Banff, British Columbia
With aqua-colored lakes, high mountain peaks, and glacier fields, Banff claims some of North America's most stunning geography. Pair that with some great powder, and you have a must-go destination on your hands. But if you are going to visit this rugged land, you better have a backcountry mindset. Temperatures are known to swing unexpectedly, so make sure you are prepared with multiple layers and a down-feather mummy bag if you're camping. But beyond the common-sense trekking tips, it’s important to stay up to date on weather conditions and animal movement patterns if you want to play in this park. Bear season, which usually starts in the early summer and is marked by heightened bear sightings and encounters, came early in March 2014. The warmer temperatures not only bring the bears out of hibernation in spring, but also melt the snow pack on the slopes in the winter. There were three deaths in March due to avalanches, so if shredding Delirium Dive is on your bucket list be sure to have your mandatory avy transponder, shovel, and ski partner with you.