Admit it, you’ve always wanted to do a big old road trip over the pond!
Well, it’s time! It’s time to embark on an unforgettable trip from Edmonton to Jasper National Park along the 16, and then to Calgary along the Icefields Parkway. We promise that you’ll see stunning natural beauty, abundant wildlife sightings, and plenty of luxurious accommodation.
First stop on the itinerary is the gorgeous Jasper National Park, where you can stay at the royals favourite Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This charming resort is nestled in a serene location on the shores of Lac Beauvert and surrounded by picturesque mountains. Spend your days here exploring the park's pristine wilderness, including the Athabasca Glacier and the stunning Maligne Lake.
On your way to Calgary, make sure to take the iconic Icefields Parkway, which is one of the most scenic drives in the world. The journey takes you through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, offering breath-taking views of towering mountains, sparkling lakes, and glaciers. Don't miss the opportunity to stop at some of the stunning viewpoints, including the Athabasca Falls, Peyto Lake, and Bow Lake.
Stay at the very cool Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, known as the "Castle in the Rockies". This luxurious property is situated in the heart of Banff National Park and offers outstanding views of the surrounding mountains. Take a dip in the hot springs and indulge in some of their delicious dining options.
During your journey, keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, as this region is home to a variety of animals such as grizzly bears, moose, elk, and mountain goats. We’ve seen Elk on the road in February, and in September we saw a mama bear and her two cubs foraging at the side of the road up the mountain. Make sure to take precautions and keep a safe distance while observing these magnificent creatures, particularly if it's mating season!
This road trip from Edmonton to Jasper National Park and Calgary promises a truly memorable experience with stunning natural beauty, once-in-a-lifetime wildlife sightings, and lavish accommodation.
Here's a suggested two-week itinerary for a road trip starting in Edmonton and ending in Calgary (We used the app WAZE to get around and it gives you a ping when there's a look out coming up so you don't miss anything):
Day 1: Arrival in Edmonton After arriving in Edmonton, take some time to settle in and get acquainted with the city. If you arrive early, head to the West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest malls in North America, for shopping and entertainment. Stay overnight in Edmonton.
Day 2: Drive to Jasper National Park (3.5 hours) Drive west along Highway 16 towards Jasper National Park. Take in the breath-taking views of the Rockies along the way. Stay overnight in Jasper National Park.
Day 3-4: Explore Jasper National Park Spend the next two days exploring the beauty of the local area. Hike the trails, take in the scenic drives, and spot the wildlife. Stay overnight.
Day 5: Drive to Banff National Park (3.5 hours) Take the Icefields Parkway from Jasper. Stop at the Columbia Icefield to walk on the Athabasca Glacier, see if you can find any igloos to take a good insta photo!. Stay overnight in Banff National Park.
Day 6-7: Explore Banff National Park Spend the next two days exploring the stunning scenery. Hike the trails, soak in the hot springs, and visit the charming town of Banff. Stay overnight in Banff, eat, drink, and party.
Day 8: Drive to Lake Louise (45 minutes) Make the short drive from Banff to Lake Louise and take in the stunning turquoise waters of the lake. If you go in Winter, make sure you go buy a hockey puck and hire some sticks because they split the lake into rectangles so you can play! Stay overnight in Lake Louise.
Day 9: Drive to Yoho National Park (1 hour) Explore the stunning waterfalls and mountains of Yoho National Park. Visit Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake. Stay overnight.
Day 10: Drive to Kootenay National Park (2 hours) Take the scenic drive and stop at the hot springs. Stay overnight.
Day 11: Drive to Waterton Lakes National Park (4 hours) Take the drive south to Waterton Lakes National Park, located on the border of Canada and the United States. Stay overnight.
Day 12: Explore Waterton Lakes National Park Spend the day exploring the stunning scenery and wildlife of Waterton Lakes National Park. Take a boat ride on the lake where you can read the border of Canada and the US or hike one of the many trails. Stay overnight in Waterton, there are some great BBQs and bars here.
Day 13: Drive to Calgary (3 hours) Take the scenic drive north to Calgary and explore the city. Visit the Calgary Tower and the Glenbow Museum, and stay overnight.
Day 14: Departure from Calgary Depart from Calgary for your return flight to the UK.
Top picks from us on where to stay (and more suggestions below):
- Edmonton: The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
- Jasper National Park: The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
- Banff National Park: The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
- Lake Louise: The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
- Yoho National Park: Cathedral Mountain Lodge
- Kootenay National Park: Num-Ti-Jah Lodge
- Waterton Lakes National Park: Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort
- Calgary: The Fairmont Palliser
Other suggestions on where to stay:
- The Matrix Hotel: A boutique hotel in downtown Edmonton with a modern and chic design, with a gym, on-site restaurant and bar, and complimentary breakfast.
- The Westin Edmonton: A contemporary hotel located in the heart of downtown, with spacious rooms, a gym, and an indoor pool.
- JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District: A luxurious hotel with modern and elegant rooms, featuring a spa, gym, and on-site dining options.
- Mount Robson Inn: A comfortable and modern hotel located in downtown Jasper, offering mountain views, an indoor pool, and complimentary breakfast.
- The Crimson Jasper: A contemporary hotel with stylish rooms, featuring a fitness centre, hot tub, and on-site restaurant.
- Tonquin Inn: Super cute, a rustic-style hotel featuring an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna, as well as complimentary breakfast.
- Moose Hotel and Suites: A mountain-modern hotel located in downtown Banff, featuring a rooftop hot tub and lounge, on-site dining options, and spacious rooms. Very cool.
- The Fox Hotel and Suites: A cosy hotel located in Banff with stylish rooms featuring fireplaces and kitchenettes, a fitness centre, and an on-site restaurant.
- Banff Aspen Lodge: A comfortable and affordable hotel located in the heart of Banff, featuring a sauna, hot tub, and complimentary breakfast.
- Deer Lodge: A historic hotel located near Lake Louise with a cosy and rustic atmosphere, featuring an on-site restaurant, outdoor hot tub, and stunning mountain views.
- Post Hotel & Spa: A luxurious hotel with elegant rooms, featuring a spa, gym, and really, really bloody good food!
- Mountaineer Lodge: A comfortable and modern hotel located in Lake Louise, featuring a hot tub and sauna, complimentary breakfast, and easy access to hiking trails.
- Hotel Arts Kensington: A trendy and contemporary hotel located in the vibrant Kensington neighbourhood, featuring stylish rooms, an on-site restaurant and bar, and a rooftop patio.
- Le Germain Hotel Calgary: A modern and elegant hotel located in downtown Calgary, with spacious rooms, a gym, and an on-site restaurant.
- Alt Hotel Calgary East Village: A chic and affordable hotel located in the trendy East Village, featuring contemporary rooms, a gym and on-site dining options.