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This post is part of Matador’s partnership with Canada, where journalists show how to explore Canada like a local.

I FIRST SAW the Canadian Rocky Mountains from the back seat of my parents’ Dodge Caravan as we drove from Jasper to Banff, Alberta. I was 15 years old. We’d recently moved west from New Brunswick, where our local ski hill measured less than 275 meters (about 900ft). The Rockies’ peaks reach ~3,000 meters. They left an impression on my young mind.

After I graduated high school I briefly moved to Banff, and I returned almost every year to ski Marmot Basin, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, and Nakiska. In 2007, I proposed to my wife in Jasper, and we’re now lucky to call the town home.

Because I’d driven the Icefields and Bow Valley Parkways dozens of times in the past decade, the trip was in danger of losing its luster. So during a recent press trip to the area, I reset my odometer at the Banff Visitor Information Centre, stashed my camera in the passenger seat, and vowed to spend the day photographing whatever caught my eye.

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About The Author

Jeff Bartlett

Jeff is an adventure photographer and writer with a penchant for masochistic outdoor pursuits. He is now based in Jasper National Park. More of his work can be seen on his website and blog. You can also find him, periodically, on Twitter.

  • Keph Senett

    Such great images, Jeff Bartlett! I love this piece.

  • Hal Amen

    killer work, jeff. always enjoy your photo style, and there’s great info in the captions.

  • Laurie Bartlett

    great info and some breathtaking images!

  • Banff Media-Communications

    Some fantastic images from our friend Jeff Bartlett!

  • Matt Okahata

    Amazing photos!

  • Austin Y

    Love the images!

  • Mohamed Zitouni

    Amazing photos, I hope to visit this place soon.

  • Hedviga Marcinkova

    simply beautiful

  • Ken Masters

    Beautiful, but I think the 2nd oldest national park in the world is not Banff (1888) but in fact, the Royal national park, declared in 1879.

    • Jeff Bartlett

      Hey Ken, There does seem to be some controversy about which parks came first. It seems many places established parks around the same time but under different monikers than official National Parks, so you could be right. In the Banff history books, its claimed to be second…

  • Steve Smith

    Great photos Jeff. We’ve been there 2 out of the last 4 years and it is BREATHTAKING. Never seen anything more beautiful!

  • Bijie Kowalski

    This is such an awesome thing to do! I wish I would have thought of doing such a thing when I had taken a cross country trip from Fernie, B.C. to Toronto/Niagra Falls/Ottawa!

  • Val DeWitt

    I hope to see all this on an RV trip to Alaska and Canada next year.

  • Kathryn Nichols

    Sunwapta Falls and Mountain Goat photos are killer! Can’t wait to visit the area some day…

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