The Signature Guided Hiking Holiday in CanadaA typical Canada outdoor adventure: a guided hiking tour in the Rocky Mountains with good hotels in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, followed by a fully outfitted multi day canoe trip with primitive wilderness camping on islands in the river.
Hiking and canoe - hotel and camping mix, 14 daysA 2 week adventure tour of guided day hikes and sightseeing in the National Parks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, while staying in comfortable hotels at night. Stunning vistas along the famous Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper are the backdrop for fabulous specially selected, moderate hikes. Then, for the canoe trip down the untamed Athabasca River, away from busy tourist spots, we supply all equipment like tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, canoe bags and more for a safe and enjoyable Canada adventure.
What's Included:All transfers, transportation in minibus, welcome gift, 8 nights in hotels (twin) with breakfasts, 5 nights in spacious tents (2 pers./tent), all camping meals, from dinner on day 8 to lunch day 13, admission to the national parks, 5 days with 2-person canoes and required safety equipment, sleeping bag and self inflating mattress, canoe bags in various sizes, services of a licensed guide who accompanies the group on all hikes.
Not included:Personal equipment, not mentioned meals, day pack, gratuities.
Extras:Mountain bike rental about: $50.00 - 60.00/day
Whitewater rafting about: $185.00
Demands:Easy to moderate mountain hikes with light day pack, always accompanied by the guide. Good middle class hotels and cabins. After the day of training the canoe trip is suitable for novices with at least some basic paddling skills.
Minimum age: 12 years accompanied by and adult for the canoe trip.
Meeting time: 18:30 in our hotel in Calgary.
Tour DetailsDay 1: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Transfer from the airport to your hotel. Meet the guide and fellow travellers in your small group for the pre tour information in the hotel.
Day 2: Banff National Park, easy hike
After breakfast you board the bus for the drive through ranch country in the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains into Banff National Park. After an orientation drive of the surrounding area you check into the hotel for the next two nights in this lively little holiday town of Banff. Now it is time for the first hike along the shores of Minnewanka Lake or on one of the many mountain trails near Banff. Hiking time 2 – 3 hours.
Day 3: Banff National Park, day hike
On a full day hike you explore passes above the tree line and alpine meadows. For example 7.5 km with 725 m gain (4.6 mi, 2414 ft) to a small lake and possibly 2 km further into the pass at 2470 m (8225 ft). After the hike you might want to relax in the warm sulphur pool, or walk along the busy streets of Banff with its many stores and visitors from around the world. Hiking time 5 – 7 hours.
Day 4: Lake Louise, hike in the high alpine
You would not want to miss the picture postcard scenery surrounding Lake Louise. The guide suggests the 3.5 km (2 mi) path with 400 m gain (1325 ft) to the historic tea house by an alpine lake. Here a network of easy to demanding trails is tempting you to go further and higher. For example the 15 km (9.3 mi) circuit into the Plain of Six Glaciers or a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) climb with 515 m (1705 ft) gain to a summit with exceptional views of nearby and distant peaks. Camp for today and tomorrow (showers) near the alpine village of Lake Louise. Hiking time 3 – 5 hours.
Day 5: Lake Louise, hike in Yoho Park or whitewater rafting
There is an opportunity for a great white water rafting adventure on the Kicking Horse River. It involves a side trip to Golden, British Columbia, headquarters for many outdoor adventures. Of course hiking is always an alternative. Among the choice of trails the guide would like to show you is an 18 km (11 mi) circuit trough two flower decorated passes at 1830 m and 2180 m (6093 ft and 7250 ft) and spectacular views of Emerald Lake. The Natural Bridge, Takakkaw Falls, Spiral Tunnel are other attractions of Yoho Park. Hiking time 6 hours.
Day 6: Icefields Parkway into Jasper National Park
Canada boasts one of the world's most spectacular high alpine roads, the Icefields Parkway. Peyto Lake and Bow Summit are among the frequent stops and short hikes the guide suggests for today. At the Columbia Icefields huge glaciers spawn rivers, which eventually reach three different oceans. Saskatchewan Glacier is best viewed from far above, after hiking 2.5 km (1.6 mi) to a windy ridge at 2260 m (7525 ft). Then on to Jasper and the hotel in this small mountain town. Hiking time 2 hours.
Day 7: Jasper National Park, hikes above Maligne Lake
So many possibilities, swimming and a picnic at Pyramid Lake, mountain biking, trail rides, canoeing and more. Or join the guide for a side trip to Maligne Lake and a 8 km (5 mile) loop hike with 460 m gain (1532 ft) into the hills above tree line at 2150 m (7160 ft) elevation and possibly all the way to the 2790 m (9290 ft) peak overlooking this beautiful lake. Hiking time 2 – 6 hours.
Day 8: Jasper National Park, Columbia Icefields
Mighty Athabasca Falls count among the attractions of this park. Trails near the Columbia Icefields start at tree line and are especially rewarding thanks to their magnificent views of the glaciers and surrounding ranges. Here you hike 8 km (5 mi) with 335 m (1155 ft) gain into a pass at 2375 m (7980 ft). Now you return to Jasper for the camping and outdoor adventure part of your holiday. You receive your tent, sleeping bag and self-inflating mattress and spend this night on a campground. All camping meals from this evening to the end of the canoe trip are included. Hiking time 2 – 3 hours.
Day 9: Canoe trip training and preparations
You walk along Maligne Canyon, the river roaring through the narrow gorge, up to 50 m (165 ft) below you. Now you leave the Rocky Mountains for a short drive to a pretty lake in the foothills where you prepare for the river adventure. Here you might meet new adventurers and a new guide for the canoe trip. In 2- person open Canadian canoes on the lake you learn the basic paddle strokes and safety precautions. You receive tips regarding personal equipment, work sharing of the crews and conduct in the wilderness. The selected stretch of the river can be mastered by novices, but the current, some rapids, overhanging trees and gravel bars demand constant vigilance. Seasoned canoeists find plenty of challenge in this wilderness setting. Safety and the comfort of the participants are the main concerns of the guides.
Days 10 to 12: Canoe trip down the Athabasca River
Not needed luggage stays with the bus in safe keeping. Now you start the canoe adventure: For the next 3 nights you pitch your tent on sandy islands or comfortable spots along the shore. Your progress depends on the water level. The Athabasca River, fed by glaciers and clear forest streams, runs high and fast in the early season, clear, blue and lazy later into the summer. In the densely forested, uninhabited valleys you have excellent opportunities to spot wild geese, beavers, eagles, elk, bear, and moose. Five or six hours daily are spent on the river, sometimes leisurely drifting downstream, but always with an eye out for rapids and obstacles. There is time for swimming, fishing, exploring and campfires under the northern lights.
Day 13: End of canoe tour, drive to Edmonton
One more day on the Athabasca and after 160 km (100 mi) you reach the end of the canoe trip. The bus with the luggage you left behind is already waiting for the two hour ride to Edmonton. The hotel is not far from West Edmonton Mall, the gigantic shopping and amusement center. Your tour ends when you reach the hotel at app. 18:30 for the last night.
Day 14: Transfer to the EDMONTON airport
If you stay another night in Edmonton we might be able to offer no-charge transportation to CALGARY for these tours. Please ask to confirm that we have a bus going.
We gladly reserve an additional night in our hotel in Edmonton. Arrival in Calgary on Sunday at app. 3:30 pm.