In 2017, I set off on the adventure of a lifetime to Canada for a semester abroad. Whilst in Canada, I discovered my favourite place in the world: The Canadian Rockies! I have now been there a total of four times and each time it’s better than I last remembered. It is such a magical and beautiful place, and one that you will have to experience in person to understand that photos cannot do it justice.
Here at AIM Overseas we are passionate about travelling, so I have written a post that discusses three of the best ways you can travel the Rockies! Will you be an adventurer, a photographer, or make the most of a small budget?!
The Adventurous Traveller!
This is definitely my favourite way to travel the Rockies! There are many amazing trails and hikes, and the best part about this is that it is completely free! My favourite hike would have to be the Little Beehive hike, which can be accessed via Lake Louise, located in Banff, Alberta. In total, this hike is 9km return with a steep incline, so I recommend scheduling at least half a day to really enjoy the trail and scenery.
If you’re after a bit of an easier hike with a reward of a hot chocolate at the end, I suggest trying the Lake Agnes Teahouse trail. This trail is also accessed via Lake Louise, but is a shorter duration, at 7km return. Lake Agnes provides stunning views with the addition of an adorable tea house at the top!
If you’re in Jasper, Alberta, a great trail I would recommend is the Wilcox Pass trail. This trail is of moderate difficulty and totals 8km return. At the top you get a fantastic view of the Athabasca glacier and if you’re lucky enough, you may get to see big horned sheep on your adventure just like I did!
The final trail I want to mention is Johnston Canyon in Banff, Alberta. Out of all the hikes I have mentioned, this one is definitely the easiest to complete as it has smooth trails and is suitable for any age and fitness level. The hike showcases canyon walls and waterfalls, but my favourite part would have to be the “big rock”. Unfortunately, this is located off trail and can be difficult to get to, but it is definitely worth it as it is one of the most spectacular sights I have seen!
The Instagram Traveller!
Let’s be real: we all know someone who is obsessed with getting the best content for their Instagram. Yes, I am definitely guilty of being this traveller (just ask my friends…). Luckily, I have amazing people who support me by taking endless photos. Thank you to those people, you know who you are!
One thing I want to clarify before I jump into this is that it is totally okay to be this traveller. The Rockies will supply you with some great photos and the best bit is that an iPhone is really all you need. So where should you go to get these ‘Insta worthy’ photos? Great question!
My number one suggestion would have to be Moraine Lake. I guarantee most of the amazing Instagram photos you have seen of the Rockies on your feed have been taken at Moraine Lake. The water is so blue it is UNREAL! To really impress all your IG followers, I suggest you hire a canoe and go out on the lake, weather permitting of course.
My next suggestion would have to be Lake Louise. Yes, it is very busy ALL the time (I swear), but it is beautiful. There are so many photo opportunities around the lake, so you are sure to get a great one!
The final place I would suggest to take a great Insta picture would have to be the Icefields Parkway. The Icefields Parkway is a 230km mountain road that runs through the heart of Banff and Jasper. There are so many places where you can stop to take pictures. My favourite ones are those taken by the ‘risk takers’ (aka me) who stand in the middle of the road for the best shot!
The Budget Traveller!
If you’re someone who cannot afford $1,000 a night for a room at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise - don’t worry, neither am I! Many people you meet will probably have travelled the Rockies on a nice-sized budget, but it is entirely possible to travel the Rockies on a small budget too, and I am living proof of that. The best experiences can come from spending hardly any money at all!
My best suggestion is trying out camping. Yes, Canada gets super cold, so make sure you go camping before the cold hits, preferably in the Summer months. Camping is a great, cheap alternative that lets you really experience nature. I was lucky enough to see the Northern Lights when I went camping in Jasper in the middle of September! Having a fire set up, eating smores and looking up at the Norther Lights is definitely not something every hotel can offer!
My final suggestion is to hire a car, pack a homemade lunch and get exploring!
So, there you have it! Three different ways that you can travel the Canadian Rockies. I hope this blog was insightful and has made you want to visit the Rockies if you haven’t already (trust me, it’s worth it). If you have already been, please comment your favourite place that you visited. I always need more inspiration for my future visits!
Thanks for reading!
Marketing Coordinator at AIM Overseas