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Western Canada Guide

Western Canada Guide

Want to visit Western Canada?

Not only does this region encompass the jagged ridges of the incredible Rocky Mountains, but there are, in the far north, thousands of acres of dense forest, mountains and wilderness.

Calgary, with its Stampede, is often regarded as the gateway to this stunning area with Banff and Jasper National Parks, Lake Louise, wildlife, winter sports and native culture being among the main attractions. Several routes cross these magnificent mountains, roads taking advantage of natural passes carved by the rushing torrents of meltwater or, for many a favoured method is by rail. The two day train journey by the Rocky Mountaineer is an experience to be savoured for years to come.

On their own, mountains can be majestic, and any seashore can be a place of beauty, but when mountains plunge into deep blue waters, the panorama can be breathtaking. Add in tall forests, great rivers, rare birds, whales, salmon, bears, boats and small villages, and you've arrived at the west coast.

Those who have no desire to look at even a single eagle or glacier will find the cities of Victoria and, especially Vancouver to be urban jewels almost as outstanding as the region?s natural resources. Be aware, however, that these cities are still within gazing distance of the mountains and the sea: escaping the scenery in Western Canada is no easy task.

Alberta

Alberta

Often regarded as the gateway to the Rockies, Alberta is situated at the transition from the prairies to the mountains and its spectacular natural wonders never fail to amaze. With five national parks to explore, each with beautiful scenery, Alberta's wildlife is astonishing. Elk, deer, mountain goats, black bear and the bald eagle are all to be frequently seen as well as the rarer woodland caribou. Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper are famous resorts within the Rockies, each with their own character and appeal. Towering snow-covered peaks, glacial blue lakes and forests are waiting to be explored, but Alberta is not just the wilderness of the Rockies. The vibrant cities of Calgary with its famous stampede, historic parks and warmth of welcome and Edmonton, home to its renowned enclosed shopping mall, are cosmopilitan centres with numerous attractions. The province has numerous golf courses, hosting six out of Canada's top 10, heritage parks (Fort Steele and the dinosaur trail at Drumheller being but two notable examples) as well as vast prairie ranches, wonderful walking trails, fishing in the lakes and streams and world-class winter sports.

British Columbia

British Columbia

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Rockies to the east, British Columbia is a land of spectacular scenery. Stunning coastlines, sandy beaches, hidden fishing harbours, snow-capped mountains, lakes, rivers and forests are all to be found in this unspoilt land.

Ranchlands, vineyards and mountain lodges are also to be found together with the stately charm of Victoria, the province's capital, and Vancouver - rightly regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Wildlife abounds with whale watching cruises from Vancouver and Victoria together with grizzly bear watching expeditions at Knight and Seymour Inlets. Elk, deer and mountain goats are commonplace in the Rockies, black bears are also to be seen and bald eagles soar over theglacial fed mountain streams.

The province is also renowned for hiking, water sports and with Whistler the location for the 2010 Winter Olympics, winter sports also feature prominently.

British Columbia's heritage is well represented with museums, parks and centres telling the story of gold-prospecting, trapping, First Nation culture, forestry, mining and railroad history.

Manitoba

Manitoba's landscape is as enchanting as it is diverse, with prairie grassland in the south and west, rugged Canadian Shield lakes and forests in the east and north, and arctic coastline and tundra in the extreme north.

Yukon

Yukon

The Yukon - Canada's True North. In an area bigger than Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Holland combined and with a population of just 30,000 people, the Yukon is a land barely touched by civilization. The area boasts some of the highest mountains in Canada with more than twenty summits over 14000 ft and the Yukon River is 2300 miles long. There are just under 3000 miles of highway in the Yukon offering some of most unusual and spectacular drives in the world. Marvel at the great spectacle of the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.




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