Pokemon Gyms are not only lures for pocket monsters, they are quickly becoming lures for business.

All the think pieces came out quickly touting the benefits of Pokestops and Pokemon Gyms for businesses in vicinity. My first Pokemon Go outing with my youngest son proved it true when we discovered a Pokestop conveniently located next to an ice cream truck. The line was long, it was worth it.

pokemon prince's island
Charlie chasing Pokemon in downtown Calgary

But it’s not just businesses that are discovering the lure of the Pokemon Go gaming trend that has people getting out and moving around, Tourism Boards are on it too. Travel Alberta held a city tour of Calgary last week that sold out in minutes.

They set up a great Tumblog to celebrate all the fun places you can find Pokemon Gyms and Pokestops while exploring the natural wonders of Alberta. If random geocaching adventures hadn’t caught your imagination already (it’s wonderful), then maybe this new augmented reality treasure hunt will get you excited to get outdoors.

Pokemon hunting wasn’t the reason my sons and I went for a canoe ride and hike in Banff last weekend, it was just another one of our uncamping days where we go for a road trip and get out and explore the great outdoors.

vermillion lakes
Paddling Vermillion Lakes

While Pokemon Go wasn’t the reason we got out, it sure helped to amp the enthusiasm of my sons when they discovered a Pokemon Gym is right next to the Banff Canoe Club.

Pokemon Gym in Banff National Park
via Travel Alberta

After our paddle to Vermillion Lakes, they ran up and down the pathway along the Bow River catching more monsters and hitting nearby Pokestops. It wasn’t the reason why we were there, but it added to the day.

Our other planned trip was an easy 2k hike to the top of Tunnel Mountain. With bear warnings throughout the mountain parks, we picked an easy hike in the center of town that still offered amazing views for our lunchtime picnic.

tunnel mountain trail
Hiking up Tunnel Mountain

When we got to the top and I flipped open my phone to pop up some Instagrams and Snapchats to brag about our mountaineering accomplishment, the boys asked me to look for Pokemon.

Squirrel on Tunnel Mountain
Not a Pokemon

After saying hi to a friend of the Banff Squirrel first, there on the top of Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park, was a Pokemon Gym.

We easily dominated it, took the top pedestal, and high fived each other. We paddled rivers and lakes, we climbed mountains, we won titles at 2 Pokemon Gyms!

Tunnel Mountain Pokegym
Our reward for climbing Tunnel Mountain

No, Pokemon Go wasn’t the reason we went out to explore the mountains last weekend, but it sure made the smiles bigger.

Banff from Tunnel Mountain
View overlooking Banff from Tunnel Mountain

Where are you chasing Pokemon this weekend?

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