Snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes, glacier-fed waterfalls, pristine rivers, scenic mountain roads with views around every corner, glacier-packed ice fields, an abundance of wildlife, and much more can be found in the Canadian Rockies; the Banff/Jasper area specifically. No filter needed. If anything, pictures do no justice to the natural beauty of the area. For years, a Canadian mountain vacation was at the top of my bucket list. I finally had the opportunity to go: I fell in love. The landscapes are picturesque, the days wonderfully long (5:30am sunrise and 10pm sunset), the weather heavenly, and the people genuinely friendly. As an additional perk, as if it were needed, national parks have free admission for 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. My only regret is that 6 days was certainly not enough to experience all this wonderful area had to offer. Below are some of my favorite pictures from our time in Canada.
We flew in on a Tuesday and the first day was spent handling travel logistics and getting acquainted with the area. Then the fun started! We spent our first day driving to Glacier National Park – Canada, did some hiking, then headed to Radium Hot Springs. The mountains were beyond beautiful and we saw a mountain goat! I was so excited and loved it so much we didn’t return to the hotel until 1:30 AM! I prefer the more isolated areas versus the more touristy areas so this was right up my alley.
The next day we hung around Banff. We caught a gondola ride up to Sulphur Mountain. The mountain is home to a variety of wildlife and offers great views of Banff.
We then made a trip down to Lake Louise. I will confess that Lake Louise is very beautiful, just as it is appears in photographs, but it is a bit touristy. I preferred Bow Lake. It was another fantastic day and we were able to capture some great family photos with this natural, gorgeous backdrop.
Then the most memorable day arrived! My husband and I did the Mt. Norquay via ferrata Ridgewalker mountain climb. It is definitely one of the best adventures of my life; right up there with scuba diving in Cozumel, snorkeling in West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras and rafting the Royal Gorge in Canon City, Colorado. The views were spectacular and the experience of the climb was exciting. Reaching the top, and then walking the mountain ridge, was beyond words. I highly recommend this experience to all who plan on traveling to the area.
Even the roads up the mountain were beautiful!
We also spent a portion of that day checking out Bow Falls, the Banff Springs hotel and walking around Banff.
Our last day was spent driving the Icefields Parkway to the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield. If there is only one thing you can do in the Canadian Rockies, I would suggest this. It is something everyone can do and you will experience all the beauty the Canadian Rockies are known for along the parkway. Besides the beautiful lakes: Bow and Peyto, the glaciers, mountain ranges and waterfalls, expect to see wildlife. We saw two bears (no worries we weren’t that close to the bear as we respect their space)!
And here’s a photo of Calgary (where we stayed):
It went by way too fast, but I was able to capture at least a bit of it in photographs to forever be treasured. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to visit such a beautiful place. God spent a little more time on Canada….and we share a birthday!!! Happy 150th Canada!! Thank you so much for an unbelievable week!