If you haven’t heard of the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, this post is for you. Adventure travelers, road trippers and outdoor enthusiasts, I’m excited to show you my backyard and hope to inspire you to visit the Rockies.
Spreading across the province of Alberta and British Columbia, the most visited destinations are Banff and Jasper National Parks. They are connected by a beautiful scenic road Icefields Parkway which is often considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world. If that’s not enough, they are also neighbors with Yoho and Kootenay National Parks.
Do you still ask yourself why you should visit the Canadian Rockies? Here’s a quick breakdown of what is waiting for you:
1. Glaciers and mountains
As the name of the road Icefields Parkway suggests, both Banff and Jasper National Parks offer endless glacier views. Yoho and Kootenay are not far behind. You can see countless glaciers just by driving the road and if you feel more adventurous, you can explore ice caves on Athabasca Glacier in Banff National Park in winter or hike to several glaciers on Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park.
2. Turquoise lakes
When there’s a glacier, there’s also a glacier-fed lake beneath it. Lucky for all of us, many of the stunning turquoise lakes are easily accessible. Moraine Lake, Lake Louise and Peyto Lake are the most visited and also the busiest during summer. Other gorgeous lakes in the Canadian Rockies are Lake Minnewanka, Bow Lake, Maligne Lake, Emerald Lake or Floe Lake.
One of the main highlights of any trip to the Rockies is wildlife watching. You can spot black bears, grizzly bears, moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and many more. If this interests you the most, visit the national parks in May or June. That’s when wild animals can be safely seen from the road. Be aware that these animals are wild and not to be fed, approached or interacted with in any way. I love road tripping in spring and seeing mama bears playing with their newborn playful cubs.
4. Northern Lights
Have you ever seen pictures of green lights across the night sky? Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, are often seen in the Rockies several times per year. While it is true that the best light show is usually during winter because the sky needs to be really dark, I’ve actually seen the best Northern Lights of green and purple color in May. You never know.
5. Endless outdoor activities
If you’re a hiker, the Rockies provide several options based on your fitness level and interests. You can hike to see a glacier, through a canyon to waterfalls, mountain tops or alpine lakes. My favorite activities and recommendations for visitors would be mountain biking in Jasper National Park, renting a canoe or stand up paddleboard for lakes in Banff National Park, braving the ice-cold water and jump into any lake at least once and having a morning picnic by Emerald Lake.