Alberta Rockies is a region in western Alberta, Canada. It is dominated by the Rocky Mountains and 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.
This is spectacular mountain scenery. Unfortunately it has now been discovered by Asian bus tour companies, 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 100 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.
- For the north the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) can be used from Edmonton and Prince George.
- For the south the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) can be used from Calgary, Kamloops and Vancouver.
- An alternative route from Calgary to the main highway is the 1A though Cochrane and the Stoney reservation, which although slower provides excellent views of the rock mountain range.
- Greyhound provide regular scheduled coaches that serve Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise, departing from Calgary and points in British Columbia.
- Brewster Banff Airport Express offers shuttle service from the Calgary airport, downtown Calgary, Edmonton airport, and the West Edmonton Mall.
- Sun Dog Tours. Edmonton service is to Jasper
- Via Rail have scheduled trains to Jasper from Edmonton, Kamloops, Vancouver, and Prince Rupert
- Rocky Mountaineer a tourist train runs three routes, Vancouver-Banff-Calgary, Vancouver-Jasper and Whistler and Jasper
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.
- Lake Louise, Peyto Lake and Moraine Lake in Banff National Park.
- Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park
- Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park.
- Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls and Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park
- Angel Glacier and Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park
In the winter skiing, in the summer hiking.
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.