There are so many places to see and things to do in the Rocky Mountains, we cannot possibly list them all. Here are some suggestions for some of the more popular destinations.
Click on logos to go to
Located one hour West of Calgary and only 5 minutes from the Banff National Park, Canmore lies nestled along the banks of the Bow River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Known for it's endless outdoor recreational opportunities, Canmore continues to enjoy sustainable growth while maintaining it's small town atmosphere. There a several walking and cycling trails throughout the town that you can use which will take you to Canmore's six square block downtown core, where you can shop for quaint gifts, visit museums or look through one of several art galleries.
Kananaskis Country is located West & SouthWest of Calgary and borders the town of Canmore and Banff National Park. Kananaskis Country includes five provincial parks, four wildland provincial parks, one ecological reserve and several provincial recreation areas. A beautiful Hwy 40 ride!
The Town of Banff has an elevation of 4,537 feet (1,383 metres) making it the highest town in Canada
Banff National Park was established in 1885 as Canada’s first National Park (third in the world) and was the birth of Canada’s vast national parks system. Over five million people a year visit Banff National Park and there's lot's to do from dining and shopping, museums, the hot springs to riding the gondola and reaching the summit for the most amazing panoramic view.
Cave and Basin (Banff)
See where it all began...
In 1883 three railway workers discovered warm water springs on this site on the side of Sulphur Mountain above what would become the town of Banff, which led to the establishment of a reserve around the hot springs in 1885. Two years later the Canadian government made the area a national park – the country’s first. That park would go on and grow into what we know today as Banff National Park.
Soar to the top of Sulphur Mountain to experience a jaw-dropping mountaintop experience at an elevation of 2,281metres (7,486 feet). Explore restaurants, interactive interpretive exhibits, a multi-sensory theatre and a breathtaking 360-degree rooftop observation deck with a stunning bird's-eye view of six incredible mountain ranges and an amazing view of the town of Banff below.
Take the Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk to Sanson's Peak – a National Historic Site of Canada or try the South East Ridge Trail - a hiking trail that runs along the ridge of the mountain to the south, taking you to Sulphur Mountain's true summit.
Banff Hot Springs
Soak in the steamy hot mineral water where travellers have come to ‘take the waters’ for over a hundred years. Banff National Park’s only hot springs pool welcomes you for an authentic heritage experience that is a favourite among visitors.
The elevation of Banff Upper Hot Springs, at 1,585 meters (5,200 feet), make it the highest in Canada.
Lake Louise is world famous for its turquoise lakes, the Victoria Glacier, soaring mountain backdrop, palatial hotel, and incredible hiking and skiing. The hanging Victoria Glacier and an amphitheatre of rugged peaks provide an imposing backdrop to the lake, which is about 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) long and 90 metres (295 feet) deep. During the summer the lake is an intense shade of turquoise, the result of light refracting off the rock flour (glacier silt) deposited in the lake by glacier run off. At an elevation of 1,750 metres (5,740 feet), Lake Louise is a rare place that must be experienced to be believed.
Carved steeply into the limestone bedrock by thousands of years of water erosion, the dramatic Johnston Canyon is a must-visit natural attraction in Banff National Park. Overhanging canyon walls, waterfalls, the deep pools of Johnston Creek, and lush forest are sure to leave a memorable impression. And it can all be experienced via an an easy hike along smooth trails and catwalks, making it ideal for families and people of all fitness levels and ages.
Columbia Ice Fields & Glacier Sky-Walk
At the heart of the incredible Icefields Parkway is one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world. Here, you’ll travel on a massive Ice Explorer to a place where you can walk on, feel and drink from the Athabasca Glacier. Then, take a jaw-dropping walk along the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk at the cliff’s edge.
If you are thinking of doing this trip during your stay, it can be done in a day but get up early...it's going to be a long one. Travel time from Calgary to the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre is roughly 3.5 hours. The Glacier Adventure tour departs every 15 to 30 minutes and is an 80 minute tour from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre and back. Give yourself another hour for the Glacier Skywalk. Add in lunch and the ride back to Calgary and you've got yourself a full day...but wow...it's worth it.
IN THE OTHER DIRECTION..SOUTH END OF THE ALBERTA ROCKIES ON HWY 3....
Frank Slide, Crowsnest Pass
At 4:10 a.m. on April 29th, 1903, at the southeast edge of the small coal mining tow of Frank, almost a 100 million tonnes of rock fell from the summit of Turtle Mountain into the Crowsnest River valley below. The slide lasted a mere 90 seconds and in that short time, buried the eastern part of the town as well as obliterating a two kilometre stretch of the Canadian Pacific Railway and surrounding area -at least 90 people were killed – Canada’s deadliest rockslide. Today, the massive area of limestone boulders remain. As you drive 'through' the slide on HWY 3, stop and tour the Interpretive Centre or walk the memorial path. It's a sight and a story you'll never forget.
Bellevue Mine Tour, Crowsnest Pass
Up the road from Frank Slide on Hwy 3, is a rare opportunity to go into a real coalmine, turn off your helmet lamp and stand in the unique cold, pitch black surroundings only found through complete 'absence of light' inside a mountain. See how men worked the coal inside this real coal shaft. This small museum and mine tour doesn't take very long, is really well done and definitely worth seeing.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Nestled in the far southwest corner of Alberta, Waterton is one of the most distinctive mountain parks on the planet. Shaped over centuries by wind, fire, glacial ice and floods, the park’s ecosystem is so distinctive that it was designated a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. It boasts the title of International Peace Park too, thanks to the unguarded border it shares with Glacier National Park in Montana.