Walk along the Columbia Icefield Skywalk in Jasper, Alberta.
Because the best way to see the Rockies is by car, with a few fun pit stops along the way.
HWY 93 - Lake Louise to Jasper.
This is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. With hundreds of peaks and glaciers, stunning mountain lakes and powerful waterfalls, each turn presents more outstanding scenery than the last. Plan to pull over a lot. Along the 230-kilometre stretch of road, also called the Icefields Parkway, you'll find the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre, where you can tour the Athabasca Glacier. Farther north, walk out along the glass-bottomed Skywalk and gaze 280 metres down to the canyon floor. As you navigate the enormous hairpin turn aptly called the Big Bend, give a nod to the 600 men who first built the highway—mostly by hand—in the 1930s as a government make-work project.
HWY 11 - Rocky Mountain House to Saskatchewan crossing.
It may be the road less travelled, but that doesn't mean it's any less magnificent. Heading west from the small town of Rocky Mountain Mount Revelstoke National Park; Columbia Icefield Skywalk (top) House, you'll marvel as the vista morphs from foothills to mountains. At Nordegg, a former mining town turned outdoor adventure hot spot, head out fishing or hiking for the day. A little farther west, pull over and unpack a picnic at Abraham Lake, a vast man-made lake filled with natural mountain-blue water. All along the 180-kilometre route, watch for bears, moose and other wildlife. At Saskatchewan Crossing, where the Mistaya and Howse rivers meet the North Saskatchewan, turn right to check out Jasper, or turn left to go to Lake Louise.
TCH HWY 1 - Lake Louise to Revelstoke.
This 230-kilometre route takes you through Canadian railway history, across thrilling mountain passes and into quirky towns. Keep an eye out for the Spiral Tunnels, which have enabled trains to navigate Kicking Horse Pass since 1909. Your first stop west of Lake Louise is the little town of Field, B.C., with its legendary Truffle Pigs bistro. Next, pop into Golden to hit up the museum—to learn about early explorers—or the art gallery to see pieces by local artisans. At the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre in Glacier National Park, learn how the railway was built through the mountains. And in Mount Revelstoke National Park, east of the town of Revelstoke, go for a stroll amidst ancient forest along the Giant Cedars Boardwalk.
HWY 93/95 - Cranbrook to Radium Hot Springs.
In British Columbia, this gentle 144-kilometre drive between the Rocky and Purcell mountains takes you past rushing rivers, long beautiful lakes, golf courses and plenty of bighorn sheep. From the outdoorsy town of Cranbrook, wend your way north to explore the Kimberley Nature Park, which boasts hiking adventures ranging from easy to very challenging. Farther on, hit the links, dip into the hot springs at Fairmont and Radium or walk the beaches of Lake Windermere. In the town of Invermere, peruse local boutiques before heading to Radium, just outside Kootenay National Park, to drive alongside remarkable cliffs. Slow down and look up to count the bighorn sheep. From Radium, you can go east to head back to Alberta or turn north toward Golden, B.C.