For the long weekend, some friends and I booked an Airbnb and stayed in Radium for the weekend. We stayed at the condos on the Radium golf course which offered a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Though we drove up after work on Friday and only stayed two nights, we made the most of our time in the Columbia Valley.

The view from the Airbnb.

The drive out to Radium proved to be eventful as well. I was driving with a friend who was visiting Canada for the first time, so she was excited to see all the wildlife in the area. On the way we saw many deer and elk along the sides of the road. However, when we reached the mountainous section of Highway 93, where the road winds through the mountain passes towards the Columbia Valley, we we shocked to see a bear on the opposite shoulder of the road. It was a small grizzly, walking along the edge of the road without a care in the world. Because of the curve in the road, it appeared and disappeared behind us without warning, and we did not have time to take photos safely. *Note: it is illegal to stop to take pictures of wildlife while on the highways. This can cause what is known as “Bear Jams” or a build up of traffic to take photos of wildlife. This is both dangerous in terms of traffic accidents, as well as can threaten wildlife or cause aggressive reactions that can result in human harm. In general, only take photos as a passenger that don’t require stopping/slowing down while on the highway.

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Driving through the cliffs towards Columbia Valley.

Less than a minute later, we passed a black bear on the same side of the road. We were full of excitement as we drove through the last of the cliffs that opened up over the valley. We arrived in Radium around 8 pm, and the sun was still shining.

The sun setting over the mountains in Radium.

We grabbed dinner from the Horse Thief pub (which was packed due to the Flames vs. Oilers game), and spent the night relaxing at the condo and enjoy the views. The next morning we prepped for the hot springs, hoping to beat the crowds.

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The Radium Hot Springs.

There was a line when we arrived at the Hot Springs, despite arriving at the opening time. We enjoyed the water for about an hour, before deciding to leave. The pools definitely got busier as the day got later. Though it was sunny, most of our group found the colder pool too chilly and spent the majority of our time in the warm pool.

The view of the Valley from Hoodoo Trail.

We went home for lunch and then embarked on an afternoon hike along the Hoodoo Trail which you can read about here. I highly recommend this trail, as well as the scenic drive through the valley.

We returned home for dinner at the condo.

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Mini Golfing.

On Sunday, our last day in the valley, we decided to check out the mini golf course in Windermere. We played 18 holes at Ozzie’s Amusements Mini Golf and Go-Karts, then stopped for lunch at Su Casa, a Mexican restaurant at the Windermere Valley Golf Course. The food was tasty and filling as our last stop before driving back home. We saw a bald eagle and baby on the road to the golf course as well!

The bald eagle flying away from its nest.

On the drive home, we saw two more black bears in Kootenay. We stopped in Canmore shortly for an extra boost of caffeine and finally arrived in Calgary in the evening.

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Published by immersivetraveller

I am a recent graduate with a BA in Honours English. I enjoy creative writing and language learning as well as travelling and exploring.

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