Peyto Lake, Photo Credit: Travel Alberta
By: Bob Kenyon
Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks, in the province of Alberta, are comprised of Banff and Jasper and are linked by the magnificent Icefields Parkway. These two destinations offer ample opportunity for sightseeing, hiking, camping and back country backpacking (with appropriate permits).
There are amazing side trips to:
* Seen from the Parkway but well worth the trek to the base from Bow Lake
** The latter is part of famous Columbia Icefield
If you’re flying you can turn this trip into an Alberta round-trip, by arriving/departing from either Calgary or Edmonton International Airports and renting a vehicle, cycling, taking the bus or, in the case of Edmonton, taking VIA Rail.
If you choose this route, you can see both major cities, of Alberta, both with excellent summer activities and festivals. Traveling between may also provide a chance to see the excellent folk music festivals, not to exclude the jazz, country and blues festivals in Alberta.
This route may also provide the chance to take activities associated with Alberta: Rodeos and Powwows!
Traveling the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, between the two cities, has many side-trips, if you plan your trip, as does the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway, between Edmonton and Jasper. Just west of Hinton, you can head north, into the wilds, to Willmore Wilderness Area & Grande Cache. The Trans-Canada Number One Highway, between Banff and Calgary, also provides the opportunity to visit Canmore and Kananaskis Country.
One important thing to remember! If you travel during the peak summer months (July and August) accommodations for hotels, cabins and campgrounds can be in short supply, particularly in the National Parks . For camping reservations are required in the National Parks, or Alberta Parks.
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