If you’ve never been to Canada or don’t know much about the country then all of your knowledge might just come from the typical Canadian stereotypes. That we ride polar bears to work, that we have a pet moose in our backyard, that we live in Igloos and have an unstoppable need to apologize – even when we’ve done nothing wrong. While some of these are true (can you figure out which 3 are lies and which one is true?), Canada is a lot more than it’s stereotypes and a lot more than the East and West Coast that most travellers head to. Some of the most exceptional scenery and activity packed locations is Canada’s Rocky Mountains, located in the Southern part of Alberta.
We may be a prairie province with wheat fields as far as you can see but we also have hours upon hours of mountainous terrain – perfect for a road trip with family or friends. You can drive from Jasper National Park to Banff National Park (or the other way around!) and have breathtaking views at every turn, plenty of break spots and tourist points to take some of the very best pictures and partake in tons of activities from horseback riding and hiking to whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.
Whether you’re a summer sun-seeker or a winter nut searching for some of the best powder on the slopes the Rocky Mountains are perfect all year round. This summer we took a family road trip where we made our way from Jasper to Banff, camping out along the way and exploring some of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen.
We began our journey on the road, mountains on either side and passing by herds of elk and mountain goats. We had our fun of exploring Jasper town and checking out the trails through the wooded forest near our campsite.
By the second day we were suited up in our wetsuits and willingly let ourselves be taken by the river, propped up in raft. If you haven’t tried whitewater rafting, I highly recommend it! Be prepared to be drenched in ice cold mountain water – especially if you’ve been volunteered to sit right up in front! My cousin and I may have swallowed half of the river that afternoon.
If you took the icy plunge, as we did, follow our lead and go directly to Miette Hot Springs. Lucky for us, we were camping just up the road from the hot springs and got there just as the sun was setting, dipping into the hot water to thaw our chilled bones.
After having our fill, we headed on to our first stop: Athabasca Falls.
And took our next stop along the Icefields Parkway, where I went snap happy and landed my favorite shot of the trip:
Before long we had arrived in Banff National Park, setting up camp just outside of town and cozying up to a fire and some well deserved glasses of wine.
For a more detailed itinerary of the Rocky Mountains, click here and stay tuned for the rest of this adventure!