A Winter Road Trip Through the Rockies
Experience four iconic properties and one incredible road trip through the Canadian Rockies this winter with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Breathtaking mountain views, magnificent glaciers and wildlife await when you hit the road. And at each stop, Fairmont offers luxurious accommodations, world-class dining, award-winning spas and plenty of winter fun. Yes, summer is the more popular tourist season in the Rockies, but with the right planning and plenty of warm layers, a winter road trip is the perfect way to experience this stunning stretch of Canada.
Make your winter road trip even cooler with an exclusive offer for AAA/CAA Members: Enjoy up to 25% off daily rates and a $50 dining credit to spend at any of Fairmont’s award-winning restaurants through December 31, 2020!*
Start your road trip in Calgary with a stay at Fairmont Palliser. Experience the best this vibrant prairie city has to offer all within walking distance from the hotel. Bundle up and stroll Stephen Avenue Walk, a pedestrian-only shopping district, or head over to the Olympic Plaza ice skating rink. When it’s time to eat, venture down 9th Avenue for a fine-dining dinner (served Thursday-Sunday) at Deane House, located in a 113-year old heritage building. After a good night’s sleep back at Fairmont Palliser, grab a hearty breakfast at Hawthorn, the hotel’s stunning new lobby restaurant. When you’re ready to hit the road, head west on the Trans-Canada Highway. Scenic Highway 1A, also known as Bow Valley Parkway, is also an option, but be prepared for longer travel times and winter conditions. Whichever you choose, keep an eye out for stunning views, hidden lakes and winter wildlife.
Located in the heart of Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fairmont Banff Springs is the perfect home base for exploring this breathtaking alpine destination. “The Castle in the Rockies” opened in 1888 and has been dazzling visitors since. Skiers will delight – Banff Mount Norquay and Sunshine Ski Village are both just a 20-minute drive from the hotel. And if après is what you’re after, don’t miss the mineral pool and outdoor hot tub at the Willow Stream Spa. When the stars come out, try one of the resort’s private guided evening snowshoe tours (complete with campfire and s’mores) led by an experienced guide. An easy walk from the hotel, the charming town of Banff offers shops filled with Canadian art, popular attractions – don’t miss a ride on the Banff Gondola – and a diverse selection of restaurants. Try Park Distillery for inventive cocktails, tasty beer and hearty comfort food.
When you’ve had your fill of winter fun in Banff, hop back on the Trans-Canada Highway and head west 60 kilometres (37 miles) toward your next destination, Lake Louise. Surrounded by Victoria Glacier and its namesake Emerald Lake, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a must-visit on any Rockies road trip. Travellers can truly embrace the beauty of winter here. From skiing Lake Louise Ski Resort, the second largest ski resort in Canada, to sleigh rides and snow shoeing, this is a cold weather oasis. And no trip to Lake Louise is complete without ice skating on the frozen lake beneath the snow-covered mountains. As its name suggests, the views from the hotel’s signature Fairview Restaurant are well worth a visit, and an elegant menu inspired by the locale (think wild boar served with Saskatoon berry) is equally satisfying. For handcrafted cocktails featuring the hotel’s own Fairview Gin, be sure to stop by the new Fairview Bar for après ski or an after dinner drink. You might find it hard to leave this magical hamlet, but more winter fun awaits.
From Lake Louise, pack your skis and head north to Jasper. Don’t let the 242 kilometre-drive (150 mile-drive) deter you from this final stop. The scenic drive on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), named one of National Geographic’s “Drives of a Lifetime,” is well worth it. Be sure to pack snacks, prepare for delays from snow plows and avalanche control, and plan to refuel at Saskatchewan River Crossing, the only commercial stop between Lake Louise and Jasper. If you don’t mind a snowy hike, stop for photos at Bow Summit and Peyto Lake. Further north, the beautiful frozen Athabasca Falls are accessible just off the highway and via another snowy hike. Back on the road, keep a careful eye (and a camera) out for elk, mountain goats and mountain sheep.
Nestled on the pristine shores of Lac Beauvert, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge offers 700 acres of winter fun. The resort’s charming village of cedar chalets and luxury cabins, all connected by picturesque paths, allow guests to easily explore the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. Located in one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves, be sure to take advantage of the resort’s on-property planetarium to learn about the constellations and the majestic Northern Lights. Winter activities include ice skating on Lake Mildred, cross country skiing, fat tire biking, snowshoeing and a brand new toboggan park. If you haven’t had your fill of skiing yet, Marmot Basin is less than 30 minutes away. The Maligne Canyon Ice Walk is one of Jasper’s most popular winter tours and another great option for off-property fun. Be sure to build in some R&R time with a treatment at the Jasper Park Lodge Spa and a soak in the outdoor hot tub.
From Calgary to Jasper and every stop in between, a trip through the Canadian Rockies is filled with endless adventure and beauty. Pack your sweaters and start planning your winter road trip with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts today.
*The AAA/CAA offer is valid at participating Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts locations for bookings by December 15, 2020 for stays from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 on the AAA/CAA Package. Learn more: https://www.fairmont.com/promo/aaa-caa-member-offer/