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Hop a flight to Calgary, Alberta, rent a car, and drive west on the Trans-Canada Highway #1. Soon the towering mountains of the Canadian Rockies, home to the Banff and Jasper National Parks, come into view.
Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Banff National Park, has a total area of 2,564 square miles. It is the most popular of Canada's national parks with more than 4 million visitors per year. Pristine wilderness, endless photo opportunities, and first-class alpine skiing makes Banff an excellent place to visit.
The Banff Information Center provides a wealth of information on exiciting activities.
Crisp nights await
If you visit in the summer, be sure to try horse back riding, hiking, swimming, and fishing. Or visit in winter. The park is home to one of North America's finest downhill ski areas, and has numerous hiking and walking trails
On a clear day try the gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. It is not located too far from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. This is an historic hotel that began in late 1886 when the Canadian Pacific Railway built the first trans-Canada railway. To offset the cost of this railway, the CPR got involved in tourism and built the Banff Springs Hotel.
Plan your trip to visit during the Banff Arts Festival, the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Playbill Series, or the Banff Festival of Mountain Films.
In the afternoon, head out to Lake Louise, where you can walk the lakeshore trail. Rent a canoe to paddle by the tall rock walls of the Babel Tower. To rest and relax, end the day with a visit to the Upper Hot Springs. Nothing beats a hot spring soak.
Visitors looking for a more quiet, remote charm will enjoy Jasper National Park. Larger than Banff, with a total area of 4,199 square miles, Jasper receives about 2 million visitors per year. They find wonderful lodging, including small cabins and rustic bungalows, all nestled away in unspoiled wilderness. Plan to stay at the rustic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, in Jasper, to enjoy your visit.
The majestic mountains of the Canadian Rockies with the outstanding Banff and Jasper National Parks can lure you into the wilderness in seconds. Plan to visit soon.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff