Escape to Columbia Valley

When I was a teenager my dad lived in Invermere, British Columbia for a couple of years. My younger brother and I would take the Greyhound bus from Calgary to the tiny tourist town every few weekends to visit him. So when I was invited to attend a media weekend in the Columbia Valley, on assignment from the Calgary Herald and, I leapt at the chance.

I took my eight-year-old daughter Kate with me, as she’s very easy-going and has been on a number of media trips with me in the past.

On the three hour drive to the Bighorn Meadows Resort in Radium we saw 20 deer, five black bears and one elk, all right next to the side of the road. We stopped near the Radium Hot Springs for photos of one of the bears (not getting out of the minivan, obviously).

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(Note that these are not bears. They are bighorn sheep. We saw these too.)

After checking in we headed to the Radium Hot Springs for a quick dip, then to bed.

On Saturday morning we headed to the Blue Dog Cafe for peanut butter and banana pancakes.

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We followed the pancakes by a femo craft class at Black Star Studios, where Kate crafted with Jen Abra, and I wandered throughout the studio.

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I learned about glass making from Natalie Ruby of Ruby Designs and watched her work.

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After crafting we headed out to Shadybrook Resort for a boat tour around Lake Windermere with owner Mike DuBois, a third generation Invermere resident who owns and manages the campground and marina his grandparents built.

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We then headed to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort to play a round of mini golf in their kids Base Camp.

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After mini golf (which it turns out I’m terrible at) my daughter spent twenty minutes on the three massive bouncy houses they have set up.

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No time for a nap (despite the fact that I desperately needed one at this point) before heading to the media reception at Copper Point Resort. I got to hang out with my favourite social media guy, Mike from Mike’s Bloggity Blog, then we headed back to our room.

On Sunday we rose early to have time for breakfast at Kicking Horse Coffee, then I tried stand up paddleboarding at Columbia River Outfitters. Stand up paddleboarding is the new windsurfing you know.


The group we were with planned a two hour tour of the wetlands, so I switched to a two man kayak so Kate could enjoy the trip too. I have photographic evidence of her paddling, but if I didn’t I would have sworn she did nothing but drag her hands through the water and make me work harder.


The most delicious pub lunch I’ve ever had at Station Neighbourhood Pub (they have a family room) followed, and then it was time to saddle up for the drive home. We have plans to head to the Columbia Valley with the whole family in July – hopefully we’ll have warmer weather for that trip. Though this trip is proof you can have a blast even when it’s cooler out.

5 Comment

  1. Gail says: Reply

    Really enjoyed this article and the photos. So beautiful and looks like you two had a wonderful time. 🙂

  2. We’re happy to hear about and see your wonderful photos of your good time in the Columbia Valley. We look forward to seeing you again and thank you for the mention 🙂

    Bighorn Meadows Resort

  3. Tanya says: Reply

    Thanks for the head’s up about the pub. Always looking for good food out that way. And Love the Blue Dog Cafe! We go there all the time. How did you like SUP’ing? I did the Invermere to Radium paddle last fall on a stand up paddleboard and loved it! So much fun.

    1. Sarah says: Reply

      We did the same company that does the Invermere to Radium paddle and I think I would have loved that! My daughter was too afraid of the SUP though so I just toured around the wetlands for a bit before jumping into a kayak. I think that might be a long trek for a first timer too. Even just a few minutes and I could feel the burn in my core!

  4. […] invited me out to their Winter Media Weekend, I contemplated saying no. But I had so much fun during my trip there in the summer, I decided to see if there was anything interesting in the Invermere/Radium/Panorama area in the […]

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