They might be some of the politest folk in the world, but their wilderness sure can pose a challenge for any versed nature enthusiast willing to test their strength. From picturesque meadows and serene lakes to snow-capped mountains resembling an image you’ve seen on postcards. The Western region of this mesmerizing country boasts quite a diverse landscape, and conquering it is far from an easy endeavor!
You can start and end your journey in one of the region’s urban spots such as Calgary or Vancouver, but rest assured that its wealth of natural wonders will steal the spotlight of your entire stay, no matter how long your adventure turns out to be.
1. Hiking away from the crowds
On the Western slopes of the famous Canadian Rockies lies the dream-come-true of all dedicated hikers. Unlike the much more advertised trails that are equally stunning, the less-known Iceline trail brings the most beautiful scenery of Canada into a single experience.
You’ll have the chance to explore the 21-kilometer-long trek that will take you by some of the most incredible Yoho National Park sights: from the breathtaking Takakkaw Falls, Daly Glacier, to Twin Falls, not a single stop will be less than enchanting.
2. Banff National Park
Although Western Canada’s national parks each deserve a separate trip to explore their wonderful sights, you can spend a portion of your stay in the renowned Banff. Once again, you’ll be greeted by a plethora of waterfalls, clear lakes reflecting the skies, and mountaintops clad in snow.
The gondolas on Sulphur Mountain are not for the faint of heart, as the ride up might be one of the most thrilling experiences you’ll ever have, if for nothing else, for the view of the entire park. Lake Louise is another beloved spot where Canadians and tourists love to hike, so prep your camera and your binoculars for several hours of pure awe.
3. Winter wonders in Jasper
If you come from warmer parts of the globe, then perhaps the idea of traveling to Canada during the colder months may sound terrifying. Fortunately, the welcoming nature of Canadians, their impeccable ability to make the most of their freezing winters, and their unparalleled scenery will make you forget about the cold.
In fact, you can make your travels more comfortable, but still adventurous by opting for Canada winter rail packages that blend the best of both worlds: the comforts of modern train travel and the beauty of the pristine winter backdrop. It’s a great way to see some of the best Jasper National Park sights, such as Maligne Canyon, Whistler’s Mountain, and numerous lakes interspersed through the park.
4. Head to Haida Gwaii
Another hidden gem of the West coast of Canada is the archipelago of islands that is a treasure trove of heritage and wildlife unique to its humble shores. You’ll get a chance to learn about the Haida people, their traditional architecture in the form of longhouses, and head to the Haida Gwaii Museum to learn more about the local history.
If you visit during springtime, you can join a whale-watching tour at Skidegate Inlet, from which you will be able to spot majestic orcas, humpbacks, as well as other whale species. The islands are home to rain forests and stunning beaches, which means plenty of hiking and fishing opportunities for the most active of visitors.
5. Raft through the Jaws of Death
In addition to the many hiking trails you’ll find available all-year-round, the West part of the country is also a perfect setting for passionate rafters. Many mountain rivers are the go-to spot for thrill-seekers from all over the world, and the Lower Thompson River which flows into the more famous Fraser River can easily steal the throne for the best rafting spot in the region.
You can join a crew that will take you through the twenty-five of the most famous Thompson rapids, including the one aptly dubbed “the Jaws of Death”. By the end of your river excursion, you’ll fall madly in love with the rugged nature of Western Canada, ready to come back as soon as the opportunity arises!
Marie Nieves is a travel blogger who loves unusual trips, active holidays, gadgets and creative ideas. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag.
Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences.