Rocky mountain retreat

Location: Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, Radium Hot Springs
Distance: 690 km round trip from Calgary

Head for a road trip in the Rockies with this 7-day itinerary. Hold a 500-million-year-old fossil at the famous Burgess Shale, rejuvenate in the hot springs, and embark on a scenic drive! From magnificent mountain peaks, to roaring waterfalls, this trip is one for the books.

View of Lake Louise and the mountains.

Day 1

Location: Banff National Park, Lake Louise
Distance: 186 km from Calgary

Embark on a magical mountain adventure! Visit Lake Louise with its striking turquoise water and white mountain peaks. For summer trips, tour with ease and take the shuttle. Soak up some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Recommended accommodation: Camping, Lake Louise campground

A short hike to Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park.

Day 2

Location: Yoho National Park
Distance: Field, 27 km from Lake Louise

Make your way to Yoho National Park and try to catch site of trains passing through the Spiral Tunnels and watch the ingenious engineering in action! Treat yourself to lunch in the charming village of Field, BC.

Walk through lush, evergreen forest to discover the marvelous Wapta Falls. Listen to the roaring waters and get lost in the beauty of nature at work.

Recommended accommodation: Camping, Kicking Horse campground

Emerald Lake and the mountains.

Day 3

Location: Yoho National Park

Visit Natural Bridge, an impressive work of nature formed by the powerful Kicking Horse River. Be amazed at the influence of rushing water as it carves ancient rocks.

Rent a canoe and explore Emerald Lake’s bright, jewel-coloured waters up close!

Make sure to see Takakkaw Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada! Listen to the rushing water resonate within the air, and feel the fresh spray of mist on your skin.

Recommended accommodation: Camping, Kicking Horse campground

Parks Canada guide holds large fossil specimen at Walcott Quarry with views of Emerald Lake, Emerald Glacier and Wapta Mountain summit.

Day 4

Location: Yoho National Park

Book ahead and be one of the lucky few who get to discover the amazing Burgess Shale fossils sites and learn about ecosystems that once thrived there. Choose a guided hike at Walcott Quarry or Mount Stephen. Observe high mountain peaks, glacier-fed lakes and fossils over 500 million years old! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is continuously looking for new animals. Can you identify a new fossil?

Recommended accommodation: Camping, Kicking Horse campground

A young man and woman are standing in front of their Westfalia on the side of the road.

Day 5

Location: Kootenay National Park
Distance: 60 km from Kicking Horse campground

Prior to entering Kootenay National Park, download the Kootenay Guided Tour App. Buckle your seatbelts, and get ready for a GPS-triggered, behind-the-scenes audio driving tour of one of BC’s most scenic highways. Listen to your virtual guide and check out the Continental Divide, the breathtaking Kootenay Valley Viewpoint and Sinclair Canyon.

Recommended accommodation: oTENTik, Redstreak campground

A family having fun in the radium hot springs.

Day 6

Location: Kootenay National Park

Take a day for rejuvenation and soak in the mineral-rich Radium Hot Springs. Relax in the hot pools and take in the beauty of Sinclair Canyon.

Enjoy the easy hiking trails in the Redstreak Restoration Area and feel completely at peace. Admire the lush green grass supporting the remarkable Columbia Valley— maybe you’ll even spot some Bighorn Sheep!

Recommended accommodation: oTENTik, Redstreak campground

Glacier blue waters rushing through a striking limestone gorge.

Day 7

Location: Kootenay National Park

Head to the intriguing Paint Pots and see this vibrant orange mineral spring system! Admire the ochre-coloured clay that Indigenous peoples have been gathering from this special place for thousands of years.

Next, hike to Marble Canyon and marvel at the glacier blue waters rushing through a striking limestone gorge. A truly picturesque must-see in Kootenay!

Distance: Return to Calgary, 260 km

Make the most of your visit with these insider tips.

  • Know before you go: Banff

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