Scenic Highways around Banff and Canmore

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Written by The Mountain Man posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Most people who visit the Canadian Rockies, come in their cars or rent a car in Calgary or Vancouver and drive over. If you aer like most people than a scenic drive is probably high on your list of things to do.

Some of the best highways and by-ways in the Canadian Rockies can be found in the Banff-Canmore area of Alberta.  For beginners, try the Smith Dorrien Spray Trail drive. These wonder of road takes you along Highway 40 out of Canmore. On the way, enjoy majestic views of the Rockies and alpine lakes.

Burstall Pass - right on the boundary between Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country

Burstall Pass - right on the boundary between Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country

The road here is gravel and holds some steep, narrow sections right out of Canmore for the curve-hugging driver. It’s a short drive any car can make in just under 2 hours. From highway 40, visitors can access the Peter Lougheed Park, which is definitely off the beaten path. Here the Spray Lakes offer fishing, skating and boating. Locals will look at you with a sharp grin and wonder how a tourist like yourself wandered away from Banff national park.

The Spray Lake area is heavily infested with moose, and if you stop by the Mt. Engadine Lodge, tell them the Mountain Man himself sent you, and he recommends their crumpets and tea.

The same day, or maybe a different day, start your engines and head towards the village of Kananaskis. This 45 minute route will take you to the world-class gold course there in Kananaskis as well as the Fortress Mountain and Nakiska Mountain ski resorts.

Here too, you can avoid the usual crowds in Banff and see some A+ mother nature with the Mountain Man’s approval.

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