This past weekend, to celebrate my birthday, we took off to the lovely and very small town of Field, BC. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. With a population of just a few hundred people, the town often gets forgotten about when people are jetting off to bigger or more well known mountain towns. But since discovering the small town a few years ago, it’s grown to have a very special place in my heart. From the food, to the scenic mountains and beautiful homes, Field makes a great road trip, whether you’re looking for a little romance or a lot of adventure. But be warned, unless you’re a Telus customer, Field is a cell phone dead zone, which makes it the perfect town to escape it all.
Here are some highlights.
How to get there:
Get on the highway and drive! From downtown Calgary, take the Trans-Canada highway west for 209 kms. Its works out to being only about a two hour drive.
Pit stop: Okay, I’m going to share with you one of my favourite new finds of the year, as it also happens to make an excellent pit stop along the way to Field. The Junction House is in the “blink and you miss it” town of Dead Man’s Flats. But don’t let the scary name fool you, the newly opened restaurant is absolutely fantastic. We found it on a whim and have been obsessed with it ever since. They makes delicious and homemade east indian food. From curries, to samosas and even a unforgettable Indian Poutine. I will go to my grave raving about this place. When you visit, make sure you pick up a few curry packets, they’ve pulled all their fresh ingredients and sell ready-to-go curry kits.
What to see in Field: One of the reasons I love Field is because there is so much to see, but you have to find it. Depending on who you ask, the town is only 200 to 300 people, with just a few streets scattered on the bottom of a huge hill. But a little research will tell you that the town is full of history and played a huge role in the development of the rail lines through the rocky mountains. Maybe I’m getting older, but one of my favourite things to do is walk the town’s streets and admire the historic houses and imagine the lives of the people who once lived there. When you’re out for a stroll, make sure you look for the old RCMP home at the very top of the town, the old telegraph station, the beautifully small church that is only used on Sundays and “The Old Church” which has been converted into a guest home.
Where to eat:
This one is easy because there are literally only two places to eat: Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lodge is located near the end of town and has a cult-like status among those who know about Field. With a fantastic dining room and patio over looking the valley, the view isn’t even the best thing about the restaurant. While the price might catch you off guard, considering how small the town is, the dishes are more than capable of standing next to restaurants in major cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. When I saw my Green Salt Duck Leg Confit Cassoulet ($26), I believe I uttered the words “Oh my god.” Their homemade ginger beer ($5.75) is also great way to chill out after a hot day of exploring.
Across the street from Truffle Pigs, you’ll find The Siding General Store and Restaurant. The tiny restaurants has a bit of an identity crisis as it also serves as the towns liquor store, craft shop and grocery store. They make a mean breakfast and delicious paninis. Saturday night is make your own pizza night. I’ve eaten there about six or seven times and I’m never disappointed.
Where to stay: The great thing about Field is that it’s only a two hour drive from Calgary, so you can absolutely drive there and back in a day. But if you do want to stay (and I really recommend that you do), then make sure you book the Burgess Landing Guest Cabin. That’s what we did and I cannot stop raving about it. It’s the second highest home in the town and it happens to be immaculately built. The cedar home comes with all the amenities that you’re used to, but it’s quiet, private and has added bonuses like heated tiles in the bathroom. The loft-style cabin was our home away from home and I would do anything to make it our all-the-time home. It stands as a simple reminder that we often live beyond our means, when a cozy home will usually do the trick. I loved our stay here and at only $140 a night, we’ll definitely be back!
Go Explorin’: The best part about Field is it’s location in the mountains. Since it’s just a little bit down the road from Lake Louise, the ski hills are very accesable, but Field also opens up the rest of BC, which might normally be a little too far for a one or two day road trip. Towns like Golden are equally historic but have a few more modern conveniences like grocery stores and cell phone service. Field is also across the highway from the stunning Emerald Lake, which also features the Emerald Lake Lodge. You could spend hours walking around the lake and checking out the hotel is worth a visit too. I’ve only heard great things, so we’ll have to go back. We also tried to visit the hoodoos, Takakkaw Falls and ziplinning, but since it’s still spring, we’ll have to wait a few more weeks for the trails to open up. One of the best hikes you can do in the area is to visit Wapta Falls. At just 2kms, the hike has a huge payoff as you get to watch the Kicking Horse River bound over the falls, with the stunning snowcapped mountains in the background. The day we were there, we were treated to the added bonus of a rainbow. There’s three different spots to see the falls, so go as far as your comfort level will take you, because the view just gets more and more beautiful.
Worth the trip? A million times yes. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve visited Field, but that hasn’t stopped me from always planning my next trip. If you’re looking for a mountain getaway that really is away from it all, there’s nothing like Field. Please go and then tell me all about it. Who knows, maybe we’ll see each other there this summer.
Many layers of nature at Wapta Falls.
Watching the sun set at Emerald Lake. Reflections on Emerald Lake.
The Natural Bridge is a natural piece of history.
Even the neighbourhood cat didn’t want us to leave Field. We’ll be back kitty, we’ll be back.