May 2016 – Our Canadian Rockies RV trip had been sensational so far, with visits to Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks. But these National Parks are also world renowned, and at times the whole world seemed to be there with us. Fortunately, another part of Canada’s Rocky Mountains a little ways off the beaten path is just as as wonderful for an RV trip: Kananaskis Country.
Located in the mountains to the south of Canmore, Kananaskis Country is in the foothills and front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Less than an hour west of Calgary, it is a popular playground for city folks to get away for the weekend, but it’s not a primary destination for the tour bus crowd.
In the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary the downhill ski racing and mogul skiing competitions were held in Kananaskis Country, and the area is loaded with campgrounds and parks and all kinds of outdoor activities.
As we drove along the Route 40 on the gorgeous scenic drive that runs through the middle of Kananaskis Country, we noticed a little yellow sign for bighorn sheep.
It wasn’t long before we spotted a bighorn sheep on the side of the road.
Route 40 is so quiet in the mornings that we were able to pull our truck over to get a look at this handsome ram, and we watched him nibbling something on the pavement for quite some time without any other cars going by.
He wasn’t alone, and we noticed his girlfriend was watching us.
Suddenly, she decide to hop to the other side of the guardrail. She jumped over it with effortlessly and with grace.
We had enjoyed some fabulous encounters with bighorn sheep during our stay in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, seeing them near Radium Hot Springs when we first arrived in the Rockies and again while driving around the outskirts of the city of Banff.
And no wonder. The Latin name for Bighorn Sheep is Ovis Canadensis, undoubtedly because they are so plentiful in Canada (even though their range goes all the way down the Baja peninsula). Given the “Canadensis” in their Latin name, maybe we should be calling them Canada Sheep just the way we refer to the big birds Branta Canadensis as Canada Geese!
It’s also a wonderful area for photography, and we had fun wandering around a stand of aspen trees.
Kananaskis Village is the resort center in Kananaskis Country, and in 2002 it was the site for the G8 summit. What a place to try and solve all the world’s problems!
The once spectacular Kananaskis Country Golf Course is right next door to Kananaskis Village. Unfortunately, a huge flood in 2013 washed much of the golf course away. It is being rebuilt, but it was a little sad to wander past the clubhouse and through the grounds of what once was, and probably will soon be, a gorgeous resort golf club. At the moment, however, there is a lot of dirt and mud everywhere, along with backhoes, and weeds are taking over the landscaping.
Being so far north in the final days of May, we found the sky wasn’t getting dark until midnight and it was getting light again around 4:00 in the morning. Oof! We really wanted to do more photography at sunrise and sunset, but gosh, those are tough times of the day to be out running around!
But what we did catch was breathtaking.
As had been the trend for the last few weeks in our RV trek through Canada, the temps had been getting cooler, contrary to springtime norms, and storm systems filled the skies as well as the weather forecast for the next 10 days.
Bad weather does make for great photography, though, so we had fun playing with the dramatic skies and mountain peaks.
But we decided to head south to get to warmer weather.
Kananaskis Country is a picturesque area that is rich with possibilities for all kinds of outdoor activities in the mountains, so we’ll be back again to explore a little more.
If you take your RV into Kananaskis Country, the best place to stay is Mt. Kidd RV Park which has several big loops and room for big rigs. Site amenities range from full hookups (bigger sites) to no hookups (smaller sites).
We’d like to thank our RVing friends Larry and Jacquie for telling us about this beautiful area. We met them when we saw their fun Grinch Christmas decoration in front of their motorhome at Monte Vista RV Resort in Arizona last winter. They once lived in Calgary for five years and when we said “We’re going to the Canadian Rockies,” they said, “Don’t miss Kananaskis!” Thank you!!
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More links for Kananaskis Country:
- Kananaskis Country – Tourist website
- Kananaskis Country – Tourist Website
- Peter Lougheed Provincial Park – Makes up a large portion of Kanaskis Country and has several campgrounds (smaller rigs)
- Location of the Kananaskis Country – Google Maps
- Tips for RV travelers heading to Canada – Gas prices, border crossing, internet access, etc.
Other blog posts from our RV trip to Canada’s National Parks in the Rocky Mountains:
- Waterton Lakes Nat’l Park – Starry Skies, the Milky Way & Wildflowers 08/09/16
- Waterton Shoreline Cruise – A Classy Tour of Waterton-Glacier NP 08/05/16
- Waterton Lakes National Park – Rocky Mountain High! 07/28/16
- Canmore, Alberta – An Outdoor Lover’s Town in the Rocky Mountains 07/17/16
- Jasper National Park – Columbia Icefields & Athabasca Falls 07/12/16
- Hot Springs in the Canadian Rockies – Swimming in Giant Hot Tubs!! 07/10/16
- Banff, Alberta – A Grand Resort Town in the Canadian Rockies 07/03/16
- Yoho National Park – Emerald Lake & Natural Bridge – Aqua Magic! 06/26/16
- Moraine Lake – Crown Jewel of Banff National Park 06/19/16
- Icefields Parkway – True Blue Lakes, Avalanches & Grouse! 06/16/16
- Icefields Parkway – Canadian Rockies Scenic Drive – WOW! 06/14/16
- Lake Louise – RV Travels to the Heart of the Rockies in Banff 06/10/16
- Kootenay National Park Canada – Bears, Mountains & Rivers! 06/07/16
- Canadian Rockies – Big Mountains & Bighorn Sheep! 06/02/16
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