Take the epic route from one side of the Rockies to the other when driving from the traditional cowboy town of Calgary to the coastal city of Vancouver. Western Canada has it all with the backbone of the Rocky Mountains supporting the plains to the East and the Pacific coast to the West and this is the perfect country to explore in your car. The roads are quiet, the fuel is cheap and the scenery is beautiful, making the perfect road trip.
Start in Calgary at the edge of the plains and home to the famous Calgary Stampede, where every August thousands of professional and wannabe cowboys descend on the city for a festival like no-other. A quick visit up the Calgary tower is good for setting the scene as the mountains will be beckoning in the distance.
Once out of the city the road ahead will start to climb in to the snow-capped mountains. For those seeking an adrenalin rush, pause to participate in one of the white-water rafting tours that are readily signposted just off the road. The water is clear and cold, but well worth getting a little wet just for the fun of shooting the rapids.
Head up towards Banff and the surrounding National Park keeping an eye out for Moose and red-suited Canadian Mounties on the way. Banff is a relaxed village in the summer with plentiful souvenir shops and restaurants, but be sure to take a ride on the gondola up to the mountain tops for a really spectacular view.
The turquoise colour of Lake Louise has to be seen to be believed and why not take a canoe ride out on the calm waters to see the glacier beyond? The scenery is breath taking as is the temperature of the water! If you prefer your water solid, then take a tour on to the Colombia Ice field in a specially adapted bus, where crampons are provided so you can walk on the ice.
The resort of Whistler is an iconic skiing destination in winter and in the summer months a plethora of mountain hiking trails spread out across the forest clad slopes. Stop by one of the town’s restaurant to try an Elk burger at the end of the long day.
The town of Vancouver marks the end of a great drive with the Pacific waters lapping at the show. Take a walk around Stanley Park or along the marina to marvel at all the yachts on show. Vancouver has been voted one of the world’s most desirable cities to live, and it is not difficult to see why.