Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxing sightseeing, or getting close to nature, the Canadian Rockies is a great spot for your next vacation. There's an endless supply of activities—everything from walking on glaciers, winding down mountain roads, or relaxing at a spa with a gorgeous backdrop. Here are five great attractions in the Canadian Rockies.
1. Banff Gondola
For the best views of the Rockies, take the 8-minute gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain. Here, at an elevation of 7,486 feet, you can gaze at six mountain ranges. The observation deck provides a spectacular, 360-degree view of the exquisite surroundings. While at the summit, you can take a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike on one of the many trails. The observation deck offers an option of grab-and-go meals and snacks, or a fine dining experience full of local Canadian cuisine.
2. Banff Lake Cruise
Take a break from hiking in Banff National Park and enjoy a one-hour cruise on Lake Minnewanka. As you weave between mountains and navigate the changing shorelines, listen to native tales and learn the history of the sunken Minnewanka Landing. You'll also have unique views of Devil's Gap that can only be seen from the emerald water. Learn about the geology of the area from your entertaining guide, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.
3. Glacier Adventure
There are plenty of ways to view glaciers from afar in the Rockies, but this tour lets you step foot onto the ancient, icy ground of the Athabasca Glacier. Head to Jasper National Park to visit the Icefields Parkway and take an amazing ride on the sturdy Ice Explorer. Mid-tour you'll have the chance to hop off to walk on and touch the glacier—you can even take a drink from its waters.
4. Glacier Skywalk
If you're visiting the Columbia Icefield, be sure to make a stop at the Glacier Discovery Centre for a trek along the Glacier Skywalk. You'll learn about the unique eco-system of the area as you walk along the Discovery Trail, which winds along the Sunwapta Valley. Then at the end of the path, step upon a glass walkway 918 feet in the air, perched off the edge of a cliff. This amazing eagle-eye view of raw wilderness will leave you breathless.
5. Maligne Lake Cruise
One of the most unique boat cruises in all of Canada, the Maligne Lake Cruise takes you on a 14-kilometer trek to Spirit Island, the heart of Jasper National Park. You'll sail deep enough into this glacier-fed lake to view its turquoise waters and stop for a perfect view of peaks and glaciers that surround you. One of the most photographed areas in all the Rockies, you have time to step out on Spirit Island to capture your own memories.