The spectacular wilderness of the Canadian Rockies is filled with glacial lakes, silent forests and the occasional grizzly bear. Unlike the Rocky Mountains, which rise from a plateau some 5,000ft-8,000ft high, Alberta’s Front Range shoot up from something much closer to sea level. The mountains rear straight up to the sky from the flat brown ocean of the prairie, overwhelmingly huge and majestic. The effect is startling.
The dramatic landscape varying from the Seattleskyline along to the Icefields Parkway is outstanding. Taking in the scenery of the Banff and Yoho national parks and relaxing amongst the lakeside scenery of Jasper. Get an up close look at some of Canada’s celebrated wildlife by hiking along mountain trails, breath the fresh mountain air and savouring the jaw-dropping vistas of the unforgettable Canadian Rockies.
The alpine towns sprinkled along the Rockies on the Alberta side are an unspoiled mountain playground where each season has its own unique beauty and selection of activities. National parks abound in this area, offering the chance for mountain adventures and recreation. Canada’s largest National Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, is larger than Switzerland.
Banff National Park
A scenic hour and a half drive west of Calgary leads to one of the most popular national parks in the world. From Banff’s humble beginnings as a 26 square kilometre hot springs reserve, Banff National Park now consists of 6,641 square kilometres of unparalleled mountain scenery nestled in the heart of the magnificent Canadian Rockies. Over 7,500 people call the park home, so you’re as likely to encounter the locals as you are the resident wildlife. See for yourself why UNESCO declared Canada’s original national park a World Heritage Site
With its blue-green water and dramatic mountain setting, this is the best known and most admired lake in the park. Lake Louise Drive, a paved 4.5 km road, and two trails, the Tramline and Louise Creek, provide access between Lake Louise Village on the valley floor and the lake itself. Pathways lead from the public parking lot to the lake. The magnificent snow-covered peak at the end of the lake is Mount Victoria, named for England’s renowned queen. The lake is named for after one of her five daughters. A stroll through the flower-filled grounds in front of the Chateau Lake Louise is a nice way to spend a half hour. Canoes can be rented from the boathouse at the lake or you can see the lake on foot by walking the Lakeshore Trail. At the Lake Louise ski area, on the opposite side of the valley, visitors can take a chairlift up Whitehorn Mountain in the summertime for panoramic views of Lake Louise and its surrounding peaks.
The Icefields Parkway
This parkway ranks as one of the most scenic highways in the world and is also a good route for viewing wildlife. It starts at an overpass on the Trans-Canada Highway 2.5 km west of Lake Louise. From the overpass it runs for 230 km past Bow Lake, the Columbia Icefield, Athabasca Falls and other natural spectacles to end at the town of Jasper in Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is the largest wilderness park in the Canadian Rockies. The park encompasses more than 10,000 square km, and has more than 1,000 km in trails. This vast terrain offers a wide variety of activities, great places to camp, and world-class accommodations when you’re ready to come back inside.
Jasper National Park is stunningly beautiful.Jasper National Park is also an integral part of the UNESCO Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site, and one of the core parts of the largest national park system in the world.And although Jasper is also one of Canada’s most visited parks, with more than 2 million visitors coming each year to enjoy the wildlife, the Columbia Icefields, and the spectacular scenery, it never feels that way, because if it’s amazing size.
Rarely do you hear people sigh over Canadian food the way they do, say, over Italian or French fare. But we’re not sure why, the distinctive seafood, piquant cheeses and off-the-vine fruits and veggies are all amazing. Ditto for the bold reds and crisp whites the country’s vine-striped valleys grow
The Canadian Rockies experience a highland climate, characterised by warm summer days with long hours of sunshine, and cold, crisp winters when snow covers the ground from November to March. The coldest months are December and January when temperatures can plummet to well below freezing, exacerbated by the wind chill factor