SWAP CAL­I­FOR­NIA’S YOSEMITE FOR THE CANA­DIAN ROCK­IES

Friday - - Travel -

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.

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