Alberta, Wild Rose Country, where the vast Canadian plains meet the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. Alberta has that “western” flavor, just take in the Calgary Stampede if you are in Calgary in July. The large ranches on the prairie produce some of the best beef in the world. Need a hearty dinner? There’s nothing like an Alberta steak. While a little over half of the province is high prairie, the western half is a gift from the heavens. Rolling on the Trans Canada Highway west of Calgary, which along with Edmonton are the two major air gateways to the Canadian Rockies, the peaks above Canmore appear and grow closer until they fill the entire windshield. In the next half an hour you are at the entrance to Banff National Park.
Banff National Park. Established as Canada’s first National Park in 1887, the stunning beauty of the mountains lining the Bow River Valley are an obvious reason why this was chosen as Canada’s first national park. The horizontal stratification of the towering peaks makes them seem even taller and when coated with snow this is truly an awe inspiring place. These mountains rival any others as some of the most beautiful mountains on the planet. This is one of American Mountain Holidays must visit places. You will remember it for the rest of your life.
The Town of Banff, Alberta. This Aint your Daddy’s National Park
In 1883, when the Canadian Pacific Railway was being completed, Siding 29 was later to become a major tourist destination. The Town of Banff was named in 1884 by George Stephen, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, recalling his birthplace in Banffshire, Scotland. The town was administered by the Canadian National Parks system until 1990 when it became the only incorporated municipality within a Canadian National Park. In 1985, the United Nations declared Banff National Park a World Heritage Site.
Named for nearby Lake Louise, the small village of Lake Louise along with the lake it takes its name from; Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of John Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll, who was the Governor General of Canada for 1878 to 1883. The province of Alberta was also named for Princess Louise.
Lake Louise consists of the village which is located adjacent to the Trans Canada Highway and has a small shopping center, grocery, bakery, petrol station, grill, bar and sporting good store along with a post office and National Park visitors centre. Across the valley is Lake Louise Ski Area, the largest and most well known ski area in Alberta. The second part of Lake Louise is centered around the lake, Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and the Deer Lodge.
While Alberta has over a quarter million square miles, American Mountain Holidays destinations and activities are found in and around these two towns. If you are visiting in winter, the low season, you will find great alpine skiing at Mt. Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. There is backcountry touring above Canmore, 10 minutes from Banff. Our guide service offers hut to hut ski touring excursions and well as daily trips. To the west, just across the Columbia River we offer two daily heli skiing operations.
In the Summer, the high season in this world renown destination, we have all of our activities available. Whitewater rafting, fly fishing, mountain and road cycling, climbing and hiking. Our same guide service from winter offers an Ice Hike, awarded a Canadian Signature Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission. We have a number of great lodges in Banff and Lake Louise to fit any budget. Make sure to ask us about our two backcountry lodges, Shadow Mountain Lodge and Skoki Lodge. We can recommend restaurants and sport shops as well as attractions such as the Banff Hot Springs. Alberta is a unique destination. One of the most beautiful we know, let AMH help plan your Peak Experience in Alberta!