What you need to know about snowshoeing Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon is only a 20 minute drive from Banff.

Sometimes it’s too difficult to get away. Whether it’s finances or a time crunch, you can’t always get the break you need when you need it. Before Christmas I needed a break and I needed it bad. I was burnt out and if I’m being brutally honest, I was petrified about spending four days on my own with my daughter. I should clarify that – four days without T.V. or any of her friends in the neighbourhood. When this reality sunk in, I leapt at the chance to cover a staycation story in Banff.

Snowshoeing Marble Canyon

Believe me, I wasn’t thrilled about having to submit a story on December 23 (that’s my Xmas food prep day). But as I preached last week about the difference between effortful and effortless fun, this mini-break was well worth it.

Snowshoeing Marble Canyon

Snowpants are a must. Guess why?

When setting up a staycation, you need to have a plan. A few anchor events ensure you don’t spend all your precious time cooped up inside your hotel. For us, it was a snowshoeing excursion with Discover Banff Tours and a spa break for mama.

Where to snowshoe near Banff

Snowshoeing is ideal for kids. As the adage goes, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Instead of trekking around Banff, the tour headed for Kootenay National Park. Why, you ask? It gets that much more snow, so guests are guaranteed plenty of powder stashes to romp through.

Marble Canyon

It really is this pretty.

Marble Canyon was our destination and it was ideal. Eve immediately befriended some kids from Texas, allowing me to get to know Gary and Dave from China.

girls snowshoeing

Friendships are made easily on the trail.

Gary and Dave are not their real names, but I couldn’t remember their Chinese ones. These boys (and I suspect lady killers at their university) were a hoot, and are only mildly concerned about finding a wife in China. (Yes, I asked…)

Parks Canada Share the Chair

Gary (left) and Dave (right)

They should’ve worn mitts, though…

snowshoeing fun

Gary has a spill while snowshoeing Marble Canyon.

Winding our way through the woods, we came face to face with the results of a massive 2003 forest fire. Over 180 sq km was affected, but it’s not a total bummer as fire resets forest’s natural growth cycle. Lodge pole pine can only populate when its cones are heated to super hot (forest fire like) temperatures.

Highway 93

They grow up so fast!

Do you want to know the amazing thing that didn’t happen on this snowshoeing excursion? Whining. There was none of it. We were outdoors for over three-hours at -15°C (5°F) and I didn’t hear one complaint from any of the kids. They were too busy forging new trails, exploring the forest and peering down into the canyon.

girls drinking hot chocolate in the snow

Do not forget the hot chocolate!

Best Spa in Banff?

Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with a hearty steak dinner at The Keg. (They have my favourite children’s menu out of any chain). Then I sashayed off to Red Earth Spa. I wasn’t expecting much from my massage, being such a tourist town and all, but holy smokes! Did I ever get the full treatment. I wouldn’t call this spa (or any spa) cheap, but it was affordably priced and excellent value for money. I floated off the massage table, into the steam room, followed by a leisurely soak inside the most brilliant jade colour water. I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Within 24-hours I was completely reset. We went somewhere new, refreshed the senses with our outdoor excursion, tucked into a great meal and removed all traces of city stressors with a spot of pampering. If that wasn’t just what the doctor ordered, I don’t know what is.

Have you ever had a perfect day? I’d love to hear what constitutes yours.