An Epic Week in the Canadian Rockies

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Advisor - Kirsten Johansson
Curated By

Kirsten Johansson

  • Safari

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  • Canada

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Canadian mountains, lake and boats.
Curator’s statement

The Canadian Rockies really have it all, from epic hikes to relaxing hot springs to insane glaciers. On top of all that, there is also an abundance of restaurants that will impress even the foodie in your group.

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Day 1: Arrive in Calagary

Nature with a river and trees in Canada.

This day is going to be a long one, but it's worth it. Arrive to Calgary airport by midday. From here, you are going to rent a car and drive approximately 5 hours to Jasper, AB. While it is a long drive, the views along the way are breathtaking. You will need to pick up a National Park Pass on your way, which is valid for one year. I recommend downloading the maps on your phone before driving, because cell service can be spotty. Once you arrive in Jasper, I recommend dinner at Evil Dave's Grill, which provides locally sourced cuisine.

Day 2: Hike & Explore Hot Springs in Jasper

Waterfalls and mountains in Canada.

For your first full day here, I recommend getting out on the trail and going for a hike. A great hike not far from Jasper is Sulphur Skyline. It is a moderately challenging hike, but you will be rewarded by excellent views. As an added bonus, the trail begins and ends next to the famous Miette Hot Springs, so bring your bathing suit for a soak after your hike. When you return to Jasper, check out the Jasper Brewing Company for a pint or the Fiddle River Restaurant for dinner.

Day 3: Jasper Sky Tram

Canadian flag in the mountains.

Be sure to book the Jasper Sky Tram in advance, because it gets busy. With an early booking, you can eat breakfast with an incredible view (but without the crowd) and then set out for a hike. There are a number of hikes to choose one, so find one that suits you — all will have incredible views. I recommend packing snacks or a lunch to fuel you on the trail, and so you aren't feeling rushed. For dinner check out Raven Bistro for Mediterranean cuisine and unique cocktails.

Day 4: Emerald Lake

A beautiful lakeside and boats in Canada.

Pack up your car and get ready to head out to Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. Start your day by stopping off at the Subwapta Falls. Continue onto Icefield Parkway and partake in an afternoon glacier tour. It is a lot colder on the glacier than it is elsewhere so dress warmly! After the tour swing by Peyto Lake for a stunning view of a lake that is in the shape of a wolf before continuing on to Emerald Lake. Have dinner in the Mount Burgess Dining Room before heading back to your room at the Emerald Lake Lodge, where the staff will happily start a fire for you in your in-room fireplace.

Day 5: Head to Banff

A girl with orange hat in Banff.

Start your morning out by canoeing on Emerald Lake. This lake is much quieter than the popular Lake Louise, and you may be lucky enough to get the entire lake to yourself if you go early enough! From here you will drive to Moraine Lake where a quick trail will give you epic views of the famous lake Book an evening gondola in Banff to have dinner at the Sky Bistro.

Day 6: Lake Louise

A beautiful white hotel near Lake Louise.

Head to Lake Louise for a day of hiking. For a shorter hike, check out the Lake Agnes trail, stopping off at the tea house along the way. or a longer hike, check out the Big Beehive trail (or Devil's Thumb trail for those who are especially adventurous). For those who aren't keen on another day of hiking, check out the world-class spa at the Fairmont Lake Louise. In the evening consider taking a soak at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, and watch the sunset while enjoying dinner at The Juniper Bistro.

Day 7: White Water Rafting

Boating on a blue lake in Canada.

For your last day in the Canadian Rockies you can choose what suits you: another hike like Johnson Canyon Falls, a day of shopping in town or do something adventurous like white water rafting or horseback riding. The options in Banff are endless! For the last meal of your trip, the tasting menu at Eden should not be missed.

Day 8: Fly Home

Snowy mountains in Canada and trees.

After an epic week in the Canadian Rockies, get ready to head home. Pack up your stuff and drive to Calgary Airport (about an hour from Banff).

Advisor - Kirsten Johansson

Travel Advisor

Kirsten Johansson

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This itinerary is part of our ongoing series on travel to Canada. For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Caitlyn Jhonston ’s guide Exploring the Mountains of Banff in Canada.