My brother and his now wife live in the Canadian Rockies and instead of flying out just for their wedding, we planned a whole trip around it. We are very aware that we have not traveled enough in our own country. We have visited many far off countries and we have been through many parts of Canada, but we haven’t even scratched the surface. The wedding gave us an excuse to explore Alberta in the summer. I had visited Alberta quite a few times as a kid, skiing in the winter, but had never been out there in the summer. A few years ago we rented an RV in New Zealand and traveled around for a month and found it to be a great way to travel with young kids. No unpacking constantly, you can move at your own pace and it is camping lite. Renting a RV is not cheap, but it just made sense for this trip when the kids were 2, 4 and 6. We rented through CanaDream and paid $3,100 CAD/12 nights and were really happy with our experience with them.
We first headed to Drumheller, mainly to visit the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum. The museum is awesome for kids with lots of interactive exhibits, set in a valley where they actually found many of the bones! We were also lucky enough to be joined for a few days by our friends Ryan (Stroh) and Michaela. From there we headed to Dinosaur Provincial Park where we got to see lots of hoodoos (cool rock formations). We were going to stay another night, but were driven away by the intense mozzies.
Next up was K-Country (Kananaskis) – so nice to be in the mountains. We even saw a moose on the drive in, randomly standing on the side of the road. We were hyper cautious about bears while camping. From there we headed to Two Jacks Lake in Banff. The campsites here fill quickly and we had booked ours a long time ago thankfully. They are lovely sites and we enjoyed hanging out by the lake (which is freezing!), a visit from my brother & Audrey, and seeing some wildlife. We went up the Banff Gondola for some great views, enjoyed Banff Ave, and hiked Johnson Canyon with all the other tourists.
After Banff, we visited the iconic Lake Louise. We dragged the kids up the Lake Agnes Tea House trek and rewarded them with some treats. After Lake Louise, we started up the Icefields Parkway and stopped at the Columbia Icefield. We took the big truck things up to the glacier and it was pretty fun to reach the ice in July. The kids enjoyed filling their waterbottles with the icy fresh water from the stream. We headed up to Jasper and visited Athabasca Falls. On the way back south we stopped to do two separate hikes – Wilcox Creek and Parker Ridge. Both were less than 3 hour hikes and it was amazing to hike amongst the mountains. Paul carried Miles, but the other two walked on their own steam. Gavin has lots of energy for hiking, but with Ella you have to keep her distracted by talking about anything and everything.
It was a great little trip around the Rockies and we returned our RV in Calgary and spent the next few days in Canmore in wedding preparation mode. It was a beautiful wedding at a lovely restaurant overlooking the 3 sisters (peaks). The kids were all involved in the wedding as a flowergirl and ring bearer, which made it even more special.