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Rocky Mountain high! 25 Epic photos of the Canadian Rockies

Visit the Canadian Rockies – and you’ll be smitten with Rocky Mountain fever.

Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise are all bucket list places to visit in Canada.

Once you see these Canadian Rockies pictures of Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise, you’ll understand why!

Near Lake Louise, glacier-fed Moraine Lake is an impossibly turquoise color.
Near Lake Louise, glacier-fed Moraine Lake is an impossibly turquoise color

And that Rocky Mountain fever?

It’s the ache you feel upon beholding glaciers that cling like angel’s wings to mountains so lofty, they disappear into the clouds.

It’s the longing that overtakes you after seeing untamed evergreen forests, waterfalls that cascade down vertical cliffs and lakes that glitter an astonishing aquamarine.

Canadian Rockies pictures

The Canadian Rockies are all about shimmering lakes, emerald forests, rushing rivers and soaring mountain peaks.
The Canadian Rockies are all about shimmering lakes, emerald forests, rushing rivers and soaring mountain peaks

The only cure for Rocky Mountain fever?

Return and visit once again the world-renowned Canadian Rocky Mountains.

It's little wonder that the Canadian Rockies are a UNESCO World Heritage Site
It’s little wonder that the Canadian Rockies are a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Photos of Banff and Lake Louise

Stunning photos of the Canadian Rockies
Soaking in the spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery

Banff and Lake Louise are found in Banff National Park, one of the most popular national parks in Canada.

Get ready to be wowed!

Many of the snow-capped mountains in Banff soar higher than 12,000 feet!

Hiking in Banff

Spanning 2,564 square miles of wilderness, the park also boasts 1,000 miles of hiking trails – more than any other mountain park in the world.

photos of banff
In September, the larch trees in Larch Valley, near Banff, turn a dazzling yellow color (Credit: Paul Zizka, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

There are a gazillion things to do in Banff National Park (well almost), from biking the Legacy Trail and paddling a kayak on Lake Louise to biking along Lake Minnewanka.

We like hiking along the steel catwalks up Johnston Canyon – it’s exhilarating to feel the spray above the thundering waterfalls! 

The 1.5 mile Johnston Canyon hike ascends up the canyon edge past seven spectacular waterfalls

Soaking in natural hot springs and golfing are also popular. 

And the wildlife?

Bighorn sheep in Banff National Park
Known for their curved horns, bighorn sheep are regularly spotted in Banff (Credit: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

We’ve seen black bears, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, brilliant blue jays and cheeky chipmunks that grab bits of your sandwich and run.

Chipmunk
The chipmunks are oh-so-cute!

In winter, you can shuss down world-class slopes at three ski resorts – Lake Louise Ski Resort, Mt. Norquay and Sunshine Village.

There are other great things to do in Lake Louise too.

How about a winter sleigh ride in Banff? (Credit: Paul Zizka, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)
How about a winter sleigh ride in Banff? (Credit: Paul Zizka, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

The Lake Louise Gondola offers gorgeous mountain views.

Sleigh riding, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing are also fun in winter.

Enjoy the frosty outdoors while bundled up on a sleigh ride (Credit: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise)
Enjoy the frosty outdoors while bundled up on a sleigh ride (Credit: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise)

It’s also possible to see remarkable sights…

Like the Northern Lights!

Northern Lights in the Canadian Rockies
You can often see the Northern Lights in the Canadian Rockies

Recommended reading: Chasing Northern Lights photos in Alberta

Where to stay in Banff?

Like a castle in the mountains, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is the grandest place to stay in Banff.

Also check out the best Airbnbs in Banff.

One of Canada's grand railway hotels, the iconic Banff Springs Hotel was built in the 19th century (Credit: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel).
One of Canada’s grand railway hotels, the iconic Banff Springs Hotel was built in the 19th century (Credit: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel)

Where to stay in Lake Louise?

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is another grand hotel in Canada’s Rockies.

Go paddle a canoe on Lake Louise - a very Canadian thing to do! (Credit: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise)
Go paddle a canoe on Lake Louise – a very Canadian thing to do! (Credit: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise)

Photos of Jasper

Edith Lake is one of the prettiest lakes in Jasper
Edith Lake is one of the prettiest lakes in Jasper

Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is twice as big as Banff.

But its postage-stamp size town, Jasper, is quainter and you’ll bump into fewer visitors here.

There are many stunning Jasper attractions.

For one, the Jasper Sky Tram – the longest and highest aerial tramway in Canada – is something you’ll want to put on your Jasper itinerary.

photos of banff and jasper
Take the 7-minute Jasper Sky Tram for a whole new perspective at 7,500 feet above sea level (Credit: Jasper Travel)

And if you hike the Old Fort Point Trail, you’ll get stunning views of Jasper and its surroundings.

On the way down, the Old Fort Point Bridge – an iron bridge crossing the Athabasca River – is likely to catch your attention.

The Old Fort Point Bridge is a much photographed attraction in Jasper

For accommodation, perhaps splurge on the Jasper Park Lodge.

Along with the Chateau Lake Louise and Banff Springs Hotel, it’s one of the “wow” places to stay in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

photos of banff and lake louise
Have a seat! The view is more than fine… (Credit: Jasper Park Lodge)

Or you can rent a cabin like we have on a couple of recent summer family holidays in Jasper. We particularly like Alpine Village Resort. On the banks of the Athabasca River, the Pine Bungalows are also very clean and good (less expensive).

Connecting Banff and Jasper parks is the 144-mile Icefields Parkway, which stretches between Lake Louise and Jasper.

Watch out for the elk!

You'll see elk for sure in Jasper! About 1,300 elk live in Jasper National Park (Credit: Kathmandu, Jasper Travel)
You’ll see elk for sure in Jasper! About 1,300 elk live in Jasper National Park (Credit: Kathmandu, Jasper Travel)

Be sure to stop at the Columbia Icefield, North America’s largest sub-polar body of ice feeding eight major glaciers.

You can ride in a big red “ice explorer” on Athabasca Glacier, then walk along the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk suspended a jaw-dropping 918 feet above glacier-formed valleys.

Athabasca Glacier Skywalk
Not afraid of heights? Step out on the glass-floored Athabasca Glacier Skywalk! (Credit: Brewster Travel Canada)

So there you have it – the beautiful Canadian Rockies…

And some inspiring Canadian Rockies photography.

Talk about a Rocky Mountain high!

Glacier-fed Peyto Lake is a popular stop when driving along the Icefields Parkway
Glacier-fed Peyto Lake is a popular stop when driving along the Icefields Parkway

How to snap your own great Canadian Rockies photos?

Everywhere you look is worth a photo

Well, first you have to visit!

One of the best ways to see the Canadian Rockies is on the Rocky Mountaineer train. It travels between Vancouver and Banff, taking in Lake Louise.

You’re sure to get some of your own Insta-perfect shots of the Canadian Rockies!

Gob-smacking scenery in the Canadian Rockies? Oh yes!

Enjoy more of Canada!

Read our posts on:

Parksville and Qualicum Beach | From swimming at warm shallow beaches to caving to spying the goats on the roof, you’ll love these crazy fun things to do in Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

Victoria | Lace up your sneakers and check out these easy scenic walks in Victoria.

Tofino | When the weather is wild and bad, head to Tofino for storm watching!


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Epic photos of the Canadian Rockies

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About the authors:

Janice and George Mucalov

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews and information, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Victor Tribunsky

Tuesday 13th of June 2017

What wonderful views! Emerald water. Yes, Canada is one of the handsomest countries of the world, cold, but beautiful.

Janice and George

Sunday 18th of June 2017

Yes, we Canadians are hardy people :-). But it's not so cold in the summer. August, in particular, is a great time to visit weather-wise :-).

Alma Cruz

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

We went to Banff and Jasper last summer thinking "We'll go there just once and I would be happy". We loved it so much that we are planning to return and spend more time. I fell in love with those Canadian Rockies and beautiful lakes. We will be there soon!

Janice and George

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

The mountains get in your blood, don't they! We were so fortunate to be so close to the Rockies when we lived in Calgary...

Carol Rediker

Tuesday 18th of April 2017

I've been to Banff twice and Jasper once! They are both so beautiful, but I found Jasper more to my liking!

Janice and George

Tuesday 18th of April 2017

Jasper is smaller and more laid-back -- less touristy. We love Jasper too :-).

Laura Marie

Wednesday 12th of April 2017

These photographs are magical, I would love to see The Northern Lights one day how magical.

Great to meet you guys, I'm taken with your content!

Laura xo

Janice and George

Wednesday 12th of April 2017

The Northern Lights is something we'd like to see too :-). And we're delighted you like our site.

Frank

Thursday 9th of March 2017

Oh wow, some incredible photos. But the one with the guy skating across the lake is spectacular, WOW! We always say that one day we'll come back to Western Canada, so much we haven't seen. Most beautiful part of this great country!

Frank

Janice and George

Friday 10th of March 2017

There's lots to Canada (and western Canada) we haven't explored yet too, even though it's (sort of) in our back yard :-)