Banff is one of the most renowned tourist destinations in Canada and the most popular in the Canadian Rockies. It is the oldest national park in Canada, the second in North America (following Yellowstone in Wyoming) and the third oldest park in the world (following Royal in Australia). It encompasses 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) including the Lake Louise area and part of the Icefields Parkway. Over 8 million people enter Banff Park each year, of which over 3 million are considered park visitors – the highest visitation of any Canadian National Park. Most of Banff’s natural attractions are easily accessible from its scenic roads and highways. Popular sites around Banff townsite include the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Upper Hot Springs Pool, Cascade Gardens, Tunnel Mountain Drive, Vermilion Lakes, Johnson Lake and Lake Minnewanka. The townsite imparts a cosmopolitan atmosphere with an expansive array of tourist services as well as cultural attractions such as the Whyte Museum, The Banff Park Museum and the Banff Centre. The Bow Valley Parkway, Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway also present countless opportunities for sight seeing and wildlife viewing. Banff National Park maintains 1,500 kilometres (932 miles) of trails and 50 backcountry campgrounds. In winter, three downhill ski areas service the area.
Connecting Jasper National Park and Lake Louise in Banff National Park, the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) is considered to be one of the premier mountain drives in the world. The 230 km (143 mile) parkway follows the Continental Divide north-south as well as the Athabasca, Sunwapta, North Saskatchewan, Mistaya and Bow Valleys. Glaciers that remain from the ice ages dot the landscape, seven icefields within viewing distance of the parkway. The highlight of the drive for many is the Athabasca Glacier, the only road accessible glacier in the parks.
The author grew up in the Canadian Rockies and has been exploring them since she was a child. The Canadian Rockies are one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, with four million visitors annually. Easily accessible adventures include walking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, boating, horseback riding, skiing and wildlife viewing -- with some of the most spectacular animals in North America. Where else can you spend the morning hiking through spectacular wilderness and by afternoon enjoy high tea in one of the grand hotels? The guide is filled with inside information on how to avoid the tourist traps and where to find the special places off the beaten path that the tourists don't know about; the most worthwhile outdoor adventures and indoor activities; the hotels and restaurants at all price levels that are the very best; plus tips on places to avoid. Each chapter covers transportation to and around the park, where to stay and eat, attractions and shopping, plus adventures, from drives to day hikes, rafting to cycling. Competing guides focus on the standard tourist sites (where the crowds can ruin your experience), while we take you to the lesser-known spots (restaurants, lodges, hiking paths), which are often more rewarding. A review of the complete Canadian Rockies Adventure Guide from which this is drawn: "Having been to the Canadian Rockies numerous times and thinking we had seen all the wonderful places before we discovered this book, we now must plan many more trips there to explore all the other incredible places described in detail in this Guide. With numerous beautiful color photographs, most of which are by the author, this guide is a treasure because the scenery of the Canadian Rockies is some of the most spectacular in the world. A unique feature of this guide book is that it includes hiking details for each of the areas described. Since we have hiked many of these areas, we know this is a necessary and valuable tool for planning hikes." Bonnie Neely (Amazon reviewer)
About Brenda Koller
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Published June 12, 2010
by Hunter Publishing.
Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Travel.