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The Canadian Rocky Mountains Route

Known as the greatest road trip in North America, the drive through the Canadian Rocky Mountains does live up to its name. The mountain passes of the Rockies cover both the American and Canadian territory, but when you have only one week to explore, a trip starting from Edmonton, Alberta is recommended. On your road trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, you’ll encounter turquoise -colored lakes, massive glaciers, snowcapped mountain peaks, and beautiful wildlife that inhabit the area. Grab your hiking shoes and get into your car, because you’re going to be in for a ride!


Route info

  • Route name: The Canadian Rocky Mountains Route
  • Suggested duration: 1 week
  • Distance: 1621 KM
  • Best time of the year: all seasons are possible: the winter is great for skiing and the summer is perfect for hiking. The national parks get busy during the summer, so spring and fall would be the best seasons to visit the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
  • Start and end point: Edmonton, Alberta
  • Best by: car
  • Highlights: Jasper National Park, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, and Waterton Lakes.


  • The Canadian Rocky Mountains Route is a snippet of the ’Rocky Mountains Roadtrip’ (NL language) Travel Guide. Download this week-long itinerary with different day trips, routes, restaurants, hotels, national parks, practical information for a road trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains for €6,99.




    The Canadian Rocky Mountains Route


    EDMONTON – JASPER NATIONAL PARK (367 KM)

    The city of Edmonton is the gateway to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Visit the Farmers Market at Old Strathcona, or take a trip to beautiful Elk Island National Park. In this national park, you can find the prairie and wood bisons, and with a bit of luck, you can spot the Northern Lights from this park between September and March.


    From Edmonton it’s a 4-hour drive to Jasper National Park. The town of Jasper is a small railroad city, with plenty of eateries and accommodations. Once you’ve arrived at the park, you’ll be amazed by the greatness of the mountains. Take the Jasper Skytram to look over the mountains and experience the impressive 360-degree panoramic view. One of the ultimate highlights of Jasper National Park is the Maligne Canyon, south-east of the town, with its beautiful Maligne Lake.




    Jasper National Park


    JASPER NATIONAL PARK – BANFF NATIONAL PARK (288 KM)

    On your way from Jasper National Park to Banff National Park, you’ll drive one of the most beautiful roads of the Canadian Rocky Mountains: The Icefields Parkway. Connecting the northern part of Jasper to Banff’s main highlight, Lake Louise. The 230 km drive on Highway 93 is an absolute stunner. The side-road glaciers, the forested river valleys, and the sharp mountains, urge you to stop for pictures at every turn.


    Once you’ve arrived at Lake Louise, the turquoise mirror-like water will take your breath away. The lake, named after Queen Victoria’s daughter, is 1,5 miles long and is one of the most photographed lakes in the world. The best way to explore the lake is by canoe! After canoeing, take the Lake Louisa Lakeshore Trail (4km) or hike up to the Lake Agnes Tea House for some tea and biscuits. Other must-sees in Banff National Park are the various beautiful lakes such as Peyto Lake and Moraine Lake, the enormous mountains, and the mellow ski resort town Banff.




    Lake Louise


    BANFF NATIONAL PARK – WATERTON LAKE (393 KM)

    Located on 4-hours away from Banff National Park is Waterton Lake National Park, which is listed as one of the top 10 most beautiful places in Canada. The town of Waterton is located on the shores of the Upper and Middle Waterton Lakes, offering scenic views over the water with the mountains in the background. The most remarkable location of this region is for sure the Prince of Wales Hotel on the mountain. For the wildlife lovers, visit the Bison Paddock Loop Road close to the entrance of the park.


    WATERTON LAKE – CALGARY (273 KM)

    In your Canadian Rocky Mountains road trip, a visit to the Heart of the New West, Calgary, is a must. As the inhabitants from Alberta say, “Calgary is the best part about Alberta.” In the city, cross the bridge and you’ll arrive in the neighborhood of Kensington, a historic area that has been restored and rebranded by artists and trendsetters. Another highlight of the city is the Calgary Stampede, an annual Cowboy festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people from across the region and the country to partake in a week long celebration of a Calgarian past-time.


    CALGARY – EDMONTON (299 KM)

    The road from Calgary to Edmonton is a straight route, which also passes through the famous town of Drumheller, known for its dinosaurs park. The main attraction of Drumheller is the ‘World Largest’ T-Rex and plenty of archeological dinosaur fossils on display. Your road trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains has come to end. In your last 3-hour drive from Calgary to Edmonton, you can take in the vastness of the great Canadian nature and look back on your majestic mountainous road trip.


    The Canadian Rocky Mountains Route is a snippet of the ’Rocky Mountains Roadtrip’ (NL language) Travel Guide. Download this week-long itinerary with different day trips, routes, restaurants, hotels, national parks, practical information for a road trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains for €6,99.




    Suggested reading for North America:




    Elk in Jasper National Park




    Lake Louisa in winter




    Banff National Park




    Lake Moraine




    Payto Lake




    Banff National Park


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