THERE'S nothing quite like seeing the sun rise over snow-capped mountains.
Perhaps its the contrast of pristine white peaks against a pink tinged sky, or the encapsulating feeling of witnessing one of nature's most aesthetic feats.
Or it might just be the humbling enormity of the landscape.
You may have seen the sun poke over perfect pistes in pictures, flooding Instagram feeds or Pinterest boards.
But as with many things of beauty in this world, you can't beat a live performance.
"In the end, we regret the paths not taken more than those tried and failed" 🍃 Our road trip through Canada's stunning Alberta region reaffirmed my favourite way to travel is on wheels... Not only does it provide more time to take in the stunning scenery, it also allows you to jump out and capture moments like this ☝🏼️ (even if you start developing frostbite in the process... #worthit) . . . . . . . . #travelalberta#explorecanada#tourcanada#canadiancreatives#nakedearth#travel#traveller#igtravel#adventurer#travelgram#seetheworld#travelblogger#travelblog#wanderlust#explore#thewanderlustbug#exploremore#instatravel#worldcaptures#worldplaces#girlslovetravel#seetheworld#girlswhotravel#beautifulplaces
This is the conclusion I reach from the comfort of the passenger seat in a Ford Platinum SUV, as I repeatedly picking up my jaw at what is outside the fogged-up window.
I'm looking at the Canadian Rocky Mountains, which stand in what is arguably one of the most picturesque regions in the world - Alberta.
We're driving down the iconic Icefields Parkway from Jasper National Park to Banff National Park, having just spent a night at the winter wonderland that is Jasper Park Lodge.
It's about -30 outside, but we're loving every minute of the journey.
Largely because the view is gorgeous enough to part with our heated seats and risk getting frostbite to jump out and look at.
Our postcard-like view is accompanied by the expert narration of our guide, Sinead, who moved to the region when she fell in love as a visitor in her 20s.
While born in the UK, Sinead has a wealth of knowledge about the region's history, nature and wildlife that only a true passion for a place can yield.
And there's certainly no wonder as to where it came from.
The beauty of the rugged, crisp terrain is matched only by the warmth of Albertan locals. Whether you're into outdoor activities, wildlife, good food or luxing out, the region is sure to satisfy.
But just in case you need more convincing, here are three reasons to add a road trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains to your bucket list.
1. You don't have to be a pro skier to appreciate the slopes
Knees go weak at the thought of skis? No problem - just strap on some snowshoes instead.
This innovative snow activity involves wearing paddle-like contraptions to help trudge through soft powder. Quite the gruelling workout, the views and overall experience are completely worth it.
The activity is on offer at all major mountains in the region. Guided tours start at CAN$150.00 (£95) for up to four people.
And of course, if you visit during summer, the snow-capped likes of Lake Louise, Jasper National Park and Banff National Park is riddled with walking trails with views worth training for.
Every Canadian we asked about Jasper National Park was rendered speechless, and after spending a few days here it's pretty hard to put it into words. Spanning almost 11,000km², the wilderness area is defined by snowcapped peaks, ancient glaciers and pristine lakes. In short, everywhere you turn is a picture, so here's one of my favourites ☝🏼️Snapped just before a snowshoe hike through the mountains. . . . . . . . @explorealberta @jaspernationalpark#explorecanada#tourcanada#canadiancreatives#nakedearth#travel#traveller#igtravel#adventurer#travelgram#seetheworld#travelblogger#travelblog#wanderlust#explore#thewanderlustbug#exploremore#instatravel#worldcaptures#worldplaces#girlslovetravel#seetheworld#girlswhotravel#beautifulplaces
2. You can eat your heart out, literally
Well, almost literally. Whether it's the fresh mountain air or all that physical activity, Canadians are no strangers to working up an appetite.
As a result, these people know how to do a hearty meal.
Whether it's feasting on fresh seafood or refuelling with succulent cuts of Alberta bison, beef and elk, the likes of the Maple Leaf in Banff and the Eagle's Nest at Sunshine Mountain Lodge will make you glad for a gruelling day on the slopes.
And of course, you can't go past Baileys hot chocolate for an Apres Ski treat.
3. It's a time to treat yourself, guilt free
Is there ever a better time to indulge in massage therapy than after a day on the slopes?
Whether you're hiking, showshoeing, skiing or just exploring... a massage followed by hot tub is one of life greatest joys.
The district has a few options, budget pending. Many ski lodges, including Jasper Park Lodge, have in-built spas but if you're looking to really luxe out, the newly finished Moose Hotel & Suites in Banff sets a high bar.
If snow activities, fine cuisine and indulgent relaxation aren't enough to put Alberta on your list - there's always the promise of that sunrise over the mountains to make it all worthwhile.
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