Calgary Stampede from Banff
Banff National Park, Alberta
Calgary is the main gateway town to Banff and the Canadian Rockies. It is only a 90 minute (legal) drive to get to Banff National Park and though neighbours – they are very different places. The Calgary stampede is one of the greatest outdoor shows on Earth and there is no-where more suited in the world for an old Wild West celebration than Calgary. This year it is going from July 9 to July 18 and promises to be one of the best weeks in Canada.
There really is a ton of things to do in Calgary during the stampede with the rodeo and chuckwagon races among the most famous. All of the worlds top rodeo athletes gather for what really is an edge of the seat performance. From bareback riding to bull riding, it is just like what you have seen on television a hundred times and wished you could experience. The chuckwagon races are something completely unique and fun. 36 drivers and 128 horses compete for $1 million dollars worth of prize money in an old fashioned wagon race. You half expect Clint Eastwood to pop out of the back of one.
Ideally, you could stay in Canmore, Banff or Lake Louise as accommodation is not just difficult to find in Calgary during the stampede but also expensive. It is quite refreshing after the chaos of Calgary to come back to the serenity of the mountains and its beautiful towns. Explore Rockies do a great package with daily trips from Banff to Calgary where they organise everything from transportation to entry into all the festivities.
More about the Calgary Stampede with Explore Rockies