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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rafting in the Canadian Rockies!


Typical summer activities in Banff National Park include hiking, biking and gazing at the amazing mountain vistas. While these are fantastic activities, sometimes you want to experience a once in a lifetime adventure.

Welcome to whitewater rafting!

Kicking Horse - Kick things up a few notches as you race down the Kicking Horse River! Described as one of the best whitewater rafting experiences in North America, whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River is a must for any thrill seekers to the Canadian Rockies.

Celebrating 26 years rafting the Kicking Horse River is Banff Adventures Unlimited. Offering a fantastic Raft, Ride and Relax package, you can experience the rush of whitewater!

Providing years of experience with professional guides, BBQ lunches, full equipment and the thrill of a lifetime to whitewater raft through the Canadian Rockies, it is a must for any adrenaline junkies. Not to mention the comfortable facilities such as washrooms, picnic areas and volleyball courts if you’re feeling particularly active. Also included are a 3 hour evening horseback trail ride and an Upper Hot Springs pass. Click here for more details!

After a full day on the water you can head back to your Banff hotel to put your feet up before doing it all over again the next day.

For families with younger children, why not check out the family friendly Kananaskis River. With a minimum age requirement of 5 years and up, kids love the rush of the mild class 2 rapids as professional and fully trained guides steer your boat down the river.

Click here for prices and availability at your hotel in Banff.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FREE Family Activities in Banff – Johnston Canyon Walk


© Copyright 2012 Roy Tennant,

Location: 18km from Banff, Highway 1A (Bow Valley Parkway)   
Facilities: Café , toilets, gift shop                   
Drive Time: 20 minutes      
Hike Time: 1hr round trip with kids      

Just 20 minutes from your Banff hotel, you will find one of the most beautiful family friendly hikes in Banff National Park; Johnston Canyon.

Located on the Highway 1A, not only is the short drive to Johnston Canyon brimming with incredible scenery and amazing Canadian wildlife, but your destination is a must-do for many families on their Banff hotel vacation.

© Parks Canada
The short hike through Johnston Canyon on the smooth boardwalks with handrails, is suitable for all ages and is stroller friendly. Don’t forget your camera as the easy walk along the bottom of the canyon provides lots of beautiful photo opportunities.

The trail begins near a conveniently placed ice-cream stand, at the Johnston Canyon restaurant. After your obligatory ice-cream stop, you can make your way along the paved walkway for the 1.1km, through the winding canyon to the lower falls. Here you can take those fun family snaps as you pass through a short cave to get up-close to the waterfall. Kids love the refreshing spray from the falls and you will too!

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, continue another 2.7km  to the Upper Falls. This terrain is still listed as ‘Easy’ but the elevation gain increases as you make your way to view the canyon from above. However, the end result of the Upper Falls is well worth the hike!

Enjoy all the FREE and family friendly activities Banff has to offer on the doorstep of your hotel in Banff.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Free Family Events in Banff National Park - Parks Canada Day – July 21st 2012


Photo Credit - Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Alberta is home to the finest mountain range in the world, the Canadian Rockies. So come and celebrate 127 years of Canada’s first and finest national park on July 21st for National Parks Canada Day.


Mountaineering Camp
Cost: FREE            Location: Banff Avenue Square (Opposite the Banff fudgery)     Time: 11am – 5pm
Climb a mountain….in downtown Banff! Gear-up with an assortment of mountaineering equipment and pull your best action pose as you stand in front of a real Rocky Mountain backdrop. A holiday snap you’ll be sure to remember from your Banff hotel holiday.

Parks Day Bioblitz
Cost: FREE            Location: Lake Louise      Time: 1pm -4pm
Kids can get to know their park by picking up a checklist or joining one of the Park interpreters and participating in the Lake Louise Scavenger Hunt!

Horns, Antlers, Awesome!
Cost: FREE       Location: Tunnel Mt. Campground - Village 2, Wolf’s Den Indoor Theatre         Time: 8pm
Join Parks Canada on the doorstep of your hotel in Banff, at the Tunnel Mt. campground as you learn awesome facts about the horns and antlers of your favourite animals in Banff National Park. Hosted in Village 2 of the Tunnel Mt. campground, you don’t have to be a camper to participate. A perfect summers evening activity.

Fireside Chats
Cost: FREE       Location: Two Jack Lakeside Campground         Time: 8pm
Banff is more than just a pretty place! With a rich history of natural and cultural heritage, you can enjoy this relaxed setting for a fireside chat about the importance of Banff National Park. Everyone is welcome.

The Bear Facts
Cost: FREE       Location: Lake Louise Campground Theatre         Time: 8pm
Watch bears in action and learn how to keep both bears and people safe with this interpretive chat from Parks Canada.. Free with park entry fee and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

Did we also mention that Saturday and Sunday are forecast for blue skies and 24 degrees! Come and celebrate Parks Canada Day at your Banff hotel this year. Click here to check prices and availability.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

Alison Jones -

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Name a Chalet, Win a Stay – WINNER


Drum roll please because WE HAVE A WINNER!

After 30 days, 200 hundred submission and 500 votes on your Banff hotel’s Facebook page, we have our reigning champion for our Name a Chalet, Win a Stay competition.

Huge congratulations to Chantelle Woroschuk-Young with her winning name suggestion, Moose Manor! With 228 votes, Chantelle swooped in to claim the prize over the other 9 fantastic name suggestions for the A-Frame Chalets at your hotel in Banff.

Chantelle wins a one night stay in one of our Private A-Frame Chalet named after her entry, Moose Manor! The chalet will also be known as Moose Manor for the month during Chantelle's stay.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the naming competition. We will have more giveaways coming soon!

Until then, check out our fantastic summer savings, with 15% off Studios and One Bedroom Condos in July, you can enjoy a Banff hotel vacation this summer. Click here to check prices and availability.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Top 5 Web Cameras in Banff


Ever craved the majestic view of the Canadian Rockies from your desk? We thought so! This is why we have compiled a list of the best web cameras in Banff!

Whether you’re looking up the area before your vacation or simply curious about the weather, Banff has enough webcams to see the town from every angle. You might even be able to spot your Banff hotel.

Click on the links below to take in the amazing Cascade Mountain or see if there is still snow on the Lake Louise ski hill in July! 
You control the camera! Located on Banff Avenue, viewers get to control the camera to pan around downtown Banff.

Ski Big3
Check out the conditions at the big 3 ski hills in town, at any time of the year.

Blue Canoe
Situated at the Blue Canoe docks on Banff’s Bow River, you can watch the daily goings on in real time. See if you can spot the Bow River beaver family swimming around.

Banff Gondola
Feel like you are on top of the world! Atop Sulphur Mt. at the Banff Gondola, this webcam gives you the ultimate Birdseye view of Banff.

Three Sisters Mt.
Okay, so not technically in Banff, but still very cool. This webcam is located in neighbouring Canmore with a great view of the famous 3 Sister’s Mountains.

Experience Banff in person with 15% off our Studio’s and One Bedroom Condo’s, Sunday to Thursday. Click here to check availability and dates.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Banff’s Dog Park is Now OPEN


happy cats and dogs

There's exciting news for your furry friends, Banff’s off-leash dog park is now open to you and the four-legged members of your family!

With 1.5 acres of land to let your dog loose on the open ground, the dog park is the only area in Banff National Park where your dog is legally allowed off its leash. Plus, with pet friendly accommodation at your hotel in Banff, you now have even more reason to bring your pet on your next Banff hotel vacation!

happy cats and dogs
Dog swings are not available unfortunately

Located within the Industrial Compound district, you will find the Banff dog park on the south side of Hawk Avenue. Hours of summer operation are 7am – 8pm and Banff Town council asks that no aggressive, sick or in-heat dogs are brought to the park, as well as no puppies under 5 months old.

Click here to read more about the pet friendly policy at your Banff hotel.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Family Fun Activities in Banff – Dragon Boat Festival 2012


Can you hear that? The steady beat of a drum with the intent purpose of driving foreboding teams of twenty through the lapping waters of Lake Minnewanka towards history, glory and the ultimate Banff bragging rights!

It’s the Annual Dragon Boat Festival!

A little more lighthearted than described, but still very competitive, Banff’s annual Dragon Boat Festival is a fantastic family activity on your Banff hotel vacation. Make the short and beautiful 15mintue drive to Lake Minnewanka to watch as teams take to the water in colourful, 40ft Chinese dragon boats. 

Make your way to Lake Minnewanka shoreline from 9am – 3pm on August 11th and 12th to watch all the activities. There is even still time to sign up for the race! For a full list of events and information, please click here.

Take a picnic, set up camp and enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the majestic Canadian Rockies as you cheer on your favourite team.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

Alison Jones

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Best Family Picnic Spots in Banff


It’s time to bring out those picnic chairs and sample some of the best family picnic spots in Banff!

If you’ve chosen the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets as your hotel in Banff, chances are you already have the groceries for the perfect picnic from your in-room kitchen
Head out for the day from your hotel in Banff to enjoy the scenic views and sandwiches.

Close to Home
Banff Recreation Grounds
Location – Banff, across the Bow River Bridge near the Luxton Museum
Facilities - 18 tables, 2 kitchen shelters, 2 toilet blocks
Close to home and with home comforts! Shelters and flushing toilets available.

Cascade Gardens
Location – Banff, Administration building
Located in the grounds of the historic Administration building, Cascade Gardens are beautifully landscaped gardens that are the perfect setting for a picnic.

Banff's Back Yard
Cascade Ponds
Location: Lake Minnewanka Road, 7 km from Banff
Facilities: 60 tables, flush toilets, kitchen shelter, fireplaces
You’ll find this open space just 5 minutes from Banff. Great spot for kite flying!

Lake Minnewanka
Location - Lake Minnewanka Road, 10 km from Banff
35 tables, flush toilets, 3 kitchen shelters, 2 fire rings, 6 fireplaces
Pull up a picnic chair at this iconic spot! Afterwards you can enjoy an hour long boat cruise around the lake to work off that lunch, before heading back to your Banff hotel.

Johnston Canyon

Location - Bow Valley Parkway, 25km from Banff

Facilities - 2 tables, toilets
Enjoy the easy hike to Johnson’s Canyon Lower Falls (or the Upper Falls if you’re feeling active) and reward yourself with a picnic after! Perfect day out from your hotel in Banff.

Johnson's Lake
Johnson Lake
Location - Lake Minnewanka Road, 14km from Banff
Facilities - 16 tables, toilets, 3 fire rings

With easy trails surrounding the picnic area and a picturesque lake to paddle in, this is a perfect family picnic spot. Locals Tip – See if you can find the elusive rope swing or the secret beach!
Location - Bow Valley Parkway, 15km from Banff
Facilities - 10 tables, toilets

Take a rest stop on the Bow Valley Parkway at this scenic picnic place. While you’re there, see if you can spot the peculiar ‘hole in the wall’ cave halfway up the mountain!

Enjoy this low cost, family activity on your next vacation to your hotel in Banff.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s finest Family Accommodation

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Activities in Banff - Peyto Lake is OPEN for the Season


Peyto Lake Lookout - No Photoshop Required

Renowned for its aqua-blue hue, Peyto Lake is a true gem glistening in the Canadian Rockies.

The beautiful, glacier-fed fed lake is named after one of the first pioneers of Banff, Bill Peyto and is a must-see for any visitor to Banff National Park.

The iconic shot of Peyto Lake is found atop a small peak, adjacent to the lake. The short, family friendly 10 minute hike to the lookout point is accessible from the Peyto Lake car park and along a paved walkway. From here you can breathe in the truly astounding mountain views as you look out across the lake and towards Jasper.

Located off the Icefields Parkway approximately 2hrs from your Banff hotel, the amazing drive is well worth making to see this iconic lake. There are lots of photo opportunities along the way, plus rest stops to give your little ones (and you) a chance to stretch your legs.

Family Travel Tip: Why not make Lake Louise your halfway point and pick up some tasty treats at Laggan’s Mountain Bakery, where the hardest decision of your day will be choosing between a bagel, brownie or homemade pizza!

We have great Summer 2012 prices available, including 15% off our Studio and One Bedroom Condo in July! Click here to check prices for you Banff hotel holiday.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation

Alison Jones

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Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets

Tunnel Mountain Road
P.O. Box 1228
Banff, Alberta T1L 1B2 Canada

For reservations call toll free:
Toll free fax: 1-800-267-8774
Calgary Direct Line: 264-2563
Phone: (403) 762-5591
Fax: (403) 762-8774

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