Our hometown, Calgary is so close to the Canadian Rockies. Panoramic views of the mountains can be seen from many hilltops around the city. There are lots of great mini vacations destinations throughout Alberta and I felt inspired to create a quick escape for us to the mountains.
There are five National Parks within the Canadian Rockies and the closest to Calgary is Banff National park. We have visited the area hundreds of times but there was one stretch of scenic highway we’d never driven before the Highway 1A Bow valley Parkway.
The Bow Valley Parkway is a 48 Kilometer secondary highway that runs parallel to the Trans Canada between the town of Banff and the Village of Lake Louise. We wanted to explore an area in the park that was new to us and really make the most of the experience. We had no problem accomplishing that!
Suffice it to say our expectations were exceeded on many occasions during our short 48-hour stay in Banff National Park. It was a perfect quick trip for many reasons but our stay at the Baker Creek Mountain Resort really made our visit unforgettable.
We think this special place is one of the best Alberta family getaways.
We’ve stayed in hotels in Banff over the years and rates can be can be very high for the most basic hotel room. We wanted this mini vacation to be special but were determined to find the best value for accommodation and enjoy an authentic Rocky Mountain experience. We managed to do both staying at the Baker Creek Mountain Resort.
We stayed in a perfect two bedroom chalet, with a cute rustic decor, full kitchen, wood burning fireplace, and a private deck with stunning mountain views. It was an ideal home base for our Rocky Mountain adventure.
We always prefer to book accommodation that has a full kitchen to cook some meals. Doing so always saves us money because we eat out less. Restaurants in Banff national Park are expensive so having a kitchen was a must for us. Room rates (with a kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and excellent reviews) are anywhere between $180 to $350 CAD or more a night. Baker Creek is rated in the top five for best specialty lodging in Banff National Park by TripAdvisor. It boasts hundreds of excellent reviews and we felt the 2 bedroom chalet we stayed in more than justified the price ($210 a night).
The picture perfect location (and accommodation), great reviews, and the wide range of amenities are the reasons we chose to stay at Baker Creek Mountain Resort. They offer a variety of different options to suit every type of traveler which is the exact type of convenience we absolutely love.
Here are some of the amenities available to guests at Baker Creek Mountain Resort:
- A variety of accommodation choices. One or two bedroom Chalets, and two different lodges (The Elk Lodge and The Moose Lodge) that offer some rooms with in suite jacuzzi tubs and full kitchens.
- A well-equipped gym, sauna and steam room, and tanning beds (in the Elk Lodge).
- A conference room and recreation area (including a piano, guitar, small library, and fun board games) in the Moose Lodge.
- Lovely fire pits (complete with Adirondack chairs) just behind the chalets along Baker Creek.
- A top-rated on-site restaurant, The Bistro at Baker Creek.
- And access to snowshoes to explore the area in Winter.
The best part about all of these great choices is you can spend your time however you want. We opted for a more private experience but Baker Creek Resort understands that busy families may want to be catered to more. They ensure any guest can have it either way.
Terrific convenience is what makes a stay a Baker Creek Resort so special. That, and the absolutely amazing mountain corridor that is the Bow Valley Parkway.
Bow Valley Parkway is one of two roads that connect Banff and Lake Louise, the Trans Canada Highway is the other route. The stretch of serene roadway winds through the mountains and over the Bow Valley River. It is a lot narrower and slower than the Trans Canada so trees and mountains are closer to the road. This makes it the perfect area to catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife. It is home to wolves, bears, cougars, moose, deer, elk, bighorn sheep and many more forest animals. We didn’t get a look at any of the big carnivores but we did see elk, deer, bighorn sheep and a bald eagle all on the way to Baker Creek Resort!
The attractions along the Bow Valley Parkway are all within easy driving distance from Baker Creek. The priorities for our quick trip were Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon, and a good look at Castle Mountain, my favorite mountain in the park.
We couldn’t wait to enjoy all the area had to offer and were so happy that we could see and do the things we wanted all in one day because of Baker Creek’s excellent location. We spend three hours exploring the upper and lower falls of Johnston Canyon then moved on to Lake Louise for a view of the Lake and a lovely lunch. We weren’t pressed for time at all because Lake Louise and Johnston Canyon were both so close to the resort.
Both Rob and I grew up in Calgary. Hiking Johnston Canyon is a popular day trip for Calgarians and somehow we’d never made there! At just over five kilometers it was the perfect hike for our little getaway. We spent three hours walking the spectacular catwalk to appreciate the exquisite upper and lower parts of the falls.
Both vantage points were incredible. Next time we can’t wait to explore three kilometers beyond the upper falls to the Ink Pots, seven cold mineral springs that bubble to the surface near Johnston Canyon Creek. There was no time that day, we wanted enough time to enjoy Baker Creek Mountain Resort!
After the hike and our lunch in Lake Louise, we made it back to enjoy some time around the fire pit back at the resort. Rob and I sipped wine and Mak roasted marshmallows and we all enjoyed the view and the sound of the water in the nearby creek. We spent the rest of the evening in front of the fireplace relaxing in the chalet. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to unwind after our busy day exploring the BowValley Parkway! The fire roared all evening thanks to the hearty supply of firewood and we enjoyed the most restful sleep. The fresh air and cozy fire made it pretty easy to get a good nights rest.
Baker Creek Mountain Resort really has it all. A great restaurant and numerous amenities right on site to enjoy an unforgettable experience never having to leave the resort. Have a quite private getaway and take care of yourself like we did or take advantage of the entertainment in the rec room, work out in the gym, or unwind in the sauna and steam room.
Baker Creek Mountain Resort delivers the best of everything to create a perfect family getaway. The service, comfort, and convenience were all absolutely outstanding. We would definitely stay with them again.
Do you have any other great Alberta getaway ideas? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Thank you so much to Baker Creek Mountain Resort who kindly hosted our stay! As always, all of the opinions expressed in our review are truthful and our own.