Every year we make the effort to go somewhere international. Since Zach has gone back to school and we’ve been reduced to essentially one income, it’s been less of a priority to go somewhere far away (though we did manage to go to Macau last year). It’s been an excellent excuse to explore our neighbors. Last year we went to Mexico City, and this year we decided to go north to the Canadian Rockies.
Although in Utah we often plan our camping trips little more than a week or two in advance and rarely camp in national parks, I found that as soon as sites in the Canadian National Parks were open to reservation they went quickly. Since we had decent ideas of where we wanted to go and in what order, I made reservations at our first four stops as early as January and then left us some room for spontaneity.
Originally, we planned to visit Kelowna for three days at the end of our trip to give us a short “city vacation” before we drove back to the US. Unfortunately, while we were in Canada, several wildfires in the Okanagan Valley created unsafe levels of air pollution in Kelowna. Since we’ve dealt with that in Utah the past couple summers, we knew that we didn’t want to visit under those conditions. So our route changed slightly and we remained closer to the Rockies than initially planned.
We didn’t even scratch the surface of everything we’d like to do in the Canadian Rockies, but we definitely figured out which places we’d visit again and which we’d rather avoid. After 3,100 miles on our Subaru, she probably deserves a rest. But we’re already planning our next camping trip…
I’ll write about each destination in detail, but here’s the list of our stops:
- The drive to Canada – Missoula & Kalispell, Montana
- Waterton Lakes National Park
- Kananaskis Country via Lethbridge, Alberta
- Jasper National Park via Banff & Banff National Park
- Lake Louise, Banff National Park
- Golden, British Columbia
- Yoho National Park
- The drive back to SLC – Sandpoint, Idaho & Philipsburg, Montana
Here’s our route: