Canadian Rockies 2017

Welcome to the Canadian Rockies page! David and I spent June and July 2017 in the Canadian Rockies. We visited 5 national parks, enjoyed the dramatic mountain scenery, did many stunning hikes, and made new friends. We learned that alcoholic beverages were more expensive in Canada than in the U.S. We also discovered that Canadian Tire stores didn’t just sell tires.

Our national parks visit coincided with the 150th anniversary of Parks Canada with free entrance for an entire year. So we saved over $200 on the entrance fees but had to deal with the crowds, more than what the parks usually experience every summer. Because of the 150th anniversary, the planning of this trip was challenging. We went through the national parks’ campground reservation in January and had our lessons learned here.

You can read about a two-part recap of our trip—Part 1 and Part 2.

List of Canadian Rockies hikes that we did. Links to blog posts were provided below when available (updated October 5, 2017):

3 Comments

  1. We stayed at Tunnel Mountain in Banf and Whistler’s in Jasper…both are excellent. However, if you want to get in either of them make sure you go online on the first day the reservations open as the weekends fill quickly. Icefields Parkway is a beautiful drive. Both parks are outstanding but we over all liked Jasper better…but don’t forget to hike up to the Tea House at Lake Louise in Banf. Park at the area near the hotel…when you look out at the lake from in front of the hotel the Tea House is 3 miles and 1000 feet or so uphill on the peaks on the right side of the lake as you look at it. Pretty easy hike though and the food and views from the top are outstanding. In Jasper…Malign Lake and the series of 5 (or maybe 7, can’t remember) smaller lakes just east of town are also great hikes. Make sure you eat (and drink beer if it’s your inclination) at both the Jasper Brewing Company and the Banf Brewing company. Both owned by the same folks and great craft brews although Jasper’s are slightly better. You’ll love both of these parks…we spent 2 weeks in each and did not run out of things to do.

    I would personally skip Glacier NP in the US…the glaciers in both Banf and Jasper are way better.

    If you want a slightly different way home…we headed west from Banf to Salmon Arm and then south through Osoyoos to reenter the US. That puts you back in WA on the east side of the Cascades…where we went to Leavenworth WA…a quaint little town that after the mining industry died there turned itself into essentially a Bavarian village complete with beer gardens, guys in leiderhosen and girls in dirndls, schnitzel and everything Bavarian. It was a little touristy but not nearly as bad as we thought it would be and also has great hikes…some excellent ones along the Icicle River.

    Watertown NP is also great, as the drive coming down the west side of Glacier NP in the US through Kalispell MT.

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    1. Hi Neil. Thanks for visiting and for the suggestions. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to both Jasper and Banff. Yes, I reserved the campgrounds in Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay on the first day. It was crazy. I didn’t go into the reservation site for Jasper within the first few hours so I didn’t get the exact dates I wanted. Unbelievable. Waterton Lakes NP will have to be another trip as we won’t have enough time to visit this year.

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