Tunnel Mountain Hike | Banff

Thursday, October 23, 2014

After spending several days driving in a car, it felt really good to pump that blood around and do a hike.

If you have time for just one quickie hike while in Banff, or you're not crazy about climbing mountains, this one's for you. We walked to the trailhead of the Tunnel Mountain Hike from the center of downtown Banff. There are some pretty steep switchbacks for a bit, but it just means you'll get high up faster. From the top, you'll get to look out on both sides of the mountain ridge, see a great perspective of the town of Banff happily tucked in a valley, and a view of the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel surrounded by endless woods.

Our reward at the end of the day—hotdogs and tomato soup for dinner. Nothing better than a warm bowl of soup as daylight slips away.

- Julia

Tunnel Mountain Hike (source)

Time: 2-3 hours 
Distance: 4.3 km (2.7 miles) round-trip 
Level of Difficulty: Easy/moderate
Elevation Gain: 300 m (948 feet) 
Starting Point: In downtown Banff, from the southern end of Banff Ave., turn east on Buffalo St. (turns into Wolverine) to St. Julien Rd. Trailhead begins on north side of St. Julien Rd.

Camp Cooking

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I have to admit that one of the main draws of camping for me is the food. Simple food, cooked over a flame, and eaten outdoors sitting around a campfire.

One of my camp favorites is shish kabobs. I usually cut and marinate the meat at home and then just put it on sticks before cooking at camp. But since we were extended camping and meat from home wouldn't exactly last for long in a cooler, we actually bought these shish kabobs that were already marinated and on sticks in a grocery store deli.

As a side, we stuck some potatoes in the fire. To help them cook faster, I cut them into cubes, added butter, seasoning, wrapped twice in foil, then buried them in the embers of the fire. They came out soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, and so tasty dipped in BBQ sauce.

Okay, now I'm hungry. And want to go camping.

Around Banff — Part II

Monday, October 13, 2014

Almost every day of our trip, we were scrambling to get camp set up and cook dinner before it got dark. And days don't get any longer than in June. There were just too many things to do and see before retiring to camp for the night. Dinner was usually cooking around 9pm, when some of our more elderly camp neighbors were already asleep. After dinner we'd sit around the campfire, wrapped in blankets, reading books with the help of headlamps, and go to bed when our eyes got heavy.

In the words of John Muir, “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

- Julia