Thursday, 2 August 2012 4:34 PM
Holiday destinations do not come any more rugged than the Canadian Rockies, which makes it perfect for adventure tours. Whether your passion is walking, climbing, kayaking or wildlife spotting, you will find plenty to interest you here.
There is so much to do and see during a holiday in the Canadian Rockies that it can be difficult to fit everything in to a ten-day trip. However, there are some things you really should not miss if you want to get the most out of your getaway.
Hiking in Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is one of the most beautiful areas of Canada, with snow-capped peaks overlooking green forests, fast-flowing rivers, spectacular waterfalls and tranquil lakes. The most adventurous visitors attempt to climb Mount Stephen or Mount Burgess, but you may prefer to explore the scenery of the foothills.
You can choose between long treks over tough terrain, or just stick to some of the gentler paths laid out in the park. The 3.2-mile circuit of Emerald Lake will take you to some of the area's most scenic spots, while the 2.7-mile Angel's Staircase trail will lead you to a stunning 1,000 ft waterfall.
Rafting on Kicking Horse River
No adventure holiday in Canada would be complete without some white water rafting and there is no better place to do it than Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. The waterway originates in the park's icefields and is really fast flowing lower down, so tackling it is an exhilarating experience.
Visit Lake Louise
Not everywhere in the Canadian Rockies is a wilderness, as you will discover when you visit the village of Lake Louise. It is a popular ski resort in the winter, while people travel to see the beautiful clear blue lake and the 19th-century chateau on its shore during the summer months.
Gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain
Banff National Park has some stunning scenery and the best place to enjoy the views is Sulphur Mountain. You could try climbing to the 8,041 ft summit, but there is an easier way to reach the top.
The Banff Gondola will take you up to a terminal at 7,486 ft, allowing you to take in wonderful vistas over the park on the way up. Once you arrive, you can sit back and soak up the views from the restaurant or set off to hike the South East Ridge Trail.
You can also tackle the short walk to the Cosmic Ray Station at the peak of Mount Sulphur. This National Historic Site was once a geophysical laboratory, but the building was dismantled in 1981 and all that now remains are the foundations and a plaque explaining the important work that was undertaken here.
Relax in Banff National Park's hot springs
If you love adventure, you will be in your element in Banff National Park, where there are mountains, alpine meadows, forests, glaciers and icefields to explore. You can spend your days kayaking, cycling or trekking through the beautiful terrain.
That is sure to leave you feeling tired, but fortunately there is the perfect place to relax and ease those aching muscles. The park has a bathhouse that uses natural hot mineral water and you can sit back and enjoy its soothing properties in the outdoor pool.
Tour the Icefields Parkway
Highway 93, which is better known as the Icefields Parkway, is arguably the world's most scenic road. Its 144-mile route will take you through the heart of the Canadian Rockies and give you the opportunity to see the Crowfoot and Athabasca Glaciers, Peyto Lake and Sunwapta Falls.
It is possible to hike or cycle the length of the Parkway, but a bus trip will give you great views of all the major sights, without taking up your whole holiday. Some of the coach operators run trips that stop at the spectacular Athabasca Glacier to allow passengers to take part in an ice walk.
Wildlife spotting in Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park's mountains, rivers and wooded valleys provide a habitat for all sorts of hardy wildlife that you will not encounter at home. Everyone who visits the area wants to see a grizzly bear, but even if you do not, there is plenty to enjoy. Black bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, mountain goats, caribou, moose and elk are among the other residents you are likely to spot.