An apt description of the Canadian Rockies would be thousands of kilometers of breathtaking mountain views, huge, vast ice fields, and unique photography locations. Canada is most definitely the definition of the phrase “road trip country,” and a road trip across the Canadian Rockies is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you are highly unlikely to ever forget. Although there is an abundance of five-star hotels and fine dining places here, nothing beats the fun of traveling at your own pace in your own motor home and finding great campsites to park and relax for the night.
The night fees at these campsites are more than reasonable and will definitely not leave a hole in your wallet.
If you are a person who loves the outdoors, then this two-week Canadian Rockies itinerary from Calgary is the perfect one for you. Also, keep in mind that this itinerary is best suited for the months between mid-May till the end of September. You may find it difficult in finding campsites that are open if you travel anytime before or after the stipulated time period.
This road trip itinerary to the Canadian Rockies starts and ends at Calgary, as it is the nearest airport hub. It takes you through Banff National Park, along the Ice fields Parkway and all the way up to Jasper National Park. From Jasper, you will make your way down to Yoho National Park and finish in the Kananaskis country near Canmore.
Although the optimal time frame to complete this road trip is 14 days, you can shorten it or prolong it depending on your time limit. If you are planning to take this road trip to the Canadian Rockies from Calgary, it would be best for you to rent a motor home. There are a large number of motor home rental companies located in Calgary. As it does take a lot of work going to each one to compare quotes, you can consider using the Motor Home Republic, a search engine that guarantees the lowest prices. This can make life much easier for you as you can pick a camper van that will suit your needs. You will be traveling roughly 1500 kilometers if you follow this Canadian Rockies itinerary from Calgary.
After you get through the process of renting a car or a motor home, the next thing that you will need to do is to stock up on all the things that you will require for this road trip. As things are relatively cheaper in Calgary, it is better to pick up anything that you may need for the road trip. Most of the campsites listed out in this itinerary are equipped with toilet and shower facilities. They also have plug-in facilities for travelers traveling in bigger motor homes that require plugging in for electricity. However, you will need to keep in mind that if you are planning to travel during the peak summer months, i.e., July and August, it would be better to book the sites in advance, especially in the most popular areas like Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. It is always better to be safe than sorry, as these campsites get full pretty quickly and there is nothing worse than going all the way just to hear that there are no more spots available for you. You can make a booking on the Parks Canada Reservation Website. In the following is a brief overview of the itinerary.
Day 1–3: You will be spending time at Banff and its surrounding places for the first three days of this road trip, as Banff is considered to be the main hub in the Canadian Rockies. You can visit Sulphur Mountain, Banff Upper Hot Springs, and also take a lake cruise here.
Day 3–4: The place that you will visit next is called Bow Valley Parkway, which is a mini version of Icefields Parkway. There are a number of hiking trails here that you will find interesting.
Day4–6: The next stop on this itinerary is Lake Louise. This place is the central hub to explore the beautiful surroundings and its wildlife.
Day 6–8: The next stop is the Icefields Parkway where you can catch more than a glimpse of monumental glaciers, mountains, and icy blue lakes.
Day 8–10: Jasper National Park is the next stop on this itinerary where you can take a cruise down Maligne Lake, hike the Sulphur Skyline Trail, soak in the Hot Springs, or take the tram up to Whistler Mountain.
Day 10–12: You will then proceed to visit Yoho National Park where you will get to see Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls, and Lake O’Hara.
Day 12–14: These two days will be spent in Canmore and Kananaskis Country. It is just 120 kilometers from Calgary International Airport, where you can catch your flight back home, thereby completing this marvelous road trip through the Canadian Rockies.