The 7 marvels of Western Canada
Everyone has heard of the 7 World Wonders. Although none of them are in Canada, I don't believe we don't fall short in terms of wonders.
Here is my list of the 7 marvels of the West. Make sure to include them on your next Western Canada road trip.
1. Lake Louise
This natural marvel of the Canadian Rockies is known as the “Jewel of Canada”, and for good reason.
With its turquoise waters against a backdrop of snowy peaks, Lake Louise leaves no one indifferent.
To truly experience the magnificence of your surroundings, I encourage you to hike the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail. This moderately challenging 10.6-km trail (about 4 hrs. round-trip) offers spectacular views and is one of the most beautiful mountain hikes in Canada, especially if you go all the way to the end.
Indeed, the highlight of the hike is the view from the lookout 1 kilometre past the Tea House, at the foot of the glaciers.
2. Spirit Island
I'm not sure where the statistics come from, but Spirit Island is said to be the most photographed island in the world.
Located on Maligne Lake within Jasper National Park, this magnificent tiny island can only be reached by taking a 90-minute cruise.
The best time for photographs is in the late afternoon, when the sun shines directly on the island and the surrounding mountains.
Note that you can purchase cruise tickets in advance in the town of Jasper.
3. Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim National Park stretches along the west coast of Vancouver Island.
This larger-than-life park is home to Canada's most beautiful beaches, bordered by lush rainforest vegetation.
The section of the park that you won't want to miss is Long Beach, ideally located between Ucluelet and Tofino, a charming fishing village well worth a visit.
There are 9 hiking trails in the Long Beach area, but the one to do is the Wild Pacific Trail. This 8-km family-friendly trail will take you right along the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
The Rainforest Trail is another interesting hiking option, leading into the heart of a world of giant trees.
Finally, Long Beach offers spectacular picture postcard-worthy sunsets. You can simply enjoy nature's spectacle from one of the area's many beaches or make your way to Radar Hill, near Tofino, for a more aerial view.
4. Peyto Lake
Located along the Icefields Parkway, undoubtedly the most scenic route in Canada (between Banff and Jasper), Peyto Lake is a MUST-SEE.
This small lake with its stunning turquoise waters, nestled in a spectacular Alpine valley, will leave you speechless.
A short 10-minute walk leads to one of the best views in the Canadian Rockies. The trail is accessible to everyone: there's no excuse to miss it!
5. Moraine Lake
If you make it to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, you will get to enjoy another of Canada's most spectacular natural wonders.
Nestled in the spectacular Valley of the Ten Peaks, the vivid turquoise blue of the lake contrasts with the emerald waters more commonly found in the Canadian Rockies.
Moraine Lake is considered by many to be the most beautiful spot in the Canadian Rockies.
It is important to note that the lake is only accessible from June to September. The road is closed outside of the summer season.
6. Helmcken Falls
Helmcken Falls is located within Wells Gray Park, often known as the “Waterfall Park”. In fact, the protection of Helmcken Falls was one of the reasons for the creation of the park.
Many people consider this to be the most spectacular waterfall in Western Canada. Visitors who take the time to stop here are always impressed by the awe-inspiring power, magnificent natural setting and easy accessibility.
Cascading 141m to the canyon below, the waterfall has sculpted an impressive bowl at its base.
A viewing platform, easily accessible from the road, provides a panoramic view and the perfect photo opportunity. If you would like to get closer, there are several hiking trails.
The best time to appreciate the full splendour of the falls is in late afternoon, when the sun is near the top of the falls.
7. Whistlers Peak
Whistlers Peak soars high above the town of Jasper and can be reached via the Jasper SkyTram.
When you get to the summit (at an altitude of 2,227 metres), you simply must take the discovery trail out onto the alpine tundra.
The high mountain landscapes will take your breath away, both figuratively and literally! Indeed, you will feel the effects of the altitude with the slightest physical effort.
Off in the distance, on a clear day, you can see Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Map of the 7 marvels
And there you go!
Can you think of any other attractions that should be on this glorious list of the 7 Marvels of Western Canada?
Don't hesitate to tell us what you think in the comments below.