Canadian Rockies Facts
Did you know that the lakes in the Canadian Rockies are bright blue because of glaciers? From soaring mountain peaks that touch a cloudless sky to tranquil alpine valleys where wildlife roams free, this stunning landscape will captivate your heart and soul.
The Canadian Rockies offer some of the most spectacular views in the world, as well as a wealth of Canadian Rockies facts. For couples seeking an unforgettable vacation experience or families searching for a memorable bonding opportunity, the Canadian Rockies offer one-of-a-kind adventures and activities.
The travel experts at Canadian Train Vacations have spent a lot of time exploring the Canadian Rockies.
10 Interesting Facts about Rocky Mountains
1. The Canadian Rockies Are Home to the World’s Largest Dark Sky Preserve
The Canadian Rockies have long been renowned for their breathtaking beauty and natural wonders. But the region has a hidden treasure that is sure to delight outdoor adventurers and stargazers alike: the world’s largest dark sky preserve.
That Jasper National Park is home to the Jasper Dark Sky Preserve is a Canadian Rockies fun fact. It is recognized as the largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve in the world. This means that it has some of the darkest skies in the world, making it an ideal destination for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. The Jasper Dark Sky Preserve also offers a unique opportunity to see the Northern Lights or Aurora borealis.
This natural light show is best viewed during the fall and winter months, and Jasper offers one of the best chances to see the Northern Lights in Canada. The Preserve is easily accessible by car or by taking a bus from Edmonton or Calgary. Both cities are located approximately 300km (186 miles) away from Jasper. Visitors can also take a train to Jasper via VIA Rail. The town of Jasper offers a variety of accommodations, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. Visitors can also camp in the park — this is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
2. The Rocky Mountains Have Bighorn Sheep
Among the other facts about the Canadian Rockies is that there are over 10,000 bighorn sheep in the region. One can see these gorgeous animals in the canyons and alpine slopes of this mountain range. The bighorn sheep lives in the upper elevations and is well-adapted to this rugged habitat.
The males, or rams, can weigh up to 300 pounds and have horns that can reach two feet in length. Females, known as ewes, have softer and more curved horns than males. Despite their size, they move almost silently.
3. The Rockies are Home to Many Indigenous People
One of the Canadian Rockies interesting facts is that several Indigenous nations still have a strong cultural presence in the area. According to archaeological data, the Rocky Mountains have been home to these nations since roughly 10,000 BCE.
These nations have been instrumental in preserving the environment of the area. With an increasing number of tourists visiting each year, recognizing the presence of Indigenous people can be an essential part of appreciating the Canadian Rockies for what it truly is — a unique historical and natural wonder.
4. The Columbia Icefield, one of the largest in North America
The Columbia Icefield, located in the Rocky Mountains, spans over 325 square kilometers — another or our Canadian rockies mountains facts. The Columbia Icefield is the largest icefield south of the Arctic Circle and is a must-see for any traveler visiting the Canadian Rockies. The Icefield is also the source of the Athabasca, Sunwapta, and North Saskatchewan Rivers.
You can explore the glacier on foot or experience the thrill of an Ice Explorer tour. On the tour, you will be taken onto the glacier in an all-terrain Ice Explorer vehicle and get the opportunity to learn about the glacier and its history. These tours only run between the spring and fall. The Icefield is surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the Canadian Rockies, including Mount Columbia.
On a clear day, you can see snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes, alpine meadows, and the Athabasca River. If you're looking for more adventure, you can explore some of the glaciers on a guided mountain trek or even try your hand at ice climbing. The Columbia Icefield is accessible by car via the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), which connects Jasper and Banff National Parks. The road might be closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall.
5. The Highest Peak in the Canadian Rockies is Mount Robson
The Canadian Rockies are home to some of the highest peaks in North America, and the highest of them all is Mount Robson. Standing at 3,954 meters (12,972 feet) above sea level.
Mount Robson is located in the heart of Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. The mountain is a popular destination for hikers and mountaineers, with its most popular trail, the Berg Lake Trail, leading to a beautiful glacier-fed lake at the base of the mountain.
For those who prefer not to hike, helicopter and sightseeing flights are available that provide visitors with a bird's eye view of the mountain and the surrounding area.
The mountain is easily accessible by car, and the trailhead is located at the end of the Yellowhead Highway, around 30km east of Jasper. The best time to visit is from June to September when the weather is typically the warmest and driest. Visitors should be prepared for any kind of weather and bring appropriate gear, including good hiking boots, warm clothing, and a rain jacket.
Mount Robson is free to hike, but there may be charges for parking or other amenities such as guide services, camping equipment hire, etc. Before you set off, it’s a good idea to research the costs associated with your trip to factor into your budget.
Mount Robson is also one of the highlights you can see from VIA Rail or Rocky Mountaineer trains between Jasper and Vancouver. If you're lucky, it will be a clear day and you can see its snowy peak.
6. The Rocky Mountains are part of the North American Cordillera
The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a spectacular mountain range that forms part of the North American Cordillera, which stretches from Alaska to Argentina. The Rockies run through the western parts of Canada and the United States and are known for their rugged beauty, diverse landscapes, and wide range of outdoor activities. Another of the Canadian rocky mountains facts is that it stretches over 1,000 km through British Columbia and Alberta.
One of the most popular destinations in the Canadian Rockies is the Banff National Park, which is the oldest national park in Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, skiing, and sightseeing. The park is home to many scenic drives, such as the famous Icefields Parkway, which offers breathtaking views of the mountain range and glaciers.
In addition to the national parks, the Canadian Rockies also offer a variety of winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. Ski resorts like Lake Louise Ski Resort, Mt. Norquay, and Mt. Robson Ski Resort offer a range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
The Canadian Rockies are perfect for a family trip, a romantic getaway, or an adventure vacation. With a wide range of activities, diverse landscapes, and stunning national parks, the Canadian Rockies offer something for everyone.
7. The Rocky Mountains are over 80 Million Years Old
The Rocky Mountains range in age from 70 to 80 million years. The Rocky Mountains formed when two tectonic plates collided, pushing up the earth's landmasses and forming great mountains. The Canadian Rocky Mountains are a geological wonder, formed over 80 million years ago. These majestic peaks offer visitors a glimpse into the Earth's ancient past.
Jasper National Park, which is known for its ancient rock formations, such as the Maligne Canyon and Mount Edith Cavell is a popular tourist destination in the Canadian Rockies. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the geology of the park and see the ancient rock formations up close.
The Rocky Mountains also have glaciers, cirques, waterfalls, hot springs, and alpine lakes. These mountain ranges, which span more than 3,000 miles and rise more than 14,000 feet above sea level, have always piqued the curiosity of travellers.
8. Snow Dome is a unique “Three-Ocean Peak”
The Snow Dome in the Canadian Rockies is a truly unique mountain peak. It is considered a "Three-Ocean Peak" due to its location at the intersection of the Continental Divide, which separates the waters flowing to the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific Oceans.
Mount Snow Dome can be seen from Highway 93, more popularly known as the Icefields Parkway, the route between Jasper and Banff. A stop at the Columbia Icefield will provide views of the mountain from the skywalk.
9. The Canadian Rockies Offer World-Class Skiing and Snowboarding
The Canadian Rockies are a winter sports paradise. The area offers world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities for all skill levels. The region is home to several renowned ski resorts, including Banff, Lake Louise, Mt Norquay, and Revelstoke, each offering a unique experience and a variety of terrain to suit every level of skier or snowboarder.
In addition to the ski resorts, the Canadian Rockies also offer a variety of cross-country ski and snowshoeing trails for visitors looking for a more tranquil winter experience.
The ski and snowboard season in the Canadian Rockies is typically from early December to late April. Still, depending on the snowfall and temperatures, the season can start as early as late October and run through May. So, pack your bags and experience the best of Canadian Rockies Skiing and Snowboarding.
10. The National Parks in the Rockies are a World Heritage Site
With four incredible national parks — Banff, Jasper, and Yoho — the Canadian Rockies offer some of the best outdoor experiences in the world. These parks are part of the The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada, located in Alberta's Rocky Mountains. It's a stunning landscape of mountains, glaciers, and forests, with over 1,000 kilometres of trails and pathways. You can explore Banff's many hiking trails, ski down one of its many ski resorts, take a ride on the Banff Gondola, or go wildlife viewing in the park's expansive valleys.
Jasper National Park, located in Alberta's Rocky Mountains, is known for its stunning alpine scenery and wildlife. You can expect a range of activities from camping to horseback riding, rafting, and more.
Yoho National Park, located in British Columbia's Rocky Mountains, is known for its impressive natural attractions. The park's many lakes, rivers, and waterfalls provide spectacular opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. You can hire your guide for extreme adventure guided hikes and tours.
Kootenay National Park is located in southeastern British Columbia.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Canadian Rockies known for?
The Canadian Rockies are well-known for being the source of several major river systems and the numerous rivers that run through the range. It is also famous for its beautiful national parks.
How old are Canadian Rockies?
The Canadian Rockies formed 70 to 80 million years ago.
How long are the Canadian Rockies?
The Canadian Rockies are about 1,000 miles (1,600 km).
Which is the oldest mountain range in Canada?
The Laurentian Mountain range in Canada is one of the oldest ranges in the world.
How tall are Canadian Rockies?
Mount Robson (3,954 m) and Mount Columbia (3,747 m) are two of the Canadian Rockies' high peaks and ranges.
What is Canada's most famous mountain?
Mount Logan is Canada's most famous mountain, and it is the highest peak in Canada and the second-highest peak in North America, after Denali (Mount McKinley) in Alaska. It is located in the Saint Elias Mountains in the southwestern part of the Yukon Territory, near the border of Alaska.
Are the Rocky Mountains only in Canada?
The Rockies stretch from northern Alberta and British Columbia in Canada south to New Mexico in the US.
What animal lives in the Rocky Mountains?
Grizzly bears, elk, mule deer, mountain caribou, grey wolves, lynx, and wolverines are common in the Rockies.
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