Canada’s Rocky Mountains are the ultimate in alpine playgrounds. With virtually no low season, and peaks that reach as high as 12,294 feet, these prehistoric giants are a considerable draw for adrenaline junkies, outdoor enthusiasts and casual tourists alike.
The world-famous mountain range extends from the interior plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia, with southern borders in Idaho and Montana, and there are no fewer than five national parks within the range including Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho and Waterton.
Take a well-planned or spur-of-the-moment jaunt to this jewel of the west any time of the year, and you’ll never be short of things to do and see:
Spring: As wildflowers bloom, wildlife abound and the crack of the glaciers signals spring’s runoff, spring in the Rockies mean skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes in nothing more than a hooded sweatshirt or fleece jacket. Some ski areas have been known to stay open until late May and even early June -- just be sure to load up on sunscreen.
Summer: With thousands of kilometers in open trails and hundreds of aquamarine lakes, rivers and streams, there’s no doubt summer is the Rockies’ most popular season. Test the limits of your adventurous spirit with a hike, mountain bike or horseback ride through multi-leveled terrain, or simply take in the breathtaking views while golfing, dining or shopping in one of the many towns and villages.
Fall: All of the above, but with fewer crowds. The striking reds and yellows of the larch and aspen trees must be seen to be believed.
Winter: Whether you’re window-shopping in Banff, or hitting the white stuff on skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles or a horse drawn sleigh, nothing screams winter wonderland quite like the Rocky Mountains.