Alberta is a beautiful place, and the Canadian Rockies are one of its greatest sources of pride. When the weather is calm and warm and the lakes are peaceful, what could be better than paddling through the waterways? Banff, Jasper, Kananaskis and Waterton Lakes have stunning beauty. No matter if this is your first time, or even if you are experienced, each time paddling in the Canadian Rockies is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Canadian Rockies do not just offer one type of canoeing or boating experience. There are lakes and rivers, and some are connected. They do provide different levels of skill and difficulty. For those who are hikers, nature lovers, and mountain parks lovers in Alberta, canoeing or boating offers another way to see the mountains.
Things to know
Most of the lakes and rivers in Jasper and Banff have canoes or rowboats to rent, and the staff will explain the level of difficulty and the things of which to be aware. The parks can be busy in the summertime and this is a chance to get away from the crowds. Guided boat trips are available, and so are canoe or kayak rentals, along with lessons for anyone new to the experience. But whether you are new or experienced, there really is nothing like this. It is well worth the planning. Wear a life jacket at all times, and it is a good idea to be an experienced swimmer.
Some of the lakes can be dangerous. Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park can have huge waves and sudden high winds. Pay attention to all warning signs, since a peaceful float can become rapids very quickly. The weather also changes fast in the Rockies. Those mountain lakes can be freezing cold, no matter how warm the day. A capsize can be serious and even strong swimmers cannot tread water long at that temperature. Be sure to take the advice of guides and tour package operators if you are inexperienced.
Plenty to enjoy
The waterways here are peaceful and quiet and a wonderful place to experience the majesty of the wildlife and be awestruck by all that is around. Enjoy a peaceful, beautiful morning — just you, the birds, the beauty and the wildlife. When the air is fresh, there can be no better place to relax.
The Canadian Rockies are not one single place, of course. There are many lakes and waterways in the parks that make up the Rockies.
Paddling the waterways through Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Lake Minnewanka, Maligne Lake, or Waterton Lakes National Park is something everyone should do at least once. The experience is unmatched, and once planned and prepared for, it can be done by those at all skill levels.
Susan Hofforth is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.