The Canadian Rockies mountain range spans the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. With jagged, ice-capped peaks, including towering Mt. Robson, it's a region of alpine lakes, diverse wildlife and outdoor recreation sites. Yoho National Park is home to the massive Takakkaw Falls. Other national parks are Jasper, with the famously accessible Athabasca Glacier, and Banff, site of glacier-fed Lake Louise.
Our Journey through the Rockies
We hired a car and took a 5 day road trip the Banff national park. Here I will do the trip a a 5 day itenary showing the rout we took, and the activities we did and didn’t do. 5 days was our limit s we went after a serious snow storm and we heard another one was on its way so cut the trip short in order not to be stuck in the snow.
Day 1 – Vancouver to Kamloops (3.5 Hours, 350km)
We drove for 7 hours to Kamloops. Here there are plenty of motels, this is the accommodation of choice in these areas as most of the towns are transit towns. Although they do have everything you need. Malls, supermarkets, restaurants, other things to do here are:
British Columbia Wildlife Park
We checked into best budget motel where we checked out in their swimming pool and Jacuzzi. The rates in these motels are pretty standard averaging around $50CAD
Day 2 - Kamloops to Canmoore (6 hours, 520km)
This was another long day of driving, however we did stop in various locations to take in views of frozen lakes and crisp mountain tops. Stops in salmon arms and revelstoke
We went past the places we wanted to visit that night and stayed here as we wanted visit the places like Banff village and Lake Louise on the way back.
Thing to do and see in Canmoore:
Hiking and walking trails.
We checked in to Mountain View inn. This place was pretty nice, we had a lovely mountain view and the room was big. Canmoore itself is a quiet pace but still like anywhere in Canada it has its own infrastructure of bars, restaurants and supermarkets.
Day 3 – we drove an hour to Banff (30min drive, 30km)
Here we drove around a visited various locations that were both picturesque as well and relaxing.
First stop was at bow valley falls, it was a frozen water fall. The stream was complete frozen over.
Form there went up to surprise corner – tis gives uninterrupted views for Banff ridge.
We took a scenic drive through tunnel mountain road where watched some wild Elk walking around.
Tunnel mountain road leads to Lake Minniewanka. Lake Minniewanka was an experience, we walked across the frozen lake to the boat yard. It was a weird feeling waling on the ice, if you move the surface snow aside you can see the crystal clear ice. It was so thick you could see where people had tried to break through it.
Cave and Basin was an interesting stop off to as it is the birth place of Banff national park
After a full day of exploring and hiking in -18 degree Celsius we deserved a treat, so we went to Banff upper hot springs where we could relax in the natural hot mineral water from the surrounding mountains.
We stayed in Banff this night at the Inns of Banff, right I the town centre with Mountain View. They had a pool and hot tub so thought it would be rude not to use it! During the Christmas period the streets were all it up with decorations and thick snow all around.
Banff Village is the exact mountain town you picture or see in photographs, full with restaurants, wooden cabin like buildings, cafes, and ski shops.
Day 4 – Banff to Kamloops (including Lake Louise) (5.5 hour drive, 490km)
Lake Louise – this lake is famous for its emerald colour water in the summer season, we have seen this a few years back but it’s also famous in the winter for the ice sculptures on the edge of the lake outside the Fairmont hotel. They also section of a large area of the lake and it’s dedicated to ice skating.
Lake Louise also has a Glacier coming down the mountain towards the back although this is more visible in the summer as that the only ice left.
After spending some time walking around this lake we decided we will drive back to Kamloops as we heard there was another storm coming towards us and being on the mountain roads during a Canadian snow storm is not a very good idea.
Day 5 – Kamloops to Vancouver (3.5 hour drive, 354km)
This drive back was just to take in the view from the car as the snow turned to rain as we got closer to Vancouver’s warmer weather.