Personal Travel Manager, Erryn Morris, shares her experiences and advice for travellers looking to explore the Rocky Mountains in style while still seeing the natural beauty of the land.
Travelling across Canada’s Rocky Mountains is one of those rare experiences that takes your breath away. With such unrivalled beauty and such a raw environment it’s no surprise that it is one of the most travelled routes in the world – and one I have made myself a number of times!
The popular and renowned Rocky Mountaineer train journey has become the pinnacle of comfort for the trip and has established itself as a fantastic way to see the sights with a glass dome roof for spectacular views of the Rockies. Prior to 1990, Canadian Pacific Rail operated the journey through the mountains. This posed some issues for travellers looking to take in the sites as the journey was run through the night. The birth of the Rocky Mountaineer private tourist train changed this and allowed travellers to cross the mountains during the day.
While all the tour companies include in their programme the standard run from Vancouver to Jasper or Banff via Kamloops, my personal favourite is the less well known route -the Rainforest to Goldrush trip. The trip takes three days as opposed to the standard two days as you travel north from Vancouver to the stunning ski resorts in Whistler. The trip runs across the Sea to Sky Corridor and dips back down again to see the coastal forests. This option offers the greatest opportunity to see the diverse landscapes and ecosystems that make up this part of the world.
Your train trip can then be linked with coach journeys that allow you to visit some of the most stunning locations in western Canada. From Jasper National Park, which offers great opportunity to see local wildlife such as bear, moose, eagle and elk, to the journey to Lake Louise and Banff along the Icefields Parkway, you will view the most beautiful scenes that the region has to offer. The turquoise colour of the water in Lake Louise is genuinely stunning and in stark contrast to the dark green wooded slopes that surround. Lake Louise is a glacial lake and the sediment or ‘rock flour’ that washes into the water from the surrounding mountain glaciers creates the unique colour of the water.
The wildlife is a major draw to Canada, with most visitors scouring the scenery for a glimpse of a grizzly or black bear. If you are a true enthusiast a visit to Knights Inlet or another of the specialist lodges in British Columbia is a must. Located in a protected anchorage, Knights Inlet Lodge is a floating lodge that offers some of the best grizzly viewing opportunities in the world. From the safety of boat or specially constructed viewing platforms you can watch the grizzly bears feeding on the mussels and barnacles or salmon, depending on the season. After seeing the majestic bears you can take a guided hike through the surrounding forests or go spotting for Bald Eagles or even kayaking in the pristine waters in the cove.
Canada is a wild frontier and one that is definitely worth exploring. In such a beautiful terrain it’s definitely worth taking the route less travelled to gain a once in a lifetime experience in a one of a kind environment.
Erryn is part of the TravelManagers network of personal travel managers, providing expert advice and tailored experience to Australian travellers around the country. Click here to contact Erryn and start planning for your next holiday.
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Image is courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission