We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The Canadian Rockies are one of the most underrated destinations in all of North America.
The region promises spectacular scenery and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation thanks to the likes of Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Meanwhile, travelers looking for a more urban experience will delight in the cultural opportunities on offer in the region’s major cities, which include Banff and Jasper.
There are good reasons to visit the Canadian Rockies virtually any time of the year. So no matter when you’re reading this, here’s why you should go now.
Why You Should Visit the Canadian Rockies in the Summer
Here’s one of the most convincing reasons to visit the Canadian Rockies in the summer: The season offers the best opportunities to enjoy hiking in the Rockies. From late June to mid-September, you’ll find most of the region’s trails to be passable (even in higher elevations) and the scenery to be out of this world.
Here are a few more reasons why summer makes for a great time to visit the Canadian Rockies:
- Scenic driving routes through the region’s National Parks are most likely to be open during this time.
- Other warm-weather activities—such as horseback riding, fly fishing, and golfing—are fully accessible.
- Summer days are long and full of abundant sunshine. June and July can receive more than 16 hours of sunshine each day.
- Warm weather makes touring regional cities a pleasurable experience. That’s good news, because these cities are home to vibrant arts, music, and foodie scenes.
- The summer thaw provides beautiful views of the Rocky Mountain lakes and an opportunity to enjoy watersports including kayaking and canoeing. (Lake Louise typically thaws in early June, while Moraine Lake thaws around mid-June.)
Why You Should Visit the Canadian Rockies in the Winter
This section can be summed up in one word: skiing. The Canadian Rockies are home to a number of ski areas, including Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Norquay, and Sunshine Village. The season typically starts in mid-November and continues through mid-May; February, March, and early April are considered peak season thanks to slightly warmer temperatures and less-icy conditions.
Even if you’re not a skier, there are still good reasons to visit the Canadian Rockies in the winter. Visitors during this time period can enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides, resort spas, and fine dining throughout the region.
Why You Should Visit the Canadian Rockies in the Off-Season
The off-seasons (aka “shoulder seasons”) in the Canadian Rockies generally run from mid-April to mid-June and mid-October through November. While it might be more difficult to participate in the outdoorsy activities of the summer and winter during these times, there are several good reasons why it’s still worth paying the Canadian Rockies a visit:
- There are fewer crowds.
- Airfare and hotel prices tend to be lower.
- Early October provides an opportunity to view golden fall foliage in the Rocky Mountains.
- Spring and autumn offer some of the best opportunities to view wildlife (including elk, deer, and bighorn sheep) in the region’s National Parks.
- There’s plenty of entertainment to be found in the region’s major cities.
So there you have it: Any time is a good time to visit the Canadian Rockies. And that’s precisely why you should plan your trip now.