Situated in Alberta on the eastern edge of the Canadian Rockies, the stunning peaks contained within Banff and Jasper National Parks are the kinds of mountains that rise with an authoritative grandeur so beautiful that not only do they seem to stop time in our human perception, but are the truest testament to the passage of time itself.
On a geological and ecological scale of grandeur from one to Homeric, Alberta is akin to The Odyssey – the kind of vertical terrain that might make a George R.R. Martin or even Tolkien pause and think, “I wish I’d imagined that.”
The beauty at the macro level is just the beginning. From ice hiking through deep canyons ensconced in epic ice formations to snowshoeing through dense forest; from ice fishing to watching the entire universe give way to a monumental sunrise, there are countless ways to experience and absorb the winter beauty that is Alberta as you push in deeper and explore.
No matter where you are in the province, there is a Fairmont property to start your vacation. For those looking for solitude and small-town charm, the cabins at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge are the perfect interweaving of luxurious and laid-back. So removed is Jasper that it is the world’s second largest dark sky preserve, offering glimpses into the universe that rival the beauty of the surrounding earthly terrain. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, with its horse-drawn carriage rides and ice skating rink surrounded by ice sculptures, is perfect for a romantic getaway; and for those who want the energy and restaurant variety of a Vegas hotel (the chef opened Wynn) within a 10-minute car ride of perhaps Alberta’s most beautiful peaks, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel will make your heart palpitate. Need more convincing that a Canadian Rockies getaway needs to be in the cards? Take a gander at this photo essay and see for yourself.