You know the feeling of being somewhere and wishing you could stay forever? The Canadian Rocky Mountains is one of those places. You’ve seen the pictures – dazzling peaks, lush alpine meadows, turquoise lakes, virgin forest, towering waterfalls and wildlife galore.
Discover a network of protected national and provincial mountain parks on Alberta’s western border. Jasper National Park is just four hours west of Edmonton. Banff National Park is an hour and a half west of Calgary. Kananaskis Country, a vast front range playground of provincial parks, lies between Banff and Calgary.
So, what’s to do? Hike, cycle or go by horseback to explore thousands of kilometres of trails and watch for wildlife. Paddle, raft or fish the waterways. Climb a mountain. Golf? Signature courses in the Rockies are consistently ranked in top ten lists around the world.
When the snow falls, get in on some of the best skiing and snowboarding on the planet. Round out your ski vacation with dog sledding and snowshoeing or walk through a canyon gleaming with frozen waterfalls. Rejuvenate in a natural hot spring, then enjoy all that our alpine towns of Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper have to offer.
Soar with the eagles high above the peaks on an aerial tour of the Rockies. Take a train trip through hidden mountain passes in a glass domed rail car. The mountain lodges and cabins in the Canadian Rockies have the perfect room for your alpine getaway. Retreats are as simple or as luxurious as you like.
Glaciers. Canyons. Turquoise lakes. Moose in the meadows. Live the mountain adventure of your dreams. Here’s your insider Canadian Rockies checklist!
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. Everywhere you look is a perfect picture from a glossy travel book. Dazzling glaciers, big animals, alpine meadows and turquoise lakes are all right here in Banff National Park.
Less than an hour west of Calgary on the doorstep of the Canadian Rockies, Kananaskis Country is year round backcountry bliss. The alpine town of Canmore is the perfect gateway for exploring the more than 50 interconnected provincial parks and recreation areas.
Jasper National Park
The largest of our Rocky Mountain national parks, Jasper is filled with soaring peaks, ancient glaciers and untouched wilderness covering more than 10,000 sq km (4,200 sq mi) – ample space to reconnect with nature. The park is 370 km (192 mi) west of Edmonton and 404 km (256 mi) from Calgary. Jasper and Banff are connected by the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93), one of the most scenic drives on the planet.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Three hours south of Calgary, Waterton is the smallest of Alberta’s Rocky Mountain parks, but many consider it the hidden jewel in the crown. The dramatic collision of prairies and mountains in the southwest corner of Alberta has forged a combination of grasslands, wetlands, aspen groves, evergreen forests and alpine tundra, which means a unique diversity of plant life and a rich variety of wildlife.