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Explore the Spa in Kananaskis

Copyright (c) 2007-2021 Travel Alberta, All Rights Reserved
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When people seek Brokeback Mountain, they discover that Oscar-winning director Ang Lee actually used various shots of different mountains in Alberta's Kananaskis Country to create the movie's pastoral centerpiece. There was no spa in the movie, but there is indeed a celebrated spa set like a jewel where Brokeback was filmed – the Summit Spa at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis. You can enjoy it along with the magnificent countryside.

When actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Heather Ledger, Randy Quaid and the rest of the cast and crew of Brokeback Mountain began filming , they didn't have a lot of down time to explore.

"It was a nice escape for them, but mostly they were working and not having the time to enjoy all the activities here," notes hotel general manager James Tingley. "These folks were busy all the time. Sometimes, they might eat at our restaurant but for the most part we left them alone, treating them with the same respect that we do to all of guests.


Discover Untouched Forests, Lakes and Rivers

You, on the other hand, are more fortunate. The actors, cast and crew who stayed in this pristine mountain hideaway for four days in 2004 (they also filmed in other parts of southern Alberta) have spoken highly of the experience – praising the untouched forests, wide open skies, alpine lakes, rivers and valleys.

In fact, Budget Travel Magazine listed Brokeback Mountain in its December/January 2005 issue as one of the top ten 2005 films that will inspire people to travel. While the movie is an adaptation of Annie Proulx's 1997 short story set in Wyoming in Montana, director Ang Lee and his other filmmakers opted to bring the production north to capture the wild beauty of the southern Alberta Rockies.

The Guardian Online newspaper out of London in the UK, meanwhile, recently published an article about the region's beauty, quoting the actors and crews as being literally floored by all it has to offer. The Guardian Online quoted actor Randy Quaid as saying: "I loved the mountains, and even the wind. It's gorgeous big sky country."


Try Brokeback Mountain Tour Packages

Visitors are expected to flock to the region to see what the movie portrayed. Tingley says the hotel has partnered with Brewster Tours, based in Banff, and a Taiwan tour company to develop package tours this summer. Interest from Taiwanese travelers is high, as that is Lee's homeland.

Other packages in the works include guided hikes through Brokeback territory, plus combination rafting/horseback or rafting/hiking trips as well, says Tingley, who notes these trips will be operated with certified and experienced guides.

K-Country, as it is locally known, is a 4,250-sq-km (1,615 sq.-mile) outdoor recreation area, easily accessible to the alpine communities of Canmore and Banff. There is an array of year-round activities including boating, rafting, fishing, golfing, wildlife watching and more. Had the Brokeback folks had more time on their hands at the resort – an easy hour's drive west of Calgary, the international gateway to the Rockies – this is what we imagined they might have done explored.


Relax at the Summit Spa

Situated at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis near Olympic ski hill Nakiska and Fortress Mountain, Summit guests are often here to explore the multitude of outdoor activities in the four-season recreational playground known as Kananaskis Recreation Area.

This pretty Rocky Mountain resort offers spa packages - check out the jet-lag refresher massage or botanical wraps – and you kill time between appointments in the steamy indoor/outdoor hot pool. With sage-green décor and the best indoor/outdoor family swimming pool/games area in the Rocky Mountains, you can choose to be active or just soak up the sun.

While the Brokeback cast and crew – who numbered at times in the hundreds – didn't get much opportunity to indulge in these wellness sessions, we're pretty sure the movie's storyline, had it not been set decades ago, would have been part of this acclaimed flick.


Many Activities Available

On foot, by bicycle or on horseback, you can get back to nature simply by stepping out your front door. Unlike the bustling mountain communities of Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise, there are few crowds in K-Country and most sights are near to the hotel. You can visit many of the spots captured on film, like the Upper Kananaskis Lakes and its campground and day-use area. Like the film's characters, you can explore much or the region via horseback – contact the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis' tour desk to make arrangements. There are also hundreds of kilometres of trails within K-Country and nearby Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, plus a paved network of pathways in and around Kananaskis Village.


Golf Beneath Jagged Peaks

Kananaskis Country Golf Course, opened in 1983 at an estimated cost of close to $1 million per hole, has won praise year after year for its gorgeous viewpoints and challenging golf. It has two 18-hole courses set in the Kananaskis River Valley with the jagged peaks of Mount Kidd and Mount Lorrette as a backdrop.


Nature at Your Doorstep

K-Country and neighbouring provincial parks are home to dozens of campgrounds, RV sites, backcountry huts and lakeside hideaways. You won't find cottage country here, but you will find wildlife – deer, bighorn sheep, moose, bear, mountains goats and dozens of species of birds.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Copyright (c) 2006 Travel Alberta, All Rights Reserved

Travel Alberta is the destination marketing organization for the Province of Alberta. Guided by the Strategic Tourism Marketing Council, Travel Alberta is the steward for the effective delivery of tourism marketing programs. For information about our organization, please visit our Travel Alberta industry web site at http://www.travelalberta.com

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Last Distribution Date:
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Internal ID: #4179





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