Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies: The Ultimate Guide

Ever wondered where the wild things truly are? Hint: it’s not in your kids’ bedroom, though that’s a close second!

Welcome to the Canadian Rockies, where the mountains are taller than your toddler’s tales, the lakes are clearer than your teen’s alibis, and the adventures are more numerous than the ‘are we there yet?’ questions from the back seat.

If Mother Nature had a top-rated, all-inclusive playground for families, this would be it. Dive in, but don’t forget your sense of humor—it’s bear-y necessary!

What About the Canadian Rockies?

The Rockies in the North are nothing like you’ll ever experience in your life. There’s a majestic wonder that fills each square mile of the terrain. While it’s likely you’ll never get to see the Canadian Rockies in it’s entirety (because it’s about 75,000 sq. miles) there are a few places you and your families can go to that make it seem like you have.

Part of what makes the Rockies great is how many things you and your family can do. Here are a few:

  1. Diverse Activities: From hiking and biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, there’s an activity for every age and interest.
  2. Natural Education: It’s a living classroom where kids can learn about geology, ecology, and indigenous history firsthand.
  3. Wildlife Watching: Families can spot majestic creatures like bears, elk, and eagles in their natural habitats.
  4. Bonding Opportunities: Camping under the stars or taking on a challenging hike together can create lasting memories and stronger family ties.
  5. Incredible Scenery: Every family photo becomes a masterpiece with the Rockies as your backdrop.
  6. Safe Adventures: Many trails and activities are designed with family safety in mind, making it easier for families to explore without undue worry.
  7. Cultural Experiences: The Rockies host various cultural events, including indigenous performances, art exhibitions, and festivals that can enrich a family’s understanding of Canadian heritage.
  8. Water Activities: The numerous lakes and rivers offer canoeing, rafting, fishing, and even serene boat cruises.
  9. Accessible Facilities: From well-maintained campgrounds to family-friendly resorts, there’s accommodation to suit all preferences and budgets.
  10. Guided Tours: Families can opt for expert-led tours, which can be both informative and ensure a safe exploration of the Rockies’ highlights.
  11. Year-Round Appeal: The Canadian Rockies aren’t just a summer destination; winter brings opportunities for snow sports, ice walks, and magical winter wonderland landscapes.
  12. Environmental Stewardship: It’s a chance to teach kids about conservation and the importance of protecting our natural wonders for future generations.

The 11 Best Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies

Here is our expert list of things to do, and even information about taking an RV up there.

1. Banff National Park

Description: The oldest national park in Canada, Banff offers a mesmerizing panorama of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows, and rivers.

Cool Amenities: Families can enjoy the Banff Gondola, hot springs, horseback riding, and more.

Nearby Landmarks: Visit the picturesque Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway.

RV Information: Multiple campgrounds like Tunnel Mountain accommodate RVs, though reservations are recommended.

2. Jasper National Park

Description: Jasper is a vast wilderness paradise with abundant wildlife, hot springs, and captivating landscapes.

Cool Amenities: Families can go on the Jasper SkyTram, engage in rafting, or explore Maligne Lake.

Nearby Landmarks: The Athabasca Glacier and Miette Hot Springs are not to be missed.

RV Information: Wapiti Campground is great for RVs, and it’s open year-round.

3. Yoho National Park

Description: Known for its waterfalls, Yoho is a haven for families wanting to experience the Rockies’ aquatic side.

Cool Amenities: Visit the Natural Bridge, take the Iceline Trail, or marvel at Emerald Lake.

Nearby Landmarks: The impressive Takakkaw Falls and the Burgess Shale fossil beds are unique attractions.

RV Information: Kicking Horse Campground is suitable for RVs, but remember to check size restrictions.

4. Kootenay National Park

Description: Featuring diverse landscapes, Kootenay is famous for its hot springs and stunning canyons.

Cool Amenities: Families can hike through Marble Canyon, relax at Radium Hot Springs, or explore the Paint Pots.

Nearby Landmarks: The Sinclair Canyon is a majestic entrance to this breathtaking park.

RV Information: The Redstreak Campground is equipped for RV camping.

5. Waterton Lakes National Park

Description: A unique blend of prairie and mountain landscapes, Waterton Lakes offers serene beauty.

Cool Amenities: Enjoy the Waterton Lake cruise, and visit the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel.

Nearby Landmarks: Cameron Falls and the Bison Paddock are a must-visit.

RV Information: Townsite Campground is perfect for RV travelers.

6. Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park

Description: Initially built for the 1988 Olympics, this park is perfect for year-round sports activities.

Cool Amenities: Families can try out cross-country skiing, mountain biking, or disc golf.

Nearby Landmarks: The Grassi Lakes and Ha Ling Peak offer wonderful hiking opportunities.

RV Information: While there are no on-site RV facilities, many nearby campgrounds in Canmore can accommodate RVs.

7. Mount Norquay

Description: A paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, Mount Norquay offers skiing and snowboarding with fantastic views.

Cool Amenities: The Via Ferrata adventure is an exciting mountain climbing experience.

Nearby Landmarks: Just minutes away from Banff townsite, the bustling area offers various attractions.

RV Information: No on-site RV camping, but Banff offers several RV-friendly spots.

8. Cave and Basin National Historic Site

Description: Discover the birthplace of Canada’s National Parks and enjoy the naturally occurring warm mineral springs.

Cool Amenities: Explore the cave, engage in interactive displays, and spot endemic snails.

Nearby Landmarks: It’s located within the town of Banff, putting countless attractions at your fingertips.

RV Information: No RV camping on-site; use nearby Banff facilities.

9. Moraine Lake

Description: A glacially-fed lake with a unique shade of blue, Moraine Lake is surrounded by the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

Cool Amenities: Rent a canoe, hike around, or simply soak in the views.

Nearby Landmarks: The Lake Louise Ski Resort and village are close.

RV Information: No direct RV camping; use nearby Lake Louise campgrounds.

10. Johnston Canyon

Description: A popular spot, Johnston Canyon offers walks along catwalks affixed to limestone cliffs.

Cool Amenities: Explore the Lower and Upper Falls, and in winter, try ice walking.

Nearby Landmarks: Castle Mountain and the Bow Valley Parkway offer more exploration options.

RV Information: No direct RV camping; use nearby Banff facilities.

11. Miette Hot Springs

Description: Located in Jasper National Park, these are the hottest mineral springs in the Canadian Rockies.

Cool Amenities: Relax in the pools while surrounded by mountain views.

Nearby Landmarks: Fiddle Valley and Ashlar Ridge offer serene landscapes.

RV Information: Pocahontas Campground is the nearest RV-friendly spot.

What Have We Learned?

We have learned that the Canadian Rockies have way more than meets the eye, and is such a cool place for families to go to for visiting or just a vacation.

Be sure to check out what else British Columbia, Canada has to offer and as always, happy exploring!