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Exploring The Rockies in Canada

  • May 24, 2016
  • By 50 Shades
  • 16 Comments
Rocky Mountaineer Canada

Rocky Mountaineer Canada

I have been fortunate to visit The Rockies in Canada, on two occasions. Once in spring and once in the midst of winter. It is difficult to say which time of year is prettier, with the verdant greenery of the pine forests contrasting against azure blue lakes; or the pure white snow and crystalline ice covering the terrain with evergreen foliage of the flora peeking through in patches. Exploring The Rockies in Canada should be on every traveller’s bucket list.

Moraine Lake Canada

Moraine Lake Canada

Both times that I have visited Canada has been on a self-drive holiday, however if you’re not that adventurous then a great way to see The Rockies, British Columbia and Alberta is by train aboard the famous Rocky Mountaineer. You can do a number of varied itineraries departing from Vancouver.

The Rocky Mountaineer is considered one of the world’s best rail trips. Passengers are seated inside elegantly appointed cars, sipping wine and dining on gourmet meals, soaking up some of the most impressive alpine scenery anywhere in the world. It is the very best way to experience the majesty and wonder of the Canadian Rockies and local wildlife up close, without a doubt.

Canadian Elk

Canadian Elk

Vancouver

Vancouver City

Vancouver City

Depending on how much time you have to explore this fascinating city in British Columbia, there are plenty of things to do. Points of interest include:

  • Visit the historic district of Gastown
  • Walk to Kitsilano and check out the Museum of Vancouver
  • Explore Stanley Park and visit the Vancouver Sea Aquarium
  • Enjoy a tour of Vancouver’s beautiful North Shore, including the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
  • Catch a gondola up to Grouse Mountain

Kamloops

Fraser Gorge

Fraser Gorge

Departing Vancouver its all aboard the Rocky Mountaineer heading in a northerly direction to Kamloops. On your journey to Kamloops, you can see the white rapids of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the rock sheds along the Thompson River.

Banff

Bow Valley Banff

Bow Valley Banff

Heading eastwards towards Alberta and the Rockies, along the way you’ll see highlights including Craigellachie where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Highway was driven, Roger’s Pass, the Kicking Horse Canyon and the Spiral Tunnels.

You can easily spend a few days in Banff seeing sights such as:

  • Tour of Banff National Park.
  • Visit natural wonders including Bow Falls, Lake Minnewanka, Surprise Corner
  • Explore the rock chimneys known as the Hoodoos.
  • Take in breathtaking views from Sulphur Mountain on the Banff Gondola.
  • Experience wildlife such as bears at Banff Park Museum National Historic site.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Take a tour into Yoho National Park to see some natural wonders including the Spiral Tunnels, Emerald Lake and a natural rock bridge spanning the Kicking Horse River. Your tour will finish in Lake Louise during the afternoon where you can explore the lake on one of the many walking trails. The region abounds with spectacular scenery, from glaciers, azure blue lake, mountain vistas, to waterfalls. Your accommodation for the night is in the majestic Chateau Fairmont Lake Louise.

Jasper

Athabasca River Jasper

Athabasca River Jasper

Continue your tour of The Rockies with a scenic drive along the famous Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefield. Along the way you will see the beautiful Bow Lake and Athabasca Falls. When you get to the Columbia Icefield you can get aboard the Icefield Explorer and explore the Athabasca Glacier.

Jasper National Park, Canada’s largest Rocky Mountain park, is an integral part of the UNESCO Canadian Rockies Heritage Site. You are surrounded by protected wilderness in every direction. Highlights of Jasper include Maligne Canyon, Pyramid Lake, Marmot Basin Ski Area, Jasper Skytram and The Jasper-Yellowhead Museum and Archives.

Quesnel

Mount Robson

Mount Robson

Pass through the Rocky Mountain Trench, also known as the Valley of a Thousand Peaks. You will also pass Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Rockies, Yellowhead Pass and Moose Lake.

Quesnel, the gateway to the North Cariboo, offers unlimited recreational opportunities. Enjoy world class fly-fishing and canoeing in an unspoiled environment. Go downhill or cross-country skiing, golfing, horseback riding, snow shoeing, river rafting, hiking or biking.

Whistler

Views from Whistler Gondola

Views from Whistler Gondola

Take in the splendour of the sweeping views of the Fraser Canyon as well as the tranquil lakes of Seton and Anderson. Pass through the rolling pasture and open ranchlands of the Cariboo Plateau, the arid landscapes of Fraser Canyon, and the farmland of the Pemberton Valley before arriving into Whistler.

Whistler features two majestic mountains, Whistler/Blackcomb with a vibrant base village, epic skiing and snowboarding in winter, four championship golf courses, world-class shopping, restaurants and bars, hiking trails, spas and the world famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

Whistler Village

Whistler Village

On the return journey to Vancouver you will cross the Brandywine Falls before descending through the Cheakamus Canyon. Look for the peak of Mount Garibaldi, rising 2,678 metres above sea level. The train hugs the eastern shores of Howe Sound with the British Columbia Coast Mountains rising up on your left hand side and fantastic views of ocean and mountain on your right.

Getting to Canada

Years ago you had no choice but to fly via the USA to get to Canada, however these days you can fly from most Australia capital cities direct to Vancouver in under 15 hours. To get the best deals on Vancouver flights CLICK HERE

The Rocky Mountains and the Rocky Mountaineer is a trip you will never forget. It is little wonder that this train journey is on a lot of traveller’s bucket lists. The beauty of the Rockies is unparalleled from anywhere else in this big wide world of ours.

 

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By 50 Shades, May 24, 2016 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 16

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

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16 Comments
  • Jo
    May 24, 2016

    Have yet to get to Canada but tbe Rocky Mountaineer is something you have really tempted me to go and do after reading this post Kathy. Gorgeous pics too.

  • Jan Janzen
    May 24, 2016

    I am Canadian and until I traveled the world over the last nine years (non-stop), I had no idea how stunning my own country is. I am now taking my husband (an American) on a five month road trip through BC and Alberta this summer so he can appreciate Canada also.

    We are heading through the Rockies and it was so exciting to see your beautiful photos of the places I now hold near and dear to my heart. The world is a beautiful place on many levels but Canada is indeed very special. Thank you for doing such an excellent job of showcasing it!

    • Kathy
      May 24, 2016

      Thank you Jan. I adore your country but I know all about gaining a new appreciation for your own country. We spent 7 months in 2014 travelling around our country, Australia and we were blown away by it. ?

  • letmebefree
    May 24, 2016

    Your photos are stunning. When I was at Lake Louise it was frozen and I would love to go back and see the gorgeous colour of the lake in the summer.

    • Kathy
      May 24, 2016

      The colours of most lakes in Canada are s gorgeous aqua blue. I think Canada is beautiful in all seasons but it is easier to get around in Spring or Summer ?

  • kathymarris
    May 24, 2016

    The Rockies are absolutely breathtaking and is one trip I would recommend to anyone. We did it by car but I’ve heard the train trip is fabulous. I hope you are enjoying your cruise so far. ?

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    May 25, 2016

    Did you really take those photographs? You should be doing professional photography! What a gorgeous place. Now Canada is definitely on my to do list.

    • Kathy
      May 26, 2016

      No I confess I did not take these photos they are from Shutterstock. My photos from 2004 from my very basic digital camera were very poor quality and because I was the driver I didn’t get to take that many shots. Canada is a gorgeous place and I would recommend it highly. :)

  • Mary {The World Is A Book}
    May 31, 2016

    Such beautiful photos! This has been on my travel wish list for a very long time. Love this part of Canada.

    • Kathy
      May 31, 2016

      Canada is an absolutely stunning country. I think it should be on everyone’s bucket list. :)

  • saifulislamkhanopu
    May 31, 2016

    Canada’s incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attraction. Much of the country’s tourism is centered on Canada’s five largest metropolitan areas, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa, well known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites. Thanks for sharing this informative article.
    Have you ever been to an undiscovered amazing country, have a peep http://bit.ly/1QdnTuq

    • Kathy
      June 1, 2016

      Thank you. Yes Canada is a gorgeous country with so much to offer tourists all year round. I have also travelled to Montreal and Quebec which was totally different to western Canada. :)

  • Life Images by Jill
    June 1, 2016

    my goodness your images are stunning. Canada has always been high on our travel list, though we haven’t made it there yet. I think I need to push it up to the top of the list after seeing your post. SImply gorgeous!

    • Kathy
      June 1, 2016

      Thanks Jill. There are no filters required when photographing the beauty of Canada. These are the actual colours! Canada is a definite must see. :)

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    June 1, 2016

    Hoping we might end up there next year for my 50th – or somewhere in North America …

    • Kathy
      June 2, 2016

      Canada would be an amazing place to celebrate your 50th. The scenery is heart-stoppingly beautiful. :)

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