Living in the Rockies is many people's dream. Inside the national parks (primarily the towns of Banff and Jasper), all land is owned by the government and all buildings (residential and commercial) are given fixed-term leases.
Recent government housing and population limitations by Parks Canada have forced tough rules based on "need-to-reside". This means that property owners have to prove they need to live in the Park in order to maintain their leases. If you own a business (if you are an active owner) or have a job inside the Park you are probably ok.
Those wishing seasonal housing (for weekends, or for a summer or winter vacation), are better to own outside the Parks (like in Canmore or Bragg Creek), but even those communities have imposed its own growth and population limits.
There are several smaller cities on the British Columbia side of the Rockies that have much fewer restrictions on development, since they are not inside national parks. However the pricing of homes, even modest ones, is tempered by the cost of shipping manufactured components to the area as well as by the robust Vancouver housing market. In those communities with a resort atmosphere, the prices are competitive with those on the Alberta side of the Rockies.
On the Alberta side of the Rockies, popular communities include:
On the British Columbia side of the Rockies, popular communities include:
Multiple Listing Service has the following listings for the Rockies: