The long warm days of summer may have passed us by for now, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up the camping + hiking gear! There are still a number of weeks ahead that will provide you with some much appreciated cooler days on the trail followed by cozy nights at the fire while car camping.
We welcome you to the first instalment of Hike365’s Quiet Days + Cool Nights: Recipes + Shoulder Season Adventures in the Alberta Rockies.
First up, we headed north on a weekend from Lake Louise along the Icefields Parkway to hit the trail to two gems: Folding Mountain + Allstones Lake to revel in a sunset view of the prairies turning into mountains and a lake with campsites from a dream.
Roll into Wildhorse Lake Provincial Recreation Area and score yourself a lake side walk up tent site before heading to the trail head. Prep our simple backcountry Smoked Tofu (or Chicken) Wrap for lunch ahead of time and you will be one happy hiker! Located a short drive east of Jasper National Park and only minutes from the Folding Mountain trail head you will love their close proximity to each other when you realize the days are not getting any longer now that its autumn! (we did these hikes in late summer, so you’ve probably noticed there isn’t any snow on the peaks ;-))
Folding Mountain is a workout, we aren’t going to lie to you. Check out Steven Song’s trip report for this hike, which includes trail head details and full stats. With over 1,000m of elevation gain in 8km and most of it within the first and last two kilometres, you will be glad you set your camp up before hitting the trail. We timed this hike so we were heading down immediately after the magic light of sunset started, turning the landscape into a dreamland and were able to make it back to the car before dark to make a delicious bowl of Pad Thai in minutes (recipe will be in Part 2 of this series, stay tuned!)
Check out the GPS track of our Folding Mountain Hike HERE
Be sure to get up before the sun rises and enjoy a cup of coffee on the lake shore as the sun wakes over the mountains which serve as a backdrop to Wildhorse Lake before hitting the road to your second hike! Head back down south to the Nordegg area on the David Thompson Highway just east of the Banff National Park Gate from the Icefields Parkway to hit the trail to Allstones Lake.
Allstones Lake rests high above the famous Abraham Lake and is perfect a day hike before heading home or for a short backpack to its primitive campsites if you can spend a second night! If you are inclined to fish, be sure to bring your rod and reel as this lake has Brook Trout. Our pal Barry over at Hiking with Barry has put together a wonderful trip report and trail details so check all of that out here!
Check out the the GPS track of our Allstones Lake Hike HERE
Stay tuned for our second instalment of Quiet Days + Cool Nights which includes a visit with a marmot and a lesson in Alberta’s history!
Hike365’s Smoked Tofu Wraps
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Assembly Time 5 minutes
Ingredients + How To :
1 serving of firm to extra firm tofu – diced into 1x1cm cubes *for us, 1 serving is about a 1/4 cup when diced
2 tsp of light tasting oil like grape seed
Pinch of salt
Dash of smoked paprika
1tsp of lemon juice
Pinch of chili powder or if you like spice, cayenne pepper
Warm your oil in a small non stick pan on medium-high until shiny.
Drop in your diced tofu and let it sizzle n’ pop, stirring consistently so the tofu doesn’t burn.
When your tofu is looking crispy, sprinkle with dry seasonings and stir to coat evenly.
Add in lemon juice, stir to coat and let cook until liquid is dissolved.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Maple Glazed Pecans:
2 tbsp whole or pieced pecans
1 tsp real maple syrup
Use the same pan you made your tofu in, but be sure to let it cool before washing and warming it up to medium low with your pecans in the pan from the start.
Keep your pecans moving, even with this lower heat, you want to ensure you get an even toasting.
After a few minutes of making those pecans dance, you’ll notice that they will become fragrant. At this point turn your heat off and measure out your maple syrup.
Drizzle pecans with maple syrup, stirring quickly as the syrup will bubble from the residual heat (be careful your pan is not too hot or the sugar will burn, not a good thing!)
Coat your pecans evenly and set aside.
1 handful of red leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
1 tbsp julienne red onions
1 tbsp Thompson raisins
1 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Dash of lemon juice
1 tbsp grape seed oil
Pinch of salt
The How To:
Mix your greens + fixings in a bowl. Put salad dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until mixed, then pour over greens. Mix thoroughly with a big wooden spoon.
Putting it All Together:
You’ll need a wrap of some sort for this part. We love multi grain, ancient grain, whole grain wraps, the bigger the better when it comes to this recipe! If you don’t have wraps, maybe you’ve got some naan bread or flatbread on hand, use that!
Load up your wrap or flatbread with the greens, followed by the tofu. Fold it up and place in a ziploc bag with a rubber band in the middle of your pack until it’s time to eat on the trail!