If you are thinking of touring the Canadian Rockies and you are a lover of nature and natural environments, this is your opportunity to fully enjoy a spectacular area of Canada.
Although I absolutely love Canada, I must say that doing this route was the perfect complement after having known so many cities in the country. I had already been to Banff skiing before, but I had not traveled the area and it is very worth it.
I traveled in May, so it was still quite cold, especially at night, although during the day we have been between 15 and 21ºC. So make sure that you have warm clothes in your suitcase, but also something lighter for when the sun comes out and it bites. Because yes, you can burn very easily.
In this guide I explain the best route to do through the Canadá Rocky Mountains with our Story Time, and the most beautiful places that will leave you speechless and I give you some tips so you can organize your trip.
THE BEST ROADTRIP THROUGH THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS OF CANADA
DAY 1. Calgary to Banff | Banff Town and Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka
After spending 4 days in Calgary we rented a car and hit the road. to get to our first stop Banff and visit the national park. From Calgary it is only an hour and four approx. to get to the park entrance.
Once in the national park we put on our trekking shoes and we were ready to start exploring. And we started walking the path to see the first two lakes of our stop; Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka.
We were impressed to see these lakes with the color of the turquoise blue water and completely transparent that make the mountains reflect as in a mirror, because it is one thing to see it in photos but another in person, it is an amazing place. The path is not difficult, it is of low difficulty, so I recommend some type of mountain or soft trekking shoes. Once in the lakes they have activities such as kayaking, rowing boats, paddle surfing... There is also a picnic and games area, grassy areas next to the lake and trails that go into the national park where it is possible to follow the river Bow, see some of its waterfalls and water ledges.
We spent here more than mid-morning, we ate something that we had bought in a store before arriving at the national park, so after eating and enjoying this wonder we headed to the town of Banff, which is very close to the parking lot where we had left the car before starting the trekking. And when I say close, it's just 5 minutes maximum. Many people who stay in Banff and visit the lakes do so by walking from their hotel.
The town of Bannf is a charming place, and is dedicated exclusively to tourism, as they have tourists all year round, in winter you can enjoy the snow and its ski slopes and the rest of the year the trails, lakes and of outdoor activities. Being so close to Calgary makes Banff the perfect place for city dwellers to escape from the city and relax in the suburbs.
Both times I have traveled to Banff I have stayed at the Banff Inn hotel, 3 stars. Where we spend the first night of the route.
When I repeat a destination, I usually see different hotels to be able to recommend, however, the first time was a ski trip and they treated us so well, I had such good memories, that it was impossible not to repeat when we returned this spring.
DAY 2. Banff, Cave and Basin, Castle Mountain and we arrive at Louise Lake
We start the day having a strong breakfast and visiting the Cave and Basin National historic Site.
This enclosure is a place where you can walk along its paths, visit some caves and rock formations, you will see where the thermal water from the rocky mountains filters through and they have a kind of museum and visit where they explain the formation of these mountains, the minerals from the area... it is an interesting visit to do, also it is not a closed museum, it is an open place, with areas of trails, the Bow River, caves...
The caves are impressive, the environment in general, making this place a must.
Once we finished visiting the Cave and Basin, we took the car and headed to the next stop: Castle Mountain.
On the map below I show you where it is, but once you get on the road, don't turn off until you see the sign indicating the exit. It is a natural space, in the river where you can see the Castle Mountain.
If you feel like it, you can do one of the marked trails, enjoy a picnic by the river and take the opportunity to take some pictures of this beautiful place. Do you see the color of the water? It is as it is, an attempted turquoise blue that in contrast with the green surroundings make the place an amazing place.
From here we wanted to leave the highway to take the A1 road (Bow Balley PKwy), parallel to the highway, but which gave us the opportunity to stop at the places that caught our attention. And so we continue along the road and stopping I don't know how many times until we reach the town of Louise Lake.
Our accommodation in this area was the Fairmont Château Lake Louise hotel. They had recommended it to us so much that we ended there. The cost is not cheap, since the night is usually around 240 euros in a double room. But the views of the room, the hotel facilities make up for this price. In this hotel we spent the 2nd and 3rd night of our itinerary.
DAY 3 - Lake Louise
Lake Louise is only attractive for its landscapes and the spectacular blue color of its waters, but it is considered a jewel for hiking since it is the starting point of different paths of varying degrees of intensity, ranging from a quiet walk along the edge of the lake next to high rock walls (which can be climbed) to steep and long paths that go into the forest and around the mountains, which take you to other lakes, valleys and impressive glaciers.
Swimming is almost impossible, because at the end of May it seemed frozen and impossible to get in, there were others who took the opportunity to take a rejuvenating bath.
At Lake Louise you can row in one of the boats, go kayaking, skate on the frozen water during the winter, or simply admire the landscape of the lake and the mountains behind it.
At night in May the sky does not just darken, but it is possible to see it completely starry. Is beautiful. In addition, the peace of the place invites you to spend the night awake enjoying this wonder.
DAY 4. Heading to Jasper National Park
We got up early on the 4th day with the intention of reaching the town of Jasper soon. In it is one of the National Parks of Canada that we most wanted to know.
Jasper is almost a 3-hour drive from Lake Louise, but give yourself a few extra hours because I assure you that you will stop many times to photograph the landscape. It is spectacular!
Jasper National Park has many places to see; lakes, waterfalls, rich rivers, deep forests... There are many routes for all levels... Therefore, I will tell you everything in detail in the Article:
Jasper's population is not very large, but it is quite popular. With what the accommodations are not very cheap. In our case we spent 3 nights. It was more comfortable for us to stay at this point and make the journeys by car to the different places in the Park that we wanted to visit.
We stayed at the 3-star Pine Bungalows hotel, they are very nice and comfortable cabins. And within what is possible they were not very expensive, they did not reach 200 euros per night.
DAY 5 and 6. Jasper National Park
We spent two and a half days doing routes and various visits to the Park and we fell short. You have the complete guide on how to visit Jasper National Park and with many tips here.
In our time in Jasper we also took the opportunity to visit the lakes on a trek; Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake. They are two beautiful lakes surrounded by vegetation on the outskirts of the city of Jasper.
DAY 7. We head to Edmonton (With unexpected stops)
In our previous route we had marked that we would make the journey from Jasper to the city of Edmonton in one morning. It's almost 4 hours by car and that's why we got up early to get there as soon as possible... And what about the plans? At least mine, they change every moment. It was true that our intention was not to deviate or make more stops, but it was unavoidable.
When we had been on the road for an hour, the sign for William A. Switzer Provincial Park suddenly appeared. We did a quick search on the internet from our mobile and realized that it had easy road access to the entrance and that from the entrance it was easy to visit Jarvis Lake. You can access by car to the shore. Well, there we went and after a thousand photographs and eating something that we had in the car, we headed back towards our destination.
Our next stop was Chip Lake hours later. Specifically, we stopped at the location of Wildwood, a small town surrounded by a huge lake. It is quite a popular place among locals who live in Edmonton, since it is very close to the city, it is surrounded by nature and it is the perfect getaway to do on holidays and vacations. That was exactly what happened to us. We just arrived on Saturday and surprise, everything was full. We decided to stay for a walk along the shore of the lake and have a snack for dinner.
The town is super small with small wooden houses, but I recommend you take a walk through its streets, they are very authentic. And get to the little church, it's beautiful.
If you don't feel like driving all the way from Jasper to Edmonton, you can stay in one of the towns along the way. They are not very big nor do they have large hotels, but most of them have small hostels, bed and breakfasts...
Finally, at nightfall, we arrived in Edmonton, direct to our hotel. We stayed at the 3 star Courtyard by Marriott Edmonton Downtown hotel. It is a simple but comfortable hotel in the center.
And here comes the 7-day route through the Rocky Mountains of Canada in Alberta. We spent 3 days visiting Edmonton, if you want to know what to do in Edmonton you can read the article here.
PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP
I hope you enjoy your trip to Alberta very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!