The Rockies

The Rockies (from the Trans-Canada Highway)

The Rockies are a wonderful area of Canada, with massive national parks (Banff National Park and Jasper National Park). Both parks charge admission for vehicles, even if passing through (if staying for longer than a few days it is probably worth looking at an annual pass). There is little, if any, development permitted here, Banff being the largest town in the area. Lake Louise is little more than half an hour down the highway and is a bit less commercial with the absolutely NOT to be missed Chateau Lake Louise right on the lake. Further to the north, Jasper and Glacier National Park.

The Trans-Canada highway carves directly across the Rockies and passes through Banff, continuing all the way to Vancouver (eventually) to the west and Calgary, just outside of the Rockies, to the east. This is a wonderful ride but I would suggest getting off the highway and visiting some of the areas off of the road.

Between Banff and Lake Louise

The “Coquihalla Highway” runs as an alternate (and much faster) route avoiding the Fraser Canyon portion of the Trans-Canada Highway. This is tremendously monotonous but can make the journey a LOT quicker. In winter this highway is particularly dangerous with it's straight, exposed stretches leading to difficult, icy, conditions.

Note: Some of the information found on this page has been provided courtesy of Kindred.


Johnson Canyon

Midway between Banff and Lake Louise (on highway 1a, on the opposite side of the Bow River from the Trans Canada highway) there is the delightful Johnson Canyon which features a path walking to an incredible set of waterfalls which are even more incredible in the winter when they are frozen over.

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The nearby Johnson Canyon Lodge and Bungalows is open only in the summer but is a great base for exploring the area (the cabins are particularly nice). If you are looking to get away from it all, this is a great place to stay – Off the main highway, with no other accommodation (other than camping) anywhere nearby but within easy access to the major sights.

Further Information

For further information, please see: