Go North, Young (Wo)Man, and Multi-Sport

Mountains don't recognize borders—and neither should you. Extending north into Canada, the Rockies form a landscape of jutting peaks, glacial lakes, and plunging valleys divided into four glorious national parks, but Banff National Park and nearby Lake Louise are unquestionably the crown jewels of this natural treasure trove. Over 2,500 miles of remote backcountry complete with hot springs, 1,000 miles of hiking trails, and a who's-who of Rockies wildlife: black and grizzly bears, caribou, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, coyote, wolves, cougars, and eagles. But be cautious: adventurers stricken with ADD may experience option-overload.
You can paddle down Kicking Horse River's whitewater or across Lake Louise—one of the world's seven natural wonders; lose yourself in the backcountry on a 23-mile trek from Mt. Norquay to Johnston's Canyon via Mystic Path; day-hike from the crystal waters of Lake Moraine into the Valley of Ten Peaks, a staggering landscape dominated by snow-capped, 10,675-foot Mount Fay; join a local historian/naturalist on a eco-trek across the Columbia Icefields; or grind over Goat Creek Trail on mountain bike, cutting through the heart of the Spray River Valley. And those with true Lance Armstrong envy can traverse 175 miles along Icefields Parkway on a five-day cycling tour from Banff to Jasper. The route can also be driven in two hours, but plan to spend days lingering at the overlooks, exploring the trails, and wishing you never had to leave Canada's Continental Divide.

Published: 14 Feb 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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