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A Hiker’s Guide to the South Canadian Rockies

Experience the Scenic Wonders and Culinary Delights of the South Canadian Rockies

The South Canadian Rockies, known for its expansive beauty and historical significance, is the perfect destination for a two-day getaway. From the charming town of Pincher Creek to the captivating wilderness of Castle Provincial Park, this itinerary offers the perfect blend of adventure and culinary experiences!

Day 1

There’s no better place to start than The Hut Café, located in the heart of Pincher Creek. Try their homemade treats, bubble tea, or one of their espresso beverages made with local Crowsnest Coffee Company beans. 

From the café, take a five-minute walk to the historic Lebel Mansion, now an art gallery and gift shop. Inside, you’ll find intriguing art and vintage items like antique heaters and a grandfather clock. Browse the combined gift shop and bookstore, and don’t miss the ever-changing gallery showcasing various artists. Finally, enjoy a walk through the rose garden to appreciate the mansion’s exterior charm.

In the afternoon, set off on a scenic 30-minute drive towards Castle Provincial Park, where adventure awaits. Stop by the Beaver Mines Mercantile to pick up homemade treats and deli sandwiches, perfect for an on-the-go picnic. The Philly Cheese Steak sandwich is to die for!

Castle Falls is an ideal spot for a picnic and a refreshing swim in its crystal-clear turquoise waters. You can choose to join the excitement from cliffside viewpoints along the river, or opt for a quieter, more secluded spot to relax.

After an exciting day, head back to Pincher Creek and check in to the Heritage Inn, conveniently located just off Highway 6. The Heritage Inn’s cozy rooms and exceptionally friendly staff will have you feeling right at home. 

Once settled, head over to Antonio’s Pizza and Wings for dinner. Antonio’s is a local gem known for its New York-style pizza, buffalo wings, and donair. It’s a must-visit spot to satisfy your pizza cravings in the heart of Pincher Creek.

To cap off your evening, take a stroll along Diane’s Way, a scenic trail that runs alongside Pincher Creek. This leisurely walk will surely provide a peaceful conclusion to your day as you take in the sights and sounds of nature.

Day 2

To make the most of this adventure day, it’s best to begin early. Located inside the hotel, the Seasons Cafe & Eatery is a great option for breakfast. They begin serving at 7:00AM, and their menu is diverse, offering options to satisfy every palate!

Be sure to pack a lunch and snacks as you set off for a hike in Castle Provincial Park. 

Table Mountain is a challenging 11km round-trip hike starting at Beaver Mines Lake Campsite. It begins with a gradual incline through a beautiful aspen forest, becoming steeper and rockier, so proper hiking gear is advised. Along the way, admire the breathtaking landscape and ancient limber pine trees. Once you reach the summit, you’re rewarded with views of Table Mountain’s unique layers and Beaver Mines Lake. 

For a less demanding trail option, consider Haig Lake, an 8km loop with a moderate incline. The reward is a beautiful alpine lake, surrounded by towering cliffs. Haig Lake is a peaceful spot for a refreshing dip or to enjoy your packed lunch!

After your hike, return to Pincher Creek for some delicious local eats. Treat your taste buds to a Japanese culinary adventure at Soo Sushi. We loved their Japanese-style hash browns, “korokke”. Be sure to check out the unique décor around the restaurant, including antique type-writers and a lovely collection of plants.

Soo Sushi

Conclude your day with a walk down Pincher Creek’s Main Street. Discover local boutiques like SEEDS Flower Shop, which offers more than just flowers – it’s also a coffee bar, bakery, yarn store, home décor and gift shop. 

As the evening comes to a close, visit Cenotaph Park to relax and enjoy the tranquility of a beautiful fountain within a flower garden. You may even get lucky and see some local wildlife, such as deer, who frequent the townsite.

As your journey through Castle Provincial Park and Pincher Creek concludes, you’ll carry with you memories of stunning landscapes, culinary experiences and an appreciation of this historic area. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a leisure seeker, this region has something to offer everyone!

South Canadian Rockies. 2023