What to Do in the Mountains in August

This month, eat at a new Mexican restaurant in Fernie, attend a Huckleberry Festival and run an ultramarathon.

Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives. Photograph courtesy of Tourism Jasper.

Eat at local restaurants during Alberta on the Plate

When: August 12 to 21

There is no shortage of excellent culinary establishments in the mountains, which is why Alberta on the Plate, the annual festival showcasing homegrown culinary culture, is so popular. Participating restaurants range from fine dining to fast casual and everything in between, offering multi-course, fixed-price menus that highlight locally grown and produced food and beverages from around the province. Venture to the Olive Bistro and Lounge in Jasper for local meats, regional produce and house-grown herbs, or pick up artisan breads and pastries from Wild Flour Bakery in Banff. You can also sip small-batch wine and beverages from an extensive menu at Cochrane’s Fence & Post Prairie Kitchen.



Listen to an Indigenous Classical Music Performance


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When: August 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The third iteration of the Indigenous Classical Music Gathering program, happening this month, features Indigenous composers and performers in the classical music genre who are cultivating their craft and finalizing productions of their upcoming works. The program is led by Juno-award-winning Indigenous cellist and composer Cris Derksen and Indigenous composer, researcher and teacher Eliot Britton, and it culminates in a crescendo of sound as participating artists perform their works live during a public show at the Jenny Belzberg Theatre. This event is free with registration, and tickets can be reserved online.

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr., 403-762-6100, banffcentre.ca


Run the Black Spur Ultra

When: August 20 to 21

Taking place in the heart of the Purcell Mountains in Kimberley, this single-track ultramarathon is not for the faint of heart. Solo runners or teams can register for either the 108-kilometre or 54-kilometre distance options, both of which feature a winding, technical track that starts at the Kimberley Alpine Resort and goes through rugged, mountain terrain. There are no paved tracks in this race, and with 2,230 to 4,460 metres of elevation gain (depending on the length of your race), the Black Spur is the ultimate test of endurance. Participants can get full race details and registration information online.



Take a Guided Berries and Plants Hike

When: August 21

The Berries, Trees & Other Useful Plants hike at Fernie Alpine Resort is a guided, three-hour tour through an 800-year-old grove where you’ll learn the various ways that berries and trees are useful not just as tasty treats, but also as medicine or cleaning aids. The hike runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for hikers 17 years of age and older in groups of six to 10. Register by phone or online.

Fernie Alpine Resort, 5339 Ski Hill Road, Fernie, B.C., 250-423-4655, skifernie.com


Attend the 26th Annual Huckleberry Festival

When: August 26 to 27

Every year in the fourth week of August, Castle Mountain Resort hosts the lively, family-friendly Huckleberry Festival to celebrate all things summer. Enjoy live music, a barbecue and beer garden, scenic chairlift rides, a mountain market, kids’ games and plenty of berry-picking. Pro tip: the easiest access to berries is off the Huckleberry Chairlift, but huckleberries can be found throughout the resort. Tickets for the chairlift or other select events can be booked online, and full festival schedules and music lineups can also be found online.

Castle Mountain Resort, Hwy 774, 403-627-5101, skicastle.ca


Eat Mexican food at Chilango


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Serving authentic Mexican food, Chilango just opened in Fernie and welcomes diners in with its bright decor (including blue and pink bar stools) and lovely bar shelf filled with eclectic plants. The menu features dishes like guacamole, Baja fish tacos, flautas, tacos, quesadillas and more. There’s also a kids’ menu and a dessert section.

1302 B Hwy 3 Fernie, B.C., chilangofernie.com


Watch the Carly’s Angels Drag Show 

When: August 27

Calgary’s own Carly’s Angels — the city’s longest-running drag show — will be joining the fun at the Kimberley Kaleidoscope Arts and Culture Festival for a show at the Kimberley Arts Centre 64. Expect an upbeat and high-energy show from these seasoned artists who have been performing for more than 20 years. Tickets are $39, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

64 Deer Park Ave., Kimberley, B.C., 250-427-4919, kimberleyarts.com


Try New Dishes at the Whitehorn Bistro

Enjoy exceptional views of Lake Louise as you take some time to dine-in at the Whitehorn Bistro, where you can try new signature dishes like the ice water Yukon pan roasted Arctic char, or the 26-ounce bone-in rib eye steak and garlic shrimp (for two), which includes roasted Kennebec mashed potatoes, king oyster mushrooms, heirloom carrots, charred onion emulsion, gremolata and green beans, and a maple and soy garlic jus.

1 Whitehorn Road, Lake Louise, 1-877-956-8473, skilouise.com


Eat Pizza at The Lodge

While Banff Ave Brewing Co.’s newest location, The Lodge, has a full food and drink menu, this new spot is firmly dedicated to Detroit-style, deep-dish pizza for sharing. Try the Hunter if you’re craving house-made sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon and Alberta beef, or the Athena, with olives, mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, if you’re looking for something vegetarian. With gluten-free crust options, as well as small plates, pasta and rice dishes and dessert, The Lodge is a great place to gather with friends.

110 Banff Ave., 403-762-1003, banffavebrewingco.ca


Visit the Jasper Yellowhead Museum

The Jasper Yellowhead Historical Society, established in 1963, operates an extensive museum and archive with contemporary and historical documents and gallery exhibits that detail Jasper’s long history, from the fur trade, to the railway years, to contemporary tourism and more. The Showcase Gallery is currently exhibiting Our Vanishing Glaciers, now until October 2. The exhibition touches on the topic of glaciers, water security and climate change through paintings, artifacts, maps and a climate action plan. The museum is open daily until mid-October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and suggested admission is a donation between $8 to $18.

400 Bonhomme St., Jasper, 780-852-3013, jaspermuseum.org


Rent and Ride Electric Bikes

This summer, you can rent electric bikes at the Lake Louise Ski Resort to explore the Bow Valley Parkway. The Pedego Interceptor (a cruiser) and the Pedego Element 2 (a sporty bike) both have user-friendly pedal assistance and are available for two- or four-hour bookings, seven days a week, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Rentals are available to riders 13 years or older, and packages include the e-bike, a helmet, bike lock, tool kit and map of the area, as well as a demonstration on how to use the bike. Popular routes include the Bow Valley Parkway between the resort and Castle Junction, and the Lake Louise Tram Line, which runs between the village and the lakeshore. Bookings can be made over the phone or by emailing rentals@skilouise.com, and early reservations are recommended.

1 Whitehorn Road, Lake Louise, 403-522-1371, skilouise.com

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