Road Scholar : Home
Exploring Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks

Program Number: 3856RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/10/2014 - 8/18/2014; 7/3/2016 - 7/11/2016; 7/17/2016 - 7/25/2016; 7/24/2016 - 8/1/2016; 8/7/2016 - 8/15/2016; 8/21/2016 - 8/29/2016; 9/4/2016 - 9/12/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/19/2016;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Banff, Alberta
Price starting at: $2,445.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road; National Parks; Natural History; Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 20; 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Straddling the Continental Divide for 14,300 square miles, the seven contiguous Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are richly adorned with mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, limestone caves and fossils. Explore in depth three of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites to see how they each bear distinct ecological, geological and historical characters while sharing a common rugged beauty renowned worldwide.


• Explore Banff, Yoho and Jasper national parks with experts and learn about their rich geological history.
• Experience a bird’s eye view of the Continental Divide and Victoria Glacier atop the Lake Louise Gondola.
• Travel aboard a specially designed ice explorer to the middle of the breathtaking Athabasca Glacier.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day on uneven terrain; altitudes of more than 3,000 feet in Jasper, 4,500 feet in Banff. Good walking shoes recommended.

Date Specific Information

8-10-2014, 7-3-2016, 7-17-2016, 7-24-2016, 8-7-2016, 8-21-2016, 9-4-2016, 9-11-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Independent arrival Banff, 2 nights; coach to Lake Louise, 2 nights; coach to Jasper, 2 nights; coach to Banff, 2 nights; independent departure.


A storied gateway to Banff National Park — with more than 25 mountain peaks towering over 8,000 feet — Banff welcomes adventurers and nature-lovers to take in the alpine wonders and colorful history of the Canadian Rockies.


Located within a national park, the municipality of Jasper shares its governance with the Parks Canada Agency. Born as a fur-trade supply depot in the early 1800s, the 4,000-resident town benefits from the nearly 3 million visitors that pass through Jasper National Park annually.

Banff: Family-owned inn. Lake Louise: Inn with mountain views. Jasper: Centrally located lodge.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Colleen Campbell

Colleen Campbell is a Victoria, B.C., native who has lived all over Canada and in many parts of the world. She holds three degrees in visual arts, has studied in the sciences and has worked as a wildlife field researcher, concentrating on coyotes and grizzly bears. She notes that studying wildlife means learning about all their interactions — plants and other animals — and about how and where they travel. Colleen was also full-time faculty at Mount Royal in Calgary for more than 30 years.
Craig Oldfield

Having grown up in the Canadian Rockies, Craig Oldfield still returns regularly to his parents’ ranch to camp, fish, and catch up with friends. Although he worked in home construction for many years, Craig changed course when he took a job teaching English in China and explored that country and Southeast Asia. Today, he is drawn to anything that has to do with photography, music, cooking and being outside. He has studied ecotourism and outdoor leadership at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Meals and Lodgings
   Irwin's Mountain Inn
  Banff, Alberta 2 nights
   Lake Louise Inn
  Lake Louise, AB 2 nights
   The Chateau Jasper
  Jasper, AB 2 nights
   Irwin's Mountain Inn
  Banff, Alberta 2 nights
 Irwin's Mountain Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: Family owned and operated for over thirty years, Irwin's Mountain Inn was completely reconstructed by the fall of 1995 making the property one of Banff's newer accommodations. Originally built in 1967 by Paul and Elizabeth Irwin with their two sons, Arlen and Larry, Irwin's Motor Inn was recognized as one of the best values in Banff. With farming as their previous livelihood, the Irwins extended the same hospitality to their guests at the motel as was characteristic of the way they greeted and treated visitors and friends to their farm. A tradition of hospitality and friendliness was established in those early years and the Management to this day still endeavors to live up to Paul and Elizabeth's example in the service and quality of comfort they provide guests to Irwin's Mountain Inn. The name has changed and three times the motel has undergone major rebuilding phases, but the standard of excellence in hospitality that Paul and Elizabeth Irwin exemplified over thirty years ago still serves as the benchmark for the next generation of Irwins that share in the ownership and management of the Irwin's Mountain Inn.
  Contact info: 429 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB T1L 1B2 Canada
phone: 403-762-4566
  Room amenities: Satellite TV and movie channel.
  Facility amenities: •The El Toro Restaurant serving Breakfast and Dinner •10 Person Jetted Tub •Fitness Centre •Elevator •4 Person Sauna •Free Wireless Internet •Cable TV •Coin Operated Internet Kiosk •Coin Laundry •100% non-smoking
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for availability & rates Please contact the hotel directly.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates Please contact the hotel directly.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Lake Louise Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: The Lake Louise Inn is a modern mountain resort nestled in a picturesque setting near the Pipestone River. Situated in five buildings, the 232 tastefully appointed guest rooms offer something to fit every style and budget. Most of the eight room types feature a view of the outdoors. Amenities include: a heated indoor pool, whirlpool, steam room, gift shop/newsstand, games area, and laundromat. The Village of Lake Louise is a 5-minute walk away with access to a variety of shops and services. Free parking available. On-site dining facilities include Legends restaurant, Timberwold Pizza and Pasta cafe, and the Explorers Lounge.
  Contact info: 210 Village Road
Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0 Canada
phone: 800-661-9237
  Room amenities: Color TV, telephone, clock radio, coffee maker, hairdryers and 4-piece private baths in all guest rooms. Wireless Internet access is available in the rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Chateau Jasper
Type: Hotel
  Description: Chateau Jasper, Luxury in the Mountains. The Chateau Jasper is an exceptional hotel with an excellent variety of accommodations and facilities. This conveniently located hotel offers 119 fully air-conditioned luxury guest rooms and suites, pleasantly furnished with mountain decor in mind.
  Contact info: 96 Geikie Street
P.O. Box 1200
Jasper, AB T0E 1E0 Canada
phone: 780-852-5644
  Room amenities: All Chateau Jasper guest rooms have private baths, mini fridges, in room safes, air conditioning and feature large flatscreen televisions, in room safes, complimentary Wi Fi, hair driers, irons and boards, complimentary coffee and tea and electric kettles.
  Facility amenities: This intimate hotel includes an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness center, a variety of meeting rooms, complimentary internet kiosks in hotel lobby, a lounge, as well as an award-winning, fine dining room. Additional features: Proud recipient of Travel Alberta Good Housekeeping Award Dining Room and Lounge Heated Indoor Pool and Whirlpool Fitness Centre Seasonal Ski Shuttle Heated Underground Parking Air Conditioning Meeting and Conference Rooms
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals to Banff, Alberta. Hotel check-in is 4:00 pm., welcome dinner is at 6:00 pm. You will be staying at Irwin's Mountain Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast is at 7:30 am; departures from Banff after breakfast. Check-out of hotel is 11:00 am. You will be staying at Irwin's Mountain Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Complimentary parking is available at the Banff hotel for the duration of the program, based on availability. Subject to change. For more information, please contact the hotel directly at 403-762-4566.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Banff, Alberta
  Nearest city or town:  Calgary, Alberta
  Nearest airport:  Calgary International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Banff, Alberta
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Banff Airporter
phone: 888-449-2901
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $55 CDN
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1.5 - 2 hours 


The Banff Airporter offers regular scheduled service from the Calgary airport to Banff. For current fare & schedule information visit or call-toll free 1-888-449-2901. Shuttle fee is non-refundable (insurance is available - please enquire with the shuttle company). Volunteers on the Arrivals level at the Calgary Airport (wearing white cowboy hats and red vests) are very helpful in getting people on their way to transportation and the hotels.




To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Banff Airporter
phone: 888-449-2901
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $55 CDN
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1.5 hours - 2 hours 


The Banff Airporter offers regular scheduled service from Banff to Calgary airport. For current fares & schedule visit or call-toll free 1-888-449-2901. Shuttle fee is non-refundable (insurance available, enquire with the shuttle company). NOTE: travel time from Banff to the Calgary Airport (YYC) is approx. 1.5 to 2 hours. When booking your departure/return flight, confirm with your airline the time required for pre-flight check-in to ensure you have sufficient time.

Driving Directions
  **IMPORTANT NOTE IF DRIVING TO THE PROGRAM If you choose to drive your personal vehicle to the program you will be required to pay an additional Banff Park entrance fee. Park fees are mandatory and are payable at the main Park gates and is based on your duration of stay at approximately CAN $10.00 per day per person. Price is subject to change. For additional information please contact Banff Information Centre at (403) 762-1550 or toll free 1-800-748-7275.
  Calgary (East) Take the Trans-Canada Highway # 1 towards Banff. Take the Banff exit and turn left onto Banff Avenue. Continue to follow Banff Avenue and you will see the hotel on the right, at 429 Banff Avenue. Approximate distance from Calgary is 86 miles (140 km) along the Trans-Canada Highway.
  Kootenay (South) Travel North on Highway BC-95N. Turn right onto Kootenay Hwy/BC-93N. Continue onto AB-93N and take a slight right toward Trans-Canada Highway/AB-1E, taking the AB-1E ramp to Banff. Turn right toward Banff Avenue and right onto Banff Avenue. You will see Irwin’s Mountain Inn on your right, at 429 Banff Avenue.
Elevation Note: Altitudes reaching up to 4,540 feet in Banff and up to 3,484 feet in Jasper.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check-In/Welcome Dinner/Orientation
(Sunday, August 10)
 Arrive To: Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel; check-in is 4:00 pm. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation.
Accommodations: Irwin's Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Geology of Banff/Cave and Basin National Historic Site/Early Explorers
(Monday, August 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Explore the Cave and Basin National Historic Site with naturalist Ben Gadd. The warm waters issuing from Sulphur Mountain were known to aboriginal peoples. These hot springs later became the centrepiece of Canada's first national park (and the world's third.) We will also stroll down to the warm marshes below the springs, easily accessible along a boardwalk, to see birds and tropical fish. Bring your binoculars!
 Morning: Creating the Canadian Cordillera – Fifty years ago we thought that the Rockies popped up out of a “geosyncline”, and we had no reasonable explanation for the weird rock making up the mountains to the west. Now we know! Join one of Canada's better-known naturalists and award-winning author, Ben Gadd, as he shares the fascinating story of the Canadian Rockies.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Discover the Whyte Museum, one of Banff's most culturally significant museums, and learn of the remarkable history of some of the locals and their cultural past. The museum features an art gallery and a vast collection of photographs telling the history of early explorers, artists and the Canadian Pacific Railway.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Explore independently the sights and sounds of Banff. For live entertainment, check out one of the local pubs or the Banff Centre (
Accommodations: Irwin's Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Yoho National Park/Takakkaw Falls/Moraine Lake/Emerald Lake
(Tuesday, August 12)

Note: Trail walk at Emerald Lake is an easy 3 mile (5 km) walk with no elevation gain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel.
 Morning: Discover the geological highlights of the Rockies, Lake Louise and Yoho National Park with Ben Gadd, renowned naturalist and author of the ground-breaking Handbook of the Canadian Rockies.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Trail walk at Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is another jewel of the Canadian Rockies, and is one of the few lakes with a trail all the way around it. Thanks to its position of the west side of the Great Divide in Yoho National Park, a 360 degree tour of Emerald yields up four very different environments: a huge avalanche path, the normal forest, a dry and dramatic alluvial fan and the towering trees of the coastal rainforest.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel in Lake Louise.
 Evening: Free evening. You may remain with your Group Leader to continue exploring local sites or take the opportunity to head off on your own to discover Lake Louise.
Accommodations: Lake Louise Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Grizzly Bears and Glaciers/Victoria Glacier/Lake Louise
(Wednesday, August 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Meet with an expert biologist and conservationalist who will present on "Sharing the Land with Grizzly Bears". The Bow Valley is considered an internationally significant wildlife migration corridor. The Lake Louise area is considered significant for its critical grizzly bear, elk, lynx, bighorn sheep and mountain goat habitat. As protected areas, the mountain national parks make a significant contribution to grizzly bear conservation in the Rocky Mountain ecosystem. These parks can contribute refuge in the greater landscape. But this requires special considerations for how we share this landscape with bears. Hear how Parks Canada is managing land use and management policies.

The Lake Louise Gondola is one of the best places to see grizzly bears in their natural environment. You may experience this rare and awesome spectacle of nature, if lucky, from the comfort of an enclosed gondola. Enjoy views of Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier from the top of the mountain. Moraine Lake, surrounded by peaks and a deep teal in color, is nothing less than stunning and sits in the gorgeous Valley of the Ten Peaks.

 Lunch: Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
 Afternoon: Explore the Chateau Lake Louise with a local historian. For those looking for a moderate hike, consider the 2.8 miles (4.5 km) Lake Louise Loop.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Lake Louise Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Mountains to Glaciers/Icefields Parkway/Athabasca Glacier Ice Walk Adventure/Arrive in Jasper
(Thursday, August 14)

Note: Glacier field trip is approximately 2 - 2.5 hours. Walking up to 1.5 miles (2.5 km) on the Athabasca Glacier. Gentle elevation gain of 200 metres/650 ft, with some steeper inclines. Crampons for footwear to prevent falls will be available. Suggested items to bring: sunglasses/sunscreen, warm clothes (no shorts), water bottle, camera, binoculars and a hat.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel
 Morning: Travel along the Icefields Parkway, linking Lake Louise to Jasper, remains one of the most spectacular stretches of scenic driving in Canada. The highway follows a lake-lined valley between two chains of the Eastern Main Ranges, which make up the Continental Divide. The mountains here are the highest, craggiest and maybe the most scenic in all of the Rockies.
 Morning: Experience an Ice Walk Adventure on the Athabasca Glacier. With an experienced guide, travel up the lower 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) of the Athabasca Glacier while hearing about the concepts of glaciation and the features of a glacially carved landscape. Stop along the way to see and discover many examples or moraines, millwells and small crevasses while surrounded by the peaks of the stunning in the Canadian Rockies.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: We continue our journey to Jasper National Park. This scenic drive is lined with beautiful mountain lakes and more than 100 glaciers providing a dramatic backdrop. This scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway is lined with one beautiful mountain lake after another, with more than 100 glaciers providing a dramatic backdrop. Keep an eye out for mountain goats and bighorn sheep in the cliffs along the way. In the spruce forest above the Sunwapta River, watch for grizzly bears during spring, summer and fall.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel in Jasper.
 Evening: Our expert naturalist will discuss the history and development of Jasper National Park.
Accommodations: The Chateau Jasper
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Maligne Canyon/Pyramid Lake/Jasper National Park
(Friday, August 15)

Note: Today's field trips include up to 2 guided walks, no more than 1 mile (1.5 km) each in length on paved or maintained trails.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel
 Morning: Meet your local expert naturalist who will introduce you to Jasper National Park. Explore together Maligne Canyon and Pyramid Lake. Discover the Maligne Canyon trail, rich in natural history, with impressive geologic features and wildlife. Search for fossils and find out how this deep canyon formed during glacial ages. The forests of these wilderness areas are home to mountain goats, elk, moose, and bears as well as a variety of birds, including Bald Eagles. Scenic trails let you explore the spectacular vantage points, flower meadows, and sapphire blue mountain lakes.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch en route (weather permitting)
 Afternoon: Discover the history of Jasper National Park - Canada's largest and most northerly Rocky Mountain park, encompassing over 4,200 square miles. Healthy wildlife populations, including grizzly bears and wolves, live among its grand peaks and emerald-green lakes. The combination of these startling blue-green mountain lakes, soaring peaks and broad, forested valleys makes this one of the world's premiere national parks.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare or join the Group Leader at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: The Chateau Jasper
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Palisades Stewardship Education Centre/Return to Banff
(Saturday, August 16)

Note: Today's field trip includes a guided walk, no more than 1 mile (1.5 km) in length on paved or maintained trails.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel
 Morning: The Palisades Stewardship Education Centre was once a homestead of an early pioneer family. The historic ranch is now operated by Parks Canada as one of Canada’s premier outdoor education facilities. Located in the spectacular Athabasca Valley, the Stewardship Palisades Education Centre’s innovative programming is designed to stimulate a new kind of relationship with nature and to embrace the values of protected areas. During a visit to the Centre, learn about the role of the National Parks in fostering conservation ethics from a Parks Canada expert.
 Lunch: Lunch at the centre.
 Afternoon: Return to Banff
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare or join the Group Leader at a local restaurant.
 Evening: This evening is free to head off on your own to explore Banff, remain with your Group Leader or relax at your hotel.
Accommodations: Irwin's Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Banff Springs Hotel/Free Afternoon/Farewell Celebrations
(Sunday, August 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel.
 Morning: Discover the history of the town of Banff, located within Canada's First National Park. Banff lies in a mountain-rimmed valley carved by the Bow River. Its development has always been determined by the federal government, tourism and the railway. In 1930, the Rocky Mountain Parks Reserve was renamed Banff National Park, Canada's first nature reserve, to encompass 2,564 square miles of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers. Beneath the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is gushing Bow Falls. The spectacular falls is fed upstream by the Bow Glacier which in turn feeds the Bow River. An easy stroll along the Bow Falls Trail gets you up close to the rapids and roaring water falls.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Banff on your own, remain with your group leader or prepare for tomorrow's departure from the program.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at El Toro
 Evening: Farewell celebrations
Accommodations: Irwin's Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Program Concludes/Departures
(Monday, August 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel at 7:30 am.
 Morning: Departures from Banff after breakfast as per individual travel plans. Approximate travel time from Banff to the Calgary International (YYC) Airport is 1.5 - 2 hours. When booking your departure/return flight, confirm with your airline the amount of time required for pre-flight check-in procedure. Make sure you have enough time upon arrival at airport to comfortably make your flight. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Jasper, AB Jasper Art Gallery
A must see on your tour of the Jasper area, The Clock Tower Gallery presents a timely offering of local and regional art. Since opening its first permanent gallery in July 2003, JAG operates Jasper's only artist-run gallery, has experienced boundless success and received acclaim from thousands of international visitors. Come and view our eclectic collection of oils, acrylics, watercolours, drawings, photo-based works, clay and metal sculptures and converse with our informed gallery representatives. For additional information, visit
  Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives
The Jasper Yellowhead Museum & Archives houses thousands of artifacts in the collection storage. Some of the more interesting items include woollen bathing suits worn at Miette Hot Springs, wooden shovels used on the Skyline Trail in 1911, and many beautiful examples of Suzette Swift’s beadwork. The collection continues to grow with donations of new artefacts arriving regularly. The permanent historic gallery features exhibits on the fur trade, the railway, and early exploration and tourism in Jasper National Park. Among our featured artefacts is Curly Phillips’ canoe, the ice axe from Mt. Alberta, and David Thompson’s musket balls recovered from Athabasca Pass. For additional information, visit
  Calgary, Alberta Calgary Zoo
From the splendour of the Rocky Mountains to the heart of Destination Africa, The Calgary Zoo takes you to see over 1,000 animals from around the world. Trek through the gorilla’s rainforest, safari over the Savannah to watch the hippos swim, or climb the Canadian Wilds for a grizzly bear encounter! Finish your world tour with a trip back in time in the Prehistoric Park or soothe your senses in nearly 6 acres of our Botanical Gardens. Relax in the new ENMAX Conservatory and enjoy the butterflies and seasonal displays. For additional information, visit
  Canada Olympic Park/Sports Hall of Fame
No visit to the Calgary is complete without a visit to WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, the most visible legacy from the 1988 Games. WinSport has taken the Olympic legacy to new heights with the goal of becoming a world-class Winter Sport Institute and helping Canadian athletes reach the podium at World Cup events and the Olympic Games. In the summer, a visit to Canada Olympic Park is the perfect tonic for adrenaline junkies! Rush down North America’s fastest zipline, reaching speeds of up to 140 km/h from the top of the 90m Ski Jump Tower, or rumble down the sliding track at 100 km/h in a four-man summer bobsleigh. (Advance booking required, please call 403.247.5452). Guests can also ride more than 25 km of mountain bike trails, enjoy a scenic round of 18 hole mini-golf, or strap on the skates at Calgary’s newest Ice Complex and home of Hockey Canada. If you’re looking for a more relaxed visit at the Park, take a tour of the iconic 90 meter Ski Jump Tower, which has graced the Calgary skyline for 25 years. Or celebrate Canadian sports history with a visit to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, which features 520 inducted sports legends and more than 1,000 artifacts from a vast array of sports. Canada Olympic Park has something for everyone, and with more than a dozen sports organizations making their home at WinSport Canada, you just never know when you’ll run into a past, present or future Olympian. For additional information, visit
  Fort Calgary
The heart of Calgary is red ...the scarlet red of the North West Mounted Police tunic. When the NWMP built their fort at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in 1875, they laid the foundations for the city we enjoy today. They came to bring law and order to the west, to stamp out the whiskey trade, and to befriend the First Nations peoples in preparation for the treaties that would open the land for settlement. The hopes, dreams and values of that time are still evident in the city we enjoy today. Fort Calgary is located just east of downtown Calgary on a 40-acre site. For additional information, visit
  Heritage Park
Step back in time and experience hands-on history, visit with the friendly costumed townsfolk, tour 180 historical exhibits and relive the past through a huge collection of working antiques and artifacts. Explore the far corners of the Park and: -Tour the Railway Car Shop- packed full of Canada’s rail treasures, -Explore a replica of an 1860s Hudson’s Bay Company Fur Trading Fort, -Make bannock in the Aboriginal Encampment, -Visit the original home of Sam Livingston in the 1880s rustic pre-railway settlement, -Churn old-fashioned ice cream on the porch of the Burnside Ranch House, -Shop, eat and play in the bustling 1910 prairie railroad town. -Ride an authentic steam train, cruise on Calgary’s only paddlewheeler and tour the Park on a horse-drawn wagon. For additional information, visit
  Banff, Alberta Banff Hot Springs
All the amenities of a modern facility are featured in this splendid, historic spa and bath house – against a backdrop of spectacular alpine scenery. Luxuriate in the comfort of soothing hot water where travelers have come to “take the waters” for more than a century. For additional information, visit
  Banff Park Museum
The Banff Park Museum is a national historic site because the museum's original exhibit collection reflect and commemorate an early approach to the interpretation of natural history in Canada. Also, the architectural style and detailing of the 1903 log building are characteristic examples of early federal buildings in the Park. The museum displays an extensive collection of natural history specimens (more than 5,000) which are characteristic of early museum practices. The emphasis is on changes in attitudes toward natural resource management. Although the building, the collection, and the grounds have been modified over time in response to the demands of the day, the developments and treatments are "in keeping" with the historical significance of the building and collections themselves. For additional information, visit
  Lake Minnewanka Cruise
Lake Minnewanka (home of the 'Banff Crasher Squirrel') lies in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park, just a short 15 minute drive from the townsite of Banff. Banff Lake Cruise provides a unique sightseeing tour experience on one of two 43 passenger Lake Cruisers or the 65 passenger Alberta Explorer operating several times daily from mid-May to mid-October. This magnificent interpretive lake cruise of Minnewanka and the scenic Canadian Rockies is 1 hour and provides unique photo opportunities unavailable elsewhere. Our experienced crew will guide you through this rugged paradise richly steeped in history, native folklore and geology. The narration is intriguing, entertaining and informative. You will learn about the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit these mountains, the early explorers who named them and the tremendous forces that created them. The Lake Minnewanka valley offers some of the most interesting and spectacular scenery found anywhere in the Canadian Rockies For additional information, visit
  The Banff Centre
A globally respected arts, cultural, and educational institution and conference facility, The Banff Centre is a leader in the development and promotion of creative work in the arts, sciences, business, and the environment. It is the largest arts and creativity incubator on the planet. Over 8,000* artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at The Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Moon Handbook Canadian Rockies

Author: Andrew Hempstead

Description: GUIDEBOOK, 2010, PAPERBACK, 347 PAGES Canada resident and avid outdoorsman Andrew Hempstead knows the best way to experience the Canadian Rockies, from rafting on the Bow River and hiking Lake O'Hara to staying in a remote log cabin. Packed with information on dining, transportation, and accommodations, Moon Canadian Rockies has lots of options for a range of travel budgets. With must-see sights, maps, advice on planning and itineraries -- and an essential dose of humor.

Canadians, A Portrait of the Country and Its People

Author: Roy MacGregor

Description: CULTURAL PORTRAIT, 2008, PAPERBACK, 320 PAGES A journalist and popular author, MacGregor takes the full measure of Canadian life in this irreverent, entertaining portrait of a people.

Switchbacks, True Stories from the Canadian Rockies

Author: Sid Marty

Description: PAPER, 328 PAGES Marty recalls the colorful tales of his friends, colleagues and his own youth in this collection of tales. (Item no. CND186)

Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains

Author: James Halfpenny | Todd Telander

Description: FIELD GUIDE, 2001, PAPERBACK, 145 PAGES An essential pocket guide to tracks, scats and signs of not just the mammals of the region, but also of the reptiles, amphibians and birds. Each of 70 species gets a double-page spread, with line drawings of the animal, scat and track, range map and description. Winner of the 1999 National Outdoor Book Award in the Nature Guidebook Category, it features shaded pencil drawings by Todd Telander.

Rocky Mountain Nature Guide

Author: Andy Bezener

Description: FIELD GUIDE, 1999, PAPERBACK, 192 PAGES This guide includes information on mammals, fish, birds, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, insects and reptiles from the entire span of the Rockies - Alaska to New Mexico. Featuring over 300 exact full-color illustrations.

Banff & Jasper National Parks Map

Author: Gem Trek Maps

Description: A driver's map of Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, at a birds-eye scale of 1:400,000. This is a good planning map for anyone contemplating a trip to Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes or Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National parks. Two Sides. 39x27 inches

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