Top 5 Destinations in the Canadian Rockies

The must-see destinations within the Rockies, what they offer, and how to get there.

The vast expanse of the Canadian Rockies can be captivating from afar, but identifying the best places to visit in the Rocky Mountains in a short time can be daunting. Join us as we unveil the top five must-visit destinations and the best ways to experience them.

1. Lake Louise

Deemed the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise offers a unique blend of serenity and excitement. Towering summits encircle the crystalline lake, giving viewers a unique vantage point from anywhere surrounding the lake.

During your visit, a plethora of activities await. For the bold-hearted, canoeing is a favourite, while a hike to the teahouse offers a birds-eye-view of the lake. Those seeking a casual experience can explore Chateau Lake Louise and its diverse dining options.

Regardless of how you explore this iconic lake, it promises to leave a lasting impression.

A couple canoeing on Lake Louise during sunset

2. Columbia Icefields

The Icefield stands as a timeless sentinel, preserving countless millennia within its icy grasp. Its deep furrows, rugged terrain, and melting ice chronicle the history of the Canadian Rockies.

Visitors can immerse themselves in various activities here. The most sought-after is a ride on the Ice Explorer across the Athabasca Glacier. Alternatively, the Columbia Icefield Skywalk offers panoramic views from a glass platform suspended above the terrain.

For a leisurely experience, the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre offers dining and a bird’s-eye view of the Athabasca Glacier.

A visit to the Columbia Icefields is a humbling journey through time, with nature’s work vividly etched across its vast expanses.

Tour group standing on the Athabasca Glacier in Columbia Icefields.

3. Moraine Lake

Often dubbed the “Lake with the Twenty Dollar View” due to its appearance on the twenty-dollar bill from 1969 to 1979, its breathtaking vistas are truly priceless.

Guarded by ten towering peaks, Moraine Lake’s azure waters captivate visitors by the thousands every year. The lake’s deep blue hue is the result of glacial meltwater mingling with rock flour, casting a mesmerizing spectrum of colours across its surface.

Around the lake, viewpoints of varying elevations provide unique perspectives. Benches along the shoreline offer tranquil vistas, while the famed Twenty Dollar View atop the Rockpile offers an elevated panorama.

Moraine Lake is probably the lake you’ve seen most often on the internet when it comes to posts about the Canadian Rockies, and with good reason! The views are spectacular, the waters are sparkling, and the experience is unforgettable.  

A woman enjoying the view of Moraine Lake

4. Peyto Lake

Upon first glance at Peyto Lake, its unique wolf-head shape becomes evident. This lake’s enchanting turquoise hue arises from the interplay of glacial meltwater and rock flour. Rest assured, its vivid colours, often showcased on screens and postcards, are even more mesmerizing in person.

The Peyto Lake Viewpoint, easily accessible along the Icefields Parkway, offers a must-visit perspective of this natural marvel.

5. Town of Banff

Banff is a vibrant blend of natural splendor and cultural richness, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Its proximity to peaks, waterfalls, and forests makes it an ideal base for outdoor adventures.

The town offers a diverse culinary landscape, from cozy cafes to fine dining establishments. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the numerous galleries and craft shops showcasing regional talents.

For panoramic views, the Banff Gondola offers a ride above the treeline, while the natural hot springs provide a therapeutic retreat amidst the mountains after a day of exploration.

Banff townsite covered in snow during the winter

How to Travel in the Rockies

Independent travelers preferring flexibility might consider renting a car in Calgary or Edmonton. This is ideal for those with a clear itinerary and some knowledge of the region.

For those seeking a comprehensive list of things to do in the Rocky Mountains without the hassle of planning, Key West Travel’s bus tours are a prime choice. Our guided tours cover the Rockies’ highlights, addressing the transportation concerns many travelers have in this region.

With Key West Travel, enjoy deluxe bus rides featuring panoramic windows, ample legroom, and onboard restrooms. We also curate hotel stays based on your accommodation preferences, ensuring a seamless Rockies experience.

An elderly couple enjoying the Athabasca glacier.


Contemplating your next grand adventure? The Rockies await. With Key West Travel, every moment unravels into a cherished memory. Join us and witness the attractions of the Canadian Rockies up close and personal!