The Best Places to Ski in Alberta

Best Places to Ski in Alberta | High River, AB

Whether you’re new to the sport or you just want to get back out on the slopes, skiing is a great way to spend time outdoors in winter. To help you figure out where to go in your capable Tundra or adventurous Highlander, our team at High River Toyota has listed some of the best places to ski in Alberta.

Banff Sunshine Village

Thanks to its large size and variety of options, Banff Sunshine Village makes a lot of “best of” lists for skiing. The most unique part about this resort is that it’s not located near a parking lot and is actually at the end of a 15-minute gondola ride. The resort is comprised of three areas — Lookout Mountain, Mount Standish, and Goat’s Eye Mountain — totaling 3,358 acres of terrain with the highest point at 8,954 feet.

Marmot Basin

A little further north is where you’ll find Marmot Basin near Jasper. Although it’s a smaller resort, its base elevation is an impressive 5,570 feet, meaning you have a longer season to ski (typically from November to May). There are 91 runs waiting for you, including starter options to quite a few black and double black routes.

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Often described as a must-visit spot, Lake Louise Ski Resort has been home to several World Cup ski events over the years. The resort boasts a daunting 3,250-foot vertical drop as well as breathtaking views atop Whitehorn Mountain. Last year, the resort added a new quad chair lift in the West Bowl advanced skiers area.

These are just a few of the best places to head out on the slopes in Alberta. What other spots would you recommend?

Tips for Your First Time Snowboarding

Snow Boarding | High River, AB

With the Winter Olympic Games upon us, excitement surrounding winter sports is at an all-time high. If you’re itching to pack up your Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner and head out to the slopes, here are some snowboarding tips from our team at High River Toyota.

Get the gear

Safety is crucial when you’re gliding down the side of a mountain. While it may seem fun to just jump on a board and go, you need to be prepared with the right equipment. SnowboardHow founder Lorraine Lam suggests buying a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, and hip pads in addition to your boots, jacket, pants, goggles, and base layer of clothing.

Hire a pro

There’s no shame in hiring an instructor to help you on your first few snowboarding outings. These trained professionals will teach you important lessons so you can stay safe and have fun. Even after you’ve got the basics down, it might be a good idea to take refresher courses at the start of a new season.

Prepare physically

If you’re not in great physical shape, it will be difficult to take on snow-covered mountains. Even though it looks like you’re just swaying back and forth on the board, snowboarding takes a lot of core and leg strength to succeed (and not fall down a hill).

The most important tip we can provide is to have fun! Getting out there and taking on a new skill can be daunting yet incredibly rewarding.

What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down This Winter in Alberta

Car breakdown | High River, AB

Even when you take precautions, your vehicle could still break down and put you in a risky situation during a frigid Alberta winter. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place so you don’t panic, and these tips are a good place to start.

Stay Put

If you get stranded in nasty weather, it’s usually best to stay put in your vehicle, call for help, and wait instead of getting out and exposing yourself to cold temperatures and blinding snow. If you can still run the engine, it’s OK to turn it on for a bit to operate the heater, but keep a window open and try not to empty the gas tank. If you do run out of gas, keep the windows shut so the cabin doesn’t lose all its warmth.

Conserve Your Energy

If your vehicle is stuck in snow, it’s typically better to wait for help and try to stay warm. Exiting the vehicle and trying to dig yourself out could sap your energy at a time when you really need it. If for some reason it’s unsafe to stay in your vehicle, cover your face and bundle up as securely as possible and seek shelter out of the wind.

Be Prepared

You can’t always avoid a breakdown, but you can be prepared for when it happens. Keep your vehicle stocked with blankets, flares, food and water, a charged cellphone, and other emergency supplies.

It’s also a good idea to stay up to date on maintenance during the winter months so your vehicle is in the best condition possible. For your safety and peace of mind, schedule an appointment soon with the High River Toyota service department here in High River, Alberta.

Valentine’s Day Weekend Getaways in Alberta

2021 Toyota Tundra | High River, AB

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to hop in your Toyota and take your partner on a romantic weekend getaway in Alberta. Need a few ideas? Here are some great destinations to consider.

Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Kananaskis Nordic Spa boasts beautiful mountain views and an array of pools, saunas, and steam rooms where you and your sweetie can soak away your cares. Located less than 2 hours from High River, it’s close enough for a day trip, or you could make a full weekend of it with a room at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge and a ski date on one of the nearby slopes.

Lake Louise

If you and your partner love ice skating, drive up to Banff National Park and enjoy a day on Lake Louise, which transforms into an enormous, beautiful rink every winter. Afterward, you can relax at the deluxe Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and enjoy lovely mountain views, delicious food and drinks, and luxurious accommodations.

Heritage Ranch

Heritage Ranch in Red Deer is an incredible spot for a memorable date night. Along with high-end dining at the on-site restaurant, you can enjoy horse-drawn carriage or sleigh rides on the scenic ranch grounds, then retreat afterward to a romantic suite at the nearby Cambridge Red Deer Hotel.  

Wherever you decide to go this Valentine’s Day, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and ready by scheduling a service appointment here at High River Toyota!

Build Safe Driving Habits with These New Year’s Resolutions

2022 Toyota Tundra | High River, AB

Cultivating safe driving habits is a great way to protect yourself and everyone else around you in High River, Alberta. Whether you’re already doing great or need a refresher, these New Year’s resolutions for the road will keep you focused heading into 2022.

Don’t drive distracted

This is a really important one. Put your phone away when you drive — reading or sending that text isn’t worth the risk of a serious collision. It’s also a good idea to reduce other distractions, like talking to passengers or interacting with your navigation system.

Stick to the speed limit

Driving over the speed limit puts you at greater risk for a crash, so slow down — and leave a little earlier to give yourself more time to travel. As a secondary benefit, sticking to the posted speed limit can also help you save money on gas.

Keep up with service

Keeping up with vehicle service should be one of your highest-priority New Year’s resolutions. Regular oil changes and tire rotations will help your vehicle last longer — and operate more safely, too.

Ready to start 2022 the right way? Our service team here at High River Toyota is ready and waiting to help you get caught up on maintenance and more.

Tips for Cutting Your Vehicle Expenses in 2022

2021 Toyota Mirai | High River, AB

Looking to save money in 2022? Car expenses are a great place to start. Reining in fuel costs, keeping up with maintenance, and choosing the right insurance coverage can put dollars back in your pocket for the new year.

Save on gas

To save money on fill-ups in 2022, start by sharpening your driving habits. Gentle acceleration, gradual braking, and sticking to the speed limit will improve your vehicle’s fuel consumption. You can also reduce your fuel costs by keeping your tires properly inflated, reducing idling, cutting down on unnecessary trips, and carpooling to work in High River, Alberta.

Save on insurance

The arrival of a new year is an excellent opportunity to revisit your auto insurance costs. Review your policy to make sure you’re not paying for too much coverage — or not enough. You may also want to inquire about potential discounts offered by your insurer. It’s also a good idea to compare rates and see if you can get a better deal from a different insurer.

Save on service

Keeping up with the maintenance your vehicle needs is one of the best ways to cut costs over the long term. Read your owner’s manual and stick to the schedule it recommends for oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and other service. This will help your vehicle last longer and operate more efficiently, and it’s also a great way to prevent unexpected — and expensive — breakdowns.

Here at High River Toyota, we want your new year to be a great one. Contact us to catch up on service for your current vehicle — or to start your 2022 with an efficient new Toyota sedan or SUV.

Here’s What to Pack in Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit

Frozen Windshield | High River, AB

As cold temperatures and snow arrive in High River, Alberta, don’t get caught unprepared — take steps now to get your vehicle ready for a winter emergency. Here are some of the most important supplies you should keep in your car in case you get stuck or stranded in dangerous conditions.

Winter Items

A blanket, extra clothes, and extra shoes or boots will come in handy to shield you from the cold. Your emergency kit should also include a big can, a candle, and matches, which you can use to warm the car’s interior. You’ll also want to pack a small shovel, ice scraper, and snow brush. Stash a bag of sand, salt, or non-clumping cat litter in the trunk — these can provide crucial traction if you get stuck in ice or snow.

General Items

No matter the time of year, it’s a good idea to keep nonperishable food and some water in your car. Make sure the water is stored in bottles that won’t break if they freeze. Other handy items to bring along include a first aid kit and seatbelt cutter, a wind-up flashlight, road maps, and a whistle to draw attention. You’ll also want to keep jumper cables, warning flares, and a fire extinguisher in the trunk.

While you’re putting together your emergency kit, be sure to also bring your vehicle in to High River Toyota for seasonal maintenance. We can change your oil, check your brakes, install snow tires, and provide a variety of other services to get your vehicle ready for winter.

How to De-Ice Your Windshield in a Hurry This Winter

Car Frozen Windshield | High River, AB

Getting up in the morning and dealing with an iced-over windshield is one of winter’s many little annoyances here in High River, Alberta. Fortunately, with a little prep, you can quickly clear your windshield and be on your way instead of spending several minutes chipping away at the ice or waiting for your car to warm up.

De-icer spray is the key

With a few squirts of de-icer spray, you’ll be well on your way to a clear windshield. These sprays are widely available in stores, or you can make your own. For one easy homemade spray, dissolve two teaspoons of salt into a spray bottle filled with water. You could also mix one part water and two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Squirt and scrape

De-icer solutions have a lower freezing point than water, so you can always keep a bottle stashed in your vehicle. Spray a little on the windshield, and it will quickly thaw and loosen the ice so you can remove it with a brush and plastic scraper.

De-icing mistakes to avoid

Never pour hot water on your iced-over windshield. The sudden temperature change could make the glass crack. You should also avoid forcefully hacking at the ice or scraping it with metal, as these actions could end up damaging your windshield.

For all your winter vehicle maintenance needs, make an appointment with the service experts here at High River Toyota.

Tips for Staying Safe on Fall Drives in Alberta

Now that the season has changed, you may be itching to get out on the road for a scenic drive. To help you stay safe during your fall drives in Alberta, our team at High River Toyota has put together some useful tips.

fall drives in Alberta

Watch out for animals and pedestrians

With the weather changing and getting cooler, more people — and animals — are likely to be out in nature. Be sure to keep an eye out for people walking or cycling alongside the roads, especially as the sun starts to go down and visibility gets worse. Watch out for animal crossing signs as well, as deer and other fauna may be looking for shelter.

Be aware of slippery leaves

As beautiful as they are when they fall from trees, brightly coloured leaves can be quite dangerous if they are on the road. In fact, when they hit the pavement, leaves can be just as scary as driving on icy or especially wet roadways. If you see a large pile ahead, slow down and approach with caution.

Adjust your eyes to the dark

It starts to get darker earlier in the day during fall and winter. As a result, your eyes may not be ready to drive when you get behind the wheel for an evening cruise. Instead of hopping in your Toyota and instantly pressing on the gas, sit in the driver’s seat for a bit and let your eyes adjust to the setting sun.

With these tips in mind, it should be a breeze for you and your passengers to stay safe during your scenic drives. If your vehicle needs any maintenance or repairs before you start traveling, don’t hesitate to contact our team at High River Toyota for assistance.

Tune Into This Fall Service Checklist For Your Toyota

Keeping your Toyota vehicle on the road for many years means there are certain things you must do as an owner. One of these things is maintaining a schedule for tune-ups and needed repairs. Now that we’ve entered a new season, here’s a fall service checklist to help you stay on track.

fall service checklist | High River, AB

Inspect the tires

Before getting behind the wheel, be sure to carefully inspect your car’s tires for signs of wear. This includes bulges or cracks, which could cause a flat or complete blowout. The tread, which helps with efficiency, should also be checked. If you notice any issues with the tires, contact our service team to advise you on the next steps.

Check fluid levels

You’ll want to check the owner’s manual, but needed oil changes typically align with the changing of the seasons. While you’re looking under the hood, check other vital vehicle fluids like coolant, transmission, brake, and windshield wiper fluid. Not sure what’s going on under there? Give us a call to schedule an appointment and we’ll take care of it for you.

Replace the blades

Fall in Alberta means the occasional rain shower and eventual snow when winter arrives. Get ahead of bad weather and stay safe by replacing your car’s windshield wipers, if necessary. Signs that your vehicle needs new ones include tears, cracks, or warped blades.

These are just a few things to check on your Toyota this fall. If you think your vehicle needs additional servicing, schedule an appointment with our team at High River Toyota.