THE LANDSCAPE OF CANADA’S FAR WEST is dominated by mountain ranges. With them come gorgeous peaks that shoot into the sky, beautiful lush valleys full of wildflowers and forests, snaking rivers and clear lakes. There’s a ton of ways to explore the area all year round, from driving to biking to boating, snowshoeing to cross-country skiing to touring, and flying. No matter the mode of transport though, this is the wild west. Be prepared!

1

The Badlands

Some of the most unique landforms I have ever seen are in the Alberta Badlands, home to Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. Many specimens and fossils can be seen while hiking the areas.

2

Banff National Park

Banff National Park in Alberta is home to some of the most spectacular and serene views in the Canadian Rockies. While at a friends' wedding in 2015 I had the chance to capture a few moments in this picturesque landscape.

3

Columbia Valley sunset

I have never seen a more fire-like sunset than in the Columbia Valley of British Columbia. It took me about 25 photos to capture this sunset accurately and in its natural state.

4

Sanctuary eagle

The first time I ever saw a bald eagle was at the Alberta Birds of Prey Wildlife Sanctuary near Lethbridge, Alberta, while on my Badlands expedition. I have yet to see a bald eagle in the wild, though they are native to Alberta.

5

Cascade Pond

Just a short 45-minute drive from my home town of Calgary is Kananaskis Country. This photo of Cascade Pond is one of the first reflection photos I captured, and has garnered the most interactions and response from my audience.

6

Kicking Horse

This photo was taken at Kicking Horse Mountain in British Columbia while on a ski trip in December 2015. If you are out there early enough you can capture the peaks of the mountains above the clouds.

7

Kinney Lake

This and the below photo of Kinney Lake were top-liked photos of 2015. Here we were hiking down the Berg Lake Trail in British Columbia and came across Kinney Lake. This lake is completely undisturbed, as it is not a place you can drive to.

8

Kinney Lake from above

Prior to hiking the Berg Lake Trail, we were helicoptered up to Mount Robson. This is an aerial view of Kinney Lake from the helicopter. I have never seen this color of water produced anywhere else.

9

Maligne Lake

When I visited Jasper National Park in 2015 I had the chance to drive out to Maligne Lake just in time to capture the boathouse in calm waters. This view only lasted moments as the wind picked up shortly after.

10

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka, also called “Water of the Spirits” is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park. This lake is very popular for scuba divers because there is an underwater buried resort village, once called Minnewanka Landing. Elements of this submerged village can still be seen today, and this is one of my most-liked photos of 2015.

11

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake in Banff National Park remains as one of Canada’s most photographed locations. The glacially-fed water is a bright turquoise-blue. The color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour found in the lake.

12

In the backcountry

Morning in the backcountry is much different than mornings in a popular tourist attraction. After waking up at the peaceful Mount Engadine Lodge I went on a short hike to capture the half-frozen snow-dusted river, uninterrupted by people.

13

Long-eared owl

While on my Badlands expedition I had the opportunity to visit the Alberta Birds of Prey Wildlife Sanctuary. This marks the first time I saw a long-eared owl.

14

Paragliding over Panorama Mountain

While I was on my Columbia Valley expedition I had the opportunity to paraglide off the summit of Panorama Mountain. I was literally speechless at the aerial views of the snow-dusted trees and relied on my GoPro to capture these shots. Until this moment I had never seen such a stunning view while sailing overhead.

15

Spruce Coulee Lake

Spruce Coulee Lake in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is the calmest lake I have ever seen. One of my favorite things to photograph is reflections, and I have yet to find a better place to capture the perfect one.

16

Canoeing on Spruce Coulee Lake

This photo shows my perspective of canoeing on Spruce Coulee Lake while on my Badlands expedition. Here I felt the most connected to nature than I ever have before, and this remains the best canoeing trip I’ve been on.

17

Two Jack Lake

Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, is my favorite place to capture sunrise. If you arrive early enough you can capture steam rising from the calm lake as the sun strikes Mount Rundle.

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