The Canadian Rockies are a wonderland of adventure for people who love to hike and explore in the mountains. The Canadian Rockies are made up of four major national parks: Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho. Together, these four parks preserve nearly 8,000 square miles (more than 5,000,000 acres) of pristine mountain wilderness. These mountains are profoundly beautiful, with turquoise glacial-fed rivers and lakes, thundering waterfalls, massive peaks, glaciers, deep forests and more. They will feel a bit harsher and wetter than America’s Rocky Mountains, but have excellent networks of hiking trails. Solitude is not difficult to find, and the ecological integrity is high with the major predators of the region – Grizzly Bears and wolves – still very much a part of the habitat.
In the Canadian Rockies you can base out of any number of mountain towns or hotels and embark on daily hikes into the mountains, or you can secure permits and enjoy a backpacking trip of almost any length you prefer. In terms of size, Alberta’s national parks go from largest to smallest as Jasper (4,335 mi2), Banff (2,564 mi2), Kootenay (543 mi2) and Yoho (507 mi2). Banff is the most famous, but all four are stunning and well worth exploring.