Canadian Rockies: The Best 3 Weeks Itinerary
This three weeks Canadian Rockies road trip itinerary will give you an idea how to plan your Canada travels to get the most of your time.
Canada is one of the most beautiful countries we've ever visited, and if you enjoy walking in the mountains, looking over turquoise lakes, an exciting possibility to see wildlife (from a distance, please), and superb hikes as we do, the Canadian Rockies won't leave you disappointed by no means.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR CANADIAN ROCKIES ITINERARY AND TRAVELS
No matter where you go, it won't be a bad decision. We visited the Canadian Rockies couple times already and still cannot say we've seen all.
The best way how to explore this part of Canada is to rent a car and set off on an unforgettable road trip of a lifetime. To get more useful information about your upcoming adventure, read our Ultimate Guide To Plan Traveling In The Canadian Rockies.
Don't forget that distances in Canada are vast so incorporate travel times into your itinerary as well. Also, in the peak season, it can be hard to find your accommodation, and it doesn't matter if you sleep in campgrounds or in five-star hotels, so don't forget to make your reservations well in advance.
To get an idea of how much things in Canada cost, read our Travel Budget Guide.
DAY 1: CALGARY
After arrival, pick up your rental car at the airport and head to your hotel. In Calgary, you can wander around downtown, cross the bridge to Prince's Island and if time allows, walk up to Sunnyside to catch the sunset.
Are you tired after a long flight and don't want to drive? We recommend you to stay at affordable Wingate by Wyndham Calgary Airport right at the airport.
DAY 2: CALGARY - DRUMHELLER
You might wonder, why the hell we are sending you to Drumheller, and we don't head directly to the Canadian Rockies.
But no worries, we will have enough time to explore mountains, and we think it would be a shame not to visit one of the world's best and biggest dinosaur museums when Drumheller lies only an hour and a half drive from Calgary.
Some can spend in a museum full day (or two), we made it in four hours and then, you can drive a loop around Drumheller to visit Horsethief Canyon, Horseshoe Canyon, and cross the river with the Bleriot Ferry.
Drumheller is a small town, and accommodation is limited, we enjoyed our stay at Ramada by Wyndham Drumheller Hotel & Suites.
DAY 3 & 4 & 5: DRUMHELLER - BANFF NATIONAL PARK
From Drumheller, drive about 3 hours to Johnston Canyon.
The drive is very scenic and you can for the first time get a glimpse of the Canadian Rockies peaks. Try to arrive to Johnston Canyon as soon as possible because it's the most visited place around Banff and gets crowded quickly, or leave the canyon exploring for the next day morning.
There is no shortage of hikes in Banff surroundings. You can choose the one which suits you best, don't hesitate to stop by in the Visitors Center. The staff here is knowledgeable and really helpful. We can recommend the hike to Cory Pass, hike to Bourgeau Lake & Harvey Pass or demanding trek to Aylmer Lookout.
Banff Park Lodge is an environmentally friendly hotel located in the town center surrounded by stunning scenery.
DAY 6 & 7: LAKE LOUISE VILLAGE
No matter how many times you've seen Moraine Lake or Lake Louise on pictures, you must see it with your very own eyes. Insanely blue lakes are not like anything we've seen before. Plan your visit carefully as both sited get crowded during the day. It is better to arrive at Moraine Lake early in the morning and later go to Lake Louise, from where you can take a leisure lakeshore stroll or hike our favorite path to Plain of Six Glaciers.
You might also enjoy our article on Most Beautiful Lakes in the Canadian Rockies. The next day you can consider doing the Larch Valley Hike (one of the best autumn hikes in the Rockies) or hike to Eiffel Lake.
Stunning views of Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier from Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will blow you away.
DAY 8: ICEFIELDS PARKWAY
Today, you will drive one of the most beautiful roads in the world! Icefields Parkway is a real gem and you need to know two things: try to start early to beat crowds and more importantly, have your camera ready. To make most of your trip, get inspired with our Icefields Parkway Guide. It will be a long day as there are many notable stops along the road.
Among all attractions, we can name Athabasca Falls, Athabasca Glacier, Wilcox Pass, Parker Ridge or Peyto Lake.
DAY 9 & 10 & 11: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Jasper is a town at the northern end of Icefields Parkway, and although it is smaller than Banff, its surroundings have definitely lots to offer. Relax on the banks of Maligne Lake, hike along Maligne Canyon, soak in Miette Hotsprings, hike the Sulphur Skyline, drive to an impressive Mount Edith Cavell mountain, admire the Angel Glacier or do the loop hike called Opal Hills. Shortly, you won't get bored.
Are you looking for a hotel with an excellent location, cozy rooms, sauna, and steam room? Stay in Jasper Inn & Suites.
DAY 12: MOUNT ROBSON PROVINCIAL PARK
Mount Robson Provincial Park borders with Jasper National Park and we feel it's a bit overshadowed by its more famous neighbour.
Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Rockies and you can take an easy hike to Kinney Lake or make a reservation and stay overnight near beautiful Berg Lake. We had the reservation, but unfortunately on the day we were heading to the park, there was a car accident, the road was closed and we did not make it.
DAY 13: WELLS GRAY PROVINCIAL PARK
You just arrived to Wells Gray Provincial Park, the land of waterfalls. To be honest, we stopped by here rather accidentally, but now we are glad we did. There are many waterfalls along the road, but visit at least three of them - Helmcken Falls, Spahats Creek Falls and Dawson Falls. All of them are easily accessible and you won't regret.
The Thompson Hotel in Kamloops - clean comfortable rooms for an affordable price.
DAY 14: WELLS GRAY PROVINCIAL PARK - GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
It is time to get closer to Calgary. It is a long drive, over 6 hours so take your time and stop regularly. Take the scenic route to Revelstoke, don't rush it, this is your relaxing day, so enjoy the scenery along the road. You will spend the rest of the day in beautiful Glacier National Park.
Soak in the Golden's history tied to the Canadian Pacific Railway and the logging industry. We recommend you to stay in Best Western Mountainview Inn.
DAY 15 & 16: LAKE O'HARA
Now, we hope you made your reservation for Lake O'Hara bus because it is one of the most beautiful places we've visited. Head to the parking lot in Yoho National Park and jump on the afternoon bus.
Enjoy the special day in Lake O'Hara surroundings. The best way how to get the most of the day is to hike the Lake O'Hara Alpine Circuit. After finishing the hike, head back, and the bus will take you to the parking lot. You can sleep in Lake Louise Village.
Modern, efficiently designed with views of the surrounding mountains - Lake Louise Inn.
DAY 17 & 18: YOHO NATIONAL PARK
In Yoho National Park, you can hike the Yoho Iceline Trail, but we believe you can be tired and there is also epic plan for the next days, so you can only visit Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls and relax a bit.
DAY 19 & 20: MOUNT ASSINIBOINE PROVINCIAL PARK
We left one of the best experiences we've had in the Canadian Rockies almost to the end. What about a helicopter flight to a stunning Mount Assiniboine and camping near Magog Lake? You can either fly one day to Mount Assiniboine and the other day back, or do it our way and hike out.
Read more about our Mount Assiniboine adventure.
This was highlight of our Canadian Rockies roadtrip, and we even saw several grizzly bears along the trail. You can read our guide How to Stay Safe in Bear Country.
DAY 21: CALGARY
Drop off your car and if time allows, before your flight, take an elevator to an observation deck of Calgary Tower and visit one of the most iconic places in the city.
If you have arrived during wintertime, check out this article about The Best Things To Do In Calgary In Winter.
Aloft Calgary University is a modern and clean hotel close to Calgary's university and the right place for you if you like design hotels with great service.
WHAT TO PACK FOR CANADIAN ROCKIES
Bear Spray | You are in a Bear Country, make sure you carry a bear spray. You can buy it in outdoor shops around Canadian Rockies, just don't be surprised to pay double the price.
Headtorch | You need to have at least one headlamp when camping.
Cooking Set | Backcountry cooking can be a fun experience with right tools.
Stove & Gas Cans | The only way how to prepare your food and tea in the campsite is by using a portable camping stove with gas cans.
Foldable Knife | Situations will pop up that require a foldable knife, and you just cannot go camping without a one.
Tent | Backcountry camping in the Canadian Rockies is an unforgettable experience, make sure you have proper gear and equipment.
Sleeping Bag | Warm and cozy in your down sleeping bag, it's light and easily foldable.
You can read a more detailed all season packing list we've created for the Canadian Rockies.
TRAVEL INSURANCE - SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE
We never leave our home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover your trip essentials.
Travel smarter and safer!