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Pick up your RV in Leduc in the morning and head west on Highway 16 towards the mountains. As you approach the city of Edson, the first mountain tops of the Rockies will appear in the distance. The Beaver Boardwalk in Hinton is the world’s longest freshwater boardwalk and is a great family outing that showcases the local wetland system around Maxwell Lake.
West of Hinton, merge onto Highway 40 North towards William A. Switzer Provincial Park. Here you can visit lesser-known sights like Kelly’s Bathtub and Jarvis Lake, or hike the Athabasca Lookout trail.
Continue on the Yellowhead Highway towards Jasper. The highway follows the Athabasca River upstream. Before the town of Jasper, turn left to make your way into the Maligne Valley. Here you will visit Maligne Canyon, Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake. The Maligne Lake Road is one of the best places in the Rockies to see wildlife, including bears, moose and elk.
At Maligne Lake, located at the southern end of the valley, you can board a boat for a 60-minute guided tour to Spirit Island, or explore the lake by canoe. When you are ready to leave the Maligne Valley, return via the same route to Jasper. In Jasper, a walk at either Patricia or Pyramid Lake can provide beautiful sunset views.
In the morning enjoy one of the many hikes near Jasper, for example around the Valley of the Five Lakes. For a more relaxing experience take the Jasper SkyTram up Whistler mountain, the longest guided aerial tramway in Canada. From Jasper head south down the Icefields Parkway, making sure to stop at the many spectacular viewpoints.
Walk around the easily accessible Athabasca Falls and a bit further up the road visit the Sunwapta Falls. Sunwapta means “turbulent water”, and this is especially true in early summer when water levels rise due to melting snow and ice.
Continue further south on the Icefields Parkway, stopping at Waterfowl Lakes along the way. Do not miss stops like Peyto and Bow Lake as you travel through this spectacular landscape full of rugged mountains. At the southern end of the Icefields Parkway merge onto Highway 1 West to travel towards Yoho National Park.
Stop at the Spiral Tunnel viewpoint to see the Canadian Pacific Railway make its way up the Kicking Horse Pass. Turn right towards Emerald Lake shortly after passing the town of Field. After enjoying time at the spectacular Emerald Lake, stop at the nearby Natural bridge on your way to your campsite.
Visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in the morning. You might be required to park the RV in the overflow parking and take a shuttle bus to the lake during peak times.
Upon arrival in Banff head up to Sulphur Mountain for a short gondola ride that will reward you with spectacular views of the valley below and the surrounding mountain ranges. At the base of the gondola, you can soak in the hot water of the Upper Hot Springs.
The entire day will be spent exploring the many highlights in and around Banff. Start with the short drive to the Minnewanka Loop, where you can stop at Two Jack Lake and Minnewanka Lake. After this continue towards the town of Banff to visit the many restaurants and gift stores on Banff Avenue.
On your way back to the campsite stop at surprise Corner for a spectacular view of the Banff Springs Hotel, also known as Banff’s castle in the mountains. From here continue to the Hoodoos just up the road before arriving back at your campsite.
When heading back towards Lake Louise, take the Bow Valley Parkway instead of Highway 1. The parkway runs parallel to the highway but offers more scenic views and a better chance to spot wildlife. At Johnston Canyon, a short hike provides magnificent views of the river and waterfall.
Head back up the Icefields Parkway for a different view of the mountains and turn onto the David Thompson Highway towards Rocky Mountain House at the Saskatchewan River Crossing. Stop at the many rest stops along the route, especially for beautiful views around Abraham Lake. Head to Gull Lake as you leave the Rockies behind.
Start your day by enjoying a walk through the Aspen Beach Park, or the beaches of Gull Lake. Return your RV to Fraserway RV in Leduc before 11:30 am.
Travel Inspiration Guide
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