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

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

Maybe my childhood of household holidays to Vermont was deeply embedded in her DNA, however she is certainly a mountain lady. It may well take rather a lot to impress a teen, however the beautiful mountain landscapes and dreamy glacial blue water of the lakes of the Canadian Rockies positive did the trick.

Everybody has seen photos of pink canoes floating on the intense 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 annually.

The Canadian Rockies, particularly Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper, have been on my bucket record 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 primarily based on our journey and what we discovered alongside the way in which. Should you actually wish to squeeze within the highlights in 5 days in Banff, you’ll be able to, however you may be fairly drained on the finish! It’s a lot better to spend at the least every week in Alberta.

Bow Lake Banff National Park
Bow Lake

Canadian Rockies Itinerary Abstract

Should you solely have every week to spend within the Canadian Rockies, I’d suggest the basic huge three — Banff (or close by), Lake Louise, and Jasper. Relying on when your flights arrive and depart, you could wish to drive straight to Lake Louise. You would 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 dwelling

Should you can spend 10 days within the Canadian Rockies, you’ll have much more time to soak within the pure magnificence. I’d suggest 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 on your flight dwelling

Attending to the Canadian Rockies

Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake

Word: This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. Should you click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I’ll obtain a small fee.

The Canadian Rockies mountain vary spreads over elements of Alberta and British Columbia in Western Canada. The preferred locations inside the Canadian Rockies are Banff Nationwide Park, Lake Louise, and Jasper Nationwide Park. Due to this fact, most itineraries are centered round these three essential locations.

Nonetheless, if in case you have extra time or you have an interest in getting off the crushed path, you may also embody 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 prepare over from Vancouver, most guests will fly into both Calgary or Edmonton. There isn’t a giant 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 smart to fly into Edmonton.

We flew out and in of Calgary on Air Canada. Since we needed to join in Toronto (go away 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 night time on the Courtyard Marriott close to the Calgary airport. Relying in your flight occasions, you’ll be able to all the time 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 you could 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 automotive 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 visitors and parking challenges in Lake Louise. If you’re not staying on Lake Louise, you will want to ebook a shuttle effectively prematurely to entry both Lake Louise or Lake Moraine.

Everyone seems to be tempted to rent a type of iconic pink 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 you could wish to simply take an image and save your canoeing for later within the journey. You’ll be able to nonetheless take pleasure in strolling across the lake and taking within the view from the varied vantage factors.

You probably have the finances, you’ll be able to’t beat the situation and views on the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Nonetheless, when you haven’t gained the lottery not too long ago, the Publish Lodge & Spa, a Relais & Chateaux property, makes a beautiful second alternative. Simply be warned that the “low cost” facet faces the prepare tracks and could also be loud for mild sleepers. We have been kindly upgraded to a set on the “most well-liked facet” and slept like a rock.

Post Inn & Spa
Publish Inn & Spa

We actually loved this charming property that provides the character of a Swiss Chalet and opulent touches with out feeling pretentious. The resort can be famend for its high-quality eating restaurant, though we have been to drained from a busy day for a flowery meal, so we availed ourselves of the extra informal Outpost restaurant.

It’s straightforward to see why this resort was named one of many prime 10 resort motels in Canada by Journey & Leisure. We might have fortunately stayed a couple of nights but when time is restricted, you’re higher off transferring on to Jasper have been the crowds skinny out and there may be a lot to do. You probably have some extra time, observe my pal Brianna’s ideas 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 subsequent morning, you’ll possible wish to cease in at Lake Moraine. That is a particularly standard vacationer attraction and it’s worthwhile to ebook a shuttle experience effectively prematurely and get there very early to keep away from crowds (just like the morning time.)

Should you miss Lake Moraine, don’t fret, there are many different stunning lakes to see within the Canadian Rockies! Earlier than you head out on the Icefields Parkway, some of the scenic drives on this planet, choose up breakfast at The Trailhead Cafe, gasoline up on gasoline, 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 stunning view factors to cease and revel in alongside the Icefields Parkway. I’ll let you know about among the prime “can’t miss” stops and you’ll determine if you wish to match all of them in or avoid wasting on your drive again. About one hour from Lake Louise, you’ll encounter 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 not too long ago made a significant funding within the infrastructure and the Peyto Lake car parking zone, strolling path, and viewpoint have been reopened.

The lake will not be seen from the car parking zone, and if the car parking zone is full, there may be parking alongside the entry highway. I learn that it’s a 3.8 km spherical journey, though it felt shorter. Consider although {that a} part is uphill so it’s worthwhile 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 will get into the nook of the decrease platform, it’s best to have the ability to get an unobstructed view of the lake.

Mistaya Canyon

Tamara at Mistaya Canyon
Tamara at Mistaya Canyon

One other 25 minutes will deliver you to Mistaya Canyon. The large busses appear to skip this cease so it’s a little quieter and due to this fact, extra pleasurable. 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 have the ability to stroll alongside the rim of the canyon and see how the water has carved its method by way 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 find it irresistible much more!

The Crossing

The Crossing
The Crossing

A couple of minutes additional up Icefields Parkway and you’ll come to The Crossing, which presents gasoline, a restaurant, cafe, present store, and most notably, bogs. Alberta Parks truly does an excellent job providing relaxation rooms at a lot of the main points of interest and trailheads, however these aren’t all the time pristine and might 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 might even see some grazing alongside the freeway. There may be an overlook that permits you to see the highway and the valley beneath from a better vantage level. Close by you can find Bridal Veil Falls, though it may be straightforward to overlook and the car 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 varied associated actions.

Contained in the customer middle you’ll be able to eat on the restaurant or cafe, discover the reveals or take within the film downstairs, hit the toilet, and meet up with varied excursions. Pursuit Banff presents two kinds of experiences, the Glacier Ice Explorer and the Glacier Skywalk, which may be mixed right into a Glacier Journey ticket.

If you’re taken with both of those actions, I’d extremely suggest you ebook a timed-ticket prematurely or you could arrive to seek out them bought out for the day, or that it’s worthwhile to wait two hours earlier than the subsequent availability.

We have 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 automobile 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 inside the famous boundaries. Sadly they didn’t do an excellent job warning individuals of the hazards 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.

You probably have by no means been on a glacier earlier than (now we have carried out glacier hikes in Iceland), then it’s a cool expertise. Nonetheless, the shortage of security enforcement and the detrimental environmental impression of those giant glacier automobiles left a nasty style in our mouths and I’ve bother recommending it.

One other different might be a glacier hike with a correct glacier information or simply climbing by yourself from the car parking zone to the foot of the glacier (however please, by no means go onto a glacier and not using a 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 considering that this glass walkway is over the glacier. As an alternative, it juts out over the beautiful Sunwapta Valley and has views of the glaciers within the distance.

Glacier Skywalk
Glacier Skywalk

Should you don’t thoughts glass flooring, this Skywalk presents stunning views. The one draw back is that it’s only accessible through a bus from the glacier or the Icefields Discovery Centre. So ready on your timed-ticket after which ready for the subsequent return bus can actually eat into your day for a cease the place you’ll possible solely spend quarter-hour on website.

There are a lot of extra stops to make alongside the Icefields Parkway, however you could wish to save these on your return journey as a result of chances are high you may be getting drained or it is going to be getting late. Nonetheless, I’ll record 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 will likely be Tangle Creek Falls. When touring north, the falls are in your proper (northbound facet) however the car parking zone is throughout the road on the left (southbound facet) so watch out crossing the road.

This tiered waterfall is sort 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 cherished 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 deliver you to the flip off for Sunwapta Falls. The higher falls are only a brief stroll from the car 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 standard spot, I’d counsel that you simply nonetheless carry your bear spray. I can’t bear in mind if it was Sunwapta Falls or Athabasca Falls, however one in every of them not too long ago had a bear stroll proper throughout the bridge over the falls, dodging vacationers alongside the way in which. Having to determine whether or not to face down a bear or leap into the falls will not be a alternative you wish to make.

Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls
Athabasca Falls

The final really useful cease earlier than you get into Jasper is at Athabasca Falls, about 15-20 minutes additional north. It may well get actually crowded when the busses arrive however there are completely different paths that you could take to get away from the crowds.

Athabasca Falls
Athabasca Falls

These highly effective falls have carved by way of the rock, much like what you discover at Mistaya Canyon. There are completely different viewing platforms the place you’ll be able to 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’d suggest 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 possible won’t be dissatisfied. We stopped in there earlier than our go to to the Jasper Planetarium and it was stunning. Nonetheless, 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 night time keep. The cabins are cute and a few have stunning views of the Athabasca River. There may be additionally a restaurant on website 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 can put together your personal meals when you wished.

Personally I appreciated staying exterior of city and it was all the time straightforward to drive into city and we had no drawback discovering a spot to park. A few of the different resorts that appeared enticing have 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’d suggest heading right down to Maligne Lake. Get there early earlier than the car 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 worthwhile to look out for boat wakes. Maligne Lake is large and the water can get a bit uneven. It could 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 realm 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 Nineteen Sixties. Whereas the true that means of the identify continues to be unknown, First Nations individuals view this stunning 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’ll be able to 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’ll be able to 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 gives you time to relaxation up earlier than 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 varied factors of the canyon. The First and Second bridges are straightforward hikes, however when you head as much as the Third Bridge, you will get a view of the waterfall.

If you wish to do an extended hike, you’ll be able to proceed all the way in which to the Sixth Bridge, however remember the fact that it’s going to be uphill on the way in which again. Spherical journey would take about three to 4 hours.

Within the night, you’ll be able to head into Jasper for dinner at Earl’s Kitchen or Evil Dave’s (see different recommendations 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 when you solely have a couple of days, it’s best to hit the highlights. One among 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 Outdated Fort Level trailhead.

Our tour began off with a hike as much as the highest of Outdated Fort Level, with stunning views of Jasper and the Athabasca River. On the prime, 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 singular 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’d suggest 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 to additionally stroll out to Pyramid Island. We spent a late night time on the market with Jasper Picture Excursions studying about night time sky images and taking photos of the celebs.

Pyramid Island at night
Pyramid Island at night time

Jasper is a Darkish Sky Protect so be sure you take a while to go star gazing! You’ll be able to join the night time 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

You probably have extra time, I’d add in one other day in Jasper. However when you solely have every week, it’s time to head again down the Icefields Parkway to Banff. Should you already hit all of the sights on the way in which up, you’ll be able to all the time 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 automotive. We noticed two bears and at one sighting many individuals have been out of their automotive and approaching the bear (with their children!)

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon Falls
Johnston Canyon Falls

Johnston Canyon is without doubt one of the hottest day hikes in Banff Nationwide Park. Count on the car parking zone to be full and to should park on the highway, except 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 visitors jams. A bridge over the river provides a pleasant view of the falls, however you will 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 received to the Decrease Falls.

Banff Path Riders

Banff Trail Riders
Banff Path Riders

Once you arrive in Banff, you could wish to take a night path experience with Banff Path Riders. We have been hosted on a path experience alongside the gorgeous 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 have 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. After all, it prices a small fortune. Even cute motels 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 presents the identical cute, mountain city vibe as Banff however with out as many individuals (and an excellent deal cheaper.) Canmore has plenty of condos which can be out there on Airbnb, and supply tons of house for households.

We had a hosted keep on the conveniently positioned 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 scorching 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 climbing to gondola rides and scorching springs. Nonetheless, in case you are feeling extra adventurous, we had a wonderful time doing the Mt. Norquay Through Ferrata.

Through Ferrata

Via Ferrata Mt Norquay
Through Ferrata Mt Norquay

We have been hosted on a four-hour Ridgewalker Through Ferrata course at Mt Norquay (one in every of Canada’s Huge 3 ski resorts). Regardless that the Through 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 gorgeous views, sense of satisfaction, and main mother factors made the trouble price 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. Attempt the gorditos or the bao buns, they’re scrumptious!


Pizza at Bear Street Tavern
Pizza at Bear Road Tavern

After an exhausting morning on the Through Ferrata, you’ll in all probability need some down time within the afternoon. This can be a good time to go into Banff and revel in some purchasing or take a stroll alongside the Bow River. When you find yourself prepared for dinner, try the Bear Road Tavern. The pizza is wonderful they usually serve it with this honey and oil dipping sauce. It sounds unusual however it works and is scrumptious!

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

Day Seven: Fly House

Two Jack Lake in Banff
Two Jack Lake in Banff

You probably have a while earlier than heading dwelling, take a drive over to Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka. Lake Minnewanka is large (and there may be the ruins of a city on the backside) and you can spend an entire day there swimming, taking part in, or taking a ship cruise.

We actually cherished our time at Two Jack Lake. You’ll be able to stroll round an excellent portion of the lake and soak within the stunning views. When you find yourself there, hold an eye fixed out for Alberta’s well-known pink Adirondack chairs.

10 day Canadian Rockies Itinerary

Should you do have 10 days within the Canadian Rockies, you will have time to get away from the crowds and expertise among 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 smart to finish there in case you are flying out of Calgary, since you may 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 dwelling, proceed right down to Kananaskis. Spend your morning at Two Jack Lake in Banff or take a hike on the Tunnel Mountain climbing path, after which head on right down to the Pomeroy Mountain Lodge in Kananaskis.

In your method you can cease and revel 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 an excellent dwelling base for exploring the realm. If you’re over 18, there may be additionally an attractive Nordic Spa (for a further charge).

Even when you can’t spend the afternoon soaking in the cold and warm tubs on the Nordic Spa, all resort friends can benefit from the indoor waterpark (though greatest for the underneath 12 set), the indoor/outside scorching tubs, and the sauna and steam rooms. There are additionally a number of eating places on website, 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 find out about Kananaskis is that there’s a LOT of wildlife within the space. We noticed countless 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 automotive. Guests are suggested to not pull over or cease for wildlife on the facet of the highway and undoubtedly don’t get out of the automotive.

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’re going to let you recognize the place wildlife has been noticed not too long ago, in addition to educate you on what to do in case of an animal encounter. Bear spray is extremely, extremely really useful!!

Running through the meadow at Lower Kananaskis Lake
Operating by way 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 individuals 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 have been simply beautiful, particularly once we minimize by way of the woods to a much less busy a part of the lake.

Highwood Meadows Trail
Highwood Go meadow path

Initially we have been planning on climbing the Rawson Lake Path, however that was closed attributable to a detrimental bear encounter. As an alternative, we completed up our day on the Highwood Go picnic space. We took a brief path by way of the meadow to see the wildflowers, however skipped the Ptarmigan Cirque Interpretive Path. If presents wildlife viewing and views of the Rockies from the best paved go in Canada, however we have been drained and a bit scared about latest bear sightings up there.

Day 9: Spray Valley & Chester Lake

Hiking to Chester Lake
Climbing to Chester Lake

You probably have an excellent 4×4 rental automotive, I’d suggest driving the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Path freeway by way of the Spray Lakes area. It’s a gravel highway that may be fairly bumpy, so you will want to take it gradual on the 65 km between Kananaskis and Canmore, however you don’t must drive the entire size.

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

Chester Lake
Fishing at Chester Lake

If you’re up for an excellent, rewarding hike, plan to spend a couple of hours climbing to Chester Lake. Bear in mind that the primary two miles of this six-mile spherical journey hike is uphill. All of the huffing and puffing was price it because the path ranges out by way of an alpine meadow with stunning views of the mountains.

Ultimately we arrived on the beautiful, emerald inexperienced Chester Lake. Throughout our entire journey we solely noticed a dozen different individuals, and there have been solely three others fishing on the lake once 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 way in which again is generally downhill. The exercise will likely be satisfying and also you gained’t really feel in any respect responsible at dinner that night!

Day Ten: Fly House

You probably have time earlier than your flight, there are many different hikes and photograph 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, women’ journey, or no matter. There may be a lot to see and do. Simply make sure to observe my ideas and plan early as a result of it’s a particularly standard 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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