I think it’s good for the soul to spend time walking in the woods and this trip proved it to me. Even though we only visited Banff and Jasper for six nights, we came back feeling completely relaxed and less stressed and more connected as a family.
Our vacation involved doing a lot of short hikes since we were traveling with a 15-month old and just spending time outside enjoying the incredibly beautiful scenery. It was cold in early September, but the crowds were gone and we were able to enjoy some of the less well known hikes without seeing another soul.
Our top 10 highlights from this trip include:
1.) The turquoise water of Lake Louise. It’s absolutely incredible.
2.) The beauty and lack of crowds at Moraine Lake. It’s just a short drive from Lake Louise, but far fewer people visit Moraine Lake, which is exactly why you should.
3.) Johnston Canyon hike – this is a really popular hike so it can get crowded in the summer, but it’s short and scenic. Perfect for a family traveling with small kids.
4.) Driving the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper and taking the time to stop and explore along the way
5.) Mount Edith Cavell hike and glacier (and not crossing paths with the mama grizzly bear and her two cubs that had been spotted in the area the day before)
6.) Maligne Lake and drive. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.
7.) The diversity of the scenery on the Consolation Lake hike at Moraine Lake
8.) Staying in adorable cabins in Lake Louise (Baker Creek Mountain Resort) and Jasper (Alpine Village)
9.) Watching the pesky ground squirrels at Lake Louise (although, they make for cute pictures, it’s clear they are fed by too many tourists and we sincerely hope these bold-people-food-loving-squirrels retain their ability to find natural food and survive the long Canadian Rockies winter. This one thought Finnegan’s glove was food – thankfully he didn’t bite through to Finnegan’s finger. So learn from us and watch them from afar!)
10.) Seeing large herds of elk in Jasper National Park (ugh, we only have a picture of lone elk. Trust us, there were a lot of them!)
So do your soul a favor and book a trip to the Canadian Rockies and revel in the sheer beauty that constantly surrounds you. And pack a warm jacket – it gets really cold at night!
For more travel stories and trip reviews that involve traveling with young kids, visit our blog Travels with Curley.
Great photos! Glad you had such a relaxing time as a family.
Living on the east coast (Nova Scotia) I would LOVE to visit Jasper one day…it’s on my list!
Thanks Anna! We would love to visit Nova Scotia. Do you have any suggestions for some local favorites if we make it there next summer?
Banff and Jasper are great for young and old! We toured around this year with my husband’s parents, and we found plenty to do that could suit all of us. I hope you get a chance to visit every few years with your little one as he gets bigger. You can appreciate it in different ways as you grow up. 🙂
That sounds like a great trip Heather! We would LOVE to go back in a few years when our boys are old enough to do some of the short hikes on their own. It was the most relaxed and refreshed that I’ve ever felt after a vacation and we were only there for six nights. I think it was a result of being outside all day and breathing that crisp clean mountain air and just being more connected with nature. If you have any suggestions based on your trip, we would love to hear them.
Hiking is definitely where it’s at in Banff and Jasper! It’s a wonderful way to really experience what Canada’s national parks are all about.
When you’re ready for it, I also suggest mountain biking. We tried it in Waterton and it was so much fun, I’m looking forward to trying more in Banff and Kananaskis. 🙂
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Steve, at http://twentyfirstcenturynomad.com
Steve – your blog is amazing! Thank you for the kind words.