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14 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Revelstoke

14 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Revelstoke

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Driving from Calgary to Revelstoke will take you just under 5 hours, but I promise you’ll want to allow at least a full day for this beautiful drive. Not only will you pass through four National Parks on your way (Banff National Park, Yoho National Park, Glacier Park, and Mount Revelstoke Park) but you will also have the chance to stop at the stunning Lake Louise and Banff town.

Therefore, if time allows I recommend allowing at least three full days for this road trip, spending the night at Banff and Lake Louise along the way!

I’ve done the research for you and come up with 14 of the best stops between Calgary and Revelstoke. You can choose to start this particular road trip in Calgary as I’ve done in this blog post or do it in reverse and instead drive from Revelstoke to Calgary. Either way, you will come across the same epic attractions on this iconic Canadian road trip!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Your drive from Calgary to Revelstoke is full of adventure but before you go, explore Calgary on a craft beer and street art tour! Once you hit the road you can stop by my favorite mountain town Canmore, visit Lake Louise and ride the gondola, and go for a hike in Yoho National Park. Once you ge to revelstoke, stay a few days to explore the national park or go white water rafting!

About the Drive from Calgary to Revelstoke

The drive between Calgary and Revelstoke will take 4 hours and 45 minutes without stops and it is 408 kilometers (253 miles) in length. The route follows the Trans Canada Highway and is often considered one of the most beautiful drives in the country. The route winds through the Canadian Rockies taking in epic sights like Emerald Lake and Lake Louise. It also passes through some of the most popular towns in Canada, including Banff and Canmore.

For this blog post, I’ve included a short detour off the Trans Canada Highway onto the Bow Valley Parkway in order to include stops at Johnston Canyon and Morant’s Curve. Both are well worth stopping at if you have time – the Bow Valley Parkway is a truly stunning drive!

Important Note: Until spring 2024, there are significant roadworks on a section of the road east of Golden. It is called the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, and delays can be up to 30 minutes during the day, and this 5 km (3.1 mi) section is closed at night so you will need to take an alternative route via Radium Hot Springs. You can read all about the roadworks here.

If you will be driving this route in the winter it is essential to have either winter or all-weather tires. That’s because it can get very icy around Yoho National Park and on the section of the road between Canmore and Banff. In the summer you will need to be careful too, as wildlife like deer and elk are known to venture onto the highway.

14 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Revelstoke

1. Calgary

Bailey walks through Downtown Calgary
There is so much to see!

Don’t rush off on your road trip too quickly and be sure to enjoy Calgary for at least a day before you go. Despite being a major city in the plains, Calgary offers a variety of fun things to do and with the Rocky Mountains at its doorstep, it’s a fantastic starting point to join a tour of the Canadian Rockies.

Also, since you’re going to be in town, you may as well spend some time seeing the city and take advantage of the city’s lower lodging costs than the adjacent Rocky Mountain resorts.

Calgary is especially a sight to see in the winter. While they may be cold, you’re still likely to have plenty of sunny days! Calgary actually has the most days of sunshine out of any Canadian city at 333 days a year! One of the most unique ideas is to go to the Olympic Plaza to do some ice skating. As the name suggests, it was built as part of the Olympic games in 1988!

Even if you’re trying to dodge the cold or rain, there are plenty of fun indoor activities to keep you busy too.

One of my favorite activities is the Calgary Tower. You get the best city views, plus it’s the highest 360-degree observation deck in the world! I also recommend grabbing a bite at Sky 360, their revolving restaurant.

If you want to see the top sights of the city efficiently I recommend this 2-hour city scooter tour. You’ll follow your guide on electric scooters as you see iconic Calgary sites, like The Bow, Calgary Pathway System, and Central Memorial Park. The best part is that it only costs between $92 and $105 CAD depending on which day and time you select – this is significantly cheaper than other Calgary city tours. At each stop, you’ll learn some history from your guide.

girl enjoys a craft beer at Paddys Barbecue Brewery's outdoor patio in autumn
Cheers to good beer and food!
Bailey stands on the glass viewing deck on the Calgary Tower
This is much scarier than it looks!

For those into street art and beer, you could instead opt for this 3-hour craft beer and street art tour. You will hit the streets and learn the stories behind the artists and art you are seeing while making stops for some local beer samples! Calgary has an epic craft beer scene, so this is such a fun way to experience the city with a local. You can book this tour for $136 CAD and it includes all of your beer tasting, transportation, and your guide.

You can’t talk about Calgary without mentioning the Calgary Zoo. It’s open year-round and has nearly 1,000 different animals and exhibits. If you want to see something extra adorable, make sure you’re there at 10 am to witness the penguin walk! It’s literally the penguins taking a 15-minute walk through the zoo for their daily workout.

Where to Stay in Calgary:

Wicked Hostels is a good choice for budget travelers. The hostel is clean, comfortable, and located in a good area. Plus you have the flexibility to book on either Hostelworld.com or Booking.com to snag a great deal.

If you can spend a bit more, the Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites is perfect. The rooms are beautiful, breakfast is included, and the location is ideal.

For luxury travelers, check out the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire. This hotel overlooks the river valley, and comes with an indoor pool (with waterslide), hot tub, fitness center, hair salon, and gift shop.

2. Kananaskis

Bailey poses for a photo at Upper Kananaskis Lake
Me at Upper Kananaskis Lake!

As you leave Calgary and make your way west, you’ll pass one of my favorite areas in all of Alberta – the Kananaskis! Explore Kananaskis Country by taking a short detour onto Highway 40. It’s known as “Alberta’s Mountain Playground”. It’s easy to spend a few days exploring the area – there’s just so much to see and do! There are fewer people here than in Banff, but there are still plenty of fantastic recreational activities!

As I said, there are a ton of things to do in the Kananaskis region. You could easily spend a couple of days here and still not see it all!

This is one of the best places to go stargazing, due to the lack of light pollution. I recommend staying the night here and booking this 2-hour stargazing tour, which includes an expert guide, snowshoeing, and hot chocolate to stay warm! This tour is only available during the winter (hence the snowshoes), but not to say you can’t go stargazing on your own during the summer.

Troll Falls is one of my favorite hikes in Kananaskis Country and is great year-round! It’s a 3-kilometer (1.9-mile) round-trip hike with a lovely waterfall at the finish. You can get really close to the waterfall, and there’s even a big rock nearby fashioned like a troll’s head. When the waterfall freezes over, it becomes one of the best winter activities in the Kananaskis to hike here – just wear ice cleats or spikes since it tends to be icy.

Nakiska Ski Resort is located just a 5-minute drive from Kananaskis Village. It was built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and has excellent groomed ski runs as well as a state-of-the-art snowmaking system. Due to this system, it’s usually one of the first ski resorts to open in Canada every year and one of the last to close. It typically opens in mid-November and closes at the end of April.

You can also visit Upper Kananaskis Lake, hike to Ribbon Falls and so much more.

Important note: A Conservation Pass is required for any vehicles stopping in parks or public places in Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley Corridor. A daily pass costs $15 CAD and may be purchased online or at any Kananaskis Visitor Information Center.

Where to stay in Kananaskis

If your itinerary allows, stay a couple of nights at The Crosswater Resort – a very family-friendly resort that won’t break the bank with a large indoor pool in the heart of the Kananaskis. Staying here also gives you access to the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, which is famous for its innovative hydrotherapy treatments. Here there are several hot and cold pools with epic mountain views.

If you want something super affordable there is actually a hostel called HI Kananaskis Wilderness Hostel with bunks starting at $41 CAD and private rooms for around $130 CAD. This stay has cozy cabin vibes and is just 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the closest ski resort – a perfect winter stay! You can reserve this room on Booking.com or Hostelworld.

3. Canmore

The Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk in Canmore
The Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk in Canmore

Canmore is one of Alberta’s best mountainside tourist towns. But unlike Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise, Canmore isn’t actually located within one of Canada’s National Parks – making it cheaper and more accessible for everyone.

Sitting on the edge of Banff National Park, Canmore boasts some of Canada’s most impressive mountain peaks and is an outdoor playground for visitors. On top of that, the town is lively and filled with amazing cafes, restaurants, and stores. It’s also a great place to take a tour from Canmore – like exploring caves or going on a guided hike.

We’ve been lucky enough to visit Canmore on several occasions. In fact, we recently lived in Canmore for a couple of months (I know, lucky us!). So, we know all of the best things to do in Canmore, which include:

  • Go Skiing – Located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) away from Canmore (a 45-minute drive), Nakiska is a popular ski resort known for its long seasons due to lots of snow. It has 64 trails with four chairlifts and costs $98 CAD for a day pass. Skiing is the most popular activity in the winter in Canmore.
  • Caving – One of the coolest things you can do in Canmore is explore the caves! This Canmore caving adventure tour takes you through the beautiful yet mysteriously named Rat’s Nest Cave. You’ll rappel down 18 meters (59 feet) and spend several hours navigating challenging passageways and learning about how these caves were formed. It is pricier at $200 CAD but it is an experience you can’t replicate.
  • Rafting down Bow River – Right from town you can hop in a raft and gently float down the Bow River for an hour. Your eyes will be glued to epic views of the Rocky Mountains, forests, and valleys while keeping watch for some native wildlife. Tours are a steal at only $45 CAD!
  • Hike to Grassi LakesGrassi Lakes is also one of the easiest hikes in Canmore at only 5 kilometers long return (3.1 miles) with only a 125-meter (410 feet) elevation gain. This means it’s family-friendly and suitable for most fitness levels. 
  • Visit the local breweries – Canmore is one of the best places to try amazing craft beer and there are lots of local breweries in Canmore to visit! One of my favorites is The Grizzly Paw. They have a bar on 8 St and their brewery is located on Old Canmore Road on the outskirts of town (called Tank 310). You can also join this e-bike and brew tour for even more fun! You get to bike 15 kilometers (9 miles) through the mountains and then be rewarded with a beer flight for $133 CAD.
  • Hit the trails at the Nordic CentreThe Canmore Nordic Centre offers a variety of trails for hiking, biking, or even cross-country skiing. The area was developed to host cross-country skiing events at the 1988 Olympic Games and is now an active training center as well as a recreational area.

Where to Stay in Canmore

In case you want to spend a couple of nights in Canmore (and you should!) there are plenty of hotels to choose from.

For budget travelers, I love the Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn. If you don’t mind spending a little more you can certainly get a nice hotel closer to town. The Grande Rockies Resort-Bellstar Hotels & Resorts is still a short walk from town (but it only takes 5 minutes) and the hotel itself is beautiful complete with a pool, hot tub, fitness center, and restaurant and bar.

4. Cascade Ponds

Cascade Ponds with mount rundle and wooden bridge in autumn forest
Cascade Ponds looking especially beautiful in the fall

Located just a few minutes from Banff town, The Cascade Ponds are a collection of ponds near Cascade Mountain. It’s absolutely gorgeous in all seasons – the reflections in the water in the summer, the yellow Aspen trees in the fall, and the snowy scenery in the winter. You can pull of here for a quick road trip stop, or if you’re staying a few days in Banff, spend a bit more time here!

The ponds are connected by a series of bridges that make walking between the ponds easy and create some gorgeous photo opportunities. Bring lunch along to enjoy at one of the many picnic areas and firepits here. You might also spot wildlife around the ponds including elk, mule deer, and a fox or two.  

Continue further along past the ponds to visit Lake Minnewanka. This is the largest of the lakes in Banff National Park and the scenery here is breathtaking with the mountains on display. Enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter or have a picnic or take a Lake Minnewanka boat cruise here in the summer.

This 1-hour cruise boasts Lake Minnewanka’s stunning scenery the entire way! Plus, there is something so serene about being on a boat, especially when the giant Rocky Mountains surround you. This boat cruise is $70 CAD and should be booked in advance – it’s a popular activity! This is easy to fit into your road trip itinerary, or make an afternoon of exploring this area and enjoy your time!

5. Banff

Banff gondola building and boardwalk on a early spring day with lots of snow
The top of the Banff Gondola
Bailey skis at Lake Louise Ski Resort in Banff National Park
The skiing in Banff is awesome!

Banff is easily one of the best places to visit in Alberta, attracting thousands of visitors each year. And it’s no wonder why – it’s absolutely beautiful and there are tons of things to do in Banff in winter, spring, summer, or fall.

The downtown area is very quaint and there are many awesome options for places to eat, drink, and shop. With the mountains as the backdrop to Banff Ave, it’s a beautiful place to base yourself in Banff National Park.

Many visitors base themselves here for a ski holiday because you have great access to Sunshine and Norquay ski resorts – both are within a 15-minute drive of town.

The views from Mt Norquay are unlike any other. In the summer, ride the sightseeing gondola and visit the restaurant at the top for a beer with a view. If you visit Banff in the winter, you can’t miss hitting the slopes or testing out their famous tube park (fun for the whole family!). If you buy the SkiBig3 Lift Ticket Mt Norquay is the third ski resort you’ll have access to.

Banff is more than just a ski town though, and regardless of the season you visit, Banff town is an amazing place with plenty to do. Some of the best things to do in Banff include:

  • Banff Upper Hot Springs – You can relax in Banff’s very own hot springs with mountain views at Banff Upper Hot Springs. As one of the best Alberta hot springs, they can get busy though so it’s best to go first thing in the morning or the last hour before they close.
  • Indulge in food and drinks – Banff has tons of tasty restaurants and bars. For beer, head to Banff Brewing Co. For a delicious meal with crafted cocktails, head to Parks Distillery. Did you know that you can also join this food tour that explores the many different rooms inside the historic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel? Food and drink pairings are included from 4 of the property’s high-end restaurants for $206 CAD. What a unique activity for foodies!
  • Check out the Bow Falls Lookout – The Bow River is a stunning river that runs through the heart of Banff. Turquoise in color, it is nothing short of picture-perfect. A short 1.5 km scenic walk from Banff town (or drive) you’ll come to the Bow Falls viewpoint on the river’s edge. Here, not only will you see the river, but also the Bow River Waterfall!
  • Cave and Basin National Historic Site – Another great place to visit in Banff is the Cave and Basin Historic Site. Here you can see some historic hot springs that are home to a rare species of snail. The museum is the main attraction in my eyes and it is very interactive and fun, especially for kids. You’ll find lots of information about Banff and the surrounding area.

Where to stay in Banff

There are lots of hotels to choose from in downtown Banff. My personal favorite is Moose Hotel & Suites which has a great location, is reasonably priced, and has all the amenities you could want including two rooftop hot tubs.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider checking out High Country Inn. It quite possibly could be the most affordable place to stay. Plus, it is located right in town on Banff Ave!

And for a little luxury, the Rimrock Resort Hotel is a must! With an onsite spa, balconies with amazing views, as well as a restaurant and bar this hotel is a must! Plus, it is located a couple of minutes from town in a quieter location.

Alternatively, there are a few other areas to stay around Banff National Park that offer a more remote wilderness escape.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

6. Johnston Canyon

Clear green water in Johnston Canyon
Clear green water in Johnston Creek!

If you have time, detour off the Trans Canada Highway onto the Bow Valley Parkway. This stretch of road from Banff to Lake Louise winds through forest and meadows with beautiful views and great places to stop along the way. It’s quieter than the main highway and only about 48 kilometers (30 miles)– well worth turning off onto.  

One of the places to stop along the parkway is Johnston Canyon. You can walk along the boardwalk next to the canyon or take a longer hike in the area. The hikes here are incredible with seven glacial waterfalls cascading over rocky cliffs. It’s open all year and is free to get to.

You can get right next to the water flowing from Johnston Creek and close enough to waterfalls to feel the spray of the water on your face! 

The waterfalls freeze over in the cold creating giant icicles hanging over the cliffs which are amazing to see. We joined this icewalk tour in the winter to see the frozen waterfalls up close! You can even do an evening icewalk – this area has a special magic to it at night!

If you’re visiting in the winter, you really need ice cleats or spikes. If you don’t have them, then I would strongly consider joining a guided ice walk tour like we did that will safely lead you on the ice and supply all of the safety gear you’ll need. It costs $101 CAD and lasts for 4 hours. Your professional guide will tell you about these unique formations and at the end, you will get to enjoy a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Note: There will be some closures to vehicle traffic on sections of the Bow Valley Parkway from May 1-June 30 and then again from Sept 1-Sept 30 vehicles will NOT be able to drive the 17km/11mi stretch of road from the TransCanada-Highway junction to Johnston Canyon, it will be restricted to cyclists’ use only. This is the eastern part of the road that is affected if you’re traveling to Johnston Canyon from Banff. You will still be able to access Johnston Canyon and the Bow Valley Parkway via the intersection near Castle Mountain Chalets.

7. Morant’s Curve

Bailey watches a train pass by at Morants Curve on the Bow Valley Parkway near Canmore
A train at Morant’s Curve!

Located around 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Banff, Morant’s Curve was made famous by Nicholas Morant who was sent to the area to discover amazing tourist attractions along the Canadian railway many years ago. Nicholas fell in love with the viewpoint and it became his favorite in Banff National Park.

The curve in the name comes from the train tracks that curve their way along the Bow River. This, along with the stunning mountain backdrop, makes it one of the most beautiful photography locations in Banff National Park.

In the summer you’ll enjoy the amazing colors of the Bow River, and in the winter, Morant’s Curve becomes a winter wonderland that’s even more photogenic! So, no matter what season you visit, add Morant’s Curve to your Banff Instagram bucket list!

8. Lake Louise

Bailey stands on a rock at Lake Louise, Canada
Lake Louise is so quiet in the morning!
Bow River Loop Trail in Lake Louise, Banff
Bow River Loop Trail

Lake Louise Drive Construction Notice: This summer (2024), construction will be on Lake Louise Drive, causing significant traffic delays. This means you could spend well over an hour sitting in traffic just to be turned away for lack of parking (over a thousand people are turned away each day during the peak summer months!). To avoid this, consider booking this hop-on hop-off shuttle from Banff instead! Check availability for the shuttle here – it fully books out in the summer months!

Lake Louise is without a doubt one of the must-see destinations in Canada. And luckily for you, it’s on your route between Calgary and Revelstoke. Spend at least a few hours here, ideally a night if your itinerary allows. Here are just a few of the best things to do in Lake Louise!

Of course, the famed lake is here but there is also a small village as well as the Lake Louise Ski Resort which is a must-do activity in the winter months. This ski resort is huge with so many runs, both on the front side and backside of the mountain.

If you are visiting Banff National Park in the winter and would like to go skiing, I highly recommend purchasing a SkiBig3 Lift Ticket. This pass allows you to ski on three different days at three different ski resorts nearby: Lake Louise, Mt Norquay, and Sunshine Village!

On the other hand, if you do this road trip during the summer, you just must hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House! This popular trail is a 7-kilometer (4.3 mi) round-trip and will take most people 3 hours to complete. It’s rated as moderate due to the steep elevation gain of 400 meters (1,313 feet), so a reasonable level of fitness is advised!

The views along the way of Lake Louise are astounding but the best part of this hike is the historic Tea House, which was built way back in 1901. Refuel here with tea, coffee, sandwiches, and other baked goods. As mentioned, the Tea House is only open in the summer, from June to September.

If you aren’t an avid hiker but still want to explore the area, you can take a guided hiking tour! This is best if you’re staying near Lake Louise for a day or two to break up your road trip. This tour is six hours of hiking, exploring, catching incredible views, and learning about the area from your local guide. If this is your first time at Lake Louise, this is a great way to get the full experience, you can book this tour in advance here.

Some other awesome activities available in Lake Louise in the summer are going canoeing on the lake, hiking the lakefront trail, and cycling one of the many biking trails in the area! Of course, taking the Lake Louise Gondola is one of the most popular attractions, and gives stunning views of Lake Louise and the nearby Victoria Glacier. I recommend purchasing your gondola tickets in advance, as we all know how busy Lake Louise can get!

As for food in Lake Louise, you must visit The Station which is a restaurant within a historic train museum. Another recommendation is to splurge at the luxurious Fairview Bar and Restaurant within the Fairmont Lake Louise. These are just some of the delicious restaurants in Lake Louise that you can choose from.

Note: From May until mid-October, you’ll be required to pay $36.75 CAD per vehicle per day to park at Lake Louise Lakefront (2024 updated price). The paid parking is in effect from 3 am until 7 pm daily. 

Where to Stay in Lake Louise

There are lots of different places to choose from when it comes to accommodation in Lake Louise.

If you want to stay in Lake Louise town, consider the Lake Louise Inn, or the budget-friendly HI Lake Louise Hostel. Dan and I often stay at the HI Hostel and think it’s clean, comfortable, and great value for money.

For a little luxury or to spoil yourself, don’t miss the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This is arguably the most beautiful hotel in Canada set in the most beautiful location (right on the lake!)

9. Yoho National Park/Field

Kicking Horse Pass Road of Yoho National Park Canada
Kicking Horse Pass Road of Yoho National Park Canada

Yoho National Park with the community of Field in the center is an amazing place to explore – be prepared to spend at least a few hours here if not a whole day! The park is known for its towering waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, and the huge variety of activities that can be done in all seasons. Plus, there are shops, restaurants, and more to see in Field.  

A must-see is the stunning Emerald Lake with its vivid waters that are true to its name. You can easily walk around the entire lake in about an hour or snowshoe around it in the winter.

It’s a great way to see wildflowers including wild orchids that grow around here as well as bald eagles, moose, and loons. You can also canoe or kayak on the lake with its calm and clear waters. Spoil yourself and stay a night at the Emerald Lake Lodge on the edge of the lake.

Another impressive sight is the Natural Bridge – an ancient rock formation over the Kicking Horse River. It’s easy to get to by car as it’s only 3 km (1.9 miles) from Field along Emerald Lake Road. You can also take a guided hike to fossil beds in the area where there are fossils from 500 million years ago.

10. Wapta Falls

Close up of Sunwapta Falls Jasper National Park from the viewing platform
The viewing platform gets you so close to the falls!

Only 15 minutes from Yoho National Park is one of the prettiest waterfalls in Canada. It’s also one of the largest at 107 meters wide (351 feet) and 18 meters (59 feet) tall. Wapta Falls is worthy of a stop on your road trip between Calgary and Revelstoke.

The hike into the falls is short and easy and will take about 1.5 hours round-trip to complete. The total length of the trail is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) and because the trail is mostly flat it is ideal for the whole family!

I should note that there is a steep downhill section as you approach the falls, which you will need to hike up on your return to the car park. The coolest part of this trail is that during the summer months when the water in the river below the falls is low enough that you can actually walk right up close to the falls. It’s the perfect opportunity!

To reach the start of the trail take the Wapta Falls turnoff of the Trans Canada Highway. It’s a short stop on your drive, but you can pack a picnic and take it to the falls to enjoy some lunch with a view.

11. Golden

Snowshoeing through the Canadian forest in British Columbia
Snowshoeing in Golden in the winter!

Golden is a little town in the Rockies, but it’s surrounded by national parks, mountain ranges, and limitless outdoor activities, so there’s always something to do. Not to mention the fantastic restaurants, one-of-a-kind stores, lively bars, and fascinating cultural sites.

Your visit to Golden may be as exciting or as relaxing as you like! Here are a few ideas for epic things to do in Golden:

  • Stroll the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge – Golden is situated in such a lovely region that you will want to get outside and explore it on foot! Make a point of crossing the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge while you’re at it. It begins on 8th Avenue North in Golden and stretches 46 meters (151 feet) across the Kicking Horse River.
  • Enjoy supper with a viewEagle’s Eye Restaurant is the finest location to eat while taking in the mountain views! It’s the “crown gem” of resort cuisine and a must-do while staying at Kicking Horse Resort. The views from this restaurant, which is located at the top of the picturesque gondola, are unsurpassed. At 2.350 meters (7,710 feet) above sea level, it is Canada’s highest restaurant (in terms of elevation) — how awesome is that?!
  • Walk the Golden Skybridge – Why not start off with Golden’s newest attraction? The Golden Skybridge is Canada’s highest suspension bridge and it only just opened in the summer of 2021! At 130 meters (426 feet) above the canyon, you’ll experience such a thrill walking over it and taking in all the amazing views of the Columbia Valley.  If walking along a suspension bridge is not enough for you, there is also a zipline experience, a ropes course, and a super-cool canyon swing that fits two people!
  • Visit the Wolf Centre – Wolves are only one of the many magnificent creatures that may be found in the Canadian Rockies. While you probably don’t want to run into any in the wild, the Northern Lights Wolf Centre in Golden is an excellent location to learn about wolves and even see them.
  • Go whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse – The best way to experience the river is to go whitewater rafting! Whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River is such an adrenaline rush. With grade 3-4 rapids, it’s one of the best rivers in Canada to go rafting. There are a number of tour groups that you can join, such as this full-day tour. For $109 CAD, you will get a 5-hour experience out on the river. All equipment is included, along with a buffet lunch! You will also have an expert guide leading the way and keeping you safe.
  • Hit the slopes at Kicking Horse Resort – Golden’s Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a very popular ski resort in Canada, and for good reason! It’s known for the huge amounts of annual snowfall and expert terrain that will challenge even the most experienced riders. It’s a must-visit if you’re in Golden in the winter months.

Where to stay in Golden

So now that you know about all of the amazing things to do in Golden, you’re going to need somewhere to stay a few nights. There’s just so much to explore in the area you might as well book a great hotel and enjoy a few days in one of Canada’s most underrated mountain towns.

Best Western Mountainview Inn is a great choice if you’re looking for something in town. This hotel is clean and comfortable and has everything you could want including an indoor pool and an included breakfast. The reviews are great and the price is modest.

For a more private stay that is only half a mile from town and a rate that won’t break the bank look into Glenogle Mountain Lodge and Spa. Not only does it have exceptional views of the mountains, a hot tub, and a billiard table but it is also quiet – except for the stream that flows past the property.

12. Glacier National Park

Driving through Glacier National Park
Windy scenic road around the mountains during a vibrant summer sunrise. Taken in Glacier National Park of Canada near Revelstoke, BC.

As you make your way towards Revelstoke from Golden, you’ll actually drive right through the middle of Glacier National Park. This stretch of road is beautiful and along the way, you can spot plenty of wildlife (please, drive carefully!).

Make sure to stop at the Rogers Pass National Historic Site inside the park. Here, you can hike along the now-abandoned railway line that first connected Canada from coast to coast. The visitor center here is great and has lots of info about the history of the area.  

On the drive, you’ll go through the Rogers Pass which I think is one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the entire country.  

There are also some nice spots for short hikes in the area including the Hemlock Grove Boardwalk, which is good for the whole family as it’s a series of boardwalks through the forest. If you want to see a waterfall on a relatively easy trail that isn’t too busy, visit Bear Creek Falls. It’s only about a 15-20 minute hike with a really impressive waterfall at the end.

13. Mount Revelstoke National Park

Eva Lake in Mt Revelstoke National Park, Canada
Eva Lake!
Bailey sits on a viewpoint in Revelstoke National Park, Canada
Isn’t it stunning?

If you simply haven’t had your fill of National Parks yet, you can add Mount Revelstoke National Park to your road trip itinerary! This is one of the most popular attractions in Revelstoke, so you might be planning a visit anyway, but it’s also right along your route. I love this national park because it is accessible to everyone, you can actually drive to the base of Mt. Revelstoke!

From the summit parking lot, there are many trails to explore whether you’re looking for a long hike, a casual walk, or simply a picnic by the lake. Eva Lake trail is a great choice for a longer hike, as it is a 12-kilometer (7.5 miles) round-trip hike. It will take you through stunning landscapes and into the remote Canadian wilderness, you might even spot a bear! Heather Lake is a good casual walk, it is only a 10-minute hike around a gorgeous lake with incredible reflections. 

You can venture away from the summit area to find even more hikes. I really enjoyed the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, which is right off Highway 1 along your route. This is a very easy boardwalk trail that extends for 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) and is a great way to stretch your legs and see some views! 

Whether you stop a quick hike or plan on coming back and exploring the whole park, Mount Revelstoke National Park is an essential addition to your itinerary!

Note: You need a Parks Canada Pass to enter Mount Revelstoke National Park. This pass is $11 CAD per person per day or $22 CAD per group. You can also purchase the annual Discovery Pass which includes access to Mount Revelstoke National Park as well as many others in BC and Alberta.

14. Revelstoke

A snowboarder stands at the top of Revelstoke Mountain Resort in BC, Canada during winter
Ready to hit one of the longest ski runs in the world!

You’ve finally made it to the end of your Calgary to Revelstoke road trip! And what a great town to end your drive at! Revelstoke is one of the prettiest mountain towns in British Columbia, plus, it’s home to one of the best ski resorts in the country!

I’ve visited Revelstoke numerous times and I agree it can be a little overwhelming deciding what to do here, there are just so many activities on offer. So, thankfully for you, I’ve put a summary together of the best things to do in Revelstoke.

If you’re here in the winter be sure to squeeze in some skiing! Would you believe that Revelstoke Mountain Ski Resort is home to the longest descent in all of North America and holds the record for the most snowfall in all of Canada in a single winter?!

If you haven’t yet learned how to ski or aren’t great at it you can still enjoy cross-country skiing which is much easier and still gives you the chance to explore some snow-covered trails.

The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club where you can rent skis and access groomed trails (perfect for beginners). They have lots of information on which winter trails are accessible and the last time they were groomed, all of which can be found on their website.

As for the summer months in Revelstoke, it’s all about getting out in nature and taking in the incredible views. As well as that you can try mountain biking at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Hiking is a popular activity year-round and some of the best hikes here include the Eva Lake Trail and the Giant Cedars Boardwalk, both within Mount Revelstoke National Park.

Here are a few more ideas of how to spend your time in Revelstoke:

  • Whitewater rafting – If you want to enjoy the cool glacier water of the Illecillewaet River there is an opportunity to book a whitewater rafting adventure for $141 CAD. Or opt for a more gentle river float tour for $77 CAD on the Colombia River – one of Canada’s most famous rivers! Either way, the abundance of natural scenery in either location is sure to make you feel alive!
  • In the summer ride the Revelstoke Mountain Resort gondola – it’s just $35 CAD per adult to ride the gondola up to the top of Revelstoke Mountain. This sightseeing activity is only available in the summer because in the winter the gondola is reserved for skiers and snowboarders. The view from the top is one of the best in Revelstoke, and there are a couple of hiking trails that you can access from the summit. As well as that, there’s a large viewing deck here where you can enjoy some food and drinks whilst taking in the views. I should mention you need to take two gondolas to reach the summit the first takes you to the top of the mountain coaster and the second is a 10-minute gondola ride to the summit.
  • Ride the Pipe Mountain Coaster – following on from the above, when you reach the top of the first gondola up Revelstoke Mountain a fun activity to try is the Pipe Mountain Coaster. This high-speed coaster, which you control yourself with the brakes is one of the top things to do in Revelstoke and as you can imagine is especially popular with kids. It costs $25 CAD per ride.
  • Visit the Enchanted Forest – just 30 minutes from Revelstoke is another awesome, family-friendly activity – The Enchanted Forest is home to the tallest treehouse in B.C. as well as the chance to paddle a rowboat through beaver ponds. There’s also a castle as well as fairytale figurines dotted throughout the park that the kids can take photos with. Right next door is the Skytrek Adventure Park which has zip lines, a treetop obstacle course, climbing walls, and a jungle gym. Both these attractions are only open in the summer months!

Related Read: Want to continue further? Check out our guide to driving from Whistler to Banff for another awesome road trip!

Where to Stay in Revelstoke

Sutton Place hotel in the snow at Revlstoke Moutnain resort
Photo Credit – Sutton Place Hotel

Now that you’ve finished your road trip, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to crash. When it comes to choosing where to stay in Revelstoke, you have plenty of hotels to consider! Here are some of my personal favorites:

Luxury – $$$

Sutton Place Hotel – If you want to be close to the action in winter or summer then this is easily your best option in Revelstoke. It’s located right at the base of the Revelstoke mountain resort and comes with a pool. They offer studio apartments or suites and all include a kitchen or kitchenette! This is the best place to stay in Revelstoke and fills up quickly, so book this stay on Booking.com in advance.

Mid-range – $$

Coast Hillcrest Hotel – This highly-rated hotel offers guests a comfortable stay at a reasonable price. They have an onsite fitness center, sauna, and hot tub, as well as a restaurant. The location is central and the large selection of room types means there is something suitable for everyone including families. A room with two queens starts at $284 CAD and can be booked on Booking.com.

Ramada Hotel – Ramada hotels are always a great choice around Canada. Their rooms have a luxurious feel and are well-priced. For example, a queen room with two beds averages around $212 CAD. This hotel in Revelstoke is close to town and a great place to stay during your visit. You can book your room in adavance here.

Budget – $

Stoke Hotel – This hotel is a very good budget option that includes breakfast. It’s located right in town, has been recently renovated to feel more modern, and has really good reviews! You can score a queen room here for around $116 CAD during the low season, and for about $180 CAD during the busy season.

Revelstoke Lodge – One of your only other cheap options in Revelstoke. In all honesty, it’s very basic but the rooms only cost up to $170 CAD a night for a queen room for two people.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read our honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $11 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.50 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $22.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $75.25 CAD
  • Senior (65+) – $64.50 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $151.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

Thanks for reading!

drinking a cocktail at Monashee Spirits, Revelstoke
Thanks for reading!

Calgary and Revelstoke are two epic destinations, and the drive between them is increasing in popularity every year. I mean, in the space of 5 hours you will drive through stunning National Parks as well as pass by turquoise lakes and some of the best towns in Canada – what more could you want from a road trip?!

I hope you’re excited to embark on your road trip between Calgary and Revelstoke, I for one can’t wait to drive this route again soon!

If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also enjoy some of my other posts about B.C. Some of my favorites include:

ULTIMATE Guide to Visiting Revelstoke in December

13 BEST Stops on the Drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke

5 Absolute BEST Wine Tours in Kelowna + Our Personal Review

7 BEST Stops on the Drive from Revelstoke to Golden