SWAP CALIFORNIA’S YOSEMITE FOR THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
Rock up to Banff National Park in Alberta where 1,600 kilometres of hiking trails and some of the most scenic landscapes in North America have been seducing biped travellers since 1885. A destination for adventurers of all levels, the towns of Banff and Lake Louise (right), which is also known as Canada’s hiking capital, provide an access point to any number of gentle walks, easy hikes and multi-day treks. The area is also a magnet for the climbing community with rugged peaks rising to 3,000 metres and a range of activities on offer including sport climbing, winter ice climbing and the thrilling via ferrata experience at Mount Norquay. Once you’ve had your visual fill of majestic mountain vistas, there’s canoeing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing to be done before dinner. Eat upscale Canadian produce at the awardwinning Post Hotel in Lake Louise, casual campfire-inspired cuisine at Banff’s Park Distillery, or literally perched on top of Sulphur Mountain at Sky Bistro. Stay under canvas or opt for luxury at the legendary Fairmont Château Lake Louise overlooking the spectacular Victoria Glacier (from Dh1,200); Alternatively bag a room at the boutique Paintbox Lodge, which is in protected territory belonging to the Stoney Nakoda peoples (from Dh400). Getting there: Fly into Calgary International Airport via Seattle; Banff is a 90-minute drive. It’s a scenic day’s drive of 850km through the Rockies from Vancouver.