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What to See Canadian Rockies

7 Tips for Photographing the Northern Lights

By Naomi Witherick

If you live below a certain latitude, seeing the Northern Lights can be a once in a lifetime experience. No matter where you discover them, those dancing green streaks are awesome. But witnessing them in Canadian Rockies – where majestic snow-capped peaks and frozen lakes lie in the foreground – is the most incredible experience of all.

Get the iconic shot of the Northern Lights over Banff at Vermillion Lakes. Photo by: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka

Get the iconic shot of the Northern Lights over Banff at Vermillion Lakes. Photo by: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka


Fall in Love with Winter in Jasper

By Ashley Materi

This New Year marks Canada’s 150th birthday, and with it, the Discovery Pass that allows entry to national parks from coast to coast is free. This makes 2017 the perfect time to explore more of our beautiful country, and making a stop in Jasper National Park is a must.

Winter in Jasper

Water rushes underneath a layer of ice in Jasper. Photo: Ashley Materi


Sculpted in Time: Short Films Feature Rockies’ Ski Spirit


Skiing at Lake Louise (photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Reuben Krabbe)

This fall, we’re stoked about the launch of Sculpted in Time, a four–part web series produced by award-winning filmmakers Sherpas Cinema, featuring Banff National Park’s three ski areas (and a deep dive into the park’s backcountry!)

The initiative, by Banff Lake Louise Tourism, Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine and partners is the first of its kind—a compelling portrayal of unique stories shot on location in documentary form and edited in Sherpas Cinema’s renowned storytelling style. The films capture the deep spirit of skiing straight from the heart of the Canadian Rockies.



Banff: Top Rated Travel Destination

By Jack Newton and Lisa Stephens


(photo: courtesy Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka)

Banff National Park has been awarded “Canada’s Top Attraction” honors by the over 5000 Canadian travel industry professionals that cast ballots for the 2014 Agents Choice Awards. For the third time since 2008, Banff eclipsed other travel hot spots such as Niagara Falls, Whistler and Algonquin Park.

“For Banff to be recognized yet again as the number one destination within Canada by travel agents is a fantastic accolade and a testament to the never-ending appeal of Banff National Park for visitors”, says Ryan Elliott of Banff Lake Louise Tourism. Indeed, Banff is a favorite playground for four million travellers that come to the park from around the world each year.


Sunshine Meadows: Top Rated Alpine Walk

Sunshine Meadows offers a remarkable combination of mountain scenery, colorful wildflowers and easy-to-access trails

By Jack Newton


(photo: Jack Newton)

After 35 years of rambling throughout the Canadian Rockies, the trails at Banff’s Sunshine Meadows continue to command my attention. The publishers of Lonely Planet Discover Canada guidebook are similarly impressed. They designate this one of the top five hiking areas in Canada.

Normally you have to walk for hours to reach treeline meadows, high alpine zones where the forest is sparse, colorful wildflowers bloom mid-summer and expansive vistas abound. But Sunshine Meadows is accessed in minutes via the Sightseeing Gondola and Alpine Shuttle that ferries walkers to 7082 ft (2159 m), chairlift ride and trails that fan out from the Sunshine Village. From here, I have taken trips ranging from a backpacking expedition to Mt Assiniboine (‘Matterhorn’ of the Rockies) to a one-hour stroll to pretty Rock Isle Lake.


Insider Guide: Ski Areas of Canada’s Mountain Parks

The region known as Canada’s Mountain Parks includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses Banff and Jasper National Parks as well as Kananaskis Provincial Park east of Banff. This majestic wilderness with knock-your-socks-off views and more peaks than people is home to five Alberta ski areas.

Our world-class combination of tree lined and open bowl slopes, abundant snowfalls, high-speed lifts and on-hill amenities beckon skiers and boarders from around the globe. (more…)

More Than Skiing in the Canadian Rockies

You don’t need skis or a snowboard to enjoy these activities and events. By Kirsten Varsek


Mt Norquay’s Tube Park (Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka)

Speeding down the slopes on an inflatable tube is a delight for the whole family; groomed lanes ensure safe and smooth sliding. Nakiska Tube Park is the latest ($19, child $15), while Mt Norquay’s Tube Town (night-lit Fri and Sat) now boasts six chutes, two dedicated lifts and a kids’ play zone with a small sliding area ($30, child $20). At Lake Louise Sunny Tube Park you slide for $20 (youth $16).


Marmot Basin’s 50th Anniversary


Historic Marmot Basin

Jasper’s enormous, scenic and almost always crowd-free ski area, Marmot Basin, turns 50 this year. George Andrew—Astoria Hotel owner, former Alberta Ski Team racer and 43 year ski instructor veteran—has skied Marmot Basin since 1962. George recalls riding a surplus Columbia Icefield snowcat to get to the rope tow that was installed in 1961.

Today Marmot’s modern lifts transport 12,060 skiers per hour, a fact that would have amazed cross-country ski guide Joe Weiss who named the area Marmot Basin in the late 1920s. The first trail was ‘cut’ in 1930, and in 1942 the British army trained here; that first rope tow was powered by an army truck engine. (more…)

Canadian Rockies Climbing Walls


Climbing Hold (Photo: The Banff Centre)

Indoor climbing walls offer active respite from the cold. By Kirsten Varsek

If you want an energetic break from cold weather sports, visit our local indoor climbing walls. “Climbing is good cross-training; the balance and strength required transfer over to activities like skiing and snowboarding,” says Scott McKay at Canmore’s Elevation Place. Chris Neve at The Banff Centre Sally Borden fitness facility agrees: “Climbing builds upper and lower body strength, flexibility and endurance. Best of all, it’s fun!” (more…)

5 Icy Adventures in the Canadian Rockies


Icy Adventures include Ice Magic Festival (Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka)

Mountain fun can be served up on ice as well as snow. While skiers give on-slope ice the cold shoulder, frozen surfaces provide opportunities for good times at canyons, waterfalls and rinks. By Twyla Kowalchuk and Jack Wennot (more…)

Late Night at the Lake – Lake Louise, Alberta


Lake Louise at Night

Lake Louise at Night (Photo: Gord McKenna)

This photograph takes a symmetrical perspective of Lake Louise at night. With the frame beautifully balanced by the two light posts and hanging flower baskets, the snow capped mountains in the shadows brings viewers an experience that may only be relived through the image. Using a special exposure technique, photographer Gord McKenna created a unique blue tint on what was originally a pitch-black image, offering an artistic take on a popular tourist destination.

Submit your photo to our Flickr Group to see your favourite travel shot as part of our Photo Friday feature on Where.ca! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.


Horned Gypsies – Banff, Alberta


Horned Gypsies

Horned Gypsies (Photo: Julius Reque)

We chose Julius Reque’s arresting photo because it shows the wildlife of Banff National Park in its natural habitat and allows us to see how these majestic bighorn sheep look up close. Of course, we don’t recommend getting this close to wildlife just to snap a photo—wild animals are unpredictable and you never know how they will react—but thanks to a zoom lens, “Horned Gypsies” reminds us of the beauty of nature and the species that inhabit the world around us.

Submit your photo to our Flickr Group to see your favourite travel shot as part of our Photo Friday feature on Where.ca! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.