A Summer Tour Through Western Canada
Monday, June 23, 2014
Summer tours through Western Canada can take several different forms:
• Taking your family on a road trip via a vehicle can always be an adventure. If you live in Western Canada, you can start in Jasper, and be sure to catch Maligne Canyon, the Pyramid and Patricia Lakes, and Athabasca Falls. Drive the Icefields Parkway through to Banff where you can visit Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Sulphur Mountain Gondola, Banff hot springs and the Cave and Basin Center. Then drive to the neighbouring Yoho for Emerald Lake, Spiral Tunnel Viewpoints and Kicking Horse Pass. Drive through to neighbouring Kootenay for Marble Canyon and Radium Hot Springs. If you have more time, and depending on your family's interests, either drive all the way south to Waterton National Park to hike Crypt Lake trail and play in Cameron Lake, or drive west into British Columbia.
• You can drive yourself around, but sign up for guided tours around your various destinations. In this way you remain in control of the destinations, but ensure that you miss nothing important. There are, for example, walking tours around Lake Louise and Bannf, caving tours around Canmore, interpretive boat cruises on Lake Minnewanka, and helicopters trips over the whole of Banff National Park.
• Canada Rail offers some amazing tours if you enjoy rail travel. The Western Canadian highlights tour picks you up in Calgary, drives you to Banff by bus, by train through the Rockies to Kamloops, through the Fraser River Valley to Vancouver, to Whistler, to Victoria, back to Vancouver, through to Jasper, via the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise, and back to Calgary. Alternatively, they offer the Rockies Explorer, which takes you to Bannf, to Lake Louise, to Jasper, to Kamloops and to Vancouver where you can explore before returning. The Rockies Leisure tour is the slower version of Explorer.
• Some tour companies offer similar guided tours, but by bus rather than train.
• Other tour companies offer specialised tours. If you are a golfer, they will take you to all the best golf courses. If you are a keen horse-back rider, you can tour the Canadian Rockies on the back of a pristine animal. If you are generally sporty, they can take you rock climbing, mountain biking, and paddling. Then there are guided backpacking tours for light campers, keen walkers and wildlife and bird watchers.
We need to appreciate one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and should never miss an opportunity to appreciate it.