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Rocky Mountain Route

The Rocky Mountain Route from Alberta to Alaska offers visitors a seemingly limitless stretch of one of the world’s most beautiful protected wild areas. Drivers can expect jaw-dropping scenery, frequent wildlife sightings and historic frontier communities. The route follows the Canadian Rockies, starting in Calgary. Along the way, stops include everything from world-renowned parks like Banff and Jasper, to quirky towns and traces of the region's colorful history. The natural wealth of this region led to its protection in a series of national and provincial parks that line the drive.

Calgary embraces its rich Western heritage while buzzing with art, culture and an emerging food scene. Less than 80 miles away, Banff National Park beckons as the gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Lake Louise—known for being both the hiking capital and the romance capital of Canada—is the jewel of the Rockies. Dazzling nature rushes by, competing for the photographer’s eye. Eagles soar overhead and caribou, wolves and bears seem to pose for the camera.

The scenery never lets up. The Icefields Parkway has been named one of the most stunning drives in the world by National Geographic. Jasper National Park provides a first glimpse of the spectacular glaciers along the route. The hot springs at Liard River offer relaxation surrounded by nature. Kayak lovers paddle in Muncho Lake, and Matanuska Glacier impresses with its neon blue ice, guided ice treks and nearby river-rafting.

For curiosity collectors the drive is loaded with eccentric sites. Travelers will meet people whose ingenuity, creativity and humor created the personality of the north. Visit Fort Nelson Heritage Museum with its unusual and eclectic collections, add your own sign to the 72,000 currently hanging in the Watson Lake Signpost Forest and visit Carcross Desert, the smallest desert in the world.

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Yamanusk Wolf Sanctuary

A wolf standing in the water at Yamunusk Wolf Sanctuary.

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      Planning Tip

      What type of clothing should I bring?

      Dressing appropriately can be a challenge because the weather can change quickly and with little notice. Generally, expect warm days in the spring and summer, with cooler evenings. In the summer, temperatures can be as high as 95°F (35°C) during the day and drop to 35°F (2°C) at night, depending on your location. Clothing that can be layered easily is the best option, and remember to bring your rain gear as well as a lightweight, lined jacket. Clothing with a “wicking” ability that pulls sweat away from the skin is a good choice, and fleece clothing will dry quickly while...

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