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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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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