The Canadian Rockies

I was born in Alberta and left the province when I was 6. My dad was in the military so we moved around the country a lot. But even if I was very young, I have so many fond memories of camping, fishing, wandering in the woods and admiring the wildlife. I was 17 when I went back out west for the first time and have been going every 2 years or so since then. There’s just something about that crisp fresh air and those views that I can’t get enough of. Thish and I went together a couple years back and as expected, he also fell in love with the mountains and the lifestyle. His brother lives there now and most of his cousins had never been so we decided to go all together this year. We took advantage of Canada’s 150th anniversary and had free passes to the National Parks. We rented some chalets and Airbnb’s on the way and did hikes and sightseeing which do not cost much. I love going at this time of year because there are less tourists so everything is cheaper. You also get some pretty good weather (around 10°C) with a mix of sun and clouds.  Even some snow if you go higher up in the mountains. It’s also mating season for many animals like moose and elk and the bears come out to feed on the berries before winter comes so you have more chances of spotting wildlife.


I made a little summary of our trip for anyone who plans to visit. We flew to Edmonton to meet up with his brother and my sister-in-law so we started in Jasper, drove down to Banff and looped back to Edmonton. We also did step out of the park a bit and headed towards British Columbia. But if you have the option, the ideal is to land in Calgary, head towards Banff, drive all the way up to Jasper and come back.


Staying in Banff is expensive but if you have the means go for it! If not, stay in Canmore which is nearby. It’s a quaint little town, kind of like Banff’s little sister. Both towns offer some great hiking and activities. They also have grocery stores, tons of restaurants and liquor stores so you won’t run out of anything.

Things to do that are worth paying for:

Sights to see/hikes:

  • Fairmount Banff Springs
  • Bow Falls
  • Vermillion Lakes
  • Chester Lake Hike (Moderate: 9,3km – 3h)
  • Grassi Lakes Hike (Easy: 3,2km – 1h)
  • Horseshoe Ridge Loop (Moderate/Difficult: 10km – 4hrs)



Lake Louise is small but has some pretty spectacular lakes. My tip: wake up bright and early and get there before anyone else does. These places tend to get really crowded during the day.

Sights to see/hikes:

  • Lake Louise
  • Moraine Lake
  • Emerald Lake
  • Takakkaw Falls



The town of Golden itself is not spectacular but we stayed at the most amazing Buffalo ranch. It was by far everyone’s favourite place; it was so relaxing and picturesque. The owner Leo was the kindest and the most interesting character you’ll ever get a chance to meet. He took good care of us, shared his passion for buffalos and even gave us a fire making demonstration with a bow. If you ever want to go visit him, click here for more info.


Things to do that are worth paying for:

Sights to see/hikes:

  • Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail (Easy: 1km – less than an hour)
  • Meadows in the Sky Parkway (26km drive)



  • Athabasca Falls
  • Parker Ridge Hike (Moderate: 5km – 2h)
  • Icefields Parkway
  • Peyto Lake
  • Bow Lake



Things to do that are worth paying for:

Sights to see:

  • Sulphur Skyline Trail (Moderate/Difficult: 10km – 4h)
  • Valley of Five Lakes Trail (Moderate: 9km – 3h)


Now we are back and I’ve got the post vacation blues. Next time we’ll be going back is next year for our wedding at Emerald Lake Lodge. I love my country very dearly and there’s really no place I’d rather be than up in those mountains. It’s really a photographer’s dream. Maybe one day I’ll make it my home again!


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