. I could feel the vibrations through my whole body, but at the same time it did not feel concerning. This is my new favorite form of ice skating.
I had so much fun ice skating. I’ve seen pictures of this lake during the summer months, but we did not make it up here when we came up for our first Anniversary. We were very sad when we could not fulfill the tradition again this year. Every time we go, we find more things we want to go back to do.
Beyond the scenery, one place we try to make an effort to plan to go to is always The Sensory & Wit Bar. Our memory card fried itself (I was so mad. You can ask Jacob…) so we lost all of the pictures of our dinner, but the food and drinks there are very similar to eating at Alinea with a reduction in unnecessary (but fun) theatrics.
Update! I found one picture that survived!
The Sensory & Wit Bar really does focus on what it says: the sensory experience, wit, and wisdom of dining. One of my favorite parts of the experience was how your meal is a journey through a story. The kitchen’s story while we were there was “The Huntsman”. Plus, at their prices, their food is more accessible than Alinea, but I put their 7-course tasting menu with wine pairing on the same level when it comes to the food quality and creating a remarkable experience that is hard to compare. No wonder it has made so many Best New Canadian Restaurant lists.
The Sensory is where I finally got to try Orange Wine. Orange is my favorite color. I love all things orange and this gem of a wine hits with the joys of Okanogan autumn twinkling with candlelight. I wanted to buy a bottle, but the wine pairing is plenty generous. This may be my favorite wine in existence and it is a travesty that it is so hard to find.
If you plan to go: We usually make our reservations for a party of 2 at least one week in advance and we provide our full allergy list for the multi-course menus. The chef is phenomenally talented when given sufficient time to prepare. All of their ingredients are sourced consciously and carefully, so if you have a party larger than 2 with food allergies and you’d like to do the tasting menu, I’d recommend requesting your reservation more than one week in advance.
As with all drives back home, we relished the route back to Montana which takes us back through Radium Hot Springs – a lovely town we hope to visit on its own some day.
We also take the long drive down through Fernie and everywhere we can hit up electric car chargers. It’s a brilliant thing being able to drive all the way from Montana to Canmore, up to Lake Louise, then back down again in an electric car in subzero weather. I look forward to the day when we can do it again, next time including Jasper.
Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post please take a moment to leave a comment, like, or share it. If you have any questions about traveling to Banff, Canmore, or Lake Louise, particularly getting around with an electric vehicle, please feel free to ask away in the comments! Jacob and I are happy to answer any questions 🙂
If you would like to use any of our photos from this post:
- For unpaid projects, simply credit us by linking back to this website.
- For paid projects please send me an e-mail and we can exchange a fair use contract with more details.