Rocky Mountains of Canada: Itinerary and Master Guide [Work In Progress]

Editor’s note: This currently unfinished article is the launch of a new series of itinerary and master guide articles which will contain links to separate articles pertaining to a particular destination as part of an effort to better organize The Gate. They will also double as an impetus for the remainder of unwritten articles to be written. Each itinerary and master guide article is a work in progress and will be completed once all of the articles have been written and posted.


Some of the most majestic scenery in the world is found in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, which straddles the border between the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia — as well as some indigenous animals who became my new friends.

Rocky Mountains of Canada: Itinerary and Master Guide

A total of seven days were spent in the Rocky Mountains of Canada — or, if you prefer, the Canadian Rockies — and I was there when admission to the national parks was temporarily suspended due to the celebration of 150 years of Canada.

Day 1 — Arrival and Lodging

United Airlines

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Depart Atlanta at 3:57 in the afternoon on flight 514 for Chicago and arrive in Calgary on flight 621 at 10:26 in the evening.

Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport

Two queen beds non-smoking $142.58

Free airport shuttle

Day 2 — Car Rental

Hertz rental car

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Hertz Calgary — Horizon Auto Centre

3318 32nd Street Northeast — open 8:00AM-5:30PM. Reserved with Discover card

Where I save hundreds of dollars on renting a car.

Compact car — unlimited kilometers $78.11 Canadian.

34 minute walk: right on Pegasus Road to right on Barlow Trail — to left on 37 Avenue Northeast — to right on 32 Street Northeast.

Mall

Pickle Doritos

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Food and pickle Doritos.

Gap Lake Alberta Canada

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Gap Lake

Bighorn Number 8 off Highway 1A on left past the town of Exshaw

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon Upper Falls Banff Canada

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Johnston Canyon: An Introduction
The Lower Falls of Johnston Canyon
The Upper Falls of Johnston Canyon
Leaving Johnston Canyon

Off Highway 1A 30 minutes from Vermillion Lakes. Two hour hike — lower and upper falls. Located one hour and 48 minutes and 161 kilometers from Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport.

Silverton Falls

Silverton Falls

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

A Quiet Moment at Silverton Falls in Banff National Park

Park at the Rockbound Lake trail head parking lot off Highway 1A before Castle Junction — seven minutes west of Johnston Canyon — a short distance SE of the Castle Junction highway intersection 31 kms west of Banff. Banff National Park. View of Castle Mountain by gas station.

Signposts describing mountains

Vermillion Lakes

Vermillion Lakes

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Scenic Vermillion Lakes in Banff National Park

West of Banff between Mount Norquay to the north and Cave and Basin National Historic Site to the south. View of Mount Rundle 1 and Mount Inglismaldie off in the distance.

Cave and Basin National Historic Site

South of Mount Norquay — end of the day? Trains.

DID NOT GO ON Lantern tour at 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening — 40 minutes, $10.80 per person.

  • Discovery Boardwalk Trail Walk along the 0.4 km Discovery Boardwalk Trail above the bathing pavilion to see the cave vent and the location of the former Hotel. View the two smaller springs bubbling from the mountainside and the pools filled with pink bacteria, white and green algae, small fish, and insects.
  • Marsh Boardwalk Trail (?) Explore the 0.5 km Marsh Boardwalk Trail below the building to find out more about the natural history of this area. Look for the fish and bird life that live in the wetlands below.
  • Sundance Trail DID NOT DO 7.4 km round trip. Enjoy a safe walk along these trails by watching for wildlife and giving them the space they need.
  • Marsh Loop DID NOT DO This 2.5 km Marsh Loop provides brilliant views of the mountains, and good winter birding opportunities. A series of boardwalk trails allow you to explore the unique environment of the thermal springs.

Double Rainbow — M has photographs.

Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Calgary — University Northwest

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Calgary- University Northwest

Two queen beds non-smoking $112.49

2231 Banff Trail — Free airport shuttle

Day 3 — Arrival and Lodging

Grassi Lakes near Canmore Alberta

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Canmore

Three Sisters Parkway — Highway 742 — to Grassi Lakes and View of Canmore

Hike at Grassi Lakes: 1.5 Hours. Waterfall view from parking lot.

Texas Gate

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Texas Gate

What is a Texas Gate — and Why Are They in Canada in National Parks?

Emerald Lake

In Yoho National Park near town of Field in British Columbia 38.8 kilometers and 36 minutes from lake Louise on Trans Canada Highway 1 and right on Emerald Lake Road. Canoe rental: $45 per hour. Natural Bridge is on the way.

Hamilton Falls

A

Spiral Tunnel

B

Quick stop at border between provinces.

D

Moraine Lake

Drive 1.5 hours and 14 kilometers each way from Lake Louise.

View of Banff From Mount Norquay

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Mount Norquay

Breathtaking View of Banff From Mount Norquay

Sightseeing chairlift — $89.95 for three people plus GST

Delta Hotels Banff Royal Canadian Lodge

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Delta Hotels Banff Royal Canadian Lodge

Unimpressed With My First Stay at Delta Hotels & Resorts

459 Banff Avenue

Two queen beds, non-smoking $339.10 plus $15 parking = US$264.06

Day 4 — Arrival and Lodging

Lake Louise

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Lake Louise

Morant’s Curve

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Morant’s Curve

A Stop at Morant’s Curve in Banff National Park

Drive 21 minutes and 21.2 kilometers from the Rockbound Lake trail head off Highway 1A; or drive two hours and 188 kilometers from Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Calgary- University Northwest on Trans Canada Highway.

Started on Icefields Parkway

Crow Foot Glacier

Obnoxious crow.

Bow Lake and Bow Glacier

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Bow Lake and Bow Glacier

The Beauty — and Disappointment — of Bow Glacier and Bow Lake

Drive one hour northwest and 38.7 kilometers on Icefields Parkway

Peyto Glacier and Bow Summit

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Bow Summit and Peyto Lake

Spectacular Views of Peyto Glacier and Peyto Lake

Drive 38 minutes and 7.1 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway

Waterfowl Lakes

Drive two hours and 16.3 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway

Mistaya Canyon

Drive 1.5 hours and 15.2 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway. Park on the west side of the highway; then 10 minutes on an old logging road to a bridge over Mistaya River.

First Black bear spotted.

Waterfalls and curve on Icefields Parkway. Lookout. Mountains, river and bridge.

Mule deer near Hinton.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hinton

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hinton

The Worst View From a Hotel Room I Have Ever Seen?

462 Smith Street

Take Yellowhead Highway northeast to Felaber Road — left a few feet to Smith Street — left to hotel.

Reward night. Two queen beds non-smoking 25,000 points

Day 5 — Arrival and Lodging

Maligne Lake

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Maligne Lake and Medicine Lake

Maligne Lake Was Maligned By Pouring Rain

Drive 58 minutes and 37.8 kilometers southeast on Maligne Lake Road. Medicine Lake is along the way.

Moose.

Maligne Lake

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Maligne Canyon

Drive 21 minutes and 18.5 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway; then right on Trans Canada Highway 16 or Yellowhead Highway north for six kilometers; then right on Maligne Lake Road. The Poboktan Creek Trail may be decommissioned. View of Jasper.

Red Chairs at the Valley of the Five Lakes

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Valley of the Five Lakes

Can You Find the Red Chairs in This Photograph?

Drive 16 minutes and 22 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway. Red chair.

Jasper while checking in to Mount Robson cabin.

Mount Robson Lodge

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Mount Robson Lodge

The Best View From a Room I Have Ever Seen?

A Canadian Hummingbird — Just Because

Highway 16, V0E 2Z0 Mount Robson, Canada, Mount Robson —  Telephone 250-566-4821

Take Highway 16 west 67.6 miles from the British Columbia border to Farnsworth Road — turn left and drive 126 meters.

Booking.com

One bedroom cottage non-smoking $190.97 or US$142

Credit card not charged. Check in by 9:00 in the evening; out at 11:00 in the morning.

Receive US$40.00 after the stay is complete.

Day 6 — Arrival and Lodging

Stop at Mount Robson Park sign and Visitor’s Center

Another black bear sighting.

Berg Lake Trail

Just north of Mount Robson. Do not have to do the entire trail. Hiked 21 kilometers round trip.

Overlander Falls

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Overlander Falls

Overlander Falls is Good For a Quick Tranquil Break

Not impressive.

Jasper.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hinton

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hinton

462 Smith Street

Take Yellowhead Highway northeast to Felaber Road — left a few feet to Smith Street — left to hotel.

Two queen beds non-smoking $168.68

Day 7 — Arrival and Lodging

Athabasca Falls

Drive 20 minutes and 24.5 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway.

Lookout by the river for view of mountains.

Stutfield Glacier

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Stutfield Glacier

Stutfield Glacier at Columbia Icefield

Athabasca Glacier

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Columbia Icefield — Athabasca Glacier

Drinking Incredible Water on Athabasca Glacier

Drive one hour and 56.9 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway.

Glacier Skywalk

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Glacier Skywalk — Athabasca Glacier

Life on the Edge: The Glacier Skywalk

Drive 17 minutes and 8.2 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway. Best to visit before 1:00 in the afternoon or after 3:00 in the afternoon. $32 per person. Book in advance: $28.80 per person. Free guided morning tours with ticket purchase at 10:15 or 10:45 in the morning.

Bighorn sheep. Bus driver mentioned mountain goats.

Tangle Creek Falls

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Tangle Creek Falls

Tangle Creek Falls is So Easy to Visit

Drive 2 minutes and 1.2 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway. Can be walked in 15 minutes.

Brown bear sighting.

Sunwapta Falls

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls is Worth a Quick Visit

Drive 35 minutes and 41.9 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway.

Mountain Goat Canada Rocky Mountains

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Goat and Glaciers

Mountain goats.

Athabasca Glacier

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Return to Columbia Icefield — Athabasca Glacier

Hiked trail.

Return to Calgary. Hinton to Calgary is five hours and 15 minutes to the Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport via Highways 16, 22, 624, 20, 11 and 2; or ten hours and six minutes through Icefields Parkway.

Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport

Highway 2 to McKnight Boulevard exit 261 — east 2.5 kilometers to McCall Way, left turn one block to Pegasus Road — right to hotel.

Two queen beds non-smoking $142.58

2335 Pegasus Road — Free airport shuttle

Day 8 — Arrival and Lodging

Return car to Hertz

WestJet Airlines

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

My first flight on WestJet.

Depart Calgary at 12:25 for Toronto on WestJet; and arrive at 10:12 in the evening on Delta.

Summary

Banff National Park

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

This was my itinerary for the Rocky Mountains of Canada and will serve as the master guide for the articles pertaining to the Rocky Mountains of Canada which are posted to The Gate.

Please click here for the currently unfinished itinerary and master guide for Easter Island, which is still a work in progress.

As the itinerary and master guide series of articles is a new project which I have taken on for easier access to information, your thoughts and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

_________________________________

Jasper SkyTram

DID NOT DO Drive 12 minutes and 11 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway — including left turn on Whistlers Road for four kilometers up the mountain. $44.95 per person plus five percent GST equals $141.59 total. Open 9:00 in the morning through 8:00 in the evening. Allow two hours. Shuttle service available four times per day from Mount Robson.

Portal Lake and Yellowhead Pass

DID NOT DO In British Columbia on the way to Mount Robson. Portal Lake is on the north side of Yellowhead Highway; Yellowhead Pass is on the south side 850 meters west.

One thought on “Rocky Mountains of Canada: Itinerary and Master Guide [Work In Progress]”

  1. Elly says:

    Hey, an amazing itinerary I must say. The places included in the Canada trip are really worth visiting. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome post. Keep sharing such beautiful places.

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