A Weekend in the Rocky Mountains: Your Next Bucket List Item
Visiting the Rocky Mountains needs to be on your bucket list if they aren’t already!
The Rocky Mountains offer an endless list of activities for every adventure enthusiast out there. Whether it be mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, camping, there is something to suit everyone’s vast and unique needs.
Why should you go?
A quick search on Pinterest will show you just how beautiful the lakes and mountains are along the Rocky Mountains. There are hikes for all abilities and lots of activity options (mentioned above) for families with kids, or just an individual wanting to fill a weekend with adventure.
Many people go just for a weekend, but going for an extended period of time will really allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the mountains. You can take advantage of longer, multi-day hikes, and maybe get some more activities in. If you are camping, it is a really great place to unplug from the world.
So where do you begin?
Well firstly, I would suggest deciding on where you want to go. And this in itself can be difficult because there are so many options. In Canada, the Rockies run through British Columbia and Alberta. Some of the (many) locations that people like to travel to include: Waterton, Fernie, Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper, just to name a few. The Rocky Mountains extend down into the United States, where the same activities and fun can take place.
For more information on the different areas, I recommend actually buying a guide. You can get guides for Banff, Jasper & Glacier National Parks, or Waterton Lakes National Parks. For information on hikes in Fernie, you will need to do some searching on the internet. I currently cannot find a good book that demonstrates just the Fernie hikes.
Once you decide where you want to go, then you must decide what kind of accommodation you want. If you want to camp or stay in a hotel, you will have to book pretty far in advance because either availability will be limited, or prices will be very high if you wait until later in the year to book.
When do you go?
Well this depends. If you want to go skiing, or do any winter related activities, then you are going to want to visit between December and April. During this time, the majority of the ski hills will be open, and there will be opportunity for cat-skiing, ice skating, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.
Alternatively if you are more interested in summer activities, then you are going to want to visit between June and September. These are the warmest months, but they are also the busiest months. Therefore, as I have said before, it is IMPERATIVE that you start planning your trip in advance. Some of the most sought after summer campsites sell out when the website opens bookings in January.
What do I recommend?
My activity of interest is doing hikes in these areas. There are tons of hikes that will take you right to the peak, giving you amazing views of the valleys and rivers below. Some of the hikes I have personally done include:
- Spineback – Island Lake Lodge Fernie, Approx. 2.5 hours.
- Mount Fernie – Fernie, Approx. 4 hours.
- Mount Hosmer – Fernie, Approx. 5 hours.
- Windtower – Canmore, Approx, 4 hours.
- Ha Ling – Canmore, Approx, 2.5 hours.
- Petain Falls – Elk Lakes Provincial Park, Approx, 2 hours.
These are just some ideas for hikes, you can look at them on a map and determine if they are something you would be interested in. All provide beautiful views. They all could be done if you are a beginner hiker, with the exception of Mount Hosmer.
But no matter what your activity is, my main recommendation is just to plan ahead and find accommodation/camping as soon as you know where you want to go. Then from there you can decide if you want to go hiking, fishing, kayaking etc.
Because these parks are fairly close to major cities, and especially because it was Canada’s 150 birthday this year, the number of tourists is quite high. On some of these hikes (and I assume with other activities) it is good to start early in the day. Otherwise you will end up doing the activity with 50 other people.
For other Bucket List Ideas, check out
- Iceland – Things you need to see!
- Thailand: Your Next Bucket List Item
- St Lucia – What you need to know!