Road trip in Western Canada: the essentials

A road trip in Western Canada is an adventure to experience at least once in your life.

If you have the luxury of time to drive from Quebec to the other coast, treat yourself to this pleasure. But, since the majority of us only have a few weeks of vacation per year, I recommend starting the road trip in Calgary here . Then we head to Vancouver .

First stop: Calgary

You can tour Calgary in a day or two. The city, well known for its famous Stampede, is doing very well. You can also get around on foot or by bike, on the many cycle paths.

Not to be missed in Calgary

The Peace Bridge
Calgary tour
Stephen avenue, a pedestrianized street with several bars and restaurants
The Calgary Stampede (if you’re there at the right time)
Elbow river
Bow river and its small adjacent parks
Wonderland Sculpture

Where to sleep in Calgary

There are a ton of Calgary apartments on Airbnb, and they’re often in great locations. I also recommend the Westley Downtown Calgary. The bedrooms are spacious and, what about the huge bathrooms with colorful tiles, except that they are magnificent!

Then take the road to Banff. From where you are, you’ll already see the mountains looming in the distance, and maybe even a few snow-capped peaks, depending on the season.

Second stop: Banff

This charming little town is the real starting point for a visit to the Canadian Rockies.

Banff has it all: plenty of bars and restaurants, incredible scenery nearby, and local souvenir shops. Difficult to spend less than two or three days there, especially if you want to do a few hikes.

Must see in Banff

The Banff gondola that leads to the top of Sulfur Mountain (reservation required)
A visit to the Fairmont Banff Springs
And Bow Falls
A walk in Vermillon lakes
A hike on Tunnel Mountain
A walk in Johnston Canyon

Where to sleep in Banff

Accommodation is expensive in Banff, as you are right in a national park.

Read also: 7 must-see national parks
So choose an accommodation, or a room, where breakfast is included, as is the case for example with this room in a boutique hotel , or this hotel suite in Banff .

Third stop: Lake Louise

A great classic, and the gateway to La route des Glaciers (we’ll tell you about it below!), Lake Louise is a must. It is located approximately 45 minutes from Banff.

We may have seen this lake hundreds of times in photos, it is nonetheless impressive, especially when we discover it for the first time. If you plan to get there after 8 a.m., park at the Parcobus. after having booked your transport to the lake in advance .

It’s an easy stop on the way to Jasper, so no need to sleep there unless you want to take your time to take in the scenery.

Not to be missed at Lake Louise

Enjoy the view of Lake Louise in the early morning
Canoeing on the lake (the activity costs $ 135 per hour)
Take a hike around the lake
Have tea at the nearby lake, Lake Agn├Ęs
Getting to Moraine Lake (arrive before 5:30 a.m., or take the bus)
Discover the Fairmont Lake Louise

Where to sleep near Lake Louise

If you decide to sleep in the area, surrounded by mountains, go to the small community of Field, on the BC side. You could for example sleep in this pretty little house .

And while you’re there, nearby Emerald Lake is also a must-see.