“Hey Guys! We just finished a road trip in Country X and it was the best drive of our travels so far”
I’m sure you’ve read this line umpteen times in our posts over the past couple of years. It’s no secret that we love road trips, but it so happens that every once in a while, we go on a gorgeous road trip that knocks our socks off. Amongst the dozens of road trips we’ve been on, our most scenic experiences have included our road trip through Bavaria, our drive through Iceland, and the few weeks spent driving though New Zealand. Our epic road trip to Leh Ladakh was definitely THE most scenic of the lot.
That is till we found ourselves in the Canadian Rockies! You’ve probably guessed by now what’s coming next. Yes, you’re right! Our road trip in Canada has been the impressive drive of our life. YET. That’s sure to change in the future as we discover more of this crazy world 🙂
This road trip wasn’t even part of our grand North and Central America plan to begin with! It so happened that our Alaska cruise ended in Vancouver, and some of our friends showed us a picture of a turquoise lake nestled in the mountains. Water so turquoise that it prompted me to say “definitely photoshopped”. We were so intrigued by this image that we read more and more about Banff and Jasper national parks and decided, on a whim, to take a week long detour to the gorgeous province of Alberta. Well, it turns out, the photo of the lake wasn’t photoshopped. This is what we saw a few days ago:
Now after looking at these photos, can you blame us for getting tempted to plan this short road trip to the Canadian Rockies? And you know what, we must have seen hundreds of such picturesque sights throughout our week long sojourn in the Rockies! Now that we are all set to say goodbye to the pristine beauty of this region, we thought we’d take you on a visual treat through Banff and Jasper national parks, and truth be told, relive our magical week there too 🙂
Planning a Road Trip in the Canadian Rockies
Winter affords a variety of magical activities including snowshoeing, skiing, sleigh rides but summer is when the bears wake up and elks come out to play. There are a number of activities – hiking, canoeing, fishing, and boating on offer. Roads, alleys, even highways are laden with flowers – pristine daisies, colourful flowers, and Alberta’s characteristic wild roses. Moreover the lakes, being glacially fed, acquire their distinctive blue colour only in June when they are full. Soaring cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and azure blue skies all melt to make perfect frames. Trust us, you can’t make this up. Don’t believe us? Here you go:
Here’s our suggested 1 week itinerary (easily customisable to 10 days) for a road trip in Alberta Canada. Of course you could spend weeks exploring this gorgeous corner of our planet, but a week offers a perfect introduction to the area without breaking the bank 😉
Quick Top tips for a road trip in the Canadian Rockies
- Stock up on non-perishable snacks in Calgary. Supermarkets can get quite expensive in Banff and Jasper and are hard to find
- You will want to stop every 10 minutes because the scenery wows. Factor that into driving times
- If your nationality is allowed to, apply for ETA Canada online. If your nationality is not applied to online, make sure you get your visa stamped in your passport.
- Book accommodation WAY in advance, especially if you’re travelling during summer months. Try to look for cute cottages and lodges on AirBnB – there are some gorgeous and affordable ones in the area
- Buy passes online to prevent wasting time at the entry gates
- There are lots of cable car rides in the area. If you want to go on one gondola ride, make it the Jasper Sky Tram
- If you want to choose just one hike, make it Peyto Lake
- Don’t pay for a wildlife tour – bear sightings are common in both national parks. We spotted plenty of bears on the day we drove the Icefields Parkway.
- Day 5, Day 5, Day 5 🙂
Day 1 Fly to Calgary and pick your rental car
The most logical place to start a road trip to Banff and Jasper is Calgary. It’s well connected domestically and internationally and is only a short 2 hour drive from the fairytale town of Banff.
We picked up our rental car at Calgary airport. We can’t stress enough on the need for a car when exploring this region. There are plenty of tour agencies who ferry tourists to majors attractions, but trust us when we say, you’ll be missing out on a WHOLE lot if you don’t drive yourself through the Canadian Rockies. We rented our car with Hertz – make sure you book in advance if travelling during the summers!
The night was spent at a hotel nearby, all set for an early morning start. I stayed put at the hotel but Vid did nip out for a sunset shot or two under the ruse of “wanting to get comfortable behind the wheel of a new car” (these photographers, I tell you :-)):
Stay: We stayed overnight at Clique Airport Hotel when we got to Calgary. Just like with Banff and Jasper, hotels were booked out in Calgary. On comparing the prices and availability with other sites, we found a decent deal on Clique hotel, which is a great option close to the airport – it’s affordable, modern and clean. It also offers free parking for guests – perfect if you’re renting a car. However you might want to consider another hotel or AirBnB if you intend on exploring the city of Calgary.
Days 2-4 Explore Banff National Park
We started early to drive to Banff National Park. The drive is gorgeous but the real fun begins on getting to Banff. 3 nights are enough to explore Banff National Park. You need to purchase a park pass (CAD 9.8/day) to enter the national parks. Once that’s done, many of the attractions, public toilets, and parking are free.
Here are some of our favourite and not-so-favourite things to do in the area:
- Lake Moraine : Let this be the first thing you see in the area. Lake moraine’s sparkling turquoise waters will seduce you within seconds
- Lake Louise and Gondola Ride: It’s easy to combine your visit to Lake Moraine with a gondola ride at Lake Louise. The experience is said to afford incredible views of the area- we are sure it’s stunning in winter but it’s a bit underwhelming in summer. The gondola ride costs CAD35, so we’d suggest skipping it!
- Short cruise on Lake Minnewaka: It’s impossible to be all laked out in this area – there are dozens of lakes in the national park, each one better than the last. Minnewaka is the largest lake in Banff. Expect incredible mountain scenery, rocky cliffs, and emerald green waters. If you’re lucky you might spot grizzly bears and bald eagles too! An hour long cruise costs CAD 60 but there are longer wine and cheese cruises if you have an evening to spend in the area. If you’re short on time, you could skip this cruise and opt for one in Jasper instead.
- Bow Valley Parkway: When driving from Banff to Lake Louise, venture onto Highway 1A, also known as Bow Valley Parkway. It’s a very scenic drive and affords great views of Bow river that meanders through the valley alongside the parkway. There are plenty of gorgeous hikes and trails here.
- Johnston Canyon: Situated half an hour away from Banff on Bow Valley Parkway, this is a really nice, albeit crowded, hike through a gorge. It’s an easy trail to the Lower Falls, and if you want moderate exercise, make your way to the Upper Falls. We did, and it was fun!
- Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake scenic loop drive: This stunning drive starts very close to Banff town and loops through Two Jack Lake, Jackson Lake, and Minnewanka Lake. We were told that it’s a great little drive to spot wildlife and it didn’t disappoint! While we didn’t spot any grizzlies, we did spot elks, deer, and lots of birds.
- Banff Town: Walk through the picturesque town of Banff and soak in the hustle bustle of the area. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to grab lunch here.
- Take a tour: If you’re in Banff for a longer time, take a tour that suits your interests. You could opt for a helihike to a nearby glacier, go canoeing on Bow River, or go for a horse ride in the area.
Stay: Try to find accommodation in Banff. Fairmont is a great option if you enjoy luxury hotels. But do beware accommodation in Banff is extremely limited and runs out months in advance. We couldn’t get a single hotel room in Banff during the month of August. So we chose the neighbouring town of Canmore as a base and stayed at Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge. Double rooms will set you back by CAD 170/night (not including breakfast). The rooms were spacious and comfortable but not particularly luxurious. However the location was great to get on to the highway to Banff quickly.
Day 5 – Drive the Icefields Parkway and explore glaciers
For the two of us, this day was definitely the highlight of the entire road trip. If you, like us, are exploring Banff and Jasper on your road trip of the Canadian Rockies, then spend day 5 driving from Banff to Jasper. The route is home to the uber-scenic Mountain roadway called Icefields Parkway. This 230 km road is one of the most scenic roads in the world. You could cover it in 4 hours or so, but that would be criminal as you’d be missing out on so much! Take your time (and LOTS of it) driving this stretch. Here are a few pit stops you must make along the way:
Now there are dozens of lakes in the area and you’ll cross a few as soon as you start driving the ice fields Parkway but resist the temptation to stop- instead save that time for bow lake, which is truly as gorgeous as they come. The glistening waters of the lake are truly spectacular on a sunny day. There are loads of picnic benches next to the lake, so it’s a perfect spot for brunch.
Travelling extensively has spoilt us rotten – these days we seldom find panoramas that knock our socks off but Peyto lake is definitely one of them. A short 10 minute hike takes visitors to a vantage point but don’t stop there. Carry on for another 10 minutes on the main trail and then for another 5 minutes on a small alpine trail that leads to another, much more scenic, view of the lake. It’s so gorgeous, we were transfixed to the spot for the good part of an hour!
3.Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre
For stunning views of the glacier and surrounding valley and some gorgeous photos hop on the Glacier Skywalk (CAD32, 15 minutes) or the Glacier Adventure (CAD65, 80 minutes).Here you can actually walk on the Athabasca Glacier after a short drive in a specially designed monster truck.
You can actually drive quite close to the glacier for free. There’s a parking lot which offers decent views of the glacier. However you need to take one of these tours in order to get ON the glacier itself. It’s worth booking tickets in advance as the tours are quite popular during summer months. You could definitely skip the Glacier Skywalk but do try and go on the Glacier Adventure where a monster truck will transport you to the middle of Athabasca Glacier!
And don’t forget that this stretch of the park is home to lots of animals and birds, so drive carefully and be attentive. You never know when a bear or mountain goats spring onto the highway from nowhere. Always keep your eyes on the road as it’s easy to get distracted. We spotted tons of beautiful wildlife on this day.
Stay: You’ll undoubtedly be tired at the end of this day, what with all that driving. Make sure you book your accommodation in Jasper at least 6 months in advance as accommodation as Jasper runs out quickly during peak summer months. Fairmont offers great rooms with views to boot. Try to find a hotel in Jasper but if you can’t, we suggest accommodation in nearby Hinton – it offers easy access to the Jasper National Park.
Day 6: Explore downtown Jasper and drive to Maligne Lake
Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies. Banff is prettier while Jasper is more rugged and handsome. Jasper is a charming lil town with a few restaurants, supermarkets, and panoramic views of the Rockies. Spend a lazy morning walking around town after the long drive on Day 5.
If you’re up for a bit of a drive then head to Maligne Lake. The sparkling lake is home to a tiny “island” called Spirit island (technically a peninsula but turns into an island when the lake’s water level rises) and it’s easy to spend a couple of hours there. We took a lake cruise at Maligne – it’s a fun tour that lasts 1.5 hours and offers an opportunity to acquaint oneself with little corners of the lake and the spellbinding scenery all around.
Rest in the afternoon and set off on an aimless drive to experience some gorgeous panoramas during sunset. Trust us when we say this, you could drive to any part of the park and find yourself in paradise. We went on an aimless drive to Athabasca falls and loved watching the sun set over the gushing walls.
Day 7: Jasper’s Skytram and Athabasca Falls
You have a long drive back to Calgary the next day, so it’s best to take it easy. We enjoyed a well-deserved lie-in and lazed around till noon on Day 7 🙂 We boarded the Jasper Skytram in the afternoon, and were pleasantly surprised on getting to the top. The sun was shining bright and there was a nip in the air – perfect weather to relax and enjoy the spectacular view of Jasper town below. An afternoon well spent!
Day 8- Drive back to Calgary
We started early in order to catch sunrise at Sunwapta Falls, an hour’s drive from Jasper. Seeing the ochre sun rising up form the mountains right behind the falls was the perfect start to the day!
We were so glad we started early from Jasper on this day. The first 2-3 hours of the drive were breathtaking. Scenes appeared in front of us as if right out of a painting – empty roads winding through the valley as the rising sun lit the valley in orange hues and clouds hung around low as if hugging the trees. Vid must have taken at least 50 photos in a span of 30 minutes.
Brunch spot for the day was at Waterfowl Lake that offered perfect reflections of the peaks that rose across from us – could not have asked for a better spot to munch on our sandwiches 🙂
There’s so much to see and soak in when driving the Icefields Parkway that one day is just not enough.A lot of people start at Calgary, drive to Banff and Jasper, and then continue on to Edmonton before flying out from there. That’s why we recommend flying in and out of Calgary so that you get to drive this scenic road twice!
Stay: We reached Calgary by brunch and spent our last night at Clique Hotel, before flying out of Calgary
Budgeting for this road trip
Expect to spend CAD 2500-2700 for 2 people on a week long road trip in the Canadian Rockies. You will spend approximately CAD200 on fuel, CAD700 on car rental, CAD900 on good mid-range accommodation, CAD500 on food & drink, CAD 150 on national park fees, and CAD200+ on activities and tours. Of course this cost is heavily dependent on the season you travel in, the kind of tours and hotels you choose, and the number of people in your group. It will increase if you dine out a lot or opt for luxury accommodation. It will decrease significantly if you travel in a group and share car rental and accommodation costs. These prices are for a trip taken during peak season in August 2016. Prices in the low season will be significantly lower.
There you have it – our itinerary for one of our most favourite road trips so far. Have you driven in the Canadian rockies? We’re sure you loved it as much as we did, yes? 😀
*All costs true of August 2016.
Want to see where all we have driven? Read about all our road trips
Are you crazy about road trips too? Here are some of our favourites:
Carnivals and Beaches: A Road Trip Through Spain
Lions and Wineries: A Road Trip Through South Africa
The Land of Game of Thrones: A Road Trip Through Croatia
Picture Postcards Everywhere: A Road Trip Through New Zealand
Glaciers and Icebergs: A Road Trip Through Iceland
202 thoughts on “Planning A Summer Road Trip in the Canadian Rockies”
Nice post.All these spots are beautiful & gorgeous. Truly picturesque….
Thanks a million Anant 🙂
We want to take a trip next year and was trying to decide on a planned tour or doing a drive. We have just retired and a little nervous because we only speak English. Will there be a language problem for us. We had thought about the middle of June. Do we still have to worry about snow ? You have really got me interested in doing our own thing.
You’ll be just fine with English in Canada 🙂 There won’t be snow in mid-June, at least not on the majority of the roads that you’ll be driving 🙂
Trust us, you’ll have a great trip 🙂
Could you tell what passes you are referring to that we should buy online?
These are passes for the national parks – Banff and Jasper – you need to buy passes if you’re spending time in these national parks 🙂
I’d LOVE to do a road trip, this is awesome you really made the trip with this one. Road trips can be awesome, I need one asap! x
Thanks – you should definitely plan a road trip, especially to Banff National Park if and when you get a chance 🙂
Your pictures are absolutely breathtaking!!!
I love road trips so much 🙂
Thanks Lubka – Banff and Jasper National Parks are stunning they made our job of capturing them on camera easy 🙂
Fantastic landscapes! Lots of amazing photos, but the deer with the rainbow is extra special.
Thanks Galina – I think spotting wildlife made our road trip in the Canadian Rockies uber special 🙂
WOW your pics are SO amazing, super pretty. I’ve never thought of doing a road trip in Canada but I am super in love with these pics! xx
Thanks Olivia – we always head to a warm place for a holiday, so Canada wasn’t on our radar till recently. But we’re so glad we went! I hope our post persuades you to make a trip to that corner of the world 🙂
Wow what an absolutely amazing trip – I love the colour of the water and that pic of you on the glacier in the red chair is just awesome. I’m off to follow you on insta now x
Thanks a ton Sam – so happy to hear that 🙂 Fun fact – The water of the lakes in the area is THAT blue because of glacial silt and rock flour that accompanies glacial water to the lakes every summer 🙂
OMG Those waterfalls look absolutely INCREDIBLE. Definitely a breath taking trip to pop on my bucket list! xxx
Thanks Laura – the waterfalls were amazing but it was the lakes at Banff National Park that stole our hearts 🙂
Oh my goodness those photos are so amazing!!! Some of them don’t even look real they are so crisp and perfect!!
Thanks Francesca – being married to a professional travel photographer helps eh 😉
Being Canadian, I actually laughed out loud at this comment!
Lol Susan – then you’d know those panoramas lend themselves very well to stunning photos 🙂
Yes, they do but it was your add “eh” at the end of the sentence – a true giveaway of being in Canada 🙂
I would love a road trip like this. Looks so beautiful . Fantastic photos
Thanks a ton Beth – so happy to hear you enjoyed going through the photos 🙂
My friend’s went to Canada for their honeymoon! They said it was the BEST! H x
It’s the perfect place for a honeymoon – picture-postcard panoramas at every turn 🙂
I just turned to the screen round to my hubby and went ‘wow’… seriously amazing photos and scenery which is out of this world x
Yay – so happy to hear that Rachel – driving around Banff National Park and Jasper National Park was dreamy – we did not want to leave 🙂
Wow I can’t even believe that these images are real, Canada looks out of this world beautiful. I would love to capture the landscapes.
Thanks Ana – I’m sure you’d do an amazing job at capturing the landscapes 🙂
Oh my god those views are insane, your photos are incredible. I’d love to go to the Canadian Rockies x
Thanks Rhian – we weren’t expecting the Canadian Rockies to be this special because no one ever talks about them, but they’re well and truly special 🙂
Your trip sounded so nice. I love those views of the landscapes. It would be so cool to check out the national parks.
Thanks a ton Liz – I’m sure you’ll love driving through the Canadian Rockies 🙂
Now you have confused me to choose between south africa, new zealand or Canada next year ?
Hehe that’s a really tough choice Kamakshi – New Zealand and Canada are both STUNNING. Choose NZ if you have 2 weeks or more and Canada if you have a week. South Africa, on the other hand, offers experiences like safaris and sun-hazed beaches which are missing from Canada. If that’s the kind of thing you like, South Africa it is 🙂
We did the same trip 2 months ago and like you mentioned this is by far the best place we’ve been to! The locals say Lake Louise freezes in winter and people go ice skating on the lake! Can’t wait to go back!
So glad we aren’t the only ones to feel that way Priyanka 🙂 We’re currently talking about re-visiting the area during winter months
Savi and Vid thanks so much for this amazing guideline to travel. Seems you guys are living the dream life and making the world so jealous but at the same time helping them a lot too :). We just took the Bavarian Alps trip following your basic guidelines for the trip and adding a few more points for ourselves and it was amazing ! I would reallly want to know which camera and lenses is Vid using for these spectacular photos. They blow my mind away !
Hey Neha – thanks a million. You must send us photos from your roadtrip to Bavaria at bruisedpassports at gmail dot com. We use a Nikon D610 for all our photos. I use the camera with 4 different lenses – all details in our article on Travel and Photography Essentials https://www.bruisedpassports.com/featured/travel-photography-essentials
We were thinking of making a trip to Banff and Jasper this summer.. But now its confirmed.. We Have To Go..!! Thanks for the super helpful itinerary..I hope mid September is still not too late. I heard the night skies in Jasper are amazing, just cannot wait to see all that beauty ?
Hey Sravani – we hear it’s great in September too 🙂 The night skies are truly amazing. Send us photos from your trip to the Canadian Rockies in September
Wow, breathtaking landscapes! Banff has been on my list for a while now, you guys put it right on the top after this post 🙂
Btw, do you guys have an international driver’s permit? Could you briefly describe the procedure to get the same?
Thanks a lot!
Hey Anu – any driving license works fine, as long as it’s in English. If it’s not in English, you will need to get an international driver’s permit 🙂
The pictures are breathtaking. You guys define Travel goals! Couple goals! GOALS! 🙂
PS – Canada. 2017. Same time. Thanks to you guys!
Damn, thanks a ton for all the love Aaditya. You MUST send us photos from Canada next year – we’d love to share them with our readers 🙂
You give us goals!! So picturesque!
Thanks a million Nisha 😀
Breathtaking pictures …Canada is such a beauty
Thanks guys -we really enjoyed our time there 🙂
Absolutly breathtaking beautiful photos – wow this look amazing! I would love to do this one day. xx
Thanks Anna – we won’t forget this road trip in the Canadian Rockies for a long long time to come 🙂
Wow absolutely stunning pictures! My sister in law has been to Canda many times but only ever in the winter as they go skiing but she always raves about what a beautiful country it is and says she would love to go in the summer one of these days. That lake is stunning, need to add this to my list of things to see
The lakes of Banff and Jasper National Parks are definitely the highlight of a visit to the Canadian Rockies 🙂
No I haven’t but your photos are making me want to. What an adventure.
You must go if you like nature (and LOTS of it) on your holidays 🙂
Hey guys, thanks for sharing the extremely gorgeous pictures of your trip. It is so surreal to see these pictures on the fone, I can hardly imagine the feel of experiencing it. Your post brought a constant smile on my face throughout. I wish you two many more, happy and enchanting trips for life.
P.S. I absolutely loved the Bavarian road trip post too.
P.P.S. sorry for a long comment. Couldnt contain the excitememt.
Thanks a million for your comment Surya- we love long comments from our readers, so there’s absolutely no need to apologise. This was a magical roadtrip – aah! 🙂
Sounds like a trio of a life time! We love to visit the Canadian Rockies as a family. It’s so scenic!
Thanks a ton – it’s very family-friendly and kids are catered for everywhere. You should definitely visit 🙂
Love the pictures! Husband and I are Canadians and live in Toronto – and Canadian Rockies are definitely on our list but you know how it is when it’s your homeland – you keep pushing it down the list in favour of more exotic, further destinations. After 4 years of traveling to different continents, I think it’s time we see our country :). Maybe next summer….thanks for this post! Definitely reminded me how beautiful Canada is.
That’s so true Naima – you should definitely make a trip to see the Canadian Rockies. Do send us photos when you go 🙂
Great recap of your trip to the Canadian Rockies! You’ve covered the best of the attractions. I can never get enough of these lakes and mountains, be it in summer or winter! I’m fortunate to live in Calgary and enjoy these natural wonders. Glad you made it to this side of the world! Safe travels!
Thanks Smitha – what a gorgeous place to call home 🙂 Aah
I would love to visit Canada one day, it looks seriously awesome!
It’s a gorgeous country Tara – we can’t wait to go back and explore more 🙂
OMG! The views are just amazing! What a place to visit! Stunning, simply stunning!
Thanks a ton Agata 🙂
This road trip is on my bucket list. It looks so beautiful.
Thanks Dannii 🙂 Hope you make it there soon
This place seems magical and the credit goes to vid’s expertise with the camera !!!! The beauty definitely leaves me spell bound and so are the posts .. They are so well written and put up !!!! Kudos !!!
Thanks for appreciating the hard work that goes into maintaining the blog Kushagr. The Canadian Rockies are magical and I had an amazing time capturing them 🙂
Wow I would so love to do this road trip! Hopefully one day x
Hey Hannah – hope you make it to the Canadian Rockies soon. I know you’ll love them 🙂
Savi and vid , I have been following you guys for a year now and could not resist my first comment now . Truly you guys are amazing . We are travel junkies and love to travel and this blog has been a fantastic resource in planning our trips . The funny thing is you guys posted the Peru itinerary when we had just booked our flights to Lima , and now I see the Canadian Rockies and we plan to visit end of this month 🙂 I see NZ and Aussie on your blog and we have plans of visiting end of this year ! Its been very close timelines , we missed bumping into you guys . Definitely would love to catch up with you guys if you are anywhere around California .
Hey Shruthi – it’s lovely to hear from you. So happy to hear Bruised Passports has helped you plan your trips easily. Yay. You MUST send us photos from the Canadian Rockies with your full name(s), we’d love to share them with our readers 🙂 Hope our paths cross somewhere around the globe super soon
Oh my goodness, your pictures are incredible.. I really REALLY want to visit now!
Thanks a ton 🙂 So happy to hear that
OMG wow, seriously the photos are simply amazing, I think you have sold it to everyone that sees this post!
Thanks Melanie – so chuffed to see everyone enjoying these photos so so much 🙂
Your photos are incredible! I have to go now!
Thanks Jemma – it’s the location working its magic 🙂
These photos are magical and so colorful. I love the mountains and the waterfall. I love this blog because it always takes me on a joinery!
Thanks a ton Candice – so happy to hear we’ve been successful in taking you on a journey through the Canadian Rockies with us 🙂
Thanks Lalitha 🙂
OMG, Canada looks out-of-the-world stunning! I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska, but never considered a trip to Canada so far. Now I think I should. I can imagine how a road trip here would be.
Would also love to know about the Alaskan cruise! I love all your cruise posts! 🙂
Thanks a million Ramya – yes Canada was stunning 🙂 Alaska posts coming up soon – will publish them this week or next
As always beautiful pictures and well written details:)Savi as always u make all loactions even more special with your boho outfits.Amazing road photos.Moraine and peyto both look so unreal,but it’s amazing that you guys explored so many other beautiful spots even on an unplanned trip . can’t wait to explore all these places.
Thanks a ton Ramya 🙂 You’re very generous – we’re a tad compulsive about researching and visiting the prettiest places in the area, so we just had to hit up all these spots 😉
Paradigm shift 😀
I always thought Canada as a cold and gloomy Place.This is one of your best posts and my favorite ! <3 <3
Thanks Shilpa – so happy to hear that. Canada is stunning and I’m glad we changed your mindset about it 🙂
superb click guys:)))) all poster perfect….
Thanks Komal 🙂 So happy to hear you enjoyed our photos
Exotic vacation spot
Thanks Jaspreet 🙂
Banff is a fairy tale-ish winter wonderland around New Years. Chateau Lake Louise and Fairmont Banff Springs offer the best specials(as best as they can be). the incredible summers move on to be magical winters, hope you can visit it sometime in winters and add this to you winter holiday bucket list 🙂 Love your posts!
We’d love to re-visit during winter months Finla- we love cold-weather holidays, so I know we’d like it tons 🙂
I love your blog! The Canadian Rockies is definitely on my list for summer 2017. Is it safe enough to do this road trip solo?
Of course Bonita – this route is super safe for a solo traveller, no problem 🙂
Hi lovely pictures. can you tell me what lens you guys are using or what camera lens will be best for landscape photography 🙂
You can read about our photography gear here: https://www.bruisedpassports.com/everything/travel-photography-essentials
In general, for landscape photography, you should buy an ultra-wide or wide angle lens – e.g. 15-30 or 18-35
Do you recommend getting insurance when renting a car?
Love your blog,40% of my bookmark is filled with your posts.
Hey Shaila – that’s awesome. Glad you enjoy Bruised Passports so much 🙂 We ALWAYS recommend getting insurance while renting a car. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially while travelling in a foreign country
Stunning shots. When I am a little down, I go through the pictures on your blog and I am all perky <3
Aww that’s the sweetest thing we’ve heard all week – thanks a ton for all the love Deepika 🙂
Stunning pictures. The spirit island is surreal! Can’t wait to do a trip there soon.
Hope you make it to Canada super soon Aditi 🙂
You guys are such an inspiration! I am planning a trip there this September and this post just confirmed some of the agenda! What car did you rent while on this roadtrip? Do the roads in early September require an SUV? Can hardly wait to get there after seeing your amazing photos!
We had rented a normal Sedan but got upgraded to an SUV. Yayy! No, you definitely don’t need an SUV in September.
Have a great trip and share photos with us 🙂
Wow. So beautifully captured. Thanks a million as we are planning our summer road trip to Canadian Rockies in August. Will follow your adventures in future
Thank you so much dear Sharad for liking our post on the Canadian Rockies.You are sure to enjoy it while you are there. Have fun and happy travels to you:)
It seems like you had the perfect weather for the road trip! Maligne lake in Jasper NP is one of my favourites of all time. I have done a canoe trip there last year and am repeating the experience this year! I am based in the Canadian Rockies and can only confirm the beauty of this place! Did you guys do any exploring around Canmore and Kananaskis Country? A lot of people miss out on this place without realizing how beautiful it is. Banff and Jasper steal all the visitors! haha
No we didn’t but planning to visit Canada soon and will definitely look into exploring Canmore and Kananaskis Country – thanks for the suggestion 🙂
Hi… Stunning Adventure Trip!
I just want to ask if did you bopk any tour a long the way of your travel? How many hotels did you book for the whole trip. Me and my bf are planning to do the trip in canadian rockies this coming august for a week. Thanks.
If you’re going in the first half of August, it’s better you book all hotels in advance. We really struggled to get accommodation even when we started booking a couple of months in advance. We booked one hotel in Calgiri, one in Banff, and one in Jasper.
We did not book any tour along the way 🙂
I traveled to Banff and Jasper a week ago and followed your itinerary. You have done a fantastic job with planning your trip. I intend to do more of the road trips you have beautifully planned.
Vid’s pictures are so beautifully captured. It is the main thing which made me undertake this trip 🙂
So happy to hear that Janice – do share your photos with us too 🙂
We have a road trip planned to Banff & Jasper at the end of July, can you give suggestions on what type of clothes to pack?
Or what kind of weather we’ll expect?
Thanks, awesome pictures too!
Hey Rae – would suggest packing summer clothes with one light jumper/cardigan and one winter jacket. The weather is warm most days but it turns pretty quickly in the Rockies 🙂
Can you give an estimate of cost for a road trip like the one you took?
I know depending on hotels/car rental and etc but a rough idea? We are
from midwest America and will have to fly out there.
If you visit in July/August, things will be more expensive. Including car rental, hotels, meals, and activities, expect to spend around 150-200 CAD per person per day in those months 🙂
Have a great trip!
Amazing post. All of your shots are incredible and have really helped me plan my trip! Myself and a few friends are doing a road trip starting in Calgary and going to Banff and Jasper, and then down to Vancouver. A quick question – your shot of Calgary from Nose Hill Park is amazing. Where did you park your car? I imagine the park is pretty big so wondered if you could help me with your location in the park for that view? Thanks in advance 🙂
Happy to hear our posts were helpful 🙂 I parked the car at the 14th Street parking lot – here is a map of the place – https://goo.gl/Cd5NTG
Have a great trip and do share photos with us when you’re back
Hi! I’m planning to do a similar trip in the summer of 2018 but thought of reversing the route, Jasper first, then ending in Banff so that we would get a long drive out of the way early when we had the most energy and then tracking back. Can you see of any reason why this wouldn’t work as well? I just hate the thought of driving on my last day there.
Hey Mariel – reversing the route shouldn’t pose any problem at all. Have fun in the Canadian Rockies 🙂
The pictures look so unreal like desktop wallpapers. The views are so pretty. Absolutely wow…
So happy you enjoyed these photos Loreta – Canada is a pleasure to photograph 🙂
Hey guys, this is a brill post! Thanks for sharing these awesome pics and providing all this helpful advice! We are planning to do a road trip soon. Can you please me where you guys stayed in Jasper? Thanks so much!
Jasper was somewhat a last minute addition to our trip so all accommodation was booked already (we went in the super peak season i.e. first half of August). In the end, we managed to get a private room in Jasper Downtown Hostel – the room was fine albeit a bit small but the location is pretty good. If we were to go again, we’d book a hotel much in advance 🙂
Hey, was looking for just such a trip. Booked tickets to Calgary last week of June 2018. Care to give us a detailed break up of your itinerary? just the days and places pl.
All the information is in this article 🙂 Hope you have a great trip in the Rockies – they’re gorgeous
My husband and I went to Germany, Austria and Switzerland for our honeymoon this past May and used your blog post as a guide for the Bavarian portion of our trip! It was incredible!!
We are starting to plan an anniversary trip in May 2018 and the Canadian Rockies seem like the perfect place. Do you think that would be too early in the season for a road trip?
I should clarify… Late May-early June
Hey Shannon – absolutely not. The area is stunning all year round. Sure the lakes might not be exactly this blue but there’ll be lesser tourists and accommodation will be easier to find 🙂
i am from india (mumbai)
want the above mention itinerary which ends vancouver in 12 days
i might be travelling with wife and daughter in may 2018
can we three can go on our own with proper advance booking of hotels, i want to drive the complete route
vegetarian foods available ?
please guide me
your above itinerary was class apart with picture.
Hey you can stop at supermarkets to stock up on vegetarian foods. And yes, you can easily plan the above trip yourself 🙂
Awesome factual itinerary but I can’t believe you didn’t spend any time in Kananaskis Country. It’s just south of Banff National Park mainly accessible from Canmore. In the 14 months I lived in the Canadian Rockies, I found that “K Country” was much more picturesque than Banff NP or even Jasper NP! Well I guess now you have an excuse to go back again….. like you needed one anyway haha. Safe Travels.
Hey Marta – glad you enjoyed reading our article on A Summer Road Trip in the Canadian Rockies. Definitely jotting down Kananaskis Country for our next roadtrip in the area – thanks a ton for the suggestion 🙂
Hey, awesome blog post, loved reading it. Wonderful pictures and very informative! We are thinking about renting a RV, I see that you have rented a car. So what would be your recommendation?
We can’t comment on the bit about RV as we don’t have personal experience in Canada for driving an RV. That said, we saw plenty of RVs on the road. Personally, we prefer a car most of the times.
Hi, We are planning a trip to the Rockies this Aug and found your itinerary perfect. Thank you for such a detailed trip report.Your pictures are absolutely stunning and inspiring to anyone wanting to visit the area.
Did you visit Lake Moraine before Louise? I’ve read a lot about parking issues there and how its better to get there as early as 7 am to get a good picture. We are planning 3 nights in Banff, 3 in Jasper and a night in Calgary before flying out. Should we stay a night in Lake Louise instead? Any inputs on this would be appreciated.
Yes, make sure you get to Lake Moraine super early – parking can be an issue there for sure. No need to spend the night at Lake Louise .
Guys awesome post , looking forward to visit Banff this July.
Thanks for the detailed post.. It helped us plan our trip for July. Would it be possible if we were to plan Day 4 for Lake Louise, Lake Moraine and then drive to Columbian Icefields for Overnight. Day 5 go the Glacier Adventure and head to Jasper.
We are planning to do the Bow & Peyto lake on our way back from jasper on Day 8. Even, do you have any suggestions for Hotels or B&B in Jasper?
Is there anything you can suggest for Calgary.
You’re welcome. Yes you can do Lake Louise, Lake Moraine on Day 4 and then to Icefields (not sure about overnight accommodation in that area).
In Jasper you can stay at Fairmont – when we went it was peak tourist season and we couldn’t get any decent accommodation
Hi you guys, my family and I (kids included) are planning to travel and stay in Banff for 3 nights, jasper 3 nights, and whistler 3 nights. Where do you suggest we stay in all 3 places? We’re thinking both fairmont properties in Banff and jasper, if you have any other suggestions do tell!
Hey you can’t go wrong with Fairmont in Banff and Jasper National Parks but would suggest you book in advance as it gets really busy 🙂
My boyfriend and I are planning to take a trip up to Banff National Park and I was wondering if you found it necessary to have a car with four wheel drive or do you think a compact car would do the trick?
A compact car is just fine for Banff 🙂
We are planning for visit to Canada on 30th Sept.2018. Planning for Alaska Cruise from Seattle to Seattle (only available and last sailing) on 30/9 and from 7th oct, planning Canada road tour.
Can you suggest good route (Seattle to Seattle) by road, places to visit, good decent accommodations (not too expensive, but decent with good location and view), things to keep in mind, entrance fees bookings, etc. Our tour shall end on 14/10/18 and shall be flying back.
Sorry could not understand your question mate – what do you mean by Seattle to Seattle by road? If you’re asking for a good drive starting from Seattle and coming back to Seattle, well, can;t help you there as this article is all about our drive in Canadian Rockies!
Loved your blog, we are heading there in August also a very far trip for us to get there, we are also like you doing Alaska first and then heading to Calgary for our week in the Rockies.
How did you manage to get your photos with almost no other people in it? as I have heard it can get crowded.
Did you use a tripod with a Automatic setting to capture the photos of the both of you together? we also have that problem normally as its just the two of us travelling by ourselves 🙂
You will love this road trip in Canada 🙂 Well at places where we know crowds can be a problem, we go either the first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening to avoid the crowds. Yes we usually use a tripod for our own photographs 🙂
Hey guys! Great details! Anything to watch out for regarding the drive particularly?
Just enjoy the gorgeous views and make sure you stop at the beautiful lakes that you’ll pass 🙂
I’m from Calgary and there’s nothing I love more than travellers praising the natural beauty of my province 🙂 Even though it’s beautiful in the summer, it’s even more amazing in the winter time. During November – February is when you really get to see the true beauty of the Rocky Mountains all snow capped ❤️ Do try to come out again during the winter if it still interests you!
Also I recommend going to Quebec City if you’re ever back in Canada ??
Thank you 🙂 Yes, absolutely LOVE Canada and it’s equally beautiful (if not more) in Winters 🙂 can’t wait to go back and drive through Alberta in winters 🙂
Hey ! Just what I was looking for past three week , trying to figure a road trip through the rockies.
It’s so well put and easy to adapt
My only concern is we have a two year old toddler on board with us , would you suggest for us to go ahead with the trip or postpone it for later ?
Also we were the trip around mid August , hoping to catch the northern lights. Is it a possibility ?
Hey no need to postpone it – your kid will have a great time ☺️
Northern Lights might not be possible ?
Canadian rockies are so beautiful. Thanks for the itinerary. Was planning to go next year and this will be extremely helpful.
Want to do the Leh road trip too but situation in Srinagar makes me hesitant.
I’m actually beyond impressed with not only the quality of this post with its insane details and incredibly gorgeous images, but honestly this whole website and how well it’s all set up. This all is incredibly inspiring and I appreciate all the work you put into this!
Thanks for your kind words, Austin!
what car do you suggest as we are travelling with 5 bags and after 11 night in canadian rockies we are planning cruise from vancouver for 7 nights than way back to india
suv is ok or any other you suggest , also suggest good car rental company
Hey our car rental option for Canadian Rockies is linked above. An SUV is a great option 🙂
Hello! This looks amazing. We are going in June this year, but we are camping in a wee Jeep/tent. Any recommendations? I guess this brings our price down quite a lot! 🙂 We are coming from Scotland. Any advice on weather etc would be great.. obviously we can see general averages but be great to hear from someone who’s actually experienced it.
Hey you will be quite comfortable in a Jeep/tent during June. Of course you have to allow room for vagaries of weather, so would suggest carrying a really warm down jacket (or equivalent) and some woollies 🙂
How could you click such awesome shots. Hats off
did you travel in the month of august?
we are planning to travel around august end- sept start. are the waters always so blue- i mean all throughout summer months?
Hey yes we travelled in August. If the sun is out, the water is blue 🙂
Hi, you say Vid is the photographer, can you tell me what equipment he used to take such stunning photos? Was there any photoshop or touching up of his photos or are they au natural?
Hey Linda – most of these photos are shot with a Nikon D610. They didn’t need to be touched up coz Alberta is stunning during summer months (and all year round actually!)
That’s exactly the camera I have too !!! 😀
Hi Savi and Vid,
What pass is suggested to visit national park banff and jasper for 8 days?
I believe it’d be cheaper to buy the annual pass than buying daily pass for 8 days. The same pass will give you entry to Banff, Jasper, and many other national parks 🙂
Heading there in September just read about your trip thanks so much for great ideas, was thinking of taking a escorted bus tour but think it will be better if just the two of us hit the open roads of the Canadian Rockies.
Hey Jacquie – yes you would have so much more fun and flexibility if it’s the two of you by yourselves. We’d definitely recommend that 🙂
Hi Savi and Vid,
Banff and Lake Louise have always been on our bucket list. Your pictures and itinerary just confirmed that it is a must do for us. If we do a 10 or 12 day itinerary, which areas would you recommend to spend more time? Thank you so much. Jan
We’d spend more time in Banff for sure. The area around Banff is just so spectacular that you could be out exploring all day and still not get tired.
Can we travel with a 7 months old baby? Also us July/August good time?
Yes that should be fine and July/August is the best time for this road trip 🙂
My family and I just followed your itinerary and we had a wonderful 7 day trip. Thank you so much…
so happy to hear that 🙂 please share some photos with us when you get the chance 🙂
My husband and I would love to do this trip. We are both retired and a little nervous. Could you tell us what time of year is best? Is September too late. To go?
Thank you so very much.
September should be absolutely fine – please don’t be nervous, you’ll have an amazing time 🙂
Wow ! Thank you very much for such a wonderful and highly detailed post… and the incredible pictures.
We are planning a trip in July 2020 and this post is of great help.
And you two seem to be such a loving beautiful couple.
You’re welcome Ram. Have a great time driving in the Canadian Rockies. It’s a treat to the eyes 🙂
Can you please tell me the location from where the road as shown in following image link was taken.
Thanking you in advance
This is somewhere between Jasper and Banff. To be honest, you’ll see such views pretty much the entire way between Jasper and Banff.
such nice travel content, thank you for sharing with us.
Hi Savi and Vid.. How are you? Hope your parents are recovering. I am planning a trip to Alberta with my friends and will be using the itinerary for our travel with little changes. I wanted to know do u have any additions to be made? Also I am checking the same accommodation which you have opted because I know you guys are the best!!
Thank you 🙂
Apologies for the delay in replying to you. We don’t have any additions to make – hope you have a great trip in Alberta and do share photos with us when you’re back 🙂
We’ve just booked our honeymoon for August 2022 and this site has made me feel so excited. So many ideas and tips when I felt completely over-faced by the thought of planning it all at the same time as planning the wedding. Thank you a million times!
So happy to hear this Hannah 🙂 Have the best honeymoon ever
What photography trick do you use for waterfalls ?
How does water look that hazy in all the pics ?
I am planning a trip in first week of september and will be following this itinerary . But do not knwo how to click such gorgeous pics .
Hey Shipra – thank you. If you shoot with a DSLR, try using long exposure & an ND filter (Neutral Density Filter) for that effect 🙂
Awesome details in the itinerary. Will be missing out in this summer, looks like we need bookings in advanced. But definitely planning this trip for summer 2023.
Thank you! 🙂
Very informative and impressive post you have written,
this is quite interesting and I have gone through it completely, an upgraded information is shared, and keep sharing such valuable information.
Where did you stay in Jasper ? I cannot seem to find the hotel you booked 🙁
Hey if you book in advance Fairmont Jasper is a great option. We stayed in Hinton as all accommodation in Jasper was sold out!