Experience The Mountain Parks Blog
...all about the Alberta-to-British Columbia mountain parks, including life in and around the parks. Not all our news and stories are here, though, so you might want to check our news section and Bob's "tweets" —conveniently placed in the upper right of each page.
In 1961, Peter Fuhrmann, a German climber working in Banff, arranged to take his professional mountain guide’s exam with Walter Perren, the Swiss mountain guide heading Parks Canada’s public safety program.
Top photo from the 1967 ACMG guides course includes, back row, from left, Don Vockeroth, Ottmar Setzer, Bob Geber, John Gow, Charlie Locke and Bernie Royle. Seated in the front row, from left, are Leo Grillmair, Lloyd Gallagher, Hans Gmoser, Peter Fuhrmann and Hans Schwartz. Credit: Chic Scott collection.
We're launching a new series about movies filming locations.
Did you know lots of blockbusters or TV series were actually partly or fully filmed in Alberta and/or British Columbia?
So we'll start with our first round in Alberta. This first list is far from being exhaustive as we intend to continue on.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Partly filmed in Canmore, Edmonton, Calgary.
The Edge (1997)
Partly filmed in Canmore, Banff National Park, Edmonton.
Mystery Alaska (1999)
Partly filmed in Canmore, and Banff National Park.
Night Breed (1990)
Partly filmed in Canmore, Calgary, Bragg Creek, and Drumheller.
Last of the Dogmen (1995)
Partly filmed in Canmore, and Banff National Park.
Harry Tracy, Desperado (1982)
Partly filmed in Canmore, and Jasper.
The High Country (1981)
Partly filmed in Canmore, and Banff National Park.
The A-Team (2010)
Partly filmed in Cold Lake.
Open Range (2003)
Partly filmed in Calgary, Longview, Morley, and Stoney Indian Reservation.
Partly filmed in Calgary, Brooks, Drumheller, High River, and Longview.
X-Men 2: X-Men United (2003)
Partly filmed in Kananaskis Country.
Good Luck Chuck (2007)
Partly filmed in Edmonton.
This was our first random installment...To be continued, stay tuned!
66.9 km south of Highway #1
A journey down the Trans-Canada Highway — between Calgary and Revelstoke — will take you to a handful of unforgettable mountain golf courses. And, after playing these Rocky Mountain masterpieces, in places like Kananaskis, Canmore, Golden, and Revelstoke, you’ll undoubtedly be convinced that Canada is king when it comes to the mountain golf genre.
Certainly, other destinations in North America — Colorado, Montana, and Idaho come to mind — might have something to say about that. And, no doubt, there are some very good mountain golf courses in those parts. However, when you consider the history, the hotels, the overall quality of the courses, and the unspoiled, all-encompassing beauty of the surroundings, the mountain golf courses in Canada make a compelling case for being the best collection of mountain golf courses in the world.
Not surprisingly, many of the top courses here are located near the historic mountain towns, along the storied Canadian Pacific Railway, and along the super-scenic Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy #1).
Travelling west from Calgary, the first opportunity for world-class mountain golf is just an hour away in Kananaskis. True, you’re going to need to venture fifteen minutes off the Trans-Canada down Highway #40 to find the Kananaskis Country Golf Course, however, the experience here is worth every mile.
Designed by architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., the two 18 hole courses at Kananaskis: Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd, are perennial favourites in these parts. With great value, peak season rates are under $100 and Alberta residents receive an additional discount — eye-popping scenery, beautiful bunkering, and a natural, unspoiled setting, this is the type of place where it’s easy to kick back, relax, and stay awhile. Thankfully, just down the road from the course is the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, one of the top hotels in the Canadian Rockies. Stay and play packages are readily available.
Approximately 40 km further west on the Trans-Canada is the pretty, mountainside town of Canmore. Enveloped with an energetic mountain vibe, Canmore is certainly a great home base for a mountain golf “tour". The three golf courses here — Stewart Creek, Silvertip, and the Canmore Golf Club — are all top-notch mountain golf experiences. All are decidedly different in character and design.
The Canmore Golf & Curling Club, established in 1926, is a classic, tree-lined course with a secluded, “private club” feel. Although busy with locals and members, the charming club has been welcoming visitors since its inception.
Stewart Creek might be the finest mountain golf course built in Canada in the past ten years. Designed by talented Canadian architects Gary Browning and Wade Horrocks, Stewart Creek is a wide, rolling, and beautifully sculpted layout that will appeal to every type of player.
Similar to the fourth at Banff, the opening tee at Stewart Creek — which sits atop a rocky perch with a wide, inviting fairway well below — is another one of my favourite spots in mountain golf. The realization that 18 awesome holes await only adds to the pleasure!
Across the majestic Bow River from Stewart Creek is another 18-hole treat that shouldn’t be missed. The Silvertip Golf Course is a wild, roller-coaster ride that requires a slightly different approach. Many of the holes here are tighter and less forgiving, so caution off the tee is vital! However, with stunning rock work, frequent wildlife sightings, and wonderful views of the famous Three Sisters massif, the visuals and the overall experience are highly memorable.
Unquestionably, the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course is anything but a one-hole wonder. Besides the 4th, voted one of the 500 greatest golf holes in the world by Golf Magazine, the beauty and strategic merit of this historic, 100-year-old course is on full display throughout the entire route. The run of holes along the Bow River, for example — the 8th through the 13th — is one of the finest stretches of golf in all of Canada. With numerous shots played straight towards the grand Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in the distance, these great golf holes are vintage Canadiana!
Speaking of scenic stretches, this section of the Trans-Canada Highway is full of memorable stops and classic photo-ops. Both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, for example (they are just minutes off the highway), are iconic locations that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re a nature lover, a summer sunrise at Moraine Lake — with the Valley of the Ten Peaks reflected in the gorgeous baby-blue water — is spellbinding. Unfortunately, you’ll need to be there between five and six in the morning to capture it!
A couple other stops I’ve always enjoyed are the Spiral Tunnels (in between Lake Louise and Field) and Takakkaw Falls. An engineering marvel of railroading, the Spiral Tunnels were built to soften the severe pitch of the original tracks in this rugged location.
Takakkaw Falls, located in Yoho National Park, is the highest waterfall in the mountain parks and are absolutely beautiful. Golfers looking for that rare, away-from-it-all experience in a natural setting will find the Golden Golf & Country Club beautiful as well. This scenic, underrated course features secluded, pinelined holes, glacier-fed creeks, and a friendly group of locals who love to swap stories with visitors on the spacious, sun-soaked patio.
The drive from Golden to Revelstoke - through the historic Roger’s Pass - is one of the most famous high-mountain routes in Canada. After enjoying some of the sights along Roger’s Pass (The Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park is a great little side trip), a closing round at the Revelstoke Golf Club would be time well spent. Yet another tucked-away gem, the Revelstoke Golf Club affords a classic Canadian Rockies golf experience. Spindly pines line the fairways and the smooth-flowing waters of the mighty Columbia River add a measure of greatness to the experience.
Of course, at this point, after playing a number of the best mountain golf courses in North America, you will have experienced a number of courses that easily fit the “greatness” descriptor. And, hopefully, the quality of your own game matches the lofty character of these special courses!
~By Andrew PennerAndrew and Dawn Penner live in Calgary with their four boys. They enjoy travelling together and love finding cool things to do in the great outdoors. Andrew is a 20-year member of the CPGA, a freelance writer and outdoor photographer. He has been published in The Calgary Herald, Golf Magazine, Golf Canada, and others. Dawn is an elementary school teacher and spends plenty of time editing Andrew’s work. Andrew is the successful writer of the book called "One Flew Over the Caddyshack".
The video we're showing you here is the one Bob "tweeted" about on January 25, 2012.This is a 27 min. on Alberta Parks (not all nationals though, as they are highlighting Alberta Provincial Parks as well) from south to north. It was aired on ARD a premium German TV Channel on January 15, 2012.
Sorry, we don't have the English translation, but the storyline says: "When you hear the name Banff and Jasper you think imposing mountains, turquoise lakes and on gigantic glaciers. Every year it attracts thousands of people in the finest National Parks of Canada. They come to hike, to rafting, cruising with their bikes or just to enjoy the incredible vastness and silence of the Rocky Mountains."
- Banff Visitor Centre pays tribute to its cultural history
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- And the second place in the Friends & Family category goes to...
- And the second place in the Videos category of our 2012 RECESS IS BACK readers' contest goes to...
- And the second place in the Landscapes and Sunsets category of our 2012 RECESS IS BACK readers' contest goes to...
- And the second place in the Wildlife & Flowers category goes to...
- And the winners of our 2012/2013 Photos and Videos Contest are...
- 2012/2013 Photos/Videos Contest
- oTENTiks are coming to a mountain park near you!
- Submissions to our 2012/2013 Photos/Videos Contest are now over...