#RockiesExploring

#RockiesExploring

Our mission at ZenSeekers is to introduce you to BC and Alberta travel experiences that transform you.

We also suggest you visit places that might be a little less crowed and/or have opportunities that will let you drop those shoulders and fuel up on some ZEN.
Sure you’ve probably been to Banff, maybe even Jasper, but what about the southern Rockies?

Spots like Cranbrook, the Crowsnest Pass and friends at the Ktunaxa Nation are places with their own unique exeprpiences that will leave you different in all the right ways.

Look no further then to our #RockiesExploring Expedition as ZenSeekers and our correspondents have you covered.

The Canadian Rockies Airport (YXC) welcomes you with over 12 flights daily into the southern Canadian Rockies via Air Canada, WestJet and Pacific Coastal Airlines. The YXC is less then 15 mins from Downtown Cranbrook and/or the Rockies backcountry.

Go #RockiesExploring and let us know what you find by including this hashtag in your social media posts.

*Note the above map are location of visitor centres in each of our #RockiesExploring destinations.

Stories

Ah, yes. The hubbub of summer is over and it’s time to slow down and enjoy the bounty of autumn. A weekend in the region of Cranbrook, B.C. is easily filled with fall fairs, scenic hikes, fresh food and good times.

“How did we get from that,” I wonder, “to what we see now?”

The question ran through my head even before Margaret Teneese, Archivist with the Ktunaxa Nation Council asked it out loud. I had just watched a 28-minute video about the St. Eugene Mission, a grand red brick building that protrudes from the East Kootenay landscape, which was once a residential school.

When you think of Cranbrook, what likely comes to mind is the Rocky Mountains and all of the adventures to be had, but getting out on the water is one of the most popular pastimes in the East Kootenays.

When you're talking handmade, you can't get more hands-on than the artisans I met in Cranbrook who hail from India, Northern China, Marysville, Fort McMurray and the East Kootenays. They all have one thing in common: They saw a need in their community, so they decided to hone their skills and meet it.

I looked at the notes I jotted down about my first fly fishing experience: “Chili” was the first comment. The second was: “Squishy."

Experiencing history has never felt so hands-on and as adventurous as it does in Cranbrook, B.C. After a short, smooth and scenic flight with Pacific Coastal Air, we landed in a new kind of paradise, and eager to explore the history of the southern Rockies region, we wasted no time.

Cranbrook, B.C. – Rising to the early morning glow from outside the teepee walls, we breathed the crisp mountain air and arose from our comfortable sleeping quarters to greet the day. After spending a night nestled in a teepee at Speaking Earth in St. Eugene, part of the greater Cranbrook area, we felt refreshed and more connected to our Canadian heritage than ever.  

Cranbrook, B.C. – I was glued to the plane’s window as it started its descent into the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook. The vistas, equally beautiful and mysterious, gave a hint of what the valley has to offer. Soon we’d be on the ground and experiencing it all for the first time. A short flight from Vancouver via Pacific Coastal Airlines was about to unleash a new world of possibilities.  

With our rental bikes loaded on the back of our SUV, we headed out from Kootenay Mountain Works bike shop eager to take on the Community Forest everyone was raving about in Cranbrook. As we neared Cranbrook, we turned north from the city towards the Eager Hill trailhead. We were immediately greeted with a sun-kissed hillside of blooming wildflowers and the scent of Ponderosa pine.

The rushing waters of the St. Mary River pass a circle of Ktunaxa tipis erected proudly on its banks while Fisher Peak keeps a watchful eye in the distance. You could imagine this very scene 10,000 years ago when the first Ktunaxa (Kootenay) people called this land home.

Driving along Highway 3 through the Kootenays, many folks pass by the city of Cranbrook, not realizing what lies just off the busy road. I recently spent a couple of days here and discovered this: a cool recreated historic village, miles and miles of trails for hikers and bikers, a deliciously vibrant food scene and a local craft brewery named after the impressive Fisher Peak that reigns the landscape here.

If you were to tell a friend you were going to the mountains of Fernie, what would come to mind? Images of challenging multi-day treks in alpine wilderness, fearless climbs up huge rock walls, adrenaline-pumping mountain trail riding or daring white-water rafting?

We woke up for a day of adventure, feeling energized and ready for biking Kimberley’s trails. The natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains surrounding Kimberley will have that effect on you. Riding a bike puts me in a positive state of mind and I knew it was going to be a memorable day as we set out to explore the area on two wheels.

Not sure what I expected when I selected Level 2 on the power mode switch. Helmet strapped on, I took my first pedal stroke and with a surprising burst of energy my electric assist mountain bike burst to life. Now that’s more like it.

Looking to head to Cranbrook? Check out this awesome two-day itinerary

Enjoy your time in Fernie with this one-day itinerary

Are you a mountain biker? Cranbrook is the place to be for epic switchbacks and gorgeous trails. Learn more here.

Explore the Crowsnest Pass while you bike, hike, then dine on delicious food. Lear more here.

Head to Kimberley for epic biking and train rides. Learn more here.