Lake O'Hara in the mountains of Yoho National Park.

(Carrie Cole photo)

Trip Ideas

The Canadian Rockies

Play amongst snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies that rise above lush alpine meadows, ancient forests and emerald lakes. This rugged wilderness thrives in six national parks, including Yoho, Kootenay and Glacier, that offer abundant wildlife viewing, hiking, biking and camping opportunities. At the end of the day, soak in a natural hot spring outside the mountain towns of Revelstoke or Fernie and reminisce about the beauty surrounding you.

Things to Do

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Destination BC/Carrie Cole

Yoho National Park

Glacial lakes, snow-capped peaks, and more than 400 km (249 mi) of trails make Yoho National Park a paradise for hikers. Highlights include turquoise-green Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls (one of Canada’s highest waterfalls) and the Burgess Shale, an ancient fossil bed and World Heritage Site.

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(David Gluns/KootenayRockies.com photo)

The Burgess Shale

Hold history in your hands at Yoho National Park. The Burgess Shale, part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the world’s best-known fossil beds. To see it, learn about the Cambrian sea creatures fossilized here, and even hold some of the half-billion-year-old treasures, join Parks Canada on a guided hike through Yoho National Park to the fossil beds. The day-long hikes are scenic and challenging, but not recommended for younger kids. For those under 14, join a KIBS (Kids in Burgess Shale) hike, guided by a student and accompanied by an adult co-guide.
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Kootenay National Park

In Kootenay National Park, a gentle hike along a self-guided interpretive trail leads to the Paint Pots, where iron-rich springs have turned the earth a brilliant orange. Another major draw is Radium Hot Springs, located at the south end of the park. This natural mineral hot springs pool is thought to cure what ails you. Looking for a more rugged experience? Trek the classic, multi-day Rockwall Trail.

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(Canadian Rockies Hot Springs/Brenda Falvey photo)

Radium Hot Springs

One of the top soaking spots in BC is Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park. Two open-air mineral pools, including Canada's largest hot springs-fed pool, lie near the sheer walls of Sinclair Canyon, where Bighorn sheep are frequently seen. In winter, skiers and boarders can soothe sore muscles in the warmest pool (37-40°C/99-104°F).
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Destination BC/Kari Medig

Rockwall Trail

In Kootenay National Park, trek across wildflower meadows, past hanging glaciers and beneath jagged peaks on the classic three-to-five day Rockwall Trail. Highlights on this advanced-rated, 55-km (34-mi) route include the shimmering waters of Floe Lake, the bright ochre beds known as Paint Pots, and the trail’s namesake, a massive limestone cliff.

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(Destination British Columbia photo)

Mount Robson Provincial Park

Trek in the beauty of Mount Robson Provincial Park, home to the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies and the headwaters of the Fraser River. Explore the park’s expansive network of hiking trails, go fishing in pristine lakes, or watch for shooting stars at a backcountry campground. Follow the Berg Lake Trail for an epic backcountry hiking adventure. This 46-km/28-mi round trip, multi-day trek showcases some of the province’s most stunning scenery en route to the spectacular sight of glacier-fed Berg Lake.
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(iStockphoto.com/Glowing Earth Photography photo)

Berg Lake Trail

Trek the beauty of Mount Robson Provincial Park on the Berg Lake Trail, a 46-km/28-mi round trip, two-to-three day hike deep into the Rocky Mountain backcountry. Bliss out in the rugged surroundings on the way to the blue-green waters of Berg Lake, where a glacier tumbles into the water and the striking Emperor Face of Mount Robson soars high above. This well-used trail is a great introduction to BC's backcountry. A reservation system is in place for camping spots on the Berg Lake Trail; the Mount Robson Visitor Centre has details.

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Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

This wilderness park offers fishing, wilderness camping, group camping, hiking & mountaineering, pit toilets, spectacular scenery & many hiking trails.
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Tourism Jasper photo

Icefields Parkway (Alberta)

The Icefields Parkway, a heart-stirring stretch of road between Jasper and Lake Louise, is one of the most beautiful drives in the country, arguably the world. Around each corner lies breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, glacial-fed, emerald lakes, raging waterfalls and of course icefields. This natural and beautiful setting is the perfect place to spot wildlife. Keep your eyes open for bighorn sheep, grizzlies, mountain goats and caribou.

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Johannes Hohn photo

Lake Louise (Alberta)

In the middle of Canada’s oldest national park sits Lake Louise, a tiny hamlet surrounded by soaring peaks and stunning glaciers, where unlimited wildlife viewing and outdoor opportunities abound. Carve turns through some of Canada’s best powder in the winter, or hike one of the many trails in what some call the Hiking Capital of Canada in the summer.

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Kari Medig photo

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife is a big part of the scenery on a Kootenay Rockies vacation. Bighorn sheep and mountain goats can often be spotted from the road; bears, deer and moose make their homes here in large numbers; and there is a staggering amount of birdlife in the Columbia Valley Wetlands. For an unforgettable wildlife experience, head to the Northern Lights Wolf Centre in Golden where you can visit, photograph, and even walk with grey wolves. And up on Kicking Horse Mountain visit the Grizzly Bear Refuge to meet an orphaned grizzly bear named Boo.

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The historic mining town of Fernie, with its Victorian brick heritage buildings and mountain... Read more backdrop, has become a major outdoors destination without losing its small town vibe. In summer, visit Fernie for outstanding recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, and river rafting. If you’re staying overnight, enjoy a mountain-view condo near the lifts at the Lizard Creek Lodge and take advantage of the spa and heated outdoor pool.

Island Lake Lodge Hiking

Walking and hiking in our pristine wilderness and old growth forest relaxes and renews the spirit and provides excitement for the body and mind. Explore the wonders of Island Lake with a Discovery Walk, Adventure Hike or privately guided trip.
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Mark Gallup photo

Mount Hosmer Trail

A popular wilderness hike just north of Fernie, the Mount Hosmer trail offers fabulous mountain and valley views in return for a moderately challenging uphill trek to the peak of Mount Hosmer.

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Surrounded by towering mountains, Revelstoke is a picturesque town that offers an abundance of... Read more outdoor opportunities. Hiking and biking trails begin in old-growth forests and climb up into alpine meadows surrounding the city. And there are plenty of places to enjoy rafting, kayaking and rock climbing. The town itself is home to charming heritage buildings, museums, shops and a plaza that features free concerts every night in the summer.

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Places to Stay

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Island Lake Lodge

Island Lake Lodge is a secluded mountain resort with four lodges situated on 2,800 ha (7,000 ac) of pristine wilderness. Enjoy hiking trails for all abilities, from one hour walks through old growth forests to full day guided hikes to mountain sum...
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Cedar House Restaurant & Chalets

The Cedar House Restaurant and Chalets, a slice of paradise situated on over four hectares (ten acres) of secluded mountainside just south of Golden.

Our luxurious chalets have earned their place in the "Top 20 Weekend Getaways in Canada" by...

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Mt Robson Mountain River Lodge B&B

A real gem hidden below the largest mountain in the Rockies, an exclusive lodge in a world-class location.

Experience unspoiled wilderness in a peaceful mountain and forest setting on a glacier river. Clean, comfortable accommodations in...

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Red Tree Lodge

Let us go out of our way to make sure you have the time of your life in Fernie, no matter the reason for the visit. With a central location, large guest rooms, free WiFi, an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, free use of our guest kitchen, guest laundry...
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Mica Mountain Lodge & Log Cabins

Nestled in a panoramic wilderness setting with magnificent mountain views, our cosy cabins are situated 75 metres apart from each other for the utmost privacy. Fully furnished, each cabin features queen beds and a pull-out sofa-bed, bathroom, ful...
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Emerald Lake Lodge

Emerald Lake Lodge is surrounded by natural beauty. As the only property on secluded Emerald Lake, it is the perfect place to escape and relax. Originally built in 1902 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, this historic property includes 85 units situ...
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Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Welcome to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Canada's family-friendly vacation destination tucked away in the slopes of the magnificent BC Rocky Mountains. Our resort is open year-round, offering unlimited access to the legendary, all natural hot sprin...
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