TOP 25 THE ROCKIES
1. LAKE PEYTO
In summer this place is beyond amazing. Nestled between mountains, pristine blue water, green trees and minimal tourists. We have been to this Lake a few times now and not once has it been over run its tourists. Not sure if we just got lucky or this is not on the tourist bus circuit.
2. ICE SKATING ON LAKE LOUISE
You will have to brave the harsh winter conditions for this one. It was a "nice" winters day of -30 on our visit. Get a good winter jacket, warm socks and some mittens. You will not be disappointed.
3. LAKE MORAINE
How could anyone ever get sick of the picturesque lakes in Canada?! Not too far from Lake Louise (you use the same access road) you will find this little gem. Make sure you get there early as the parking lot has a capped amount of vehicles allowed and a traffic guard sits at the top of the road allowing traffic in and out. Because of the amount of people allowed to enter it is much more appealing than Lake Louise (to me anyhow). You have time to collect your thoughts and marvel in the landscape that makes Canada, Canada without feeling like a sardine in a can.
Lake Moraine is a summer destination only (for the lazy traveller) the roads are closed due to avalanche risk. A little research brings me to believe that you could x-country ski to the lake in Winter.
4. LAKE LOUISE SKI RESORT
Lake Louise Ski Resort is not actually on Lake Louise, just in the surrounding area. Only a 5 minute drive away from Lake Louise so you can always do a day of skiing and head to the chateau for dinner and then some ice skating on Lake Louise to end your day on a high!
Even if your not an avid skier or boarder, put this on your list. With views like the below how could you not!
5. ATHABASCA GLACIER
Do yourself a favour and check out the Athabasca Glacier. It isn't much on the eyes, but with the glacier receding it won't always be around to see.
Athabasca Glacier is the most visited glacier in North America. If you want to get up close and go on the actual glacier make sure you book yourself on a guided tour. Glaciers can be very dangerous with crevasse that you could easily fall down. Rescue mission are hard to co-ordinate and don't often end well.
6. MOUNT ROBSON
At the very start of the Rockies (or the very end, depending on which direction you are travelling) you will find this massive mountain. Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Rockies.
We visited on a hot summers day and the park was bustling with activity and people. If you have the time spend a night close by and explore and hike the national park.
7. ROAD SIDE STOPS
Like seriously anywhere. If you can pull your car up safely and off the road, you should stop and enjoy the view
8. DOWNTOWN BANFF
Souvenir shops galore. You want it, you can get it. The Main Street of Banff was planned so that you could see ... from one end and .... from the other. Great place to grab a coffee, sit on the sidewalk and people watch.
The little town has a population of 7,800 people (all of whom either work for the park or in tourism) but explodes at any given time of the year due to all the visitors.
9. CANMORE BOUTIQUE SHOPPING
If you have time and need a retail break from all the site seeing I highly suggest you hit up the boutique shops in Canmore. Canmore is just outside of the Rocky Mountain National park, but is a town still feeding off the tourism from the park. Their downtown centre is much more relaxed, has some great summer nights
10. DRIVE JASPER TO BANFF
Or vice versa. This is one of the most scenic drives you will ever take. I pity the driver. For this drive make sure you call dibs on the passenger seat!