The Canadian Rockies have a bit of everything. A full spectrum of experiences are on offer, whether it’s the pampered spa experiences or wild and rugged outdoor adventures.
Our mountains are beautiful and there are so many trails and routes to explore. Regardless of your experience on the trail or fitness level – you will find an adventure that’s right for you.
I was born in British Columbia but grew up in the Saskatchewan prairies. I always longed for the mountains and visited them as much as possible. My Bachelor Degree is in Science/Math as well as a Masters in Education, so teaching full-time keeps me very busy.
A few years ago I got the chance to come out to Jasper, Alberta to teach high school maths and science. I’ve had the time of my life since, working and living in a mountain town!
As an outdoor adventurer, I naturally started taking pictures of the places I was exploring. I started posting them on Instagram and my following sky-rocketed. So then I figured I should learn how to take better pictures. I read a few books, watched a few videos, but mostly go out there and started focusing on how to use my dSLR to its potential.
The Best Destinations in the Canadian Rockies
Jasper has my heart as the best place to visit in the Canadian Rockies. I can’t imagine ever not living here! The number of trails within an hours drive in every direction is just fabulous.
Lake Louise area has some of the prettiest scenery, although you won’t want to be alone if you don’t like to hike more than 5km. The trail to Berg Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park is another beauty with prime hiking that covers many beautiful ecosystems.
My favourite cities of the Canadian Rockies would be Jasper, Canmore and Banff. If I’m not out in nature, then I’d be walking downtown perusing the local shops and drinking coffee at the countless cute cafes. I also enjoy visiting the local art galleries, such as Jasper Art Gallery, to experience and purchase some local art.
Jasper is a special place. We have an amazing ski hill and kilometers of cross country trail for the winter. There are countless trails to explore within walking distance of downtown. If you’re looking for a bigger day out on the trails, or an overnight trek, an hour East, West, or South will bring you to many options for many levels of fitness.
I’ve hiked/backpacked/scrambled thousands of kilometres in the Canadian Rockies and yet I’d have to say that drinking coffee at a backcountry lake, while the sun rises above the peaks is my favourite pastime. The quiet of nature is so refreshing.
To find all the best hikes in the Canadian Rockies, the first thing I would suggest would be to buy a book (or three) on the area. That’s how I have learned which hikes are optimal. My favourite recommended day hike is to Berg Lake (as mentioned above) and my favourite overnight hike would be to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.
Adventures and Wildlife of the Canadian Rockies
One unique adventure you can have in the Rockies, which is different to hiking, is going kayaking. I recently bought a kayak this spring and loved getting out on the glacial waters of Banff and Jasper National Parks. It was a nice activity to do after a big day climbing a mountain and you can get away from hordes of people with a little paddle power.
Of course, once you’re out in nature, you will see the rich wildlife of Canada. We have moose, elk, mule/white tailed deer, mountain sheep, mountain goats, black and grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes, foxes, porcupines, martens, cougars, lynx and more.
I have seen all of these animals out on the trails and some even from my own back patio. We also have a wide variety of birds, my favourite being the Pileated Woodpecker.
We always carry bear spray and make lots of noise on the trails. Although I have seen all these animals on the trails, I would never want to sneak up on one, as they all are wild and thus potentially dangerous.
What you Need to Know Before you Visit
The most important tip I can give you is to do your research. Buy a book or two, scroll through Instagram under tags like #canadianrockies #jaspernationalpark. Read some adventure blogs, etc.
I save my adventures to my Highlight Reel on my Instagram page, so that people can look through them and decide if they’d like to try one of those adventures.
Apart from researching, people should definitely bring a variety of layers, and good foot wear, no matter when they plan on visiting. In the summer it can feel like winter, and in the spring/fall it can feel like summer.
Thanks for reading my insiders guide to visiting the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I hope to see you out on the trails one day!