Help a Reader Travel: Canadian Rockies

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsThe Pacific Coast HighwayArgentinaCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIceland, and Geneva.

So this weeks travel destination includes the Canadian Rockies. I received the following email from reader April:

“I just got married and am taking a trip through Canada for my honeymoon. We do not leave for a few weeks, but would love some recommendations on things to do. We are flying into Calgary and then making our way to Vancouver. We already have our hotels set throughout the trip and have been able to get a few free nights at a Starwood hotel (Sheraton in Calgary and Westin Grand in Vancouver). Thank you Starwood credit card! We will also be staying in  Lake Louise and Jasper. We do not leave for a few weeks and would love some recommendations. We are outdoorsy people. Thanks so much for the help!”

This sounds like a great trip and congrats on getting a few free nights with your Starwood credit card! This is a nice way to keep expenses down on the trip and put the money elsewhere.

If you’ve been to the Canadian Rockies, let’s help out reader April by commenting below. Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. Or you can each get the new FairmontVisa cards by Chase & get 4 nights & use them at the Fairmont Banff Springs and Lake Louise which we plan to do in August 2013 instead of staying at hostels. Yes you can:-)

  2. This is a HONEYMOON trip and they’re staying at YWCA and HI? aiyaya… go spoil!

    I was at Rockies April 2012 and recommend
    1. Car rental is a must, don’t use buses
    2. Stay at Fairmont Lake Louise if possible
    3. I liked Jasper a bit more than Banff (but Jasper has limited food choices)
    4. Columbia Ice Parkway (Hwy 93) is really beautiful, take the time driving through it

    TripAdvisor forum has lots of ideas too, more suitable than a blog post here 🙂

  3. I second the car rental recommendation. Way too many jawdropping vistas to stop and admire along the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. Peyto Lake, Waterfowl Lakes, Silverhorn Creek, Mistaya Canyon, the Icefields, Athabasca Falls… I could go on but you get the point. With your own car you could also add a side trip to nearby Yoho National Park and Takkakaw Falls.

    I also recommend a night at Num-Ti-Jah lodge on Bow Lake during your trek up the parkway.

  4. If your at one of the downtown Sheraton’s check out Prince’s Island park along the river, Stephen’s Avenue Mall along 8th Ave, and 17 Ave is always good for bars, nightlife, etc.
    Banff and Lake Louise: check out Johnston Canyon, great little hike along catwalks over the river to a series of waterfalls. The hike around Lake Louise to the Plain of 6 Glaciers is great. Be sure to check out Moraine Lake for the view that used to be on the $20 bill. I’ve heard the Lake Louise and Banff Gondolas are both great rides and views if the weathers clear.
    Vancouver: good old Stanley Park.

    have a great trip!

  5. If you are actually ourdoorsy people, like you suggested, when you have the magnificent Rockies and glaciers just a bit to your west, waste as little time as possible in Calgary!!

  6. Like other have said, a car is a must. To get off the usual tourist trail, they may want to consider detouring through Kananskis Country – a series of provincial parks and wilderness areas – it’s where the local go to hike. Depending on their experience, there are a ton of day hikes off of Hwy 40. Picklejar lakes is one of my favorites, though if they are looking for something a bit tamer the loops around both Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes provide some stunning scenery. Stop for lunch at the Boundary Ranch, great burgers. From the Kananaskis Lakes area the Smith-Dorian Taril/ Spray Lakes road will take you to Canmore where they can rejoin Hwy 1 into Banff ( the road is gravel, so I’m not sure if travel on it would void a rental agreement).
    Camping may end up being more enjoyable than staying in hostels. If they don’t have gear MEC (basically Canada’s answer to REI) rents everything they would need. I’m not sure if they could rent in Calgary and return in Vancouver, but it might be worth looking into.

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