5 Outdoor Activities to Try on a Summer Vacation in Canada

Marina ParraJune 27, 2019

Even though Canada is considered a winter wonderland ―after all, it is home to some of the premier ski resorts in the world―, the summer months are packed with options for outdoor lovers. 

With 39 national parks scattered from coast to coast, this huge country made of rugged mountains, emerald lakes, and profuse forests boasts an impressive wilderness to explore. 

So if you are looking for a mix of adventure and beautiful natural settings, you are in the right place! From rock climbing in Banff & Lake Louise to backpacking in the remote area of Yukon, here’s a list of the best outdoor activities to try on your next summer vacation in Canada. 

1. Try Rock Climbing in Alberta


With the stunning Rocky Mountains right around the corner, there’s no better place than Canada to get started with rock climbing. Combining mental and physical ability, adrenaline and strategy, rock climbing is an exhilarating sport that will hook you from the beginning! 


Photo courtesy of Jeff Bullock.

An introductory course with a certified guide is your best choice to learn the basics and keep working on your technique. 

The province of Alberta concentrates some of Canada’s best rock climbing areas, like Lake Louise, Canmore, and Banff. 

So, what are you waiting for? Book your place with a mountain guide and take your first steps into the rock climbing world in Alberta!


2. Go Backpacking in Yukon


Yukon is a wild region in the northwest of Canada, near the border with Alaska. Its stunning landscape includes some of the highest peaks in the country, such as Mount Logan (5,959 m) and a large population of grizzly bears. This unspoiled and remote destination dazzles hikers and backpackers willing to live the ultimate “into the wild” experience. 


Photo courtesy of Sam Mckoy.

If you are the adventurous type, you like camping under the stars and hiking more than 15 km per day, then this trip is for you! Even getting there is epic: a float-plane will take you from Whitehorse to the Wilderness Base Camp. 

Book a 3-day guided backpacking adventure in Yukon!


3. Climb a via ferrata near Cannmore


Via ferratas were born in the Alps and are mostly found in Europe. In case you’ve never heard of them, they are climbing routes build with steel cables, steps, ladders and all sorts of protection, in order to help people climb mountains in a non-technical way.


Photo courtesy of Brent Peters.

Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Well, if you are planning to be near Canmore during your summer holiday, you may have the chance to try it! 

This via ferrata route is 2.5hs away from this town in Alberta, and goes up a 200m cliff, making for a perfect half-day trip. The mountain guide will provide you with all the specific equipment that you need (via ferrata kit), while you will have to bring your personal gear.

Climb a via ferrata route near Canmore with a certified guide! 


4. Hone your Alpine Climbing Skills in the Bugaboos


Located in the Purcell Mountains, in British Columbia, the Bugaboos are renowned as one of the top alpine climbing destinations in Canada. So, if you have some mountaineering or rock climbing experience and you want to take it to a whole new level, you should definitely consider traveling with a mountain guide to this amazing playground. 


Photo courtesy of Jeff Bullock.


There are routes for all levels, from beginners to experts; and for people of different physical conditions. You just have to discuss your goals and expectations with your guide and he’ll tailor the perfect alpine course for you. 

The starting point for most adventures in the Bugaboos is Golden. 

Join a guide on a 4-day alpine climbing trip in the legendary Bugaboos!  


5. Go Trail Running through the great Wapta Icefield 


The Wapta Icefield stretches along the Great Divide of the Rocky Mountains, in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. This ancient glacial formation provides endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Trail running is one of them (maybe not the main thing that springs to mind, though!). 


Photo courtesy of James Madden.

The “Wapta Ice Run” is a 24km trail run across the stunning scenery of the Wapta Icefield. The trail starts at Bow Lake and goes through different types of terrain (including ice, so you’ll need to change your footwear to micro-spikes). You don’t need to have glacier experience, but you do need to feel comfortable running for long periods and have a sense of adventure! 

Check out the next departure dates and join a guided trail running trip in the Wapta Icefield! 



Vast and incredibly diverse, Canada is an extraordinary country to explore. Check all our options and set out on a guided adventure this summer! 

In case you are more of a winter sports person, don’t miss our post about the best spots for heliskiing in Canada.

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