By Angela Caraway-Carlton
While steadily, and somewhat breathlessly, hiking up the trail of Tunnel Mountain—Banff’s smallest and easiest summit—I stop to appreciate one of the many astounding panoramas. As my eyes eagerly take in the beauty of the Bow Valley below, I’m startled when a woman suddenly scurries over the side of the rocks; one-by-one, a group of climbers effortlessly follows suit.
One day later, we buzz through the sky in a helicopter, gasping at glaciers, snow-capped mountains and a turquoise-hued lake. That’s the beauty of the Canadian Rockies: no day is ordinary or the same. Locals and visiting adventurers choose to scale a rock or rocket down a steep ski slope rather than settle for mundane vacation activities.
Located in Banff National Park, west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, Banff and Lake Louise will transfix you with their natural beauty and constantly nudge you out of your comfort zone with their arsenal of activities. Here, we’ve put together a guide to experiencing the best of Banff and beyond—can’t you just smell the fresh alpine air?