With a vast land area of almost 10 million square kilometres and a population of just over 30 million people, Canada has a lot of wide-open spaces with huge tracts of uninhabited countryside. Extending for 2000 kilometres (1200 miles) from the Yukon southwards through Alberta and British Columbia, the Canadian Rocky Mountains include some of the best territory for hiking, trekking and even family group exploration. One of the most accessible parts of the range is located at the western edge of the state of Alberta, close to the town of Calgary. Here, there is a wealth of beautiful mountain scenery, with endless forest, extensive tundra, powerful glaciers, cascading rivers and numerous 4000 metre (13,000ft) peaks. This part of Canada was the home of a number of Indian tribes, including the Iroquois and Cree. Towns such as Banff and Jasper have a rich history of pioneering, dating back to the early years of the 19th century and the arrival of the first white hunters and fur-traders.

Geography

With a vast land area of almost 10 million square kilometres and a population of just over 30 million people, Canada has a lot of wide open spaces with huge tracts of uninhabited countryside. There is a great variety of different landform, ranging from the intensively farmed plains of the south to the evocatively named “Barren Grounds” of the north, which are characterised by permafrost and freezing tundra. The Yukon stretches from British Columbia in the south to beyond the Arctic Circle. To the northwest it is bordered by Alaska. The region and the state gets its name from the Yukon River, a 3000-km (1800 mile) artery that rises in BC's Coast Mountains and flows through the heart of the Yukon and Alaska to the Bering Sea. At the westernmost tip of the Yukon are located the country's highest mountains. Together with the neighbouring Wrangell National Park in Alaska, the Kluane National Park protects the St Elias Mountains, including Mount Logan (5950m) - Canada's highest point – and Mount McKinley (6193m) in Alaska, the highest point in North America. Below them, and covering half the park, is a huge basin of mile-deep glaciers and ice fields, the world's largest non-polar ice. The Canadian Rockies extend for 2000 km (1200 miles) south from the Yukon through Alberta and British Columbia. One of the most accessible parts of the range is located at the western edge of the state of Alberta, some 250 km (155 miles) west of Edmonton and closer still to the town of Calgary. Here, there are 2 adjoining national parks; Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, which together enclose more than 17,000 sq km (6,560 sq miles) of beautiful mountain scenery. Despite its ease of access, this is still a wilderness area. Endless forests, extensive tundra, powerful glaciers, and cascading rivers are overlooked by peaks almost 4000m (13,000ft) tall. The Athabasca River, which has its source in the Jasper National Park, flows for more than 1500 km (almost 1000 miles) across Canada.

Time Zone

The time in Alberta is GMT -7 hours