Canada is all about freedom and openness, both in their landscape and their culture. This Canada travel guide aims to capture some of this feeling, and direct you to wilderness areas like nowhere else on earth. Areas that are still home to Aboriginal Canadians, whose national reserves are protected areas as are the 37 national parks here. A magnificent country. Pure and simple.
Best time to visit the Canadian Rockies
Wildflowers brighten the subalpine meadows in June. That’s also when bears and 200-strong elk herds emerge on the lower slopes to graze snow-free grassland.
Canadian Rockies holidays tend to gun for the summer months, well away from avalanche season and the well-below-zero winter. Mid-May to mid-September is when the hiking paths and rafting rivers open for business, and glacier hikes become more accessible due to snowmelt. Lakes often don’t fully defrost till mid-June; so consider whether you’d rather be kayaking or ice skating. Wearing layers is essential; although things cool at high altitude there have been some surprisingly hot summers in recent years. For autumn colours, the best time to go to the Canadian Rockies is mid-September, when the larch trees go for gold.
Jasper Weather Chart
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Things to do in the Canadian Rockies…
Things not to do in the Canadian Rockies…
Canadian Rockies travel advice
Laura McGowan, Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism Canada, shares her wildlife watching tips:
Go with the guidelines
“Wildlife watching is a big aspect of tourism in Canada, and a growing one, so you need to ensure that the tour operator you are choosing is following all the guidelines, and that they are not putting either the tourist or the animal in danger. A lot of times, especially in the Rocky Mountains, tourists will, when they see a bear, just want to get out of their vehicle and get a picture. Or even worse, try and feed the bear. Independent tour guides have been known to do this in order to attract bears for the visitors.That is dangerous – not only for the person, but also the bear, because this often ends up in the bear having to be destroyed. Tourists just don’t think about the consequences of approaching animals in the wild. So make sure you travel with an expert.”
More Canadian Rockies articles
An introduction to the rocky mountain ways of Canada’s western provinces.
The best cycling holidays don’t spend all the time in the saddle, either – find out why in our guide.
Can you cycle the Icefields Parkway? Yes. In fact, we encourage it.