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Canadian Rocky Mountain Hiking: Banff, Lake Louise and Yoho

Program Number: 5339RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/13/2014 - 7/19/2014; 7/12/2015 - 7/18/2015; 7/19/2015 - 7/25/2015; 8/2/2015 - 8/8/2015; 8/9/2015 - 8/15/2015; 8/23/2015 - 8/29/2015; 9/6/2015 - 9/12/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Canmore, Alberta
Price starting at: $2,195.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Hike the alpine trails of the Canadian Rockies at the national parks of Banff and Yoho. Expert-led hikes explore the clear streams, turquoise glacial lakes, and mountain vistas while learning about glaciology, human history, and the unique wildlife of each region. Admire the world-famous Lake Louise as you learn about the challenges the future holds for these gems of Canada’s wilderness.




Highlights

• Explore alpine meadows, forests, and mountain wildflowers on expert-led hikes as you learn about the region’s ecology, history, and biodiversity.
• Learn about the remarkable Spiral Tunnels and witness the amazing engineering feats of early railway construction.
• Discover treasures such as the Victoria Glacier and the Grand Chateau Lake Louise on the shores of Lake Louise.



Activity Particulars

Activity options available: Moderate (5-6 miles; 1,000-1,700 feet elevation gain) or Motivated (7-9 miles; 1,200-2,400 feet elevation gain). Starting elevations of 4,200-7,200 feet.




Canmore

Located just minutes east of Banff’s spectacular wilderness, Canmore neighbors the equally spectacular Kananaskis Valley, home to alpine lakes, the Bow River, and a diversity of wildlife, plants and geological marvels.



Accommodations
Rooms with mountain views. Free shuttle from Calgary Airport.

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

Jack Burns is pursuing his life’s passion, hiking, after nearly 40 years as a Canadian Army Officer, domestic and international disaster response specialist and businessman. He has extensive hiking and some climbing experience throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Jack’s involvement with the Central Alberta Mountain Club and the Great Divide Trail Association has helped him absorb the challenges of passionate non-professionals who pursue outdoor adventures.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
  Canmore, AB 6 nights
 Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: You will enjoy the western hospitality of this inn that is surrounded by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains.
  Contact info: 1719 Bow Valley Trail
Canmore, AB T1W 1L7 Canada
phone: 800-268-0935
web: www.canmorerockymountaininn.com
  Room amenities: Amenities include in-room coffee makers, hair dryers and air conditioning. Small fridge & microwave in all rooms. Free local calls. Rooms have either a patio or balcony from which you can breathe in the fresh mountain air.
  Facility amenities: The Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn is a full service facility, situated in the midst of the spectacular mountain town of Canmore. Shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants are within walking distance. Grand lobby with wood fireplace, sauna and exercise room. Public internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact the Inn. Contact the Inn directly to book additional nights. Ask for Ellen Nadon or Geoffrey Hirose (leave them a message if not available). Ellen and Geoffrey will make sure that guests get the best rate possible for the extra nights they wish to book, depending on availability.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact the Inn. Contact the Inn directly to book additional nights. Ask for Ellen Nadon or Geoffrey Hirose (leave them a message if not available). Ellen and Geoffrey will make sure that guests get the best rate possible for the extra nights they wish to book, depending on availability.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Shuttle departs from Calgary airport at 3:30 p.m. for Canmore. If arriving independently to Canmore, AB, check-in after 4:00 p.m. All participants meet in the lobby to depart for dinner at 5:45 pm. You will be staying at Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Shuttle departs for Calgary Airport at 8:30 a.m. Approximate arrival at Calgary airport is 11:00 a.m. You will be staying at Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking is available at the accommodation site
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Canmore, AB
  Nearest city or town:  Canmore
  Nearest highway: Hwy 1
  Nearest airport:  Calgary
  From End of Program
  Location: Canmore, AB
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Calgary

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Company of Adventurers
phone: 403-242-8725
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Included in program fees
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 15 min 

   

Company of Adventurers provides the airport shuttle at 3:30 pm on the day the program starts. Go to Meeting Area “C” inside on the Arrivals Level. Look for the Road Scholar sign. This time is scheduled to arrive in Canmore in time for dinner. If participants are unable to meet Company of Adventurers schedule, individual as responsible for their own transportation arrangements to Canmore. Please see welcome package for more detailed information and suggestions of other commercial operators.

 

Calgary

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

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

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

approx. $55 - please see www.banffairporter.com for updates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour and 15 minutes 

   

If you cannot make the Company of Adventurers shuttle, the Banff Airporter shuttle is available from Calgary airport to Canmore and return from Canmore to Calgary airport. Shuttle fee is non-refundable and at your own expense (insurance is available - please enquire with the shuttle company.)

 

Calgary

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Company of Adventurers
phone: 403-242-8725
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Included in program fees.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour and 15 minutes 

   

Return transportation to Calgary Airport is included in program fee. Shuttle departs Canmore on final day of program approximately 8:30 a.m.; approximate arrival at Calgary Airport is 11:00 a.m.

 

Calgary

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

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

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

approx. $55 - please see www.banffairporter.com for updates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour and 15 minutes 

   

Banff Airporter shuttle is available from Calgary airport to Canmore and return from Canmore to Calgary airport. Shuttle fee is non-refundable (insurance is available - please enquire with the shuttle company).

 
Driving Directions
  **IMPORTANT INFORMATION: DRIVING TO PROGRAM If you choose to drive your personal vehicle to the program and plan to visit one of the mountain parks before or after your program you will be required to pay an additional Park entrance fee. Park fees are payable at the main Park gates and are based on the duration of your stay. For current information please contact Banff Information Centre at (403) 762-1550. If you are driving straight to Canmore and NOT entering Banff National Park you will not be charged a Parks fee.
  Eastbound Follow HWY 1 to Canmore. Take the 1st exit onto the Bow Valley trail. Continue driving east on Bow Valley Trail. The hotel is on the left before the first set of lights.
  Westbound Follow HWY 1 to Canmore. Take the 1st exit onto the Bow Valley trail. Continue driving west on Bow Valley trail. The hotel is on the right past the second set of lights.
Elevation Note: Elevation in Canmore is 4,429 ft. Participants can experience elevations of up to 8,600 ft.

Equipment Requirements: Comfortable hiking boots, preferably waterproof, and comfortable hiking clothing. Hiking boots are arguably the most important hiking gear since their quality and durability can determine a hiker's ability to move farther, faster, dryer and safer. Participants should be physically fit and able to walk at least 5 and up to 10 miles per day with elevation gains of at least 500 ft. and up to 2,100 ft. This is a very active program; daily hikes on mountain trails, varied terrain. Leaders provide choice of daily trail options for varied ability groups: Moderate: (5-6 miles; 1000 -1700 feet elevation) and Motivated: (7-9 miles; 1200 - 2400 feet elevation). Please note that you will be hiking in a mountain environment; in addition to the distances listed, it is important to consider the amount of elevation gained and lost, the varied terrain, and the starting elevation of the various hikes, which ranges between 4,200-7,200 feet.
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, July 13)
   
 Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to Canmore, Alberta. Shuttle from Calgary airport departs at 3:30 pm. Approximate arrival 5:00 p.m. Check-in is 4:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Plated dinner at a local restaurant at 6:00 p.m. Meet in hotel lobby at 5:45 p.m.
 Evening: Program orientation and introductions after dinner. 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.
   
Accommodations: Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Hike Sunshine Meadows in Banff National Park
(Monday, July 14)

Note: This is a very active program with daily hikes on mountain trails with varied terrain. Two levels of hiking options are available according to ability levels. Moderate: (5-6 miles; 1000 -1700 feet elevation) and Motivated: (7-9 miles; 1200 - 2400 feet elevation). In addition to the distances listed, it is important to consider the amount of elevation gained and lost, the varied terrain, and the starting elevation of hikes, which ranges between 4,200-7,200 feet.



   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast with hot/cold options at Inn from 6:30 - 7:45 am.
 Morning: During your scenic drive to the trailhead, your knowledgeable guides will present information about the history of Banff National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the harsh alpine environment of Sunshine Meadows and the influence of the pine beetle in mountain environments. Full day of interpretive hiking at Sunshine Meadows in Banff National Park. Learn about the ecology of the Sunshine Meadows area, one of the premiere hiking areas in the Rockies. The meadows are famous for the summer wildflowers, magnificent lakes, and monumental mountain peaks. Fall colors start at the end of August, with the Larch trees turning a vibrant gold.
 Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.
 Afternoon: Continuation of morning hiking options at Sunshine Meadows. Discuss the human impact on the park's delicate alpine environment. Learn what measures are being undertaken to balance human encroachment with park conservation.
 Dinner: Private buffet-style dinner at a local restaurant in Canmore.
 Evening: Free evening to explore the town of Canmore
   
Accommodations: Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Icefields Parkway
(Tuesday, July 15)
   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast.
 Morning: Talks will cover the history of Canmore, names and stories of surrounding peaks, and history of mining in the Rocky Mountains as we travel up the Icefields Parkway for full day of interpretive hiking in the North end of Banff National Park. Considered one of the most beautiful drives in the country, you will have the opportunity to see a landscape vastly altered by glaciers, many of which are still present to this day. Learn about the ecoregions of the Park while hiking upward from one to the next, starting in the subalpine and ending up in the alpine region.
 Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.
 Afternoon: Continuation of hiking options on the Icefields Parkway Examine the specific ecology of this area including native wildlife and their habitats.
 Dinner: Buffet-style dinner at a local restaurant in Canmore.
 Evening: Free evening to explore the town of Canmore.
   
Accommodations: Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Johnston Canyon/Banff/Bow Valley
(Wednesday, July 16)
   
 Breakfast: Group breakfast buffet at the Radisson Hotel from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Transportation will be provided.
 Morning: Journey by coach up the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) while discussing the unique features of this montane ecosystem. Explore the impact of wildfires, controlled burns and fire management efforts as strategies for protecting mountain wildlands. Learn about the stages of mountain building in the Canadian Rockies. Depart hotel for hikes in Johnston Canyon for a relaxing morning enjoyed at your own pace. You will learn about the geological timeline of the Canadian Rockies and the concept of differential erosion, as Johnston Creek has carved down into the limestone on the valley bottom, creating a spectacular and deep canyon in a short period of time.
 Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.
 Afternoon: En route via Banff, the guides will share their knowledge on the history of Banff townsite, and the Banff Springs Hotel. Enjoy some free time in Banff. Explore independently the "Castle of the Canadian Rockies" - the Banff Springs Hotel and/or the many museums, shops and cafes that line Banff's bustling main street. Gain an appreciation for original Canadian artists and the art history of Banff with a visit to the Whyte Museum, or one of the town's cutting-edge art galleries. Learn more about aboriginal heritage, culture and handcrafted antiquities with a visit to the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. Optional walk to Bow Falls.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own (at your own expense) in Canmore
 Evening: Evening to explore Canmore.
   
Accommodations: Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Yoho National Park/Emerald Lake
(Thursday, July 17)
   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast.
 Morning: Today we cross the Continental Divide and head into British Columbia while learning about the famous Burgess Shale fossil beds (UNESCO World Heritage Site), wildlife corridors in the Bow Valley, and history of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Learn about the remarkable Spiral Tunnels and witness the amazing engineering feats of early railway construction through high mountain passes. Embark on a full day of interpretive hiking in Yoho National Park. Levels and groups as in previous days. Hiking destinations for the day include: Yoho Pass and Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Basin, and Emerald Lake circuit. Witness breathtaking views on all hikes and enjoy the lush and unique west-slope vegetation.
 Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.
 Afternoon: Continuation of interpretive hiking in Yoho National Park. Enjoy lakeside hikes along the jade-green waters of Emerald Lake and/or hike the trails of Emerald Basin. Discuss the significance of the Burgess Shale Fossil beds in the surrounding mountain ranges, one of the largest, oldest and best-preserved fossil beds in the world.
 Dinner: Enjoy a unique dinner location at the historic Lake Louise Train Station restaurant. Dinner is plated and some of the ingredients are grown on-site in the Chef's garden. The building is a treasure trove of historical photographs and early Canadian Pacific Railway memorabilia.
 Evening: Return to Canmore will be later than usual due to our dinner in Lake Louise
   
Accommodations: Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hike Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks/Lake Louise/Chateau Lake Louise
(Friday, July 18)
   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast.
 Morning: Today our topics of discussion include erosive powers and the shaping of the Canadian Rockies, current issues and future of our National Parks, and climbing culture (the Golden Age of Mountaineering). A full day of interpretive hiking at Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Levels and groups as in previous days. Begin your hiking expedition at turquoise-colored Moraine Lake, with close-up views of the Ten Peaks. Today's various destinations include secluded and picturesque Consolation Lake, the breathtaking Larch Valley trail, and the spectacular vistas of Sentinel Pass.
 Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.
 Afternoon: Following the hikes, a special stop later in the afternoon will give you the opportunity to view the world-renowned Lake Louise, the Victoria Glacier, and the grand Chateau Lake Louise. Free time to explore the Chateau and lakeside panoramas. Return to Canmore for dinner.
 Dinner: Special farewell dinner (plated) at the French Quarter Cafe.
 Evening: Wrap-up and farewell gathering at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Shuttle to Calgary/Independent Departures
(Saturday, July 19)
   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast is served between 6:30 - 7:45 am.
 Morning: Group shuttle departs from Canmore en route to Calgary Airport at 8:30 am. Approximate arrival at Calgary Airport is 11:00 a.m. To allow for unexpected weather, and/or traffic conditions, participants should book flights that are scheduled to depart in the early afternoon. 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
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


Handbook of the Canadian Rockies


Author: Ben Gadd


Description: Geology, plants, animals, history and recreation from Waterton/Glacier to the Yukon



Rocky Mountain Natural History, A Trailside Reference


Author: Daniel Mathews


Description: PAPER, 672 PAGES, $26.00 A comprehensive field guide and handbook covering the plants, animals, insects, geology and history of the region. With 480 color photographs and 11 line drawings. (Item no. RKY61)



The Canadian Rockies


Author: Douglas Leighton


Description: PAPER, 112 PAGES, $29.95 A beautiful photographic portrait of Banff, Jasper and other parks from a naturalist who grew up in the region. Published in Canada, it has been a bestseller on the Canadian Rockies for years. (Item no. CND149)





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