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(CNN) -- If you're looking for a relaxing retreat, one where the busy present is lost in a simpler past, try Tomahawk Mountain. To reach this desolate destination in Alberta, Canada, travelers leave a lot behind in hopes of gaining the ineffable: peace and quiet.
In fact, the Tomahawk Mountain Outpost is so far from the city, vacationers have to use at least two modes of transportation to get there. After a two-hour drive from either the town of Banff or the city of Calgary, visitors park near the village of Sundre for a stage coach journey. This two hour jaunt is the most grueling, and the most scenic, part of an adventure into the wilderness.
While the lurching stage coach ride gives travelers a feel for pioneer life in the 19th century, it also offers some rewards of the present: the chance for a close encounter with one of the 2,000 to 3,000 elk who reside here during the winter. Lucky guests may also spot deer, bighorn sheep and mountain goats along the ride.
The Tomahawk Mountain Outpost sits on the eastern edge of Banff National Park, Canada's oldest national park. This natural treasure spans 2,500 square miles resplendent with mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers. The magnificent 500-million-year-old Canadian Rockies secure the outpost's vast plains.
Guests at the outpost stay in small wooden cabins. They have no computers, televisions, fax machines and phones. Instead, there's only wide-open wilderness beckoning contemplative spirits to ponder its natural beauty.
The dawning of a new day brings with it a chance for anglers to cast their reels into the Red Deer River. A fishing excursion may yield a wide variety of trout. "We get brown, rainbow, brook...some bull trout," one fisherman proclaimed.
Other visitors enjoy some of the park's 1,000 miles of hiking trails or take in the amazing sights via horseback. And after the day's adventures, the outpost rustles up an evening meal that's fit for a cowboy.
It's enough to make some travelers wish they lived a couple of centuries earlier, even if only for a few days.Weather: Calgary, Alberta
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