And when visitors aren't gawping at the sheer majesty of the
views, there are a whole heap of ways to explore the mountains,
glaciers, ice blue lakes and hot springs of the region. In winter
this is prime powder skiing territory with Banff one of the
highlights thanks to three ski areas - namely Sunshine Village,
Mount Norquay and Lake Louise - some good value places to stay and
bars and restaurants galore. Just 45 minutes away from the town
itself is Lake Louise, with excellent skiing for intermediates
particularly and dominated by glaciers and Mount Assiniboine.
Finally, Jasper is the place to stay for access to the Marmot Basin
ski region with yet more good value accommodation. The reason for
these competitive rates in winter? Because summer is when these
places really hot up and the hordes descend to enjoy trekking,
mountain biking, riding, kayaking, white-water rafting, fly-fishing
and wildlife watching for bears, caribou and elks surrounded by
scenery even more awe-inspiring than when covered in snow.
The towns themselves (and Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise
particularly) switch seamlessly from ski resorts to fun summer
sports centres and there's a fairly well-worn route (for a reason -
it's amazing) connecting them across the border in British Columbia
with Kamloops - the gateway to Vancouver and the Pacific Coast. We
can arrange self-drive trips through the Canadian Rockies or the
famous overnight Rocky Mountaineer train that connects Vancouver
with Banff/Lake Louise or Jasper.