Kristina has been writing for the internet of things since 2010. She enjoys writing about adventures in nature just as much as embarking upon them herself.
Looking for things to do in the Canadian Rockies? A favorite holiday destination for both tourists and locals, this region is packed with fun hiking, rare wildlife and wild waters.
The Canadian Rockies bloom alive in the warmer seasons. Gentle pacific winds bring pleasant summer temperatures, opening up the whole region to fun activities to get up and tackle the outdoors!
Here's our guide on the best things to do in the Rocky Mountains (and where to do them) to make the most of your summer.
Hiking and Cycling
Man standing in Canada Rockies on hiking trail
With the Rockies' countless hiking trails, waterways and cycling routes, we bet you'll never want to spend your holidays anywhere else!
Here are the top 3 regions to check out for the avid hiker or cyclist:
The Icefields Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in Canada, stretching around 200 miles (300 km) from the North of the Canadian Rockies to the South. It follows three major river systems, traverses beneath some of the most majestic peaks in North America and unfolds breathtaking views of glaciers. Cycling from inn to inn along the Icefields Parkway is the best way to explore all its hidden jewels.
A popular skiing destination in winter, Whistler transforms into the ultimate mountain biking destination in summer. It’s at the top of every reputable cycler’s bucket list. The riveting pedal-powered biking culture here rewards everyone with a wide selection of world-class biking trails for all skill levels.
Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks
If you're time is limited, why not hit the three major parks? Hike the Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks and be rewarded with deep gorges, blue lakes, glacial rivers, and rich green forests.
From June to September, the Canadian Rockies transform into a paddler’s paradise. Adventurers from all over the world gather around glacier-fed rivers for white waters and rare wildlife. Kayaking and rafting in the Rocky Mountains are open to beginners and experts alike. You can paddle for a few hours or a few days, and usually doesn’t require any previous paddling experience. Strap on your kayaks and stop by on your Canadian Rockies road trip. Here are a few whitewater adventures you might be interested in:
Canoeing in Canadian Rockies
Explore the pristine natural wonders of Jasper National Park and the historic fur trading route along the Athabasca River. Canoeing on this river doesn’t require any previous experience, and it’s just as exhilarating as any other river! Guided canoeing tours on Athabasca River usually involve much more than just paddling. On your way down, you’ll cross Jasper National Park, oozing with rare wildlife and untouched landscapes. Here, you’re also able to hike, cycle or watch wildlife once you’ve stepped off of the boat.
Lake Louise is an absolute must for kayakers. One of the most picturesque lakes in the world, Louise is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush trees.
The lake and the rental points for your kayaking adventures are easily accessible by car or bike. The sandy beaches with picnic areas are the perfect place for a peaceful lunch break. The mirror-like blue waters of the lake will tempt you into several dips throughout the day. Nothing speaks of summer more than a kayaking trip across Lake Louise!
Kicking Horse River
If you're into whitewater rafting, then Kicking Horse River is the place to go. Find yourself gentle family-friendly rafting or jump up to class IV thrills. If you decide to go whitewater rafting on Kicking Horse River, make time to explore the surrounding areas, taste local cuisine in the town of Field, and take a trip to the Takakkaw Falls.
Horseback riding is one of the best and most comfortable ways to explore the Canadian Rockies. It adds excitement to your holiday without making you step too far out of your comfort zone. Horseback riding tours are available to complete newbies as well as experienced riders.
If you're new to horseback riding, your qualified guide will teach you how to properly fit a saddle and manage your horse. Head out for the day or join a multi-day tour with daily rides out on the trail.
Horseback riding in Canadian Rockies
Banff National Park
A tent-based horseback riding trip in the backcountry of Banff is an excellent choice for anyone with only a few days to spare. You’ll ride by the towering peaks of the Brewster and Cascade Mountains, Stoney Creek Camp, Minnewanka Pack Station and many of the other attractions in Banff National Park. You’ll stay in comfortable tents and the experienced guides will take care of your well being throughout the tour. You can also book this trip with a lodge if you’re looking for a more comfortable stay.
Day tours around Lake Louise are perfect for anyone who wants to visit the area in style. Centuries-old horse stables there offer daily trips to must-visit locations, such as Lake Agnes Tea House, Paradise Valley, the Giant Steps, and the Plain of Six Glaciers. You can expect to ride past the pristine landscapes, have lunch in the meadows, covered in wildflowers, wade alpine rivers, and explore the trails like cowboys did back in the day.
Kananaskis Country is the place to go if you’re looking to explore the south of Canadian Rockies and embark upon true cowboy adventures at a remote ranch. Anything from lasso throwing lessons to horse feeding and saddle fitting is available and is sure to make some unforgettable holiday memories.
Mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies
Mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies
Comprising the northern segment of the Rocky Mountains, the Canadian Rockies are home to some of the highest peaks in Canada. With iconic summits like Mount Robson and Mount Columbia so easily accessible, mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies should definitely be high up on your to-do list/
From an easy scramble up Fairview Mountain to a difficult and technically challenging climb up Mount Alberta, the Canadian Rockies are ready for every kind of climber. If you feel like scrambling isn’t enough for you, yet you’re not skilled enough to tackle the more difficult climbs, this mountaineering program in the Rockies will help you learn the ropes.
Fairview Mountain hosts one of the most popular and easy climbing trails, offering unbeatable views of Lake Louise. Combine it with the Saddle Pass / Peak Trail and you'll be rewarded with a stunning 360-degree view of the area.
At 12,989 ft (3,959m) Mount Robson is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies and considered to be the ultimate Rocky Mountains’ mountaineering challenge. Climbing Mount Robson will test even the most experienced of mountaineers, so come prepared!
At the Columbia Icefields, Mount Athabasca is diverse and one of the most scenic mountainous climbs in the Rockies. Combine rock climbing with glaciers for a full adventure -- but always be sure to summit with an experienced guide.
Backpacking and camping
If you want to reconnect with nature in the Canadian Rockies over a longer amount of time, why not trying backpacking and camping in the backcountry?
Alberta’s Abbot Hut Pass
The destination of this remarkable hike is Abbot Hut, located on the Abbot Pass. Nested right on the continental divide, between Mount Victoria and Mount Lefroy, the Abbot Pass is a 26 km round trip hike and a light scramble. Located at an altitude of 9,598 feet (2925 meters), it marks the boundary between Banff and Yoho National Parks, offering stunning views of mountain ranges, deep rugged canyons, and alpine meadows.
Man lying in a tent in front of Medicine lake in Canadian Rockies
Camping and backpacking in Jasper National Park
Packed with sights for every nature lover, Jasper National Park extends over the Icefields Parkway, through the wilderness of Alberta province, past the towering peaks of Mount Edith Cavell, and into the Columbia Icefield. This backpacking expedition in Jasper National Park allows you to explore its hidden gems and wake up to natural beauty every day. The trail is loved by both hikers and wildlife - so prepare to see caribou and wolves along the route.
Berg Lake Trail
Always wanted to combine hiking in the foothills of Mount Robson, traversing past iceberg-dotted lakes and waking up to the sound of calving glaciers? Then this trail is exactly what you are looking for. Located in the Mount Robson Provincial Park, the Berg Lake Trail extends to about 26 mi (42km). It’s a round trip hike with a number of potential extensions.
Combining the trail with a few other hikes can lead to more than 9842 ft (3000m) of elevation and isn’t recommended for inexperienced hikers. Once on the trail, you can expect to spend 3 to 4 days backpacking with 3 nights of camping.
Ready to check out more cool things to do in the Canadian Rockies this summer? Check out more of our tours in British Columbia.