The Canadian Rockies are right in Calgary’s backyard and are begging to be explored. Local photographer Erik McRitchie (@erikmcr) is on a mission to capture the beauty of the Rockies and shares the amazing results for all to see on Instagram. From the best hikes to the most beautiful lakes, here are Erik’s 8 must-see locations.
1. Early Morning Adventure at Lake Louise
“Although Lake Louise can be busy during the day, if you go first thing in the morning, you will not only beat the crowds, you'll enjoy the best light too.”
Insider Tip: Adventure is not only reserved for those on foot. You’ll also find canoeing, whitewater rafting (on Kicking Horse River), and countless wildlife viewing opportunities.
2. Head Down Highway 40
“One of the very best things to do on a sunny afternoon in the fall is to take a drive down Highway 40 (Bighorn Highway). If you time it just right in late September or early October, you'll be rewarded with amazing mountain scenery and incredible fall colors.”
Insider Tip: Access the 4,000 square kilometres of parks which make up Kananaskis County from any one of three highways - Highway 40, Highway 66, and Highway 68. Here you’ll find plenty of trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.
3. Catch the Mood at Emerald Lake
“Emerald Lake is just 2 hours away from Calgary. No matter the conditions it's always an incredible place to visit.”
4. Take a Hike from Rawson Lake
“Head to Rawson Lake in Kananaskis for one of the best day hikes close to Calgary, perfect for an adventurous family.”
5. Watch the Sunset at Moraine Lake
“Arguably one of the most beautiful places on the planet and popular for good reason! I enjoy sunset here, far less people and amazing colours if you time it just right.”
6. Fly or Hike to Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park
“With a short helicopter ride from Canmore, or a thirty kilometer hike, you'll discover the incredible Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. Although a bit more remote, the beauty is hard to believe until you discover it for yourself.”
7. Marvel at Peyto Lake
“Down the incredible Icefields Parkway you'll find Peyto Lake. The colour of the water and the unique shape of the lake (can you see the wolf?) make this a must-see place!”
Insider Tip: With a parking lot just off Icefields Parkway at Bow Peak Summit and a paved walkway to the lookout, access to this shot of Peyto Lake is available to everyone. There is an additional three kilometer dirt trail that will take you to some of the best viewpoints of the lake.
8. Catch the Sunset at Two Jack Lake
“Two Jack Lake provides the perfect viewing angle to capture stunning reflections of Mt. Rundle! Take Highway 1 West from Calgary and exit the Banff/Minnewanka Loop. Pull into the main parking lot and make your way to the water’s edge for an unforgettable view!”
Want more inspiration for exploring the Canadian Rockies? Follow Erik McRitchie on Instagram @erikmcr