Winter holiday in the Canadian RockiesWinter tour in western Canada with outdoor fun in the powder snow of the Rocky Mountain National Parks of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.
Tour S, 11 snow daysBrilliant blue skies above snowy peaks, forests sleeping under their blankets of snow, frozen rivers and waterfalls create a special kind of magic to the landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. Our guided winter holiday for small groups through the Rocky Mountain national parks includes walks with and without snow shoes, fun outdoor activities and opportunities for ice skating, tube sliding, cross country skiing all topped off with visiting the Rocky Mountain villages of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper plus the winter city of Edmonton.
What's Included:airport transfers, transportation in 15-seater passenger van, 10 nights in standard hotel (in twin rooms), 9 breakfasts, welcome gift. admission to the National Parks, Sulphur Mountain Gondola Day 4, fat tire bike rental Day 7, Canyon Walk Day 8, use of snow shoes throughout, services of licensed driver / guide.
Not included:not mentioned meals, winter boots and clothing, optional activities.
Extrasadmission to Banff Hot Springs $8.50
skate rental in Lake Louise $15.00 for 2 hours
cross country ski rental in Lake Louise $25.00/day
3 hours Jasper Foodie Tour $125.00
skate rental in Jasper $18.00 half day.
18:00 in our Calgary hotel
Tour DetailsDay 1: CALGARY, Alberta, Canada
The no-charge shuttle bus transfers you from the airport to the Calgary Airport hotel. Meet your group and the guide for pre tour information in the hotel.
Day 2: BANFF NATIONAL PARK
This morning leave the high rises of Calgary behind when you board the bus for the drive through the rolling hills of ranch country under blankets of snow to the holiday town of Banff. The first easy hike is up Tunnel Mountain for the best views of the Bow River Valley with the Banff town site and to get a feel for winter walks in the mountains. In this two-three hour hike you gain 260 m over 4.8 km return. Your guide has suggestions for optional activities like a visit to the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs, or one of the museums and galleries. Tonight after a warm up in the hotel, find out what night life in the busy little holiday town of Banff is all about. 2 nights hotel in Banff.
Day 3: BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Johnston Canyon beckons to be explored. Narrow catwalks built into the canyon walls allow walking right along the cathedral of frozen waterfalls with airy views into the gorge below where nature creates new ice sculptures every winter. Two or three hours hiking time brings a 120 m elevation gain during the 5.2 km return trip. Later there is time to try the thrill of sliding downhill on a tube under the night sky at Mount Norquay ski area just above Banff.
Day 4: LAKE LOUISE
The day begins with a gondola ride (included) up to the top of 2281 m Sulphur Mountain with views of six mountain ranges and Banff town site nestled far below in the valley of the meandering Bow River. The Trans Canada Highway leads you through picture postcard scenery to the high alpine village of Lake Louise right in the heart of the Rockies. Why not try ice skating on frozen Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier as a backdrop and surrounded by mountain giants. Rental skates are available. 2 night’s hotel in Lake Louise.
Day 5: LAKE LOUISE
Snowshoes (included) are required for today’s hike up the forested trail to take in the view of frozen Lake Louise and the giant luxury Chateau on its shores. If this 7 km hike with a 400 m gain does not keep you warm, you can treat yourself in one of the elegant restaurants of the Chateau. Rental cross country skis are available for those ready to slice through the snow on the trails along the lake shore.
Day 6: ICEFIELDS PARKWAY TO JASPER
World famous Icefields Parkway winds it way all the way up to the immense glaciers of the Columbia Icefields and slowly back down into Jasper National Park. Snowy mountain scenery with glaciers, silent forests, frozen rivers and with luck some animals call for numerous photo stops and awe inspiring views. This makes todays spectacular 235 km drive a full day. 4 night’s hotel in Jasper.
Day 7: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Winter sports don’t usually include bike riding, but fat tire bikes are ideally equipped to handle the snow and ice. This morning’s cycle trip (included) through trees and over ice covered lakes on bikes with tires almost twice the size of summer mountain bike tires. This epic winter sport allows cyclists to stay on top of the snow rather than fight against it. Perhaps the hotel's hot tub calls tonight to warm and soothe muscles.
Day 8: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
The Canyon Crawl (included) is today’s highlight. The Maligne River which rages through the up to 50 m deep canyon in summer now lies silent in winters grip. With crampons strapped to your boots and with instructions of local guide you walk up the narrow gorge where icicles and frozen waterfalls decorate the limestone cliffs and the absolute silence make every crack of the ice sound like an explosion. For the evening the guide suggests a visit to Jaspers Dark Sky Preserve where you can cap off the day with star gazing free from any light pollution. If the clouds don’t cooperate, there is usually a hockey game or curling match to watch in town.
Day 9: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Planned for today is a snowshoe trek into the Valley of the Five Lakes, a quiet oasis where the snow adds an extra silencer to sounds. Wildlife is still active in the winter: snowshoe hares, deer, elk, coyotes, perhaps a moose can make appearances today. This 4.5 km loop with minimal elevation gain offers a relaxed 2-3 hours of hiking. Among the fun options for this afternoon are a Downtown Foodie Tour where during a short 1.5 km walk you visit four restaurants, tasting four handpicked dishes paired with alcoholic treats and listening to Jasper stories.
Day 10: EDMONTON
Driving east the landscape changes from mountains to forested foothills, then to prairie farms and cattle ranches. Early afternoon is arrival in Edmonton, Canada’s premier winter city. From ice castles to flying canoes; festivals are alive in Edmonton throughout the winter. Experience how residents of Canada’s most northern major city celebrate winter. For those who want to leave the cold behind there is giant West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest indoor shopping and entertainment centers in the world, with a wave pool, mini golf, amusement park, casino and hundreds of stores and places to eat under one warm roof.
Transfer from the hotel to Edmonton International Airport. Perhaps plan an extra day to enjoy the winter city of Edmonton before planning your flight home.