What To Do In the Mountains In June

New dining, summer gondolas, a powwow that everyone can attend and more. It’s all happening in the mountains near Calgary in the coming weeks.

The fourth annual Banff Iiniskim Cross-Cultural Powwow takes place on Saturday, June 22 at Fenlands Recreation Centre in Banff. Everyone is welcome to attend. Grand Entry is at noon and 6 p.m. There's also an Indigenous craft market running throughout the day. Photo by Scott Rowed Photo

Check out a New Restaurant in Canmore

The Sensory and Wit Bar is a new upscale dining experience in Canmore. The two-storey set-up has Wit Bar on the main level with The Sensory restaurant above on the second level. The Sensory’s menu is driven by head chef Tracy Little, who incorporates foraged ingredients such as dandelion greens and stinging nettles into her creations. In a nod to Canmore’s alpine culture, Little offers a chef’s tasting menu structured as a culinary hike: you start at the “trailhead” and proceed with dishes representing the field, the forest, the picnic, the stream, the alpine and the summit.

101, 300 Old Canmore Rd., Canmore, thesensory.ca


Head to Island Lake Lodge for Untamed Kootenays

The third annual Untamed Kootenays culinary event is happening this year on Saturday, June 8 at Island Lake Lodge, a luxury backcountry lodge in the mountains near Fernie. Untamed is captained by Island Lake chef Keith Farkas, who is known for his “forest-to-table” philosophy of using ingredients foraged form the surrounding alpine terrain and sourced from local producers in the Elk Valley. Farkas will be joined this year by guest chef Roy Oh of Anju restaurant — a fixture on Avenue’s annual Best Restaurants list. Untamed guests who are interested in foraging can join the chefs on a guided hike.


Ride the Historic North American Chairlift at Norquay

The North American chairlift at Mt. Norquay ski resort opens for summer sightseeing on Friday, June 14. Taking the two-person chairlift is like taking a step back in time — this year marks the North American’s 70th anniversary of ferrying passengers up to the sightseeing platform and historic Cliffhouse Bistro dining room, which is at an elevation of just under 7,000 feet. With incredible views as the chair moves you upward, getting there is half the fun. (In other Norquay news this month, the resort’s early-bird sale on 2019-2020 season’s passes ends June 24.)


Enjoy a Winemaker’s Lunch at the Whitehorn

The mid-mountain Whitehorn Bistro at Lake Louise Ski Resort is hosting a winemaker’s lunch on Friday, June 14. The event features four courses paired with wines from three Canadian wineries: Mission Hill, Cedar Creek Estate and Hidden Bench Estate. The Whitehorn sits at an elevation of 6,700 feet and features a sprawling patio with views of the Victoria Glacier and Lake Louise across the valley. The lunch is capped at 30 people and the $80 ticket includes sightseeing gondola access, plus the chance to get into the Whitehorn before it officially opens for the summer season on June 15.


Ride the Golden Two-Four

The “two-four” in this case, stands for 24 hours, as in this mountain bike race runs for 24 hours straight. During that time, riders compete to log the most laps of a challenging course set by the Golden Cycling Club with a start and finish area within the town boundaries. While there is a solo rider category (gah!), you can also enter a four-person, five person or six-to-10 person relay team. (If you’re the go-hard and go-to-bed-early type there’s also an eight-hour category for solo racers or two-person teams.) The race runs from Saturday, June 15 into Sunday, June 16 and features on-site camping and a festival atmosphere at the base area. To register, visit transrockies.com/golden-twofour.


Cheer on the runners of the Banff Marathon

We can’t really say it much better than writer-runner Jessica Aldred did in her story from Avenue’s May issue: “the marathon provides a transformative physical, social and psychological challenge that can only be understood by going the distance.” Imagine then, how amazing it would be to run a marathon in the stunning setting of Banff National Park? Lots of people do — which is why this year’s Banff Marathon on Sunday, June 16 is 100-per cent sold out (that includes the half-marathon and 10-km distances, too). Though you can’t run the thing this year, you can still attend as a spectator and hopefully soak up some of the dedication, willpower and endorphins all around you to kickstart your own training and secure yourself a bib for June 2020.


Enjoy Cocktails Made with Local Spirits at a Collaborative Dinner in Canmore

Murrieta’s Mountain Bar & Grill in Canmore recently did a major renovation and is heading into summer with a new direction and a new menu to go along with its new look. You can see for yourself at a special collaborative dinner event on Thursday, June 20, when the restaurant will team up with Canmore-based craft spirits producer Wild Life Distillery. The $120 ticket includes a canapé and cocktail reception followed by a four-course meal with cocktail pairings for each course. Call 403-609-9500 to reserve. You’ll probably want a room in town for the night as well, what with the five cocktails and all.

200, 737 Main St., Canmore, canmore.murrietas.ca


Celebrate Indigenous Culture at the Banff Iiniskim Cross-Cultural Powwow

The fourth-annual Banff Iiniskim Cross-cultural Powwow takes place on Saturday, June 22 at Fenlands Recreation Centre in Banff. The competition powwow sees participants judged on their regalia and their dancing to music by eight drum groups, with winners taking home cash prizes. Powwow celebrations run all day, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with Grand Entry at noon and 6 p.m. and an Indigenous craft market from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The powwow is an inclusive event, open to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous spectators alike. Admission is $12.

100 Mount Norquay Rd., Banff


Kick off the Summer Mountain Bike Season at Fernie and Kicking Horse

Saturday, June 22 is when both Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, B.C., and Fernie Alpine Resort in Fernie, B.C. open their mountain bike parks for the summer. If you live to ride downhill this is kind of like Christmas day. June 22 also marks the opening of Kicking Horse’s via ferrata adventure programming.


Be First Up the Gondola to Sunshine Meadows

Summer operations at Banff Sunshine Meadows are launching this year on Friday, June 28. The seasonal shift at the Banff-based alpine resort turns the focus from skiing and snowboarding to lift-accessed hiking and sightseeing. There’s a discount rate for Alberta residents of $39 (adult ticket) for gondola access to the resort’s upper base as well as a ride up the Standish sightseeing chairlift to the viewing deck where you can look out and see Mt. Assiniboine in the distance. (If you’re willing and able you can skip the gondola and hike up all the way up there and save your money for beers and burgers at Mad Trappers). There’s also a free bus to and from Banff with purchase of gondola/chairlift ticket packages. Book online at banffsunshinemeadows.com/sightseeing.

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