The Rockies are one of the biggest attractions of living in Calgary, and they have so much to offer outdoor enthusiasts or people who simply want to explore hiking or snowsports for the first time.
Drive west from Calgary for less than thirty minutes and the magnificent mountain range will begin to emerge from the horizon. While it’s most famous for its fabulous ski slopes, the Rockies are a playground for all seasons and it is something that every Calgarian should make the absolute most of. There is so much to see and do here that even the most ardent explorers have usually only scratched the proverbial surface of this vast mountain range.
Dealing with the snow is, of course, a new challenge for many new Calgary residents. Figuring out how to approach the first trip to the Rockies can be a daunting experience, so let’s take a quick look at what you should know. A trip up the ski slopes, or a stay in the mountain’s stunning towns, doesn’t come cheap so it pays to plan ahead. Here’s a beginner’s guide to Alberta’s gem – the Rocky Mountains.
There are many bus services which will get you to the Rockies, whether it’s Canmore or Banff, from Calgary airport. Hopping on a bus from downtown Calgary is much more difficult however. A car is a much better way of exploring the mountains from the urban core, and it will work out pretty much the same price as a public transport offering.
Calgary is full of the usual big-name car rental companies, all of which help to keep prices fairly competitive. Alberta’s oil and gas industry also means that fuel prices are relatively affordable, so you shouldn’t have to spend too much at the pumps. Having a car makes it much easier to explore the Rockies at your own pace, not to mention you can follow your own schedule. Just make sure that the vehicle has suitable winter tires if you’re heading for the slopes during the coldest months.
Beware that access to Banff National Park, which is home to many of Alberta’s most popular ski resorts, isn’t free. It’s $9.80 per individual adult, and almost $20 for a family/group travelling together. Long-term passes are of course available and work out better value for more regular visitors.