There are two things I can never get tired of: a road trip and being able to explore the beauty of nature. The Canadian Rockies are the perfect North American destination to do both. You will see everything from towering waterfalls, to picturesque lakes, and even some of the most beautiful natural wonders I have ever seen. To make this trip sound even more appealing, I should also mention that the highway between Jasper and Banff National Parks is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world!
Need I say more?
The National Parks:
Glacier National Park of Canada
Driving time from Vancouver/Calgary: 7 hours/ 3 hours 30 minutes
Why it’s worth stopping for: Take the day or the long visit to camp at the beautiful Loop Brook campground (try to score site number #17!) and spend the day hiking through this underlooked national park. The serenity of this national park will be a relaxing getaway from the crowds of the other parks and a way to experience what nature is all about.
What to See: Avalanche Crest (warning only for the adventurous) and the other incredible hiking trails
Yoho National Park
Driving time from Glacier: 1 hour
Why it’s worth stopping for: Yoho has options for every type of adventurer. This national park is home to many natural wonders including massive waterfalls and the breathtaking Emerald Lake. This UNESCO World Heritage site is also home to the secretive Lake O’Hara, a tucked-away natural beauty.
What to See: Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge, the Spiral Tunnels and the quaint town of Field
Kootenay National Park
Driving time from Yoho: 45 minutes
Why it’s worth stopping for: Although Kootenay is one of the lesser known parks, it turned out to be one of my favorites of the trip. The serene camping, the breathtaking hikes, and scenic drives are just some of the things you will experience if you head to Kootenay.
What to See: Radium Hot Springs, Marble Canyon, and Dog Lake.
Banff National Park
Driving time from Kootenay: 30 minutes
Why it’s worth stopping for: Banff is probably the most well-known national park in the Rockies. It is home to many incredible lakes including Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. In addition, this national park offers many incredible hiking trails in the summer and a winter wonderland experience during the snow season!
What to See: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Johnston Canyon, Banff Upper Hot Springs, and the town of Banff
Shop my cold weather favorites:
Jasper National Park
Driving time from Banff: Although the almost 4 hour drive may sound like a turn off, the Icefields Parkway is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The journey includes glaciers, waterfalls, and beautiful wildlife.
Why it’s worth stopping for: Jasper is so massive it will take the entire weekend just to dig into it. If the Icefields Parkway drive did not inspire you enough, Jasper also offers many viewpoints and hiking options. This national park is also where Andrew and I spotted the most wildlife.
What to See: Athabasca Falls, The Valley of 5 Lakes, and Maligne Canyon & Lake
I can’t wait to get back on the road and explore more of the beauty this world has to offer. I also hope that one day I can return to Canada and explore deeper into this amazing country.
What is your favorite road trip song? Let me know in the comments below!
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