January 12, 2024
Pick berries, soak up the views and join the summer festivities at this beloved annual celebration
For decades, the Huckleberry Festival has been a celebrated summer tradition in the South Canadian Rockies. This beloved annual gathering is held during the fourth week of August at Castle Mountain Resort, and showcases everything great about summer in the region. From scenic chairlift rides to huckleberry picking, live music, local vendors, and decadent dinners, Huckleberry Fest has something for everyone.
Scenic Chair Lift Ride
Although Castle Mountain Resort is open all summer, Huckleberry Fest is the only day that they open up the Huckleberry Chair Lift for visitors to take a scenic ride to the top of the mountain. As you make your ascent, the ride slows down giving you lots of time to take in the panoramic view of the mountain range surrounding you.
Once you reach the summit, even more awe-inspiring views await. You can ride the chair lift back down, or you can hike down the ski runs back to the village. The descent is swift and steep, but if you happen to lose track of time while foraging for huckleberries, the journey can extend into a fun adventure that lasts for hours.
If you’ve ever tried a huckleberry, you’ll know that they’re worth the effort it takes to find them. They taste a lot like blueberries, but with a little more tang. Huckleberries are a regional delicacy, but they’re a treasure not readily found in southern Alberta. However, you can however find a hidden bounty of them on the higher elevations of Castle Mountain Resort.
Concealed among the vibrant red bushes that carpet Castle’s ski runs, huckleberries tend to hide close to the ground, requiring patience and a keen eye to spot them.
You’ll find some great berry spots on the main ski runs along the Huckleberry Chair Lift (check the map), but they tend to get picked clean by the early birds. If you’re a late starter, your best bet is to take a short hike up the mountain to find other sweet spots for berries.
Even if your berry-picking bucket isn’t brimming with tiny treasures when you get to the bottom, you’re still guaranteed to experience a strong connection to the land and a shared sense of community when you check out the rest of the festivities.
Vendors, Music & Dinner
Huckleberry Fest offers a variety of extra treats to complement the natural beauty of the region. The festival hosts a lively vendor market featuring local businesses and skilled artisans where you can find unique and handmade treasures, and live music always fills the air, creating a festive summer atmosphere. For families attending, a wide array of games and activities ensure that children of all ages can join in on the fun.
Dedicated festival-goers insist that you can’t leave without trying the annual chicken and rib dinner. They rave about the mouthwatering food and the strong sense of community that makes this grand finale to the festival a must-experience every year.
Huckleberry Fest is an incredible celebration of everything great about the South Canadian Rockies – check out this events calendar for more details about the next celebration.