Calgary is a vibrant, modern city located in the southern part of Alberta. It's well-known for its citizens' friendliness and hospitality, as well as the natural beauty of its surroundings... and was recently rated the 5th most liveable city in the world!
Situated in the eastern foothills of Canada's Rocky Mountains it is the perfect location for outdoor activities such as skiing, skating, hiking, fishing, and cycling. With a vibrant and eclectic arts scene, Calgary hosts many events and festivals throughout the year, in addition to fantastic restaurants, nightlife, shopping, sports and recreation facilities, and all the amenities you would expect of a modern and prosperous city.
Every July, the Calgary Stampede transforms the city into a Wild West-inspired playground. It’s 10 days of infinite free pancakes - a can't miss event!
Venturing out from the city in a campervan is a recipe for excitement. You can discover the iconic Canadian Rockies as you travel through the majestic scenery and National and Provincial Parks. You can head north west into the wilderness of Banff and Jasper National Parks, the splendour of the Icefields Parkway, as well as the less-discovered by equally as beautiful Wells Gray Provincial Park and Yoho National Park. We suggest ending your road trip at Waterton Lakes National Park, where you can relax by the water or take a dip in cool mountain water.
Day 1 | Arrive in Calgary and stay one night in a hotel
The dynamic city of Calgary is located 90 minutes from the Rocky Mountains and includes attractions such as the Calgary Tower, Glenbow Museum and the Botanical Gardens, as well as great shopping and a variety of restaurants. It is also home to the Calgary Stampede, which takes place in July each year.
Day 2 | Collect your RV and begin your road trip! Head to Banff National Park - approx. 80 miles
The Canadian Rockies await! Stay three nights in the Banff National Park Area
Be sure to visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, the birthplace of Banff National Park for interactive displays and exhibits, interpretive trails, bird watching, hiking and cycling. Take a ride on the Banff Gondola, which rises 700 metres (2,310 feet) to the summit of Sulphur Mountain (2,286 metres/7,544 feet) for panoramic views of the Bow Valley, Banff town and surrounding mountain peaks. Take a dip in the famous hot mineral waters at the Upper Hot Springs pool. The facility also includes spa, massage and aromatherapy services. You may also try river rafting or take a boat tour on Lake Minnewanka.
Banff National Park
Day 5 | Take the Icefields Parkway to Jasper National Park, approx. 180 miles
Stay three nights in the Jasper National Park area
Travel the scenic Icefields Parkway, Canada’s second highest paved highway and one of the country’s most scenic drives. Stop at the Glacier Skywalk and the Columbia Icefield. The Glacier Skywalk consists of a 400 metre interpretive boardwalk and a glass-floored observation platform extending 30 metres out over the Sunwapta Valley. At the Columbia Icefield, you can board a Brewster Ice Explorer and travel onto the icy slopes of the Athabasca Glacier.
Jasper National Park is the largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountain national parks, (4,200 square miles). Many of the park’s striking features are accessible by road – Sunwapta and Athabasca Falls, Miette Hot-Springs and glacier-clad Mount Edith Cavell. The Jasper Tramway is the longest cable car in Canada, and the 360-degree view (weather permitting) – some 60 miles to the west to Mount Robson, and about 45 miles to the south to the Columbia Icefield – is well worth the trip. Visit Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed lakes in the world, and enjoy a one and a half-hour cruise.
Day 8 | Drive to Wells Gray Provincial Park, approx. 200 miles
Stay two nights in the Wells Gray Provincial Park area
Travel the Yellowhead Highway and cross into the province of British Columbia. Enjoy the activities of Wells Grey Provincial Park. One of the less visited parks in the Rockies, there is plenty of space here with mountains, forests, rivers and lakes to explore. Helmcken Falls, Canada’s fourth highest waterfall, is just one of 39 named waterfalls, and you can raft, kayak, hike or horse-ride in the park and really get back to nature.
Wells Gray Provincial Park Credit Destination BC / Megan McLellan
Day 10 | Today’s journey will take you to Yoho National Park, approx. 300 miles
Stay two nights in the Golden / Yoho National Park area
Golden is located between the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Columbia Mountain ranges, making it a great base for visiting both Yoho National Park and Glacier National Park of Canada. It also sits at the confluence of the Kicking Horse River, a Canadian heritage river famous for whitewater rafting, and the Columbia River, a BC heritage river which meanders through the longest protected wetlands in North America.
Yoho National Park - Credit: Johan Lolos
Day 12 | Head south towards the border and Waterton Lakes National Park, approx. 345 miles
Stay three nights in the Waterton Lakes National Park area
Waterton is a quiet, uncrowded National Park, with spectacular scenery, wildlife and outstanding recreational opportunities. In this breath-taking part of the world, the majestic Rocky Mountains rise suddenly out of the rolling prairies. Amid the peaks are the lakes of Waterton Lakes National Park, carved out of the rock by ancient glaciers. The park borders Glacier National Park in Montana to the south, together making up the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the first of its kind in the world.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Day 15 | Return to Calgary, approx. 170 miles
Drop off your RV and head to the airport.
Calgary - Credit: Travel AlbertaSabrina Hill