If you fly to Calgary for business, try to get in a day early or stay a day later, and give yourself enough time to take the 90 minute drive into Banff in the mountains West of the city of Calgary. Banff is a quant little town surrounded by majestic mountains and great views everywhere. There are a number of lodges and hotels in the mountains that could make for a relxing night away from the bustling cities or madness of the metropolitan.
This is Cougar Creek trail in Canmore. The "Three Sisters" peaks can be seen in the back ground. Canmore is a great place for nature lovers and mountain bikers, with many trails in the area. I also highly recommend the Cougar Creek Cafe for a Latte or something healthy to eat. It's a neughborhood cafe with spectacular mountain views. There are other great pubs and restaurants downtown Canmore and a Nordic Centre for cross country sking, mountain biking. Also a great location for dog sledding in the winter.
One of Calgary's main attractions is that you can have the city nightlife and also take advantage of the chance of a lifetime to visit the Canadian Rocky Mountains. These mountains are actually visible from the city, complete with snow-capped peaks when we were there. In only a little over an hour, you can be in one of Canada's 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the combination of National Parks in Alberta and British Columbia that you will first enter via Banff National Park.
Take it from me, I've been around the world and seen a lot of sights - this one should not be missed! For the sake of a few dollars, it is a memory that you will always carry with you!
Wapiti's in Jasper. I leave now the Calgary page and go to the Edmonton page. So i do the rest of the pictures of the Rocky Mountains on my.
It is great to be with a motorhome in the Rocky Mountains. There are very good campgrounds with a lot of space.
This is a beautiful landscape is is something you can't miss if you are around Calgary, Banff can be a tourist trap but its still good to see for the scenary. Be sure to check out some of the shops, but they do become repetative.
Lake Louise is the highlight of this area, go about half an hour west of Banff and you will hit the hotel at Lake Louise, the view is enough for the trip. Stop and have a meal at the restaurent and take in the area, but watch for the wildlife, it will literaly steal food from your plate!
Calgary is approx 40 minutes from some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Kananaskis Provincial Park ( 40 min), Banff National Park (60 min), Yoho National Park (2 hours) and Kootenay National Park (2 hours) are all easily accessible from Calgary. Even if you have only a couple of hours, you can still drive out into the mountains and breathe in the fresh air and take in the scenery.
its really pretty and i dont think its too far! but if you're scared of goats dont go..there huge! but you get to see alot of animals and its pretty amazing! especially as you have a city RIGHT next to the mountains! it has to be done
Once you finally do make the trek to Calgary, the fun doesn't stop here........
Even though it's a long drive, and it's crawling with tourists and everything is outrageously overpriced (even Mc Donald's).....it's a must do! It's BANFF NATIONAL PARK!
No matter what you like to do, or what time of the year you decide to visit, Banff has something to offer!
Why not go up and spend the day shopping, skiing or hiking? And what better way to rest your weary bod, than takin' a dip in the hot springs???? (If all else fails... there is always the scenery & wildlife!)
Hungry? There are tons of restaurants to appease even the fussiest of palates! (Melissa's Mis-Stak is a great place for Alberta Beef or some seafood!).....
Still up for a little something? Head off to a pub (Rose & Crown) or club (Aurora or Out of Bounds) and chat up some locals!
Ok just like SUPER COOL!!
A must if you are travelling between Banff and Jasper - you can't miss it. It is a gigantic slab of ice that stays frozen all year round (ok not the most scientific description...check out the website listed below for that). My Japanese friends have marvelled at the glacier and loved the Sno-Coach tours.
The Kicking Horse River that runs through Golden, British Columbia is the best known place for rafting in the area. You will be in for a wild ride, particularly if you go at the beginning of summer when the mountain snow run-off is at its peak. Another option for rafting is the Fraser River - trips for this river originate out of Jasper. I would say it is a little less lively than the Kickinghorse but the scenery is perhaps more spectacular.
Banff is a wonderful national park and is truly a Canadian treasure. No matter what the season, the park offers amazing scenery. Banff townsite can get awfully crowded, especially in the summer time. Its shopping and restaurants attract tourists from near and far. Hotel prices double and triple in the summer season - camping is an option, but reservations are rare so you take your chances. There is a lot of hiking to do in the summer and skiing to do in the winter. Both are fantastic.
It is well worth your time to head out to the mountains! What ever the season, there is much beauty to see and adventure to be had!
In the summer, my highlights are camping at Two Jack Lake and mountain hiking in Kanaskis. Johnson's Canyon (west of Banff) is a very scenic walk for those not interested in a big hike. Mt. Indefatigable in Upper Kananaskis provides one with exhilerating views and great excersize!
In winter, of course there is great skiing! My favourite slopes are at Lake Louise. Approximately 40 minutes from Banff. There are also a few trails for a pleasant scenic walk. My favourite is just outside of Canmore ( approx. 15 minutes east of Banff) by the Marriott Residence Hotel - a nice, but pricey place to stay. Check out the Crazy Weed Kitchen in Canmore for lunch! They make great soups and unique sandwiches.
There is so much to see and do in the Kananaskis, Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper areas. You can easily make it out for a day trip from Calgary, but if you have the opportunity to stay longer, it really is worth it!!
Here are some activities to consider:
Soaking in the Hot Springs
White water rafting
Horse back riding
Shopping in Banff
Checking out some history at Banff Springs Hotel & Lake Louise Chateau
Calgary is next to (well 1 1/4 hours away from) Banff National Park. The scenery in Canada's mountain parks is outstanding, as can be verified by visiting VT member's Banff pages.
This picture is of Crowfoot Glacier on the way from Lake Louise up to Peyto Lake. The crow's foot used to have three toes, but the bottom one melted, so he's limping on two now.
Well, since this is a Calgary page, we've to see Calgary, right?
In essence, Calgary is the best gateway city to the Canadian Rockies. It's only about 2 hours drive to Banff. And it is much cheaper to stay the night in Calgary than in Banff.