We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

Which Banff hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
new york, ny
Level Contributor
435 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

I'm trying to decide if a trip to the Canadian Rockies is for us. We are a couple with an 18 year old. Most of our vacations are to European cities, where we enjoy the hustle and bustle and seeing sites. This time we want to spend more time in nature. A few years ago we visited Yellowstone, Bryce and Zion parks and enjoyed them very much, but we combined that with California. My basic question is , is there enough to do in the Canadian Rockies? I understand that the main attractions are the beautiful lakes, mountains and trails, which is great. Are there other activities available (boating, etc)?

In addition, how long would you recommend for this trip? I was thinking a week to 10 days. We would be coming in August.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
Level Contributor
25,089 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

There's enough to do in the Canadian Rockies to keep you busy all summer - but only if you enjoy hiking, photography, wildlife watching, cycling, camping, painting, whitewater rafting, historic sites, scenic viewpoints, canoeing, lake cruises, mountaintop vistas, great food, horseback trail rides, overnight backpacking trips, wildflowers, caving, ATV rides, mountain climbing, glaciers, ziplines, float trips, spas, and geology.

If none of that sounds like your cup of tea, then the Rockies might not be the best destination for you.

For more about the most popular sights ("must-sees") in the Rockies, see this TripAdvisor Traveller Article:


And if you're interested in adventures and extreme activities in the Rockies, then have a look at this Traveller Article:


Traveller Articles are written by TA members just like you, in response to the most popular questions on the forums.

Edited: 13 May 2012, 16:03
London, Canada
Level Contributor
3,758 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

I think your idea of combining nature with a city would probably suit your needs more.....and a world class city to visit before/after the Rockies would be Vancouver. Fly into Calgary, rent a car and end up in Vancouver. About 10 days would work well with time in the city and in natural surroundings.




Level Contributor
86 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

If I had an 18 year old AND "want to spend more time in nature" then I would make it as memorable as I possibly could! Assuming that you like to hike, then I would suggest one of the following destinations that you will never forget!

Mt Robson/Berg Lake trail: This is basically a two day hike to some incredible scenery and something that you and your son/daughter will never forget. There is plenty of info out there and this trail can be done by someone of moderate fitness. The trail is one of the best managed and reservations are required.

Mt Assinboine This is a 1 or 2 day hike or you could fly in (via Helecopter). I believe there is a small lodge and from that area and there are numerous trails to take from there.

Lake Ohare is probably the easiest of the three as you can either hike or bus in to the lodge/campgrounds. Tons of hiking to do in this area.

Tonquin-Amethyst Lakes (base of the Ramparts)

Honorable mention. There is also a lodge/campgrounds.

I would encourage you to Google some images of these places to see what they're all about. On an 8 to 10 day trip, these could be the highlight and produce far more memories than a trip starting out the car window for 10 days.... especially for an 18 year old!! These excursions are very doable with just a little planing. Take the family out of the comfort zone ;)

Hopefully something worthy of consideration.

Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
307 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

I agree with Tobie that combining the 2 (nature/city) would work best for you. For example: You could spend 1 night in Calgary, travel to the Rockies and spend 5 or 6 nights there, travel via Kelowna/Okanagan valley and spend 1 night, travel to Vancouver and spend 2 or 3 nights there.

NB: very approximate travel times - Calgary, AB to Banff, AB is about a 2 hour drive. Banff to Kelowna, BC is about a 7 hour drive (overnight here), Kelowna, BC to Vancouver, BC is about a 5 hour drive.

As for whether or not to make the trip - I really don't think you would regret it. The Canadian Rockies are amazing and based on your likes, you would probably love Vancouver.

Edited: 14 May 2012, 14:14
new york, ny
Level Contributor
435 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

Thank you for your responses. We're definitely coming to the Canadian Rockies. I'm avidly reading the forum and will probably have more questions as my itinerary takes shape.

6. Re: Should we come to the Canadian Rockies?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 June 2013, 23:42