The Splendor of the Canadian Rockies

When I am tour directing I often get asked, “Where are your favorite places to visit?” Such a difficult question to narrow to just a few, but the Canadian Rockies ranks in the top places that I enjoy visiting. I guarantee if you visit them once, you will want to go back for more visually stunning scenery and small-town village fun!

In 2021 and 2023, I was given the privilege to be the Tour Director of our awe-inspiring Canadian Rockies by Rail adventure. As a nature enthusiast I was thrilled! The Canadian Rockies, a segment of the North American Rocky Mountains found in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, consist of majestic mountains, vast forests, and turquoise lakes which form a panorama that captivates the soul. I call it nature’s “eye candy”! The sheer magnitude of these mountains is humbling, reminding one of the grand scale of nature.

We visited Banff, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Our view of Bow Falls was an inspirational stop at the incredible waterfalls produced by the Bow Glacier. We stopped at Surprise Corner, which did just that! We were given a surprise view of Bow Valley and Banff Springs Hotel. We all spent time exploring downtown Banff’s many local shops and returned to the hotel to a remarkable sighting of the Aurora Borealis! Such a rare gift to experience the northern lights in September, that even the hotel staff were running around screaming with excitement.

During this tour we traveled Highway 1 to the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. This stretch of highway includes many of the tour’s highlights, such as a walk on the 10,000 year old Athabasca Glacier. A delicious lunch at the Fairmont Lake Louise coupled with leisure time to explore was a highlight for many! 

We visited multiple pristine lakes known for their vivid turquoise waters. Lake Moraine is a brilliant example of the power of Glacial Flour which transforms lakes and rivers into dazzling turquoise spectacles, scattering sunlight through finely ground rock particles and is surrounded by the striking Valley of the Ten Peaks. I just get chills remembering these views!

I live in the United States' Midwest, and visiting quaint Jasper and Maligne Lake was a visual and wildlife viewing treat. The ying to my yang! The vast wilderness that calls Jasper National Park its home proudly boasts elk, bears, moose, eagles, bighorn sheep, and osprey, and we spotted all of them! Relaxing aboard the boat while heading to Spirit Island, we learned of the history of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation who has kept Spirit Island untouched to revere its spiritual importance.

This unforgettable tour includes a rail ride aboard the Rocky Mountaineer between Jasper and Vancouver. We enjoyed Gold-Class opulent comfort with massive panoramic windows and unlimited locally-sourced food and all beverages. We ate and drank to our body’s content and then some! Winding our way through the breathtaking landscapes of the mountains we were treated to extraordinary sightings including Pyramid Falls’ plunging waterfall against the verdant forest, which is only viewable from the train!

Before heading home, we explored Vancouver’s vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a local expert. From Stanley Park to the harbor front, we experienced a dynamic mix of culture and natural beauty. Our hotel offered views of the harbor and expertly hosted a farm to table dinner for our final night gathering.

In essence, the Canadian Rockies represent a perfect harmony of natural beauty, ecological diversity and cultural richness. Their timeless allure continues to inspire and enchant all who visit, leaving an indelible mark on the human spirit. 

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