Canadian Rockies with Children – Adventure in the Rockies

Taking a Road Trip to the Canadian Rockies with Children is a fantastic idea.

How do I know? Because we did it in 2017.

The towering mountains. The Turquoise lakes. The wildlife, bears, elks, eagles and the like. In addition, 2017 see’s them mark their 150th year since confederation.

EDIT: Since our trip I have put together some information on the perfect stops to see along the IceFields Parkway with children. Click on the link to have a read.

It is no wonder Lonely Planet has suggested that Canada is the number one country to visit in 2017. So we thought, let’s do it. (What’s more, to celebrate, admissions to all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada are free!)

We were going to visit anyway, this just gives us more money to spend on Gondolas, Lake Cruises and Wildlife Tours!

While we are not seeing the whole of Canada (come on, impossible in 2 weeks, unless you are just flying over it) we are seeing possibly some of the most exciting, vibrant and stunning places.

If it helps, all the photos taken on this Candain Trip were taken with the Sony A6300 Mirrorless Camera.

I went with three lenses. The Kit lens, but also the following:

The Sony 18-105mm f4.0 and also the Sony 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens.

While not as accomplished as my Canon 5D Mk3, it was still a great combination for travelling light for this trip.

Banff and Jasper and all the Rockies have to offer, and Vancouver which back in 2014, snuck in at no.7 for Lonely Planet’s Top 10 cities to visit.

Canadian Rockies with Children

So, 15 days. Over 1,000 miles. 9 hotels, with a 3 year old in tow. What could possibly go wrong! Hopefully nothing. Here is what we have planned (with emphasis on planned!)

Canadian Rockies with Children – Our Perfect Itinerary:

Day 1 – Calgary to Banff – 140km

A simple start to our Canadian Road Trip. Hopefully.

We land. Battle customs. Collect our car. We drive the 90 minutes or so to our first hotel.

We are expecting it to be only mid-afternoon when we arrive. Or 11 pm if you ask our body clocks.

But, I read an article recently that the drive from Calgary to Banff is a pretty good one. As the city disappears over the horizon behind you, the mountains appear over the horizon in front.

A few coffee’s, and a few energy drinks should see us through.

Day 2 – A Day in Banff

Canadian Rockies with Children

I already know, as I type this, we will be awake at 5am.

That’s not a bad thing. We have a lot planned on this day.

The Banff Gondola, and a trip to Vermillion Lakes and Bow Falls.

We also want the time to just recover, see the town, and just relax after yesterday’s journey.

Whether or not we get that remains to be seen!

Day 3 – Banff to Lake Louise – 60km

Our real first experience of the famous Icefields Parkway. Or maybe not.

You see, while this road is supposed to be amazing for the views, the drive, all the Rockies have to offer, there is another road. The Bow Valley Parkway.

You get the views yes, but this road is also supposed to be great for wildlife spotting. Or so we hope.

To spot a Grizzly, or an Elk in the wild this early on in our hols, would be a perfect hors d’oeuvre to the main course that will be the rest of our trip. Camera in hand, windows up (just in case) and off we’ll go!

Day 4 – Lake Louise to Jasper – 230km

The crazy day. If any one day on this trip is going to break us, to make us wish we were laid up on a beach somewhere, this will be the day.

230km and 12 stop off’s along the way, and a 3 hour excursion mid drive.

We’ll be fine. We will. WE WILL. Some main stop off’s will be:

  • Bow Lake
  • Peyto Lake
  • Mistaya Canyon
  • Columbia Discovery Centre and Skywalk
  • Athabasca Glacier
  • Athabasca Falls

There are others, but you will just have to follow the blog to see what they are, and if we make them!

Day 5 – Jasper – The next stop on our Canadian Rockies with Children trip

Canadian Rockies with Children

There is really just a couple of things on the the agenda today. Maligne Lake, and perhaps the Jasper SkyTram.

After the pounding relentlessness of yesterday, today should be a little bit more chilled.  A bit more relaxed. If doing the Canadian Rockies with Children can be relaxed.

Still a bit of driving, but no real schedule. We are going to head to Maligne Lake, perhaps take some lunch, and then investigate going on the Jasper Sky Tram. Still being in the Rockies, if we find ourselves with time, and the inclination to do so, we may hunt out something else to do.

Day 6 – Jasper to Clearwater – 320km

After leaving Jasper, we head to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains, with a stop at the visitor centre before crossing the Rockies to reach Blue River.

We are keen to see a bear in the wild on this trip (perhaps one of us is keener than the others!)

Day 7 – Clearwater to Kamloops – 120km

We are then thinking of perhaps enjoying a river safari tour through Grizzly Bear Valley and the world’s only inland temperate rainforest.

Next on our Canadian Rockies with Children Itinerary see’s us leaving Clearwater, it is a relatively short drive to our next place of rest at Kamloops

A couple of options on the way are stopping at the Louis Creek Fire Monument, and perhaps taking the McClure Ferry, a small 2 car ferry across the river for the supposedly gorgeous drive along the back route to Kamloops.

We think that many of the drives we embark upon are going to be gorgeous, but this is apparently a more scenic drive to Kamloops, as the road flanks the Lac du Bois grasslands protected area giving us views of the area as we do so.

Day 8 – Kamloops to Lillooet – 170km

Again, not a great deal planned. We are going to use these days to go where the feelings take us. We will drive, we will stop off where we want, with no real schedule.

It would be foolish to go without any idea of what was around us, so we have researched a little. Turquoise Lake in Marble Canyon Provincial Park is an option. This is about 90 minutes from Kamloops and a further 45 mins to the hotel.
By this point we could be all ‘laked out’, but I doubt it!

Day 9 – Lillooet to Whistler – 130km

Another shortish drive, in comparison to what we did earlier in the trip, and what we have to face over the next week or so.

Joffre Lake is an option for a stop off, but with two nights in Whistler coming up, we may just hot foot it to the hotel, and enjoy some time not strapped into the hire car!

Day 10 – Whistler

Library Photo

Made famous (for me anyway) by the 2010 Winter Olympics that were held here.

That give us the chance to see the Olympic Village perhaps, but there is plenty more.

The Peak to Peak Gondola, Rainbow Park if good weather, Alpha Lake Park has a kids playground or just spend a day in and around the village, relaxing. We have just found out our  hotel pool is closed from the 18th September for 2 weeks, so that’s annoying!

But I am sure we can find something else to see, visit, look at, ride or eat!!

Day 11 – Whistler to Victoria – 286km

Canadian Rockies with Children Itinerary continues with a 5 hour and 24 minute journey, according to Google maps. Google is usually right with most of the other questions I have asked, so I have little reason to doubt it on this occasion.

This is to drive in one day. With a 3 year old. Are we nuts? Yep. Well, it is not quite a 5 hours and 24 minute DRIVE. To get to Victoria, which is situated on Vancouver Island, involved a 2 hour ferry ride. So its only 3.5 hours in the car. Great!

Day 12 – Victoria

Canadian Rockies with Children

Apparently Victoria in British Columbia’s Craft Beer Capital. Well, that’s us sorted for today then….Or at least me.

Assuming I can’t convince Suzanne to let me try all the Beer’s Victoria has to offer, perhaps we should try and find something a bit more family friendly.

Whale Watching, a multitude of beaches and lake, the Butterfly gardens to name abut a few.

I have a feeling we won’t be sitting around twiddling out thumbs.

Day 13 – Victoria to Vancouver – 115km

Another 3+ hours. Another Ferry. When we reach Vancouver we loose the car. But that’s ok.

We are in a nice city, with a hop on hop off bus. A word famous park, and right by the coast. What more could we ask for?

Day 14 – Vancouver

Canadian Rockies with Children
Library Photo

Where to start, the hop on hop off bus.

Stanley park – Lost Lagoon, Miniature Railway, Lionsgate Bridge, Canada Place Way, Granville Island.

I have a feeling we won’t be getting bored, or looking for something to do.

The day before we come home won’t be a time to reflect on what the last two weeks has given us.

Day 15 Vancouver to Home

Today see’s us fly home, all the way back to the UK.

The last two weeks should have been an amazing experience for all of. Unless you include the 2 night trip to Niagara from the USA side, this would have been our first proper holiday here.

A 1000 mile family road trip, just the three of us, and the car, the cases and the camera.

There will be fun, there are bound to be stresses and tantrums. Max is likely to have a few too. But this is his third trip of this kind, so he should be used to it by now.

A summary of our Canadian Rockies with Children Road Trip

I fully expect us to have an amazing trip, and I only hope you can join us by following this blog. There is a box below, where you can pop your email to hear all about our trips.

Also, don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook / Twitter or Instagram.

Until I write again…..Richard, Suzanne and Max

Hey, just a heads up, this post may contains affiliate links to my favourite companies, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.