On July 1, 2017, Canada turns 150 years old. If you're thinking of visiting our neighbor to the north, this is the perfect year to do it. And, one of the most scenic parts of Canada are the western Canadian Rockies. Here are AAA's Top 5 reasons to visit:
The National Parks. There are seven Canadian National Parks spread among the Canadian Rockies. They offer a striking mountain landscape with rugged peaks, icefields and glaciers, alpine meadows, lakes waterfalls, and wildlife. Three of these National Parks are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Banff, Yoho and Jasper.
Trails Galore. There are more than 1,000 miles of defined hiking trails – from easy walk to strenous hikes – that lead to scenic beauty beyond compare. One of the best – a moderately challenging trail – is the Plain of the Six Glaciers. This lakeside trail rambles along the edge of emerald-green Lake Louise from the Chateau Lake Louise hotel to the base of Victoria Glacier. Your reward at the end of the trail is a rustic tea house where you can order a cup of tea and a scone, relax and glaze up at the glacier.
The Town of Banff. This unique mountain community sits inside the boundaries of Banff National Park. It boasts a magical combination of rugged mountain peaks, lush parks, historic hot springs (the Banff Upper Hot Springs are listed on the Canadian Registry of Historic Places), ample wildlife viewing and a thriving food and wine scene.
Train Travel. The awe-inspiring scenery of the Canadian Rockies are really meant to be savored at a meandering pace. The best way to experience old-growth rainforests, raging rivers, wildlife and more is traveling by rail (most trains will actually slow down at a particularly scenic area). It's much better that a passing glance while you're trying to drive a car! Add a glass-domed coach, a dining car and perhaps a glass of wine and you've for the best of the best.
Glacier Lakes. These lakes get their brilliant turquoise blue color from glacial flour, or silt-sized particles of rock generated by glacial erosion. Lake Louise is a famous glacial lake in Banff National Park. Located less than 10 miles outside of Lake Louise is the equally awesome (some would say more so), Moraine Lake. Moraine is a gem-blue glacial lake surrounded by ten snow clad peaks that dramatically tower some 10,000 feet above the water.
Are the Canadian Rockies on you bucket list? There are lots of vacation options, including rail for the Canadian Rockies. Don't get overwhelmed! Call AAA Travel at (800) 444-8691 or stop by your nearest AAA Travel office and speak with a Travel Agent for expert planning advice.