SUMMER is an amazing season in the Canadian Rockies. Here are some of the reasons you absolutely must visit this region in the summertime.

Waterfall Sunlight

SUMMER ALPINE WILDERNESS

During summer, enjoy expansive Rocky Mountain views, with impressive peaks towering above lush, green landscapes.

By mid-summer, the snow is melting from the ground and the mountains, turning the landscape green. The snowmelt and passing rains lead to fields of blooming wildflowers scattered throughout the valleys and by the sides of the rivers and lakes. These flowers are easily spotted on trails through the mountains, and you might even find a few varieties of wild and colorful mushrooms, popping up from the forest floor.

Further into the Rocky Mountains are vistas that offer views of distant hanging glaciers. This is the season where waterfalls are seen flowing with full force from the melting snow and ice. The lush green scenery, and the mild weather make this the perfect season for hiking.

Rainbow Canada Lake

SPECTACULAR WEATHER

In the summer months, the snow melts, the sun comes out, and despite frequent and unpredictable passing storms, the weather is mostly mild and pleasant. Be prepared for anything, though. The weather in the Rockies changes in an instant.

Sunlight Railroad Canada

Only minutes before this calm scene, a massive storm front moved in, bringing thick fog, pouring rain, and striking reverberations of lightning across the sky. Which was a little terrifying considering our proximity to giant metal cameras and tripods. (Lightning rods?) Unfortunately, we were too busy clinging to a cliff for our lives to get a photo of the lightning. The storm itself lasted less than five minutes.

OPEN ROADS

In alpine country, certain roads become impassable in winter due to heavy snow fall. These roads are closed for most of the year, but are opened in the summer season when the snow is clear. These roads reveal access to hidden places that offer expansive views of the pristine natural beauty of the area. The road closure means these places are only accessible for a short period of time, and this makes these views that much more illusive.

The Canadian Rockies are worth a visit for these spectacular locations alone.

 

 

Moraine Lake Reflection

Moraine Lake, valley of the ten peaks, is only open for a few months out of the year. The rest of the time, the 10-mile road to the lake is closed. If you want to visit off season, you’ll need to hike, and don’t forget to bring snow shoes.

UNBELIEVABLE BLUE ALPINE LAKES

The lakes in the Canadian Rockies are famous for their spectacular color. In summer, the thick winter ice melts, and glacial silt stirs up in the water. This silt hovers in the lakes, catching the sunlight and absorbing all but the color blue, reflecting light in vibrant shades of blue and turquoise depending on the concentration of glacial silt.

Peyto Lake Daytime

Even in the fog, the color of these lakes is surreal.

STARGAZING

Summer is the best time for stargazing – dark nights, clear skies, full moons, the Milky Way, meteor showers, and even the chance to catch the elusive Northern Lights. Stay aware of the astronomical events and moon cycles occurring when you visit – there’s always something going on.

Moraine Lake Stars

We caught the rising galaxy during the Perseid meteor shower and new moon, and counted shooting stars as the earth rotated through the darkness and the Milky Way slowly moved across the sky.

Grizzly Bear Road Canada

WILDLIFE

The wildlife in Banff, Jasper, and the entirety of the Canadian Rockies wilderness flourishes in the summer. During our summer visits, we’ve been surprised by wild animals in places when we weren’t expecting them at all. Herds of rams hanging out by forested mountain roads, grizzly bears eating dandelions in meadows, black bears foraging through rocks on cliff sides, osprey catching fish from the rivers with their large talons, and lone wolves slipping out of the forest into visibility for a moment only to slip back into the woods an instant later.

Canada Geese Sunset Lake

Families of wild Canadian geese hanging out around the lakes, swimming back and forth. (in Canada, are they just regular geese?)

LONG DAYLIGHT HOURS

Summer days in the far north mean the sun rises early and near the summer solstice, it isn’t fully dark until around midnight. Such long days are perfect for planning an expedition, a backcountry hike, or just exploring the many epic natural vistas around this amazing region.

 

Peyto Lake Sunset

What are your favorite parts about summer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

7 Reasons Summer in the Canadian Rockies Rocks