Download GPX file for this article
52.08-116.93Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Alberta Rockies are the portion of the Rocky Mountains in western Alberta, Canada. This region attracts many visitors with its beauty, outdoor activities and two of Canada's oldest and best known national parks, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.


Map of Alberta Rockies
  • 1 Banff, the oldest and most famous mountain resort town in the Canadian West. A good place to do shopping and fine dining, but expensive and often crowded at peak season.
  • 2 Canmore, being outside the boundaries of Banff National Park, and therefore not subject to the same environmentally-minded restrictions, this town has been able to expand rapidly in recent decades and now rivals Banff as a tourism hub.
  • 3 Grande Cache, an isolated mining and trapping town, seemingly a different planet from glitzy Banff, but a good base for more adventurous hikes, trail rides and so on.
  • 4 Hinton, mostly an industry town, but with all the services RVers and car campers need before entering the mountains proper.
  • 5 Jasper, the less-crowded alternative to Banff. Just as many lakes and peaks to see, but a fraction of the coach tours.

Other destinations[edit]

Lake Louise from eastern shoreline, facing west.
  • 1 Banff National Park was Canada's first national park in 1885, and it is also one of the largest. The park sees visits well into the millions annually.
  • 2 Columbia Icefield is one of the largest glaciers you'll ever be able to just drive up to the edge of. Namesake of the Icefields Parkway, located halfway between Jasper and Lake Louise.
  • 3 Jasper National Park The largest of Canada's Rocky Mountain Parks, it features broad valleys, rugged mountains, glaciers, forests, alpine meadows and wild rivers along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in western Alberta.
  • 4 Kananaskis Country Maintained by the Province of Alberta, the Kananaskis park area consists of a number of provincial parks and reserves.
  • 5 Lake Louise, the photo that everyone wants is of this post-card perfect lake. Also home to a major resort hotel and a World Cup ski hill.
  • 6 David Thompson Country, wilderness area centred around the hamlet of Nordegg along the David Thompson Highway (Highway 11)


This is spectacular mountain scenery. It is popular with tourists, so to see the best sights you need to get there early in the morning; however do not be put off by this, hike a few hundred metres away for the car-park and you are on your own in the wilderness.

Banff and Banff Park are the most popular destinations followed by Jasper. However do not underestimate Kananaskis Country, it is easy to drive past it but it can actually be one of the better areas for wildlife spotting, particularly grizzly bears.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

International flights are available to Calgary and Edmonton airports.

By car[edit]

By bus[edit]

By train[edit]

Get around[edit]

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) runs north/south through the region.

If you are not in a hurry to reach your destination an alternative to Highway 1 between Banff and Lake Louise is the Bow Valley Parkway (Alberta Highway 1A). The road winds through the woods giving the chance of seeing more wildlife (mainly deer) than the Trans-Canadian. Good quality road surface but a speed limit of 60 km/h. Similarly the 93A between Jasper and the Athabasca Falls provides a slow option with a greater chance of seeing bears.


Mount Athabasca in Jasper National Park



In the winter skiing, in the summer hiking.

Travel topics[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

This is bear country. Be aware of bear safety.

This is bear country so be careful. Also be aware that there is a good chance of coming across longhorn sheep, deer and moose on the road.

Go next[edit]

The Canadian Rockies spill over into Northern British Columbia and the Kootenays region, with numerous national parks there. The Rockies also exist in Southern Alberta, though in a much narrower band, but with notable sights at Crowsnest Pass and Waterton Lakes National Park. And of course, the Rockies also extend all the way down into the American states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado.

This region travel guide to Alberta Rockies is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.