the Canadian Rockies are highly regarded as one of Canada’s most picturesque and visited areas. encompassing hundreds of kilometers and multiple provincial and national parks, this area should be at the top of your to-do list! Booming with activities, eateries, and a ton of different sights, the Canadian Rockies will keep you entertained for weeks on end!
For information on currency, vaccinations, best time to travel, budget tips, and more visit our page on Traveling Canada.
How To Get There
The Canadian Rockies span thousands of square kilometers in between Alberta and British Columbia. Although Calgary is one of the closest international airports, many people also fly into Vancouver and hop into a rental car for a scenic road trip across BC.
There are several different access spots and towns throughout the mountains with some of the most popular being Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Jasper, Fernie, Radium, Golden, and Revelstoke. Getting there will completely depend on the time of year and what you plan on doing, but traveling by vehicle is the most common method.
Best Time To Travel
Depending on what type of activities you`re interested in, you can plan to visit The Canadian Rockies at any time of year. The options are endless from amazing hiking and mountain biking in the summer months to skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. The fall is one of our favorite times to visit because of the beautiful colors and smaller crowds. Prices drop significantly late in the fall and don’t rise again until June, so if you’re looking to save some cash– travel during that time.
- Spring: April-May
- Summer: June- August
- Fall: September – October
- Winter: November – March
Average Daily Budget
Your average daily budget will completely depend on where you stay and what you choose to do. If you plan to camp or stay in a hostel, do mostly free activities and bring your own gear you can visit for relatively cheap. If you decide to stay at a high-end resort and spend your days on the ski hill or taking helicopter rides through the Rockies, your budget will increase substantially.
Daily budget when staying in a hostel, bringing your own gear, and doing mostly free or cheap activities: $130 CAD ($97 USD) per person per day.
- Accommodation: $35 CAD ($27 USD) per night for a single bed in a hostel or a campground
- Transportation: $15 CAD ($11 USD) per person per day
- Meals: $55 ($42 USD) CAD per person per day
- Attractions & Rentals: $25 CAD ($17 USD) per person per day
Daily budget when staying in a high-end resort, renting a car, skiing, and taking expensive tours: $320+ CAD ($248 USD) per person per day.
- Accommodation: $125+ CAD ($93+ USD) per person per day
- Transportation: $30 CAD ($23 USD) per person per day
- Meals: $90 CAD ($76 USD) per person per day
- Attractions & Rentals: $75 CAD($56 USD) per person per day
Rent a Car: Renting a car in a larger city (Calgary or Vancouver) and driving to the Rockies is a great option. It will typically cost you $40-50 CAD ($31-38 USD) per day. However, if you are under 25 the price is substantially higher. Inquire about coverage and unlimited kilometers beforehand to avoid getting surprised with fees upon arrival.
Bus: There are many different shuttles that run within the town of Banff as well as to and from the Calgary Airport, Canmore, and Lake Louise. This makes it super easy to get around even if you don`t want to rent a car. Places like Jasper and Fernie will be substantially less easy to access by bus.
Taxi: There are local taxi companies in most of the towns scattered through the mountains. I wouldn`t rely on them for an entire trip, but they can be great for a day trip or a few transfers here and there.
Campervan: If you’re into the campervan lifestyle, renting a campervan in Calgary or Vancouver would be an epic adventure and allow a ton of flexibility! We have heard excellent things about Karma Campervans. Rates vary in different seasons so be sure to check their website for up-to-date prices and availability.
Agoda is perfect for finding everything from hostels and B&B`s to 5-star hotels. You can search by map or by price and they typically have free cancellation.
Budget: $25-45 CAD ($20-35 USD) per night. Dorm room (single bed), Airbnb rooms( double occupancy), or a campsite (double occupancy).
Mid-range: $75-175 CAD ($58-136 USD) per night for 2 people. An older hotel, Bed & Breakfast, or Airbnb.
Luxury: $200+ CAD ($155+ USD) per night for 2 people. 4-5 star hotel or lodge.
- Get a hotel or B&B with breakfast included
- Buy an annual park pass if you plan on being in the area for over 1 week
- Book your ski lift ticket a few days in advance online to save 18-20%
- Stay somewhere with access to a kitchen and cook your own meals
- Bring your own gear if you plan to do biking, skiing, floating down the river, etc.
- Take advantage of all the FREE trails and things to do in the Canadian Rockies
- A tip of 18% is customary for restaurants in Canada