The Canadian Rockies: Nature At Its Best
Stretching from lower Alberta to the upper regions of British Columbia in Canada, the Canadian Rockies offer some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Northern America. With snow-capped peaks, rushing rivers, plunging waterfalls, tranquil lakes, lush meadows and dense forests, this ruggedly beautiful terrain is the dream vacation destination for nature-loving adventurers and there are many activities to enjoy, such as snow skiing, hiking, climbing, fishing and whitewater rafting.
At 3,954 meters above sea level, Mount Robson is the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies, while the town of Banff is the busiest resort town in the mountainous region. Both Mount Robson and Mount Columbia (3,747 meters above sea level) are popular destination for experienced mountaineers, while some of the glacier terrain offers a challenge for backcountry skiers. Another popular ski and climb feature of the Canadian Rockies is Snow Dome at 3,456 meters above sea level. This mountain peak is unique in that the fresh water that flows off it empties into three different oceans – the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic.
Located in the Canadian Rockies, the Banff National Park offers some of the best features of this spectacular region – snow-capped mountains, ancient glaciers, evergreen forests, alpine meadows, therapeutic mineral springs and lakes of emerald green. Wildlife is plentiful, and visitors stand a good chance of seeing caribou elks, bighorn sheep, coyotes, and even possibly bears, cougars and wolves. The town of Banff and the park are very popular in the summer months, and visitors who are able to, may want to visit before mid-June, or in September. Banff National Park is one of four parks that make up the area designated as the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site – the other three being Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay.
During the 1870s and 1880s a survey was undertaken to ascertain the best route to build a railway through the Canadian Rockies to link British Columbia to Canada's eastern provinces. The survey was an enormous task and the actual construction of the railway an even bigger challenge. Nonetheless, the challenge was taken on and the Canadian Pacific Railway was built - against death-defying odds at times. Visitors to the Canadian Rockies can appreciate just how difficult it must have been to accomplish this engineering marvel more than a hundred and thirty years ago.