Charming Mountain Eco-Lodges | Mindful Running | Glaciers + Mountains | Hygge | Nordic Spa | Digital DetoxScroll down for Dates and to Customize Your Retreat Package
During this 7-day retreat, you’ll venture into the heart of Banff National Park and its neighbor to the east, Kananaskis Country. Drawing from our local knowledge and deep personal connections to this enchanting destination, we’ve designed an itinerary that truly maximizes our scenic rewards and avoids the heavily trafficked tourist hubs.
We’ve teamed up with locally based female professional running guides to design an incredible itinerary that takes you to some of the park’s best trail running trails offering incredible views of glaciers, turquoise lakes and jagged peaks. You will stay in off-the-beaten-track cabins and lodges that capture the charm of the Canadian Mountain West and are nestled deep within forests and meadows so stunning that you won’t even notice the fact that your cell phone is useless. Embrace the digital detox!
We’ve minimized the time we’ll spend driving from place to place in order to maximize your time to truly relax, or as the Nordic people call it, “hygge”. You’ll have opportunities to soak in your private jacuzzi tub, lounge around the campfire next to a mountain stream, snuggle under a wool blanket with a good book next to a wood-burning fireplace or drink wine in a rustic log cabin with a group of amazing women. And we’ll cap the week with an afternoon of Scandinavian-style hydrotherapy at the Nordic Spa, where you can feel your body heal from the week of trail running as you cycle through the warm, hot and cold pools and saunas designed to flush out toxins and speed recovery. You’ll return home invigorated and refreshed despite having run six days in a row!
Canadian Rockies Trail Running + Wellness Retreat Itinerary
Day 1 | Calgary Arrivals and Retreat Opening
We ask that you book your flight to arrive before noon, otherwise arrive the day before. We will rendez-vous at the Calgary International Airport at midday, then meet our driver for the two-hour drive to Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Upon arrival, we will check into our rooms and have some time to freshen up before we convene for the Official Retreat Opening Meet and Greet followed by a short shake-out run, and later, dinner at the lodge.
Overnight at Baker Creek Mountain Lodge
Time on Trail: 60 minutes approximately
Day 2 | Icefields Parkway Alpine Run
After breakfast at the hotel, we will gather and drive with our guide about 45 minutes north of Lake Louise along the Icefields Parkway, named for the numerous glaciers throughout the area. Today’s out-and-back run of a approximately 7 miles rewards our initial uphill efforts with spectacular alpine views including lakes, glaciers, wildflowers and snow-capped peaks. After our run, we’ll enjoy lunch on the shores of turquoise-blue Bow Lake. Then we’ll return to Baker Creek, where we will have a relaxing afternoon, followed by another gourmet dinner at the Baker Creek Bistro.
Overnight Baker Creek Mountain Lodge
Run time: 2 – 3 hours on rooty, rocky trails that are largely uphill for the first half, and mostly downhill on the return trip.
Day 3 | Alpine Lakes Run
After breakfast at the hotel, we have a very short drive to the nearby trailhead, where we will being our alpine lake tour. We’ll savor the solitude and serenity of this lesser-known trail connecting a series of crystal-blue lakes that are arguably just as stunning as those overrun with tourists. At the run’s end, we’ll have a picnic lunch. This afternoon, we’ll relax back at Baker Creek Mountain Lodge, where you can choose your favorite way to hygge: around a campfire next to the river, in the jacuzzi tub, curled up with a book by a wood-burning fire place, a solo stroll through the woods … it’s up to you until we meet up for dinner at the Baker Creek Bistro.
Overnight Baker Creek Mountain Lodge
Run time: 3 to 4 hours (including breaks) on rolling mountain single track that will involve a mix of hiking and running
Day 4 | Castle Mountain Lookout
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll pack up our bags and say goodbye to Baker Creek Mountain Lodge. We have a short drive to today’s run which is a rewarding out-and-back to the Castle Mountain Lookout, where we’ll enjoy (weather permitting) unparalleled views of Banff National Park. After a picnic lunch, we’ll leave Banff, driving 1.5 hours into Kananaskis Country, just south of Canmore.
Upon arrival at the secluded Mountain Engadine Lodge, you will be greeted with afternoon tea service (including nibbles and wine) and free time to settle in to your lodge room or cabin (depending on which package you booked). We’ll have a short wellness workshop followed by dinner at the lodge.
Overnight at Mount Engadine Lodge
Time on trail: 3 to 4 hours (including breaks) on rocky singletrack trail with some exposure to heights.
Day 5 | High Rockies Trail
After breakfast, we’ll experience one of the region’s premier new trails, the High Rockies Trail, recently completed in time for Canada’s 150-year birthday celebration. We’ll run a scenic portion of this spectacular long trail that showcases stunning views of Kananaskis Country’s sprawling peaks and expansive blue lakes. You can choose to between a shorter or longer variation of today’s run, thanks to the many bail-out points along the way. After the run, we’ll return to the lodge for a relaxing afternoon including our final Wellness Workshop followed by dinner.
Overnight at Mount Engadine Lodge
Time on trail: 2 – 3.5 hours (including breaks) on mostly smooth, runnable, rolling singletrack that may include bridges.
Day 6 | Hygge at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa
After breakfast, we’ll have an easy run right from the lodge. At the run’s end, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch, then drive about 1 hour to Kananaskis Country. After checking into our rooms at the Crosswaters Resort, ease into relaxation mode at the Nordic Spa. Experience the rejuvenating power of hydrotherapy at this modern, Scandinavian-style outdoor spa. Cycle through hot, warm and cold pools, dry sauna, aromatherapy steam baths and end with a DIY full-body exfoliating salt scrub. Spend as much time as you’d like here until we meet for dinner this evening.
Overnight at the Crosswaters Kananaskis Resort
Time on trail: 1.5 – 2 hours (including breaks) on technical singletrack.
Day 7 | Retreat Closing and Transfer to Calgary
This morning we have an optional recovery run of a few miles along the valley floor (no big climbs today!), followed by breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll have our official Retreat Closing Meeting. After checking out of your hotel room and loading your luggage into the van, we board the van for our private transfer to the airport, arriving at the Calgary International Airport around 1:00 p.m. (this arrival time is not guaranteed and is dependent on traffic volumes. Please plan your travel accordingly). From the airport, check in for your flight departure, or if you booked additional hotel nights in Calgary, take a shuttle, bus or taxi to your hotel.
Optional Run: 30 – 45 minutes out-and-back on flat dirt paths
The total run distance for this retreat will be between approximately 35 and 45 miles. Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend largely on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail closures, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.
Note that the footing in the alpine trails can be challenging at times, and you will be exposed to heights, rocky, loose rocky trails and narrow mountain trails.
Choose Your Dates + Customize Your PackageCanadian Rockies Trail Running + Wellness Retreat
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About the Nordic Spa
Kananaskis Nordic Spa is a different take on modern wellbeing. Inspired by Scandinavian wellness traditions and the bold ruggedness of its Canadian Rocky surroundings, it is a Canadian-designed alpine sanctuary created for nature-lovers looking to recharge. This alpine sanctuary spans 50,000 square feet of contemporary indoor-outdoor space including five outdoor pools, four steam and sauna cabins and an exfoliation room. The relaxation areas feature heated hammocks, fireside lounges, eight treatment rooms and a wellness bistro.
Our runs take place generally between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation on well-established trails. All runners–not only those coming from sea level–find it necessary to adjust their running pace to account for the elevation. We have accounted for this slower pace in our allotted run times, giving you plenty of time to run and hike at the speed that suits you best.
July is the warmest month of the year here, with daytime temperatures usually between 50 and 75 degrees. However, since we’re in the mountains, weather can change rapidly, so we’ll want to have lightweight waterproof jackets with us in case of some precipitation or even snow.
Throughout the retreat, you’ll enjoy authentic Canadian Cuisine from locally and regionally sourced ingredients, including wild-caught Vancouver Island salmon, AAA-grade Alberta beef, fresh Okanagan-grown fruit and vegetables. Breakfast each morning is simple buffet-style served in the main lodge with a variety of hot and cold options, while lunches will be pre-packed picnics of sandwiches and wraps with fruit or a cookie. Portable energy snacks for use on the trail, such as trail mix, energy chews, salty chips and cookies, will be provided. We can accommodate those who are vegetarian, vegan, diary- or gluten-free.