To add to our ever growing blog, our experienced staff have devised a Top 10 list of the best Canadian Rockies experiences in Alberta and British Columbia. We of course have loads of Canadian Rockies itineraries which you can see on our Complete Canada website – our two most popular self drives are the 14 night Ultimate Canadian Rockies and the 14 night Value Canadian Rockies. If a fly drive isn’t your thing we also offer a great motorhome itinerary too and many a coach or rail tour on our Complete Canada website too! Now let’s get on with the list…
1) Gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain in Banff
Want the chance to see six mountain ranges in one trip? Well on this superb Gondola ride at Banff National Park you will see exactly that with breaktaking views in every direction from one of several observation decks at 7,500 ft. It’s pretty a much a must-do activity to experience in the Canadian Rockies and is the departure point for a number of mountaintop activities including the Banff Summit Walk and National Historic Site, and with Complete North America you’ll also get a free gondola ride with our Ultimate Canadian Rockies itinerary.
2) Hike to Rockpile Viewpoint at Moraine Lake
It may only be a short hike but the viewpoint is spectacularly awe-inspiring as you can see below! The Rockpile trail is dotted with fascinating facts about the Valley of the Ten Peaks area to make the 0.7km walk a lesson in geology and history, as well a joy for your eyes to behold. The hike should only take about half an hour with a slight ascent of about 75m and it is more than suitable for families and children, with parking available in the Moraine Lake Car Park. The best time to go? We’d advise June, July or August.
3) Horseback riding at Lake Louise
This is definitely something different to everything on the list. Horseback riding throughout North America is one of the most relaxing past times; plodding around the empty tracks, checking out the beautiful scenery, all whilst out in the fresh air it’s a great day and in the Canadian Rockies it’s just that bit better. With this experience you’ll be able to see the spectacular contrasting vistas with no past experience whatsoever required. Check out the video below to whet your appetite:
4) Canoeing at Lake Louise or Athabasca River
This is definitely one of the most chilled out ways to experience the Canadian Rockies where you can enjoy the stillness of the perfectly blue water, the crispness of the mountain air and the great photo opportunities that come with being at Lake Louise or Athabasca River. Being on the water is a great way to relax and at Lake Louise they even offer sunrise canoeing sessions for an extra special treat to wake up to. Pre-order a continental breakfast too which will be prepared and waiting for you after your half an hour or hour long paddle, and awaken to the rest of the day at the boat deck. Here at Complete North America we have devised an eight day Canadian Rockies canoeing adventure itinerary – have a look here.
5) Rocky Mountaineer
The world famous Rocky Mountaineer train experience! Rocky Mountaineer run hundreds of trips every year and operate over 75 rail cars across 4 principle routes from Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, of course through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, to Calgary. Routes vary depending on tours, of course, but the experience never changes – it’s no coincidence that Rocky Mountaineer have been awarded the “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train at the World Travel Awards on seven different occasions! The luxury gold service – which we are offering on a 2 for 1 deal – has custom-built glass dome coaches, dining on the lower level and outdoor viewing out on the rear platform. Not many people will disagree with us if we said Rocky Mountaineer is the best way to experience the Canadian Rockies.
6) Zip Lining
The adrenaline junkies out there will love this one as you descend down the mountainside and across the Kicking Horse River reaching speeds of over 50 km per hour along line’s as long as 500 metres and 40 metres high – there can’t be many places better to go zip lining than the Canadian Rockies! With courses in Lake Louise, Banff and Golden there’s 3 dual zip lines to choose from and experience the rush of the Canadian Rockies. Click here to see a video of a zip lining experience in Whistler, British Columbia
7) River Rafting
Another one for the adrenaline junkies! The Canadian Rockies offers plenty of places to go river rafting with 4 main rivers – Bow River Nature Float, Kananaskis River, Bow River Horseshoe Canyon and Kicking Horse River – offering superb, diverse opportunities to experience the Canadian Rockies the wet and wild way! Tours typically last half a day or for full days, but multi-day expeditions are available. From leisurely floats on the still waters to big waves in grade 3 and 4 whitewater rapids all with the backdrop of the amazing scenic backdrop of the Rockies, if you’d like to get the heartbeating then this is definitely something to consider!
8) Rockies Helicopter Tour
Well this is a special one for sure! Take flight from Banff or Jasper and experience the Rockies in all their beauty from above. You won’t get better views seeing the Rockies any other way with many different tours lasting from 10 to 30 minutes depending on your choice. Tours run all through the year including special winter trips. The video below says it all:
9) Ice Explorer Tour
A tour onboard the Ice Explorer gives you the chance to see one of the world’s wonders – the Athabasca Glacier – close with tours running every 15-30 minutes from April through to October. The Athabasca Glacier – which is six kilometres long and one kilometre wide – is situated halfway between Banff and Jasper and can be viewed and accessed right from the Icefields Parkway as you can see below. Journey’s last approximately 80 minutes and are accompanied by an experienced driver-guide with a chance to step out on to the glacier half way through the trip. This is a wonderful, unique Canadian Rockies experience!
10) Glacier Skywalk
Fancy walking upon a 920 ft glass-floored observation platform surrounded by waterfalls, wildlife and glacier formed valleys in the heart of the Canadian Rockies? Well this is the experience for you! The brand new Glacier Skywalk is a magnificent structure in a spectacular location providing breathtaking views from all angles including below your feet which will be sure to get the adrenaline pumping. You’ll begin the tour with an interpretative walk through thousands of years of history as you’re surrounded by stunning alpine and glacial vistas before ending at the stunning Skywalk. It’s definitely worth a visit, though avoid if you’re not good with heights! Oh, and we also offer this is a free excursion with our Western Canada Circle itinerary!
Click here to visit our Complete Canada website, click here to enquire or give us a call on 0115 9610590 to book your Canadian Rockies getaway now! Remember we’re as flexible as you want to be!