Best of Icefields Parkway

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Icefields Parkway
Lake Louise at sunset
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 12 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 12 Days

Starting and ending in Calgary, this route gets you outdoors on the best trails and routes through the Canadian Rockies. You'll have ample time to visit all the famous stops along the way as well as the lesser-known regions known just to locals. This route is optimized for those looking to get out into nature, beyond just the roadside stops and attractions. 

Hiking in the Ten Peaks Valley, Banff National Park
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 10 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 10 Days

With 10 days, you'll have enough time to explore all the highlights of the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper. You'll also have time to get off the beaten path and away from the crowds, either on a multi-day hiking adventure, to a wilderness lodge, or into the lesser-known (but just a stunning) region of Kananaskis.

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 14 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 14 Days

In two weeks, explore the best of the Canadian Rockies from Banff to Jasper. This route is optimized for less time on the road and more time hiking in incredible alpine scenery away from the crowds, best done between May and September. You'll start and end in Calgary, and take in a couple of special, lesser-known regions such as Kananaskis Country. 

Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 13 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 13 Days

Designed for outdoor adventure lovers, this route gets you away from the crowds into the best alpine scenery of the Canadian Rockies. You'll start and end in Calgary and drive the iconic Icefields Parkway in both directions, taking in Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper, with minimal driving time and more time in nature. 

Mount Rundle, Banff National Park
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 11 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 11 Days

Spend 11 days in the outdoors of the Canadian Rockies. Starting and ending in Calgary, you'll base yourself in four locations that allow for nearby access to the best trails and lesser-known regions around Banff and Jasper national parks. This route is best done between May and September and was called the "drive of a lifetime" by National Geographic. 

Follow this epic route through the Canada Rockies
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 16 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 16 Days

Discover the best of the Canadian Rockies by basing yourself in a few key locations where you can stay for a few nights and explore the backcountry trails and lakes. You'll take in the main highlights of the Icefields Parkway as well as the lesser-known regions, such as the beautiful Kananaskis Country and Yoho National Park. This route focuses on less time driving and more time out on the trails.

Highway 40 through Kananaskis Country
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 15 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 15 Days

This route focuses on getting you into the incredible mountain scenery of the Canadian Rockies, starting and ending in Calgary. You'll head north and south along the iconic Icefields Parkway while basing yourself in a few key locations along the way. As well, you'll explore beautiful Kananaskis Country, a region just south of Banff and Canmore that locals regard as their favorite hiking region (without the crowds of the more famous parks).

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 10 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 10 Days

Follow one of Canada's most popular road trips from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies, passing through Whistler and Wells Gray Provincial Park as you make your way across the province. This trip is fast-paced at the start given limited time, but the driving reduces dramatically once you reach the Rockies where you'll spend the majority of your days exploring the trails and backcountry away from the crowds. Finally, you'll depart from Calgary after driving through the iconic Icefields Parkway. 

Approaching Mount Robson Provincial Park
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 14 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 14 Days

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to drive across British Columbia without feeling too rushed. This itinerary is designed for those seeking to spend the majority of their days in the outdoors and covers the best mountain parks and trails that the province has to offer. The ideal time to travel this route is from mid-May to mid-October when the alpine trails are more likely to be clear. 

Highway through Jasper National Park
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 13 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 13 Days

With 13 days, you'll get a good taste of Vancouver and the Pacific Coast before heading east across the province to the Canadian Rockies. Here, you'll slow down the pace and spend the majority of your time exploring the hiking trails, lakes, and viewpoints in some of Canada's most spectacular mountain landscapes. For those seeking some comfort, combine this route with overnights in scenic wilderness lodges. 

Fresh snow on a sunlit peak in the Canadian Rockies
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 9 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 9 Days

Spend 9 days exploring the best of the Canadian Rockies. You'll base yourself in just a few locations to avoid moving around too much and instead spend your days on beautiful alpine trails. Besides having enough time to take in all the main highlights on the Icefields Parkway, you'll also explore some of the lesser-known regions that help you escape the crowds. 

Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 15 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 15 Days

This epic route across British Columbia takes you through some of the most impressive mountain landscapes in Canada. You'll base yourself in convenient locations for two-to-three days, with less time driving and more time exploring the trails and scenic viewpoints. As you near the Canadian Rockies, the views become even more impressive, where Kananaskis Country provides the perfecting ending to your trip. 

Sunrise at Wedge Pond in Kananaskis Country
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 11 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 11 Days

This road trip crosses the breadth of British Columbia in 11 days, from the Pacific Coast Mountains to the rugged interior of the Canadian Rockies. The first half of the trip includes a few longer days of driving before slowing down the pace to shift your focus to the countless trails and vantage points surrounding Jasper, Banff, and underrated Kananaskis Country.

Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 16 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 16 Days

Follow one of the most scenic road trips in Canada from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies. With 16 days, you'll have ample time to stop and explore Whistler and Wells Gray, en route, before devoting over a week to the hiking trails and backcountry of the Rockies. This route is best done from mid-May to mid-October.

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 12 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 12 Days

Get the true sea-to-summit experience as you road trip across British Columbia from the coast to the mountains. You'll follow some of Canada's most scenic highways through numerous provincial and national parks, culminating in the spectacular scenery of the Canadian Rockies. This itinerary is designed to spend fewer days on the road and more time exploring the mountains, lakes, and rivers. 

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, & Jasper - 7 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, & Jasper - 7 Days

One week is just enough time to explore the Canadian Rockies without feeling too rushed. Designed for those looking to get up into the mountains, this route starts and ends in Calgary and focuses on providing the best access to amazing trails as well as lesser-known regions that evade the crowds. The ideal season for this route is May through September. 

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park
Map of Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 8 Days
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, & Canmore - 8 Days

With 8 days, explore the best of the Canadian Rockies stretching from Banff to Jasper. You'll drive one of the world's most iconic stretches of road in the Icefields Parkway and spend full days exploring the backcountry trails away from the crowds. This is the perfect amount of time to cover a lot of ground without feeling too rushed. 

Mount Rundle, Banff National Park
Map of Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 9 Days
Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray, & the Canadian Rockies - 9 Days

With 9 days, this is the minimum amount of time you'll want to make the journey across British Columbia without feeling too rushed. After having a couple of days to explore Vancouver and Whistler, you'll head east to the impressive mountains, rivers, and waterfalls of the Canadian Rockies where you'll have shorter driving days and more time outdoors. This route is designed for nature lovers, focusing on the best parks, hidden gems, and ways to avoid the crowds.

Tokkum Creek flowing through Marble Canyon, Kootenay National Park
Map of Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 12 Days
Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 12 Days

In 12 days, combine the best of the Canadian Rockies with the hot springs and lakeshore communities of the Kootenays. This route is perfect for those looking for an active holiday with time to relax and sit back, as well, without too much driving. You'll pass by numerous hot springs, historic communities, and lake valleys surrounded by dramatic peaks. You can undertake this route year-round, given the numerous winter and summer mountain resorts en route.

Abandoned train bridge turned biking trail near Slocan
Map of Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 10 Days
Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 10 Days

Discover the best of the Kootenay and the Canadian Rockies on this 10-day circuit. You'll have time to explore the mountains or paddle the lakes and rivers as you pass through some of British Columbia's most spectacular parks. In the evenings, head to the local hot springs and enjoy the peaceful vibe of the smaller, lakeshore communities. This route is perfect for those looking to combine both adventure and relaxation.

Slocan Lake near New Denver
Map of Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 9 Days
Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 9 Days

Starting with a few days in the Canadian Rockies, venture south through the peaceful communities and impressive landscapes of the Kootenays. After long days in the outdoors, head to local hot spring resorts or backcountry pools where you can soak away the fatigue. This route covers a vast distance and involves driving most days, so is best suited for those who don't mind a faster-paced adventure.

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
Map of Calgary to Vancouver Road Trip: Banff, Revelstoke, Nelson, & Osoyoos - 10 Days
Calgary to Vancouver Road Trip: Banff, Revelstoke, Nelson, & Osoyoos - 10 Days

With 10 days, you'll have just enough time to drive across British Columbia without feeling too rushed. You'll start with a few days of exploring the iconic Canadian Rockies before heading into the heart of the Kootenay Rockies, famous for its beautiful mountain towns and historic communities. End the trip with a couple of days of wine and relaxation before departing from Vancouver. 

Sunrise over Bow Lake, Banff National Park
Map of Calgary to Vancouver Road Trip: Banff, Revelstoke, Nelson, & Osoyoos - 11 Days
Calgary to Vancouver Road Trip: Banff, Revelstoke, Nelson, & Osoyoos - 11 Days

Spend the first half of your trip exploring the mountains and lakes of the Canadian Rockies before veering south through the beautiful wine region of the Okanagan Valley. Here, hit the bike trails, beaches, and check out the great local wineries in this desert-like region of Canada. Finally, end your trip with a couple of days to shop and eat out in Vancouver.

Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park
Map of Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 13 Days
Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 13 Days

Starting and ending in Calgary, this loop covers the entire Kootenay Rockies which combines dramatic mountain landscapes with lakeshore communities and plenty of hot springs. You'll begin with a few days in the Canadian Rockies before heading south to the hot springs and lakes of the Kootenays. Finally, you'll have a couple of days in Canmore to explore the underrated gem of Kananaskis Country.

McDonald Creek Provincial Park near Nakusp
Map of Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 11 Days
Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 11 Days

Explore the spectacular mountain scenery of British Columbia’s southeast corner, dotted with alpine towns and lakeshore communities. Besides a couple of long days of driving near the end, the majority of your trip will be spent on mountain trails or soaking in the highly-mineralized springs of resorts and riverside pools. You'll also learn about the region's rich mining and railway history which attracted early settlers.