This post is sponsored by Curate whose delicious snack bars are perfect road trip fuel.
Our time in Canada included a scenic Canadian Rockies road trip on our way to visit family in Calgary.
This post is a little recap of our trip, including lots of mountain scenery and family road trip snapshots. I am also including a top 9 list of the best viewpoints/stopovers along this section of the Trans-Canada Highway (1).
This isn’t the first time we’ve crossed the Canadian Rockies on a road trip. When we live(d) in Canada, we were driving this stretch at least twice a year – even more while Konrad and I were dating long-distance. He lived in Calgary (Alberta) and I in Kelowna (British Columbia). Each of our families are still living on either side of the Rocky Mountain Range.
We certainly aren’t stopping anything close to 9 times on every one of these 7 hours journeys (it would take more than 7 hours then). But over the years we’ve become familiar with the route and these are our favorite stops.
Canadian Rockies Road Trip ~ 9 Must-See Viewpoints
I’ve always loved driving through the mountains in summer time and this time was no different. We were blessed with clear skies and beautiful sunshine until we reached Calgary.
Our trip started in Kelowna, which is not actually on Hwy. 1 but connects to it via Hwy. 97A.
This very first part of the trip – the stretch from Kelowna to Vernon – can be one of the most picturesque stretches of highway driving. The road winds alongside 3 lakes – Duck Lake, Wood Lake and my favorite of all
1. Kalamalka Lake
It was still early morning and a little bit cloudy that day, but when the sun shines Kalamalka Lake glistens and shimmers in the most beautiful shades of turquoise and blue.
This time we pulled into a rest area/viewpoint right before Vernon in order take pictures, but usually we just take in the scenery on the drive by.
2. Mara Lake/Sicamous
Mara Lake is another scenic area that you can’t miss on the way – because the road goes all the way along until Sicamous – where it finally turns on to Highway 1.
Sicamous is where we usually stop for some coffee and/or breakfast. This area is a very popular summer camping/boating destination. And apparently the houseboat capital of Canada.
3. Enchanted Forest
This is a hidden little gem along the way. We didn’t stop this time, but last year (link) we finally took the time check out the Enchanted Forest after years of just driving by.
It is a wonderful park area built into the forest. As you walk along the path you come across all these cute fairytale scenes that are handmade by the couple who created this park. For families with younger kids who are familiar with fairy tales (but not yet over them) this is a great adventure place.
When we don’t have a thermos of coffee along, by the time we hit Revelstoke, we quickly pick up another coffee. This is also a great spot to take in the enormity that is the Columbia River, which gave this province its name.
5. Rogers Pass
Rogers Pass is known for the high amounts of snow it gets every year (10 meters). For this reason a number of snow sheds (which look like tunnels) were built, which in conjunction with controlled avalanching keep the highway drivable in winter.
A few years ago we were forced to stop in between two of the snow sheds, due to an accident that kept the road closed for a few hours.
It made us enjoy a piece of scenery that every other time had just rushed by our windows.
On this trip we stopped there again for a little snack break. Curate graciously provided us with wholesome road trip fuel in form of their brilliant snack bars.
All of the bars are non-GMO, gluten-free, and contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and come in the most creative & exciting flavor combinations.
Konrad and I got to try the Harmonious Blend and Salted Decadence flavors. Those two flavours provided a perfect snacking balance. One fruity with a sweet tartness, the other nutty, chocolatey with a hint of saltiness. The former also inspired this delicious apricot smoothie.
Even Olivia had her own healthy snack – the Curate Kids Apple & Cinnamon bars. She loved the penguin on the wrapper and really enjoyed the bars.
And don’t be fooled to think she ate them all on her own. Konrad and I sometimes couldn’t agree who got to eat the bars she didn’t finish. What’s not to love about something that tastes like Fall and apple pie!
You can find Curate snack bars at your local Target or amazon.com
For more brilliant flavor combinations and snacking ideas be sure to follow Curate on Facebook.
Right before crossing provincial borders, Golden is our usual road trip lunch stop. I love to take in the panoramic view of the mountain range in the distance while we enjoy our meal.
7. Kicking Horse River
This trip we pulled into Kicking Horse rest area for the first time and got to see how fitting the name really is – a wild river that is winding its way down the mountain. And all in the brightest blue colours and so rough that it almost seems to be foaming.
We love to pull into the resort town of Banff before tackling the last stretch of the route to Calgary. Olivia insisted we stop at the playground – swings and slides are her favorite things at the moment. Located at the foot of a mountain, the playground (and Banff itself) have some spectacular views.
Other times we have also enjoyed the Banff Hot Springs.
Canmore is another resort town nestled in the mountains and on the Bow River. Driving through this time we somehow ended up going through a residential area. We love the cabin-style homes and how walkable the town seems. Really, so many people out and about on foot! We were so impressed by what we saw of Canmore this time around, that we even started daydreaming about moving here someday – should we ever settle down in Canada again 🙂
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Finally, as we were leaving the mountains and about to reach Calgary the weather turned from sunshine the entire way to a full blown prairie thunderstorm. Another spectacular sight all in itself.
And the weather didn’t change much for the entire week we spent in Calgary. The short sunny breaks from the rain were much anticipated, especially by Olivia.
She loved taking the doggie for a walk to the playground by grandma’s house.
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Alright, and now a whole lot MORE mountain road trip snapshots, for those of you who like other people’s vacation pictures as much as me:
Mountain goats on the road side – so close we could have touched them
Thank you to Curate Snacks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are as always my own.