What to Do in the Mountains in October 2017

From adventurous eating to mindfulness retreating, here’s what’s going down in the mountains near Calgary this month.

Visit Canmore on Oct. 14 and take part in a guided hike up Mount Lady MacDonald to see the annual golden eagle migration. Thinkstock.

Eat Thanksgiving dinner at the Post Hotel

It’s a dearly held tradition at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise to host a Thanksgiving turkey dinner on the Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s feast on Sunday, October 8 begins with an appetizer of salmon sashimi, followed by a chanterelle mushroom ragout, followed by the main event: roasted winter farm turkey with forest pine honey glaze, pretzel buns, caramelized sweet potatoes, Yukon gold mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts with bacon. If you still have room, there’s rum raisin ice cream on walnut sponge with pumpkin compote for dessert. The meal is $92 per person, $52 for kids (call 403-522-3989 to reserve). You’ll also want a room for the night if you’re planning to pair the meal with selections from the Post’s world-class wine cellar.


Get a bird’s eye view of the golden eagle migration

The Canmore Wild Festival is a weekend of arts and activities based around the annual golden eagle migration in the Bow Valley. Your best bet for eagle spotting is to join the Bird’s Eye View golden eagle viewing guided hike up Mount Lady MacDonald on the morning of Saturday, October 14. Hikers depart at 9:30 a.m. from the Cougar Creek parking lot just off Benchlands Trail. Space is limited and registration is required. Visit tourismcanmore.com to register online. Registration is $10.


Recharge with a wellness retreat in Lake Louise

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has a full line up of wellness retreats happening in October and November. Focus on your own personal health and wellbeing with the Spirit Medicine retreat on October 17 to 20 led by medical doctor and holistic health expert Dr. Eva Selhub. Or join psychotherapist and yoga teacher Kim Roberts October 29 to November 2 for her Life Design retreat, which is about learning to tune out the demands of everyday life and look inward.


Get amped up for winter at Rockies Shred Fest

Now in its third year, Rockies Shred Fest (formerly Winterstoke Banff) brings ski and snowboard enthusiasts to Wild Bill’s for a “best of” screening of local ski and snowboard films. The night features door prizes, giveaways and both “Local’s Choice” and “Judges Choice” filmmaker awards. 2017 Shred Fest is on Thursday, October 19 with doors at 8 p.m. (the first 100 audience members receive a swag bag). Tickets are $15 before October 15, $20 after that date, at Eventbrite. 10 per cent of ticket sales donated to Avalanche Canada.


Get the real story on investigative journalism

The Democracy Project: Journalism in the Age of Alt-Facts is a free summit hosted by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity from Friday, October 20 to Sunday, October 22. The summit features a series of five panels exploring issues pertaining to the present media landscape. The panels are open to the public, though a ticket is required (you can book tickets to individual panels by calling the Banff Centre box office at 1-800-762-6301). The impressive list of featured speakers includes representatives from CBC, The Fifth Estate and The Walrus as well as American organizations such as the New York Times, PBS Frontline, Smithsonian magazine and The Atlantic.


Snack on fancy corndogs at a Banff Bowling Alley

Taste for Adventure is a 16-day culinary celebration in Banff and Lake Louise that starts on Wednesday, October 25 and runs into November. The kick-off event is the Mountain Carnival at High Rollers bowling alley with wild game pizza, Valbella Meats corn dogs and beer-glazed doughnuts and sampling stations for locally crafted spirits and beers. The carnival runs 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $30.75. For more information and tickets, visit banfflakelouise.com.


Eat all the pork at Park

One of the big-ticket events at this year’s Taste For Adventure foodie festival in Banff is From Tail to Cocktail, a five-course tasting of nose-to-tail dishes created with Alberta-raised pork with wine and cocktail pairings at Park Restaurant. The menu sees Park’s executive chef teaming up with Edmonton-based artisanal salumiere Fuge Fine Meat and Bear and the Flower Farm, a free-range natural pork farm near Airdrie. From Tail to Cocktail starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29. Tickets are $153.75. For more information and tickets, visit banfflakelouise.com.


Shake, rattle and roll for the Fernie Museum

The Fernie Museum throws a big fundraiser costume party each year around Halloween. This year’s party is on Saturday, October 28 (doors at 7 p.m.) and features a circa-1959 high-school hop theme with live rockabilly tunes from Calgary’s Peter and the Wolves. Tickets are $85 per person; $160 per couple and include a full dinner with two specialty cocktails and true-to-the-era soda-shop floats.


Go walking with the ghosts in Canmore

Theatre Canmore presents this outdoor tour of some of the spookiest spots in town led by interpretive guides. The walks happen nightly October 28 to 31 from 7 to 9 p.m., beginning at the Good Earth Coffeehouse in Canmore (718 8 St.) Tickets are $13 (kids six and under are free) at theatrecanmore.com.


Head down to Radium for rutting season

Each year in mid fall, male bighorn sheep go loco, competing for alpha superiority by racing toward each other at high speed and bashing horns. The rut, as it’s called, creates a sledgehammer-like crack that can be heard for miles. The healthy population of bighorn near Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park make it a great destination to witness the spectacle of rutting season. Head out there on the weekend of November 3 to 5 for the annual Radium Hot Springs Headbanger Festival which features wildlife presentations and a photography workshop.


Want more suggestions for the best things to do in Calgary? Sign up for our Weekender Newsletter.

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