Planning the Good Canadian Rockies Itinerary (7 or 10-days)

Stepping out of my automobile on the primary day of our Canadian Rockies itinerary, I took a deep breath of the crisp mountain air and seemed over on the uncommon smile on my teen daughter’s face. She gazed up on the towering mountains with marvel and awe, telling me this was the proper selection for our annual mother-daughter journey.

Maybe my childhood of household holidays to Vermont was deeply embedded in her DNA, however she is unquestionably a mountain woman. It will probably take loads to impress a teen, however the beautiful mountain landscapes and dreamy glacial blue water of the lakes of the Canadian Rockies certain did the trick.

Everybody has seen photos of crimson canoes floating on the brilliant blue waters of Lake Louise, and pictures of hikers overlooking dramatic mountain vistas. These iconic websites draw over 4 million guests to Banff Nationwide Park in Alberta, Canada every year.

The Canadian Rockies, particularly Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper, have been on my bucket checklist since first encountering these locations whereas working at AAA in faculty. But planning a visit to this area took a great deal of analysis and coordination.

To assist, I’ve put collectively each a 7-day and 10-day Canadian Rockies itinerary so that you can use based mostly on our journey and what we discovered alongside the best way. Should you actually wish to squeeze within the highlights in 5 days in Banff, you possibly can, however you’ll be fairly drained on the finish! It’s a lot better to spend not less than per week in Alberta.

Bow Lake Banff National Park
Bow Lake

Canadian Rockies Itinerary Abstract

Should you solely have per week to spend within the Canadian Rockies, I might advocate the traditional huge three — Banff (or close by), Lake Louise, and Jasper. Relying on when your flights arrive and depart, chances are you’ll wish to drive straight to Lake Louise. You may then break your journey up as follows:

  • Day 1: Fly into Calgary and drive to Lake Louise
  • Day 2-4: Drive up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper for 3 nights
  • Day 5-7: Drive right down to Banff or Canmore for 3 nights after which depart early on the final day to fly residence

Should you can spend 10 days within the Canadian Rockies, you’ll have much more time to soak within the pure magnificence. I’d advocate following the itinerary above after which including on time in Kananaskis.

  • Day 1: Fly into Calgary and drive to Lake Louise
  • Day 2-4: Drive up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper for 3 nights
  • Day 5-7: Drive right down to Banff or Canmore for 3 nights
  • Day 8-10: Pomeroy Mountain Lodge in Kananaskis then return to Calgary in your flight residence

Attending to the Canadian Rockies

Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake

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The Canadian Rockies mountain vary spreads over components of Alberta and British Columbia in Western Canada. The most well-liked locations throughout the Canadian Rockies are Banff Nationwide Park, Lake Louise, and Jasper Nationwide Park. Due to this fact, most itineraries are centered round these three major locations.

Nevertheless, when you have extra time or you have an interest in getting off the crushed path, you may as well embrace visits to Kananaskis, Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park (which border’s the U.S.’s Glacier Nationwide Park in Montana), Yoho Nationwide Park, or Kootenay Nationwide Park.

Except you’re driving or taking the Rocky Mountaineer practice over from Vancouver, most guests will fly into both Calgary or Edmonton. There isn’t an enormous distinction in driving occasions in case you are visiting each Banff and Jasper, however in case you are visiting solely Banff, Calgary is the better choice and in case you are solely visiting Jasper, it is sensible to fly into Edmonton.

We flew out and in of Calgary on Air Canada. Since we needed to join in Toronto (depart PLENTY of time for that connection), we arrived within the mid-afternoon and departed within the early morning. Due to this fact, we spent our final evening on the Courtyard Marriott close to the Calgary airport. Relying in your flight occasions, you possibly can at all times shuffle your go to round.

7 Day Canadian Rockies Trip Itinerary

I’ve designed this itinerary to reduce your driving occasions on arrival and departure days and assume you’re flying into and out of Calgary. It’s also possible to fly into Calgary and out of Edmonton however chances are you’ll discover a spherical journey airfare from the identical metropolis extra inexpensive.

Day One: Arrive and Drive to Lake Louise

Hannah at Lake Louise
Hannah at Lake Louise

Upon arrival in Calgary, hop into your rental automobile and head straight up the Trans Canadian Freeway for the two-hour drive to Lake Louise. You must arrive in time to spend the late afternoon or night exploring the Lake. Simply be ready for loopy site visitors and parking challenges in Lake Louise. If you’re not staying on Lake Louise, you will want to ebook a shuttle properly prematurely to entry both Lake Louise or Lake Moraine.

Everyone seems to be tempted to rent a type of iconic crimson canoes for an hour and paddle across the lake. Simply remember the fact that they arrive with a hefty price ticket (round $145 an hour!) so chances are you’ll wish to simply take an image and save your canoeing for later within the journey. You’ll be able to nonetheless get pleasure from strolling across the lake and taking within the view from the assorted vantage factors.

When you’ve got the finances, you possibly can’t beat the placement and views on the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Nevertheless, for those who haven’t gained the lottery just lately, the Submit Lodge & Spa, a Relais & Chateaux property, makes a beautiful second selection. Simply be warned that the “low cost” facet faces the practice tracks and could also be loud for gentle sleepers. We had been kindly upgraded to a set on the “most well-liked facet” and slept like a rock.

Post Inn & Spa
Submit Inn & Spa

We actually loved this charming property that provides the character of a Swiss Chalet and splendid touches with out feeling pretentious. The lodge can also be famend for its positive eating restaurant, though we had been to drained from a busy day for a elaborate meal, so we availed ourselves of the extra informal Outpost restaurant.

It’s straightforward to see why this lodge was named one of many high 10 resort resorts in Canada by Journey & Leisure. We’d have fortunately stayed a number of nights but when time is restricted, you’re higher off shifting on to Jasper had been the crowds skinny out and there’s a lot to do. When you’ve got some extra time, observe my good friend Brianna’s suggestions for seeing the better of Lake Louise.

Day Two: Icefields Parkway to Jasper

Driving the Icefields Parkway
Driving the Icefields Parkway

Earlier than you head out of city the following morning, you’ll seemingly wish to cease in at Lake Moraine. That is a particularly fashionable vacationer attraction and it’s good to ebook a shuttle experience properly prematurely and get there very early to keep away from crowds (just like the first light.)

Should you miss Lake Moraine, don’t fret, there are many different lovely lakes to see within the Canadian Rockies! Earlier than you head out on the Icefields Parkway, one of the vital scenic drives on this planet, decide up breakfast at The Trailhead Cafe, gas up on fuel, and seize some snacks as there is just one service station and a handful of locations to eat between Lake Louise and Jasper.

Bow Lake

Bow Lake on the Icefields Parkway

There are numerous lovely view factors to cease and luxuriate in alongside the Icefields Parkway. I’ll inform you about a few of the high “can’t miss” stops and you’ll resolve if you wish to match all of them in or avoid wasting in your drive again. About one hour from Lake Louise, you’ll come across Bow Lake and the Crowfoot Glacier. There are a few good pull outs which have paths right down to the lake.

Peyto Lake

Peyto lake

Simply 10 minutes previous Bow Lake you’ll come to the Bow Summit Path overlooking the well-known fox-shaped Peyto Lake. The Canadian Authorities just lately made a serious funding within the infrastructure and the Peyto Lake parking zone, strolling path, and viewpoint have been reopened.

The lake is just not seen from the parking zone, and if the parking zone is full, there’s parking alongside the entry highway. I learn that it’s a 3.8 km spherical journey, though it felt shorter. Take note although {that a} part is uphill so it’s good to be ready for a little bit of a climb. Altogether, this cease ought to take about an hour.

The viewing platform may be extraordinarily crowded, but when you may get into the nook of the decrease platform, it is best to be capable to get an unobstructed view of the lake.

Mistaya Canyon

Tamara at Mistaya Canyon
Tamara at Mistaya Canyon

One other 25 minutes will carry you to Mistaya Canyon. The large busses appear to skip this cease so it’s a little quieter and due to this fact, extra pleasing. It’s a few one kilometer hike right down to the canyon (which implies again uphill on the return.)

Right here you’ll cross over a bridge that spans the Mistaya River and be capable to stroll alongside the rim of the canyon and see how the water has carved its manner by means of the stone. Take a couple of minutes to stroll down on the rocks and observe the highly effective water. I’m unsure why this spot wasn’t extra crowded, however I’m glad it wasn’t because it made me adore it much more!

The Crossing

The Crossing
The Crossing

A couple of minutes additional up Icefields Parkway and you’ll come to The Crossing, which affords fuel, a restaurant, cafe, present store, and most notably, loos. Alberta Parks truly does a very good job providing relaxation rooms at many of the main sights and trailheads, however these aren’t at all times pristine and may have lengthy traces so it is a good cease to make.

Bridal Veil Falls

After The Crossing, you’ll begin to ascend into the mountains. The highway winds up and round to the land of the massive horn sheep. If you’re fortunate, you may even see some grazing alongside the freeway. There’s an overlook that lets you see the highway and the valley beneath from a better vantage level. Close by one can find Bridal Veil Falls, though it may be straightforward to overlook and the parking zone is small.

Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre

Glacier Ice Explorers
Glacier Ice Explorers

After you cross into Jasper Nationwide Park, you’ll come to one of many jewels of the Icefields Parkway, and that’s the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre. That is the house base for exploring the glacier and the assorted associated actions.

Contained in the customer middle you possibly can eat on the restaurant or cafe, discover the displays or take within the film downstairs, hit the lavatory, and meet up with numerous excursions. Pursuit Banff affords two varieties of experiences, the Glacier Ice Explorer and the Glacier Skywalk, which may be mixed right into a Glacier Journey ticket.

If you’re curious about both of those actions, I might extremely advocate you ebook a timed-ticket prematurely or chances are you’ll arrive to seek out them bought out for the day, or that it’s good to wait two hours earlier than the following availability.

We had been hosted on the Glacier Journey and we arrived early to have lunch within the cafe. At our appointed time, we joined the queue to load the bus out to the glacier. As soon as arriving on the foot of the glacier, we then loaded up into the Ice Explorer car for a drive out onto the glacier.

Athabasca Glacier
Athabasca Glacier

As soon as we arrived, we got half-hour to discover on the glacier throughout the famous boundaries. Sadly they didn’t do a very good job warning folks of the risks of going onto the glacier and we noticed many individuals taking dangers by going onto the glacier on their very own past the boundaries and even some sporting fully inappropriate clothes (sandals and skirts!) to stroll on the ice.

When you’ve got by no means been on a glacier earlier than (now we have completed glacier hikes in Iceland), then it’s a cool expertise. Nevertheless, the dearth of security enforcement and the damaging environmental affect of those massive glacier automobiles left a foul style in our mouths and I’ve hassle recommending it.

One other various might be a glacier hike with a correct glacier information or simply mountain climbing by yourself from the parking zone to the foot of the glacier (however please, by no means go onto a glacier with no licensed information!)

After our time on the glacier, we boarded one other bus to the Glacier Skywalk. It’s known as the Glacier Skywalk however don’t be confused by pondering that this glass walkway is over the glacier. As a substitute, it juts out over the attractive Sunwapta Valley and has views of the glaciers within the distance.

Glacier Skywalk
Glacier Skywalk

Should you don’t thoughts glass flooring, this Skywalk affords lovely views. The one draw back is that it is just accessible through a bus from the glacier or the Icefields Discovery Centre. So ready in your timed-ticket after which ready for the following return bus can actually eat into your day for a cease the place you’ll seemingly solely spend quarter-hour on web site.

There are various extra stops to make alongside the Icefields Parkway, however chances are you’ll wish to save these in your return journey as a result of likelihood is you’ll be getting drained or it is going to be getting late. Nevertheless, I’ll checklist them right here simply in case.

Tangle Creek Falls

Tangle Creek Falls
Tangle Creek Falls

Should you select to not proceed straight on to Jasper, your subsequent cease shall be Tangle Creek Falls. When touring north, the falls are in your proper (northbound facet) however the parking zone is throughout the road on the left (southbound facet) so watch out crossing the road.

This tiered waterfall is kind of near the highway however if you wish to climb as much as the higher falls, you will want to scramble over some rocks. Hannah beloved getting shut sufficient to stay her hand into the falls, even when it did get her sweatshirt soaked.

Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls
Sunwapta Falls

One other 35 minutes north will carry you to the flip off for Sunwapta Falls. The higher falls are only a quick stroll from the parking zone, however if you wish to see the decrease falls too, it’s a little additional (lower than a mile.)

Regardless that the stroll is brief and it’s a fashionable spot, I might recommend that you just nonetheless carry your bear spray. I can’t bear in mind if it was Sunwapta Falls or Athabasca Falls, however one in all them just lately had a bear stroll proper throughout the bridge over the falls, dodging vacationers alongside the best way. Having to resolve whether or not to face down a bear or bounce into the falls is just not a selection you wish to make.

Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls
Athabasca Falls

The final advisable cease earlier than you get into Jasper is at Athabasca Falls, about 15-20 minutes additional north. It will probably get actually crowded when the busses arrive however there are completely different paths that you would be able to take to get away from the crowds.

Athabasca Falls
Athabasca Falls

These highly effective falls have carved by means of the rock, just like what you discover at Mistaya Canyon. There are completely different viewing platforms the place you possibly can seize some nice photos of the falls. It’s also possible to observe the indicators to view the Decrease Canyon, and get an incredible view of the Athabasca River.

Once you arrive in Jasper, I might advocate grabbing dinner at Jasper Brewing Firm if the road isn’t too lengthy.

The place to Keep in Jasper

Should you can afford to remain on the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, you seemingly won’t be disillusioned. We stopped in there earlier than our go to to the Jasper Planetarium and it was lovely. Nevertheless, there are additionally loads of different cute and inexpensive cabin resorts close to city.

Jasper House Bungalows
Jasper Home Bungalows

We stayed on the Jasper Home Bungalows and actually loved our 4 evening keep. The cabins are cute and a few have lovely views of the Athabasca River. There’s additionally a restaurant on web site and loads of house to roam round. We shared a one-bedroom cabin with a pull out sofa in the lounge. It additionally had a small kitchen so you could possibly put together your individual meals for those who wished.

Personally I appreciated staying exterior of city and it was at all times straightforward to drive into city and we had no drawback discovering a spot to park. Among the different resorts that seemed engaging had been the Alpine Village Cabin Resort, Tekarra Lodge, and the Pyramid Lake Resort.

Day 3: Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon

In your third day within the Canadian Rockies you’re going to get to see extra of Jasper Nationwide Park.

Maligne Lake

Canoe on Maligne Lake
Canoe on Maligne Lake

In your first full day in Jasper, I might advocate heading right down to Maligne Lake. Get there early earlier than the parking zone fills up, however give your self loads of time to get there are there are sometimes “animal jams” on the highway. You’ll be able to seize a scrumptious breakfast on the Waffle Hut on the lake.

You’ll be able to lease canoes to paddle the lake, however it’s good to look out for boat wakes. Maligne Lake is big and the water can get a bit of uneven. It might take one thing like 10 hours to paddle to the top of the lake. So if you wish to see extra of Maligne Lake than the world across the historic boat home, pre-book a scenic boat tour out to Spirit Island.

Spirit Island on Maligne Lake
Spirit Island on Maligne Lake

Spirit Island was made well-known by Kodak in an promoting marketing campaign within the Sixties. Whereas the true which means of the identify continues to be unknown, First Nations folks view this lovely island as a sacred place. The 90-minute narrated cruise features a 15 minute cease at a photograph spot overlooking Spirit Island.

After the cruise, you possibly can hike alongside the lake or have lunch on the Lake Home Cafe. After we completed, we weren’t hungry but (nonetheless full from these waffles), so we headed again to Maligne Canyon.

Maligne Canyon

Maligne Canyon
Maligne Canyon

From Maligne Lake, it’s a few 40 minute drive to Maligne Canyon. At Maligne Canyon, you possibly can have lunch on the Maligne Wilderness Kitchen. The meals is scrumptious and the outside patio is ideal on a pleasant day. Simply be ready for a little bit of a wait. It provides you with time to relaxation up earlier than mountain climbing alongside the canyon.

Maligne Canyon is the deepest canyon in Jasper Nationwide Park, with a depth of greater than 50 metres at sure factors. You’ll be able to hike alongside the rim and criss cross the canyon over six bridges at numerous factors of the canyon. The First and Second bridges are straightforward hikes, however for those who head as much as the Third Bridge, you may get a view of the waterfall.

If you wish to do an extended hike, you possibly can proceed all the best way to the Sixth Bridge, however remember the fact that it will be uphill on the best way again. Spherical journey would take about three to 4 hours.

Within the night, you possibly can head into Jasper for dinner at Earl’s Kitchen or Evil Dave’s (see different options on the place to eat in Jasper.) Preserve your eyes peeled as a result of elk like to graze alongside the facet of the roads on the night.

Day 4: Peak-Nic and Pyramid Lake

In your final day in Jasper, it’s time for some actually distinctive experiences.

Jasper Meals Excursions

Jasper Food Tours Peak Nic
Jasper Meals Excursions Peak Nic

There are such a lot of issues to do in Jasper, however for those who solely have a number of days, it is best to hit the highlights. Considered one of our favourite actions of our journey was our hosted “Peak-Nic” expertise with Jasper Meals Excursions. We met up with Estelle from Jasper Meals Excursions on the Previous Fort Level trailhead.

Our tour began off with a hike as much as the highest of Previous Fort Level, with lovely views of Jasper and the Athabasca River. On the high, we commenced a again nation cooking lesson. Estelle amazed us with how straightforward it was to organize a gourmand meal with simply what we carried in on our backs. Lunch consisted of dal, rice, chili, fry bread, and chai.

Even when we by no means camp and use what we discovered, it was nonetheless a novel and enjoyable expertise (and a scrumptious lunch!) We labored off that meals with a hike the good distance again down.

Pyramid Lake

Within the afternoon, I might advocate both splashing round at Annette Lake, an area favourite, or lease a canoe to paddle round Pyramid Lake. Should you go to Pyramid Lake, make sure you additionally stroll out to Pyramid Island. We spent a late evening on the market with Jasper Photograph Excursions studying about evening sky pictures and taking photos of the celebs.

Pyramid Island at night
Pyramid Island at evening

Jasper is a Darkish Sky Protect so be sure you take a while to go star gazing! You’ll be able to join the evening sky and telescope program on the Jasper Planetarium on the Jasper Park Lodge.

Day 5: Jasper to Banff

Bear on Bow Valley Parkway
Bear on Bow Valley Parkway

When you’ve got extra time, I might add in one other day in Jasper. However for those who solely have per week, it’s time to head again down the Icefields Parkway to Banff. Should you already hit all of the sights on the best way up, you possibly can at all times make a journey on the Jasper SkyTram or hike the Valley of 5 Lakes.

When you get to Lake Louise, take the Bow Valley Parkway right down to Banff. Give your self time as a result of it is a good spot for wildlife recognizing. Simply please, please keep in your automobile. We noticed two bears and at one sighting many individuals had been out of their automobile and approaching the bear (with their children!)

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon Falls
Johnston Canyon Falls

Johnston Canyon is likely one of the hottest day hikes in Banff Nationwide Park. Anticipate the parking zone to be full and to must park on the highway, until you get there very early or go late within the day. We arrived round 5:30 pm and there have been loads of parking spots.

The stroll to the Decrease Falls isn’t too lengthy, however the walkway may be fairly slim so anticipate some pedestrian site visitors jams. A bridge over the river offers a pleasant view of the falls, however you may get a greater one if you wish to wait in line to undergo the tunnel to the opposite platform.

The hike to the Higher Falls is steeper however not as crowded. We visited after a really lively and tiring day and due to this fact stopped as soon as we acquired to the Decrease Falls.

Banff Path Riders

Banff Trail Riders
Banff Path Riders

Once you arrive in Banff, chances are you’ll wish to take a night path experience with Banff Path Riders. We had been hosted on a path experience alongside the attractive Bow River to a cowboy cookout. As soon as we arrived, we loved a scrumptious steak dinner earlier than saddling again up for the experience again. Simply remember the fact that these exit rain or shine, so costume appropriately! We had been fairly soaked when it determined to rain on our experience again.

The place to Keep in Banff

Basecamp Resorts Canmore
Basecamp Resorts Canmore courtyard

Should you actually wish to keep in Banff, the place to be is the Fairmont Banff Springs. In fact, it prices a small fortune. Even cute resorts on the town, just like the Elk + Avenue get expensive in the summertime.

So I say, why keep in Banff? Canmore is simply 20 minutes away and it affords the identical cute, mountain city vibe as Banff however with out as many individuals (and a very good deal cheaper.) Canmore has lots of condos which might be accessible on Airbnb, and supply tons of house for households.

We had a hosted keep on the conveniently situated Basecamp Resorts. Our one-bedroom suite had a stunning full kitchen and a residing house with a pull out couch. There was even a rooftop sizzling tub we might use and with Rocky Mountain Bagels proper subsequent door, breakfast was a breeze earlier than hopping onto the freeway into Banff.

Day Six: Banff

There are such a lot of issues to do in Banff, from purchasing to mountain climbing to gondola rides and sizzling springs. Nevertheless, in case you are feeling extra adventurous, we had a superb time doing the Mt. Norquay By way of Ferrata.

By way of Ferrata

Via Ferrata Mt Norquay
By way of Ferrata Mt Norquay

We had been hosted on a four-hour Ridgewalker By way of Ferrata course at Mt Norquay (one in all Canada’s Large 3 ski resorts). Regardless that the By way of Ferrata is designed for novices, it’s nonetheless a fairly a exercise to scale the mountain, clipped onto cables and clinging to rungs whereas balancing on small holds. There was even a slim plank bridge to cross. However we made it to the highest and the attractive views, sense of satisfaction, and main mother factors made the trouble value it.

Via Feratta top
Prime of Mt Norquay


After climbing, we had an incredible lunch with a view on the Cliffhouse Bistro earlier than taking the chairlift again right down to the lodge. Strive the gorditos or the bao buns, they’re scrumptious!


Pizza at Bear Street Tavern
Pizza at Bear Avenue Tavern

After an exhausting morning on the By way of Ferrata, you’ll most likely need some down time within the afternoon. It is a good time to move into Banff and luxuriate in some purchasing or take a stroll alongside the Bow River. When you’re prepared for dinner, try the Bear Avenue Tavern. The pizza is wonderful they usually serve it with this honey and oil dipping sauce. It sounds unusual but it surely works and is scrumptious!

Get concepts for extra issues to do in Banff with children!

Day Seven: Fly Dwelling

Two Jack Lake in Banff
Two Jack Lake in Banff

When you’ve got a while earlier than heading residence, take a drive over to Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka. Lake Minnewanka is big (and there’s the ruins of a city on the backside) and you could possibly spend a complete day there swimming, taking part in, or taking a ship cruise.

We actually beloved our time at Two Jack Lake. You’ll be able to stroll round a very good portion of the lake and soak within the lovely views. When you’re there, hold an eye fixed out for Alberta’s well-known crimson Adirondack chairs.

10 day Canadian Rockies Itinerary

Should you do have 10 days within the Canadian Rockies, you may have time to get away from the crowds and expertise a few of the lesser-visited Nationwide Parks or Provincial Parks. We began our journey in Kananaskis, which is about 35 minutes from Banff, however on this itinerary it is sensible to finish there in case you are flying out of Calgary, since you’ll be even nearer to the airport.

Day Seven: Kananaskis

Pomeroy Kananaskis Lodge fire pit
Pomeroy Kananaskis Lodge fireplace pit

If you’re staying 10 days, use the seven day itinerary above after which, as an alternative of flying residence, proceed right down to Kananaskis. Spend your morning at Two Jack Lake in Banff or take a hike on the Tunnel Mountain mountain climbing path, after which head on right down to the Pomeroy Mountain Lodge in Kananaskis.

In your manner you could possibly cease and luxuriate in some whitewater rafting or cease at Canoe Meadows and watch the kayakers braving the man-made rapids there.

The Pomeroy Mountain Lodge is a good mountain resort with a ski village vibe, making it a very good residence base for exploring the world. If you’re over 18, there’s additionally a stupendous Nordic Spa (for a further charge).

Even for those who can’t spend the afternoon soaking in the cold and hot tubs on the Nordic Spa, all lodge company can benefit from the indoor waterpark (though greatest for the below 12 set), the indoor/outside sizzling tubs, and the sauna and steam rooms. There are additionally a number of eating places on web site, however it would be best to make reservations prematurely.

Day Eight: Higher and Decrease Kananaskis Lakes

Upper Kananaskis Lake
Higher Kananaskis Lake

The factor to learn about Kananaskis is that there’s a LOT of wildlife within the space. We noticed limitless indicators about bear alerts and warnings to anticipate bear encounters. We did find yourself seeing a grizzly bear momma together with her two cubs, however fortunately solely from the security of our automobile. Guests are suggested to not pull over or cease for wildlife on the facet of the highway and positively don’t get out of the automobile.

Earlier than heading out on any hikes, it’s good to verify the Alberta Parks web site for security notices and bear warnings. Additionally, pop into the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park customer middle and they’ll let you recognize the place wildlife has been noticed just lately, in addition to educate you on what to do in case of an animal encounter. Bear spray is extremely, extremely advisable!!

Running through the meadow at Lower Kananaskis Lake
Working by means of the meadow at Decrease Kananaskis Lake

We actually loved exploring the shorelines round Higher and Decrease Kananaskis Lakes in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. There have been sufficient folks round that we didn’t fear an excessive amount of about bears (though we carried our spray and tried to tag alongside behind teams.) The views had been simply pretty, particularly after we lower by means of the woods to a much less busy a part of the lake.

Highwood Meadows Trail
Highwood Move meadow path

Initially we had been planning on mountain climbing the Rawson Lake Path, however that was closed on account of a damaging bear encounter. As a substitute, we completed up our day on the Highwood Move picnic space. We took a brief path by means of the meadow to see the wildflowers, however skipped the Ptarmigan Cirque Interpretive Path. If affords wildlife viewing and views of the Rockies from the best paved go in Canada, however we had been drained and a bit scared about latest bear sightings up there.

Day 9: Spray Valley & Chester Lake

Hiking to Chester Lake
Mountaineering to Chester Lake

When you’ve got a very good 4×4 rental automobile, I might advocate driving the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Path freeway by means of the Spray Lakes area. It’s a gravel highway that may be fairly bumpy, so you will want to take it sluggish on the 65 km between Kananaskis and Canmore, however you don’t must drive the entire size.

Simply make sure you be fueled up and produce snacks and drinks since you gained’t discover a lot alongside the best way besides lovely mountain views and perhaps a grizzly bear or moose sighting. In the summertime and winter months, you possibly can cease in to Mount Engadine Lodge for tea within the afternoon.

Chester Lake
Fishing at Chester Lake

If you’re up for a very good, rewarding hike, plan to spend a number of hours mountain climbing to Chester Lake. Remember that the primary two miles of this six-mile spherical journey hike is uphill. All of the huffing and puffing was value it because the path ranges out by means of an alpine meadow with lovely views of the mountains.

Ultimately we arrived on the beautiful, emerald inexperienced Chester Lake. Throughout our complete journey we solely noticed a dozen different folks, and there have been solely three others fishing on the lake after we arrived. We circumnavigated the lake, taking within the view from each route, scrambling over a rock pile on the base of the mountain on the far facet of the lake.

Fortunately the best way again is generally downhill. The exercise shall be satisfying and also you gained’t really feel in any respect responsible at dinner that night!

Day Ten: Fly Dwelling

When you’ve got time earlier than your flight, there are many different hikes and picture stops in Kananaskis Nation earlier than you make the 1.25 hour drive again to Calgary.

The Canadian Rockies makes an incredible trip — whether or not it’s a mother-daughter journey, household trip, ladies’ journey, or no matter. There’s a lot to see and do. Simply make sure you observe my suggestions and plan early as a result of it’s a particularly fashionable vacation spot.


Canadian Rockies itinerary for a 7 or 10 day road trip from Calgary to Lake Louise, Jasper, Banff, and even Canmore and Kananaskis for a fun vacation.

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