Canadian Rocky Mountains - Abbey Travel, Ireland

Canadian Rocky Mountains


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Welcome to Canadian Rocky Mountains

Canadian Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains of western North America stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,828km) from Mexico, through the United States and into Canada and Alaska. Dividing the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, the peaks of the Canadian Rockies tower over the plains rising to 11,975ft (3,650m). The alpine towns sprinkled along the Rockies on the Alberta side are an unspoiled mountain playground where each season has its own unique beauty and selection of activities. National parks abound in this area, offering the chance for mountain adventures and recreation. Canada's largest National Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, is larger than Switzerland. The towns in the area, like Banff and Jasper, offer a vast number of tourist attractions to entertain and entrance visitors all year round to complement the natural attractions.

Information & Facts


The Canadian Rockies experience a highland climate, characterised by warm summer days with long hours of sunshine, and cold, crisp winters when snow covers the ground from November to March. The coldest months are December and January when temperatures can plummet to well below freezing, exacerbated by the wind chill factor. Hikers in the summer months should note that May and June are the wettest time of year, and that even in summer weather conditions can be variable and changeable.

The official languages are English and French (predominantly in Quebec).

The currency used is the Canadian Dollar (CAD), which is divided into 100 cents. One-dollar coins are also known as loonies (due to the picture of a loon, a type of bird, on the coin), and two-dollar coins as toonies. Banks and bureaux de change will change money and travellers cheques, as will some hotels, but the rate will not be as good. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are plentiful. US Dollars are largely accepted, though due to fraud, larger notes might not be and change is usually given in Canadian dollars.

Canada covers six time zones, from GMT 8 in the west to GMT -3.5 in the east.

This massive field of ancient ice, made up of eight major glaciers, is situated near the town of Jasper in the middle of Jasper National Park. The icefield covers 125 square miles (325 sq km) and in places is estimated to be 1,270ft (385m) deep. The icefield feeds four of North America's major river systems, the Columbia, Fraser, Mackenzie and Saskatchewan and its meltwaters flow into three different oceans, the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic. Tours of the glacier are offered on snowcoaches between April and October each year. Ice-walk tours are also offered by the Jasper Adventure Centre.

Affectionately known as the 'little town in the big park', Jasper lies in the middle of Canada's largest mountain park, the Jasper National Park, and makes a delightful base from which to explore the lakes and mountains. The town of just over 4,000 people is 233 miles (373km) from Edmonton and lies among pristine wilderness, surrounded by a necklace of green lakes and majestic waterfalls. There are one or two attractions in the town itself, including the Jasper-Yellowhead Historical Society Museum, which features displays of early Canadian explorers; the 165 foot (55m) deep Maligne River Canyon; the longest and highest reversible tramway in Canada that transports passengers up Whistlers Mountain; and the Den Wildlife Museum that houses more than 100 animal specimens displayed in their natural habitat. Driving to Jasper is relatively simple, however harsh winter weather can sometimes make the roads impassible so check the weather reports before you go. In the surrounding areas there are many natural wonders to explore, and using Jasper as a base gives you the opportunity to try dogsledding, snowmobiling, cat-skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice climbing in the winter. Summer activities include white-water rafting, hiking, horseback riding, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, and wildlife spotting.

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