The Crossing at Ghost River is a locally owned boutique inn located less than one hour west of Calgary, AB. Nestled in the rolling foothills beside the Ghost River, this 145-acre property is a little slice of paradise offering magnificent views, 5-star dining, and a truly unique experience. Keep reading for our weekend itinerary and everything you need to know about this tranquil getaway.
The Property & Venues
The Crossing at Ghost River has a history dating back to when the region’s Aboriginal people, early explorers, and traders used a low point of the river as a “crossing”. In the late ’70s, the property was developed into an unparalleled retreat and conference center. The goal was to provide a meeting place where people could exchange ideas and connect with themselves, with nature, and with others.
Up until this year, The Crossing has exclusively hosted corporate and personal retreats, on-site meetings, special events, and weddings. In 2021, however, they decided to open their doors to individual guests. Now people like you and me can visit and experience everything that they have to offer.
Spaced throughout the property, The Crossing at Ghost River has 3 separate venues. The Remington House and The Deere House are home to a total of 27 guest rooms. These range from cute and cozy double rooms to the honeymoon suite which boasts a king-sized bed and a massive private balcony. Each room is completely one of a kind, decorated with antiques, and offers an ensuite bathroom. I immediately fell in love with all of the natural light drawn in by the french doors and the large windows.
The rooms are astounding and the rest of the residence follows suit. It includes numerous wood-burning fireplaces, living rooms, outdoor sitting areas, and even has a great social room with a pool table and other games to play. The Pine Loft and River House are also full of character and boast wonderful rooms for meetings, events, and weddings. We would highly recommend spending some time at the fire area down by the river, it is remarkably peaceful. They have several chairs set up as well as everything you need to get a fire going. Sit back, relax, and roast a couple of marshmallows!
Our Weekend Itinerary & Experiences
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the staff and immediately felt right at home. We spent some time learning about the property and getting a tour from the manager, Jori. His love for The Crossing radiated the entire time and he couldn`t help but pass his excitement along to us. We settled into the impressive honeymoon suite and got ready for dinner.
If you followed along with our Instagram stories, you might have an idea of just how extraordinary the food was. We were fortunate enough to visit with the Executive Chef, Doug Ghanam, and enjoy several of his incredible dishes. He was very accommodating with my dietary restrictions and every single meal blew us away. All meals can be included in the price of your stay, so prepare to be dazzled!
After dinner, we spent some more time exploring the property, enjoying the sunset, and getting ready for the next day’s adventures! Troy, the wonderful Guest Services Coordinator, made sure we were comfortable and got us all set up with a copy of our weekend itinerary. Our first impression was an overwhelming sense of community and excellent customer service from the entire staff. Every time we came inside, Troy was so friendly ensuring we had everything we needed and offering recommendations.
On Saturday, David and I rolled out of bed and made our way outside to enjoy the morning sun on our balcony. When we came downstairs, we were greeted with one of the most delicious breakfasts we have ever had. A huge fruit plate, poached eggs on homemade bread, bacon, avocado, homemade hashbrowns—we were in heaven! We chatted a bit with Troy and Doug and enjoyed our 5-star breakfast in the beautiful, bright breakfast nook.
Next; we got ready, grabbed our to-go lunch from Doug, and made our way to Saddle Peak Trail Rides. This family-owned business has been providing excellent experiences in the foothills and the Canadian Rockies for over 40 years! We were greeted by Dave, Jacquie, and their daughter Cheyann and were immediately drawn to their passion for the outdoors. Even though neither David nor I have spent very much time on a horse, they made us feel extremely comfortable.
Their son, Cody, helped us get all set up and ready to hit the trail. We ventured through the trees, up along a ridge, down across a creek, and finally made our way back to the homestead. Both of us absolutely loved every minute of it! The rolling hills in the area are stunning and there were several lookouts showcasing great views of the mountains, including Saddle Peak. Cody gave us tips on riding and we stopped in a few places to take some photos.
This tour is offered as an experience package in partnership with The Crossing at Ghost River. We would highly recommend adding them to your stay! You can also book small group rides from 1 hour to 4 days long by contacting them directly, here.
After our trail ride, we stopped along the Ghost River to feast on an incredible picnic lunch! The weather was perfect and it wasn`t hard to find a quiet spot to lay out the picnic blanket. From there, we drove about 30 minutes back towards Cochrane to the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. David and I have been dying to visit them for a while now and were so happy to be able to join the Intro Tour. Located on 160-acres of land with massive enclosures for these rescued animals, the sanctuary exceeded all of our expectations.
The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that was created in June of 2011. Their goal is to drive awareness and education about wolfdogs and wolves in the wild. They offer different tours to the public in order to educate us on the nature of these animals, misinformation about owning a wolfdog, how we can reduce backyard breeding, and wolf conservation. All proceeds go towards helping them fund this sanctuary.
TIP: If you`re looking to get up-close and personal with these beautiful wolfdogs, book the Interactive Tour. You actually get to go inside one of the enclosures while learning more about them and the sanctuary.
After our tour, we spent about an hour watching the wolfdogs in their enclosures and reading about each one’s history. From there, we headed back to The Crossing at Ghost River for dinner! When we arrived, Doug had prepared a beautiful picnic for us to enjoy on our balcony. As always, the food was absolutely divine! We had a charcuterie set up as well as chicken, two fantastic salads, and various desserts. I should mention that they are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and neither David nor I have ever had better dairy-free food!
NOTE: They do not serve liquor, but you are free to bring your own drinks to enjoy with meals or on your patio!
After dinner, we walked down to the river and David started a fire. We spent the rest of the evening admiring the scenery, listening to music, roasting marshmallows, and reminiscing on the wonderful day we had. There are very few places I have ever felt more relaxed.
On Sunday when we woke up, we were sad to be leaving. After packing up and enjoying a little more time on the patio, we headed downstairs for breakfast. We were greeted by Troy and the Sous Chef, Melchu, who prepared the most exquisite banana waffles we have ever tasted. We enjoyed our coffee, fruit plates, smoothies, and waffles in the breakfast nook before heading out for one last walk around the property.
Weekend Experiences for the Summer of 2021
During our conversation with Jori, he was extremely excited to share the plans for some of their upcoming weekend experiences. For each of these exclusive weekend stays, the accommodation, food, and activities will all be included in the price. Jori’s dream is to provide an immersive, one-of-a-kind, local experience connecting guests with Alberta’s culture and the local businesses in the area. For more information on these all-inclusive packages, click here.