One of many bucket list destinations on our list was the Canadian Rockies, the home of outdoor adventure and renowned for its famous pristine beauty. And boy oh boy, it did not disappoint. Here we were on a family travel adventure like no other, surrounded by some of the Rockies most impressive peaks. Never have I felt so paralysed by nature, so humbled in its presence, so enriched, so empowered, yet so overwhelmed at the same time … it really is nature in its purest form.
The Rockies lives up to every expectation we had and more. Beavers, grizzly’s, caving, rafting, hiking, skiing, craft beer, snow shoeing…and did someone say ‘Maple flavoured popcorn’?
Arriving in Banff, Alberta is really like stepping into a children’s storybook of oversized gingerbread houses with snow-capped peaks, enchanting chateau style boutiques, bars and restaurants…all set amongst the majestic and awe inspiring Rockies. It’s not only the highest town in Canada (1383 metres elevated above sea level!) but is also the first town in Canada to be incorporated within a National Park.
But, the township aside, it’s all about the incredible wildlife, of which we can attest to, as we were fortunate enough to see grizzly brown bear, black bear, elk, deer, eagles, caribou..to name a few.
Jade coloured water with crystal clear reflections of the snow capped mountains, it’s like a mirage. The rich forest green of the Canadian pines line the lakes edge in unison and the surrounding majestic mountains are so intense you can’t help but gasp …it can’t be real? The bright blue sky, the perfect contrast against the grey granite mountain outcrops sprinkled with a coating of crisp white snow…a lethal combination that makes it picture perfect.
The landscape is so captivating that you are literally held hostage by its beauty.
Walking trails, canoes for hire, mountain treks and hiking, photography, snow shoeing and obviously more winter sports in the peak season. Whatever the season this place throws a party for all ages, all interests and all seasons. It caters for the extreme adventure/thrill seekers, the outdoor enthusiasts, the more placid observers or those that simply want to relax.
Then as night falls, it becomes a choice of an outdoor hot tub, a glass of red whilst resting your weary feet in front of your own log fire in a rustic cabin by the lake, or sitting by the communal fire pit stargazing. Magic.
In terms of family travel, rest assured whatever their age, the kids will flip! It’s one of those places where you can leave behind all the gadgets and learn in the outside classroom. Everything from catching a gondola high up over the rockies, to caving at the Basin National Historic Site with the bubbling sulphur hot springs, which were discovered over 100 years ago. There are various wildlife boat charters you can jump on, kayaking, hiking for every level (including stroller friendly hikes), canoeing, tubing, skating, rafting, cycling, horseback riding through the Banff township itself or local storytelling sessions, outdoor concerts and even horse and carriage rides!
To cap off your alpine adventure, be sure to make a splash in the outdoor thermal hot springs, and soak up the epic views of the majestic snow-capped mountains! A moment the ‘big kids’ and little kids will never forget.
If you are keen to explore the Rockies then be sure to check out some of the awesome array of Webjet tours available in Canada, Alaska and the Rockies including the Rocky Mountaineer, an Alaskan Cruise and more! You can filter your search based on budget and travel times.
Tick off the bucket list – we guarantee it’ll be worth it! https://exclusives.webjet.com.au/
Buffalo Mountain Lodge
A fantastic family friendly lodge perched on top of Tunnel Mountain with epic views, open log fires, cozy and spacious modern rooms and a classic Canadian tavern/restaurant and bar on site. Oh and don’t forget your bathers for the outdoor hot tub, which overlooks the mighty Rockies! https://crmr.com/buffalo/
Emerald Lake Lodge – on the shores of the famous pristine lake, surrounded by some of the Rockies most impressive peaks! https://www.crmr.com/emerald/
Deer Lodge – a rustic historic mountain lodge in Banff National Park. https://crmr.com/deer/
Be sure to do the drive along the famous Icefields Parkway, from Banff to Jasper, which is essentially a four hour drive with zero phone reception and nothing but the awe inspiring mountains and ice fields. Also don’t forget to drive along the Bow Valley Parkway near Banff to get your best chance at spotting bears, mousse, elk, eagles and other Canadian wildlife.