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The Best of the Grand Tetons to Banff: Iconic National Parks

Program Number: 20524RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/8/2014 - 7/19/2014; 7/12/2016 - 7/23/2016; 7/19/2016 - 7/30/2016; 7/26/2016 - 8/6/2016; 8/2/2016 - 8/13/2016; 8/9/2016 - 8/20/2016; 8/16/2016 - 8/27/2016; 8/23/2016 - 9/3/2016; 8/30/2016 - 9/10/2016;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Jackson, Wyoming
Price starting at: $3,749.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road; National Parks; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 31; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Prepare yourself for an adventure of monumental proportions — a journey through six national parks in Wyoming, Montana and Alberta Canada. The Rocky Mountain colossus must be seen to be appreciated, and your journey will take you to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Waterton, Banff and Jasper national parks. Experience famous waypoints like Jackson Hole, Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs and Lake Louise as you learn about the geology, history, flora and fauna of the Rocky Mountains.


• Visit the massive Columbia Icefield and venture safely by “snowcoach” onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier.
• Experience the “Crown of the Continent” via the Going-To-The-Sun Road as we traverse Logan Pass in magnificent Glacier National Park.
• Discover the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and bear witness to an aboriginal hunting practice that was used by native people of the North American plains for almost 6,000 years.

Activity Particulars

This program includes activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city, on a National Park trail or boardwalk and standing in a museum for a few hours. Elevations up to 6,600 feet.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Jackson Hole, Wyo., 2 nights; coach to Yellowstone National Park, 2 nights; coach to Helena, Mont., 1 night; coach to Glacier National Park, 2 nights; coach to Banff National Park, Alberta, 3 nights, visit Jasper National Park and Lake Louise; coach to Calgary, 1 night; departure.

Coordinated by Black Hills Educational Institute.

Jackson (Wyoming)

Jackson is a major gateway for visitors to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as a world-class ski resort. Located in Jackson Hole Valley, near the Idaho state line, the town has a strong western character and is surrounded by scenic beauty. Big game such as elk, moose and bison are a common sight beyond the town limits.

Yellowstone National Park (Montana)

The world's first national park, established in 1872, is famous for its thermal features, plentiful flora and fauna, as well as its considerable human history, from early explorers to the historic park lodges. Although the park itself is in Wyoming, three of the entrances are in Montana.


Montana's capital city straddles one of history's richest gold strikes — Last Chance Gulch, now in the heart of town. Helena today is an architectural and cultural wonder of the West, with Victorian buildings, beautiful cathedral and proximity to year-round recreational opportunities.


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.


A dynamic metropolis that blends big-city energy with outstanding outdoor adventures, Calgary offers a wealth of cultural and historical attractions, world-renowned festivals, and a prime location close to mountain trails, rolling foothills and the desert badlands.

Jackson Hole: Comfortable hotel. Yellowstone: Canyon Village lodge in the park. Helena: Comfortable hotel. Glacier: National Historic Landmark hotel in the park. Banff: Hotel in the park. Calgary: Comfortable hotel.

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

Dr. Keith Watts brings a wealth of knowledge and an enthusiasm that captivates his audiences — or rather, students. Although Keith is a former professor of geology, his interests cover all aspects of natural history, including the ecology of plants, wildlife, fire, and human history. He sings, laughs, takes on the personas of historic characters, and uses innovative approaches to illustrate mountain building, glacial advances, and volcanic bulges. His seemingly endless bag of illustrations will enable you to understand natural history with a minimum of jargon. Dr. Watts was featured as one of a panel of six experts on Grand Teton National Park in National Geographic Traveler magazine and was interviewed extensively in Travel Audio’s – Grand Teton National Park. His educational excursions have been highlighted in the Kansas City Star, San Diego Herald and The New York Times.
Meals and Lodgings
   Snow King Resort
  Jackson Hole 2 nights
   Canyon Village Lodge
  Canyon Village 2 nights
   Red Lion Colonial Hotel
  Helena 1 night
   Many Glacier Hotel
  Many Glacier 2 nights
   Mount Royal Hotel
  Banff City 3 nights
   Sheraton Cavalier Hotel
  Calgary 1 night
 Snow King Resort
Type: Resort
  Description: Nestled at the base of Snow King Mountain, this is Jackson Hole's premier full-service property just moments from Jackson Town Square. This will be our base for the beginning of the program. If you decide to arrive a day early you can take a scenic chair ride from the hotel or go horseback riding, take a ride down the alpine slide, enjoy miniature golf, or play tennis. There are also mountain bike rentals and hiking trails that begin at the resort. There is also a free shuttle from the Resort to the historic Town Square just 6 blocks away.
  Contact info: 400 East Snow King Avenue
Jackson Hole, WY 83001 USA
phone: 307-733-5200
  Room amenities: Each room has free in-room coffee, TV, a hair dryer, iron and ironing board. Free wireless Internet is available in each room.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has a day spa, hair salon, fitness room, a heated pool, a hot tub and sauna. There is also a 24 hour business center on site. Coin operated laundry facilities are available on site. Laundry detergent is available at the Front Desk for purchase.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel for rates. Call the hotel for reservations if you wish to arrive prior to program start.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 Canyon Village Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Dunraven Lodge and Cascade Lodge, part of the Canyon Village, sit side by side. Rooms in both of these attractive log and rock-trimmed structures are furnished with rustic lodgepole pieces.
  Contact info: Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-5282
  Room amenities: Rooms include hair dryers and coffee makers. There is no phone service, air-conditioning, television, or Internet service in the rooms.
  Facility amenities: Wake-up calls are performed by the bellman knocking on your door. There is no cell service. Coin operated laundry facilities are available in the nearby Camper Services Building in Canyon Village.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Red Lion Colonial Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: From the moment you enter the hotel, the grand lobby and spiral staircase will take you back to the grandeur of Montana’s gold mining “glory days” on Last Chance Gulch.
  Contact info: 2301 Colonial Drive
Helena, MT 59601 USA
phone: 406-443-2100
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are all oversized and newly updated with amenities like free wi-fi and our "Stay Comfortable Beds" featuring Sealy Pillowtop mattresses.
  Facility amenities: The full-service offered here also includes the warm and inviting Colonial Restaurant and Martini’s Lounge and Casino, an indoor swimming and exercise facility and free wireless Internet. Coin operated laundry facilities are available on site. Laundry Detergent is available at the Front Desk for purchase.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Many Glacier Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Many Glacier Hotel is one of Glacier's most popular lodges due to its stunning setting, positioned on the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake. The 1915 lodge centers around its massive four-storied lobby with a large fireplace.
  Contact info: Hwy 8, Swift Current Lake
Many Glacier, MT 59912 USA
phone: 406-732-4411
  Room amenities: Rooms have telephones. There is no television, air-conditioning or Internet service. Bathrooms are quaint with skinny shower stalls.
  Facility amenities: There is no elevator access, cell phone service or laundry services available.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Mount Royal Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: In the heart of the Canadian Rockies a very special place exists…the Mount Royal Hotel. Set amongst the majestic mountains in a protected landscape of Banff National Park lies the world-class resort town of Banff. In the centre of this breathtaking experience, the Mount Royal Hotel's heritage and charming accommodations will create a long lasting memory for you.
  Contact info: 138 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB T1L1A7 Canada
phone: 403-762-3331
  Room amenities: All rooms are equipped with cable televisions, digital clock radios, telephone with voice mail, coffee maker, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, electronic in-room safe, climate control (heat & air conditioning), and bathroom amenities. Internet connections are available in all rooms.
  Facility amenities: Within the property you'll have access to free Internet and the internationally acclaimed Tony Roma’s Restaurant and Lounge, the Paddock Bar & Grille, sauna and indoor whirlpool. Just outside our doors are numerous attractions, outdoor activities, and shopping. Laundry facilities are available on site and operated only with the Canadian Quarter or Canadian Loonie. Laundry detergent is available at the Front Desk for purchase. *The front desk will only give change for/in/with Canadian Funds. There is a currency exchange office one half block from Mount Royal Hotel in Banff, AB.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Sheraton Cavalier Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Sheraton Cavalier Hotel is located in Calgary, just 10 minutes away from the Calgary International Airport and 10 minutes away from Calgary's city center. This four-star hotel offers sweeping views of the city's ever-expanding skyline.
  Contact info: 2620 32nd Ave NE
Calgary, AB T1Y6B8 Canada
phone: 403-291-0107
  Room amenities: Each of the newly renovated guest rooms include; complimentary daily newspaper, 32" flat panel televisions, iHome docking station for your iPod, mini fridge stocked with items for purchase via on file credit card, Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Beds and coffee maker with Starbucks coffee.
  Facility amenities: The Sheraton Cavalier is proud to provide for your convenience; a state of the art business center, affordable Internet access, ATM, fitness centre, waterpark, in-room spa service and complimentary airport shuttle. There are no on-site laundry services available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: unknown Call the Sheraton Cavalier direct for additional night rates and availability.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in will be at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, WY. Check in time is at 4:00PM. Orientation will take place at 5:00PM. You will be staying at Snow King Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Hotel check out from the Sheraton Cavalier, Calgary, AB Canada by 12:00PM. You will be staying at Sheraton Cavalier Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
If you choose to drive to the beginning location, parking is available at no charge at the Snow King Resort.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Jackson Hole
  Nearest airport:  Jackson Hole
  From End of Program
  Location:  Calgary
  Nearest airport:  Calgary International
Travel Details

Calgary Alberta


To Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Sheraton Cavalier Hotel Shuttle Service
phone: 403-291-0107
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Complimentary to hotel guests.
Prices are subject to change.


Please see guest services upon arrival should you wish to utilize this service.


Jackson Hole, WY


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Snow King Shuttle
phone: 307-733-5200
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Complimentary to hotel guests.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


.25 - .3 




15 miles


Please call the Snow King Resort at least 24 hours in advance for a free shuttle ride to the resort. A phone call upon arrival may also be necessary.

Driving Directions
  North Arriving on US Highway 26, also numbered as 89, 189, and 191 go south into Jackson Hole and the road will be locally known as Cache Street. Continue straight ahead, (south) on this street to Snow King Avenue. Turn left on Snow King Avenue and continue to the end of the street which ends in the parking lot of the resort.
  South Arriving on US Highway 26, also numbered as 89, 189, and 191 go north into Jackson Hole and the road will be locally known as West Broadway Ave. Continue on this road to the intersection with Cache Street. Turn right (south) on this street and continue to Snow King Avenue. Turn left on Snow King Avenue and continue to the end of the street which ends in the parking lot of the resort.
  West Arriving on Highway 22 from Idaho you'll arrive at the Junction with Highway 26, also known as 89, 189, 191 and locally as West Broadway Avenue. Turn right (north) onto West Broadway and continue to the junction with Cache St. Turn right (south) and follow Cache street to Snow King Ave. Turn left on Snow King Avenue and continue into the parking lot of the resort.
Elevation Note: We will be traveling through the Rocky Mountains at varying elevations up to 8,000' +.

Equipment Requirements: Warm waterproof clothing, sturdy walking shoes, a leak-proof water bottle, collapsible walking stick and a hat are highly recommended.
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: Arrive in Jackson Hole, WY Orientation
(Tuesday, July 8)
 Arrive To: Snow King Resort - Jackson Hole, WY. Orientation 5:00 PM
 Dinner: Snow King Resort
Accommodations: Snow King Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Grand Teton National Park, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Jackson Hole.
(Wednesday, July 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet - Snow King
 Morning: With six different summits topping 12,000 feet, the Tetons are a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. They have long been a favorite of photographers and sightseers. Make sure your trigger finger is ready to shoot some amazing photos of this majestic park. Visit Craig Thomas Discovery Visitor Center. The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center emphasizes the interconnectedness of humans and nature in our shared past, in our present enjoyment of this natural resource, and in our duty to be responsible stewards of this magnificent ecosystem. Three main themes featuring people, place, and protection are explored through interpretive displays, such as the large relief model of the park that uses technology to demonstrate glacial movement and animal migration, touchable objects and artifacts, and a streaming in-floor video. Each area contributes its own valuable insight into the story of the Tetons and enables visitors to form connections with the park that will endure for years to come. Snuggled against the base of the Tetons lies String Lake, a serene and beautiful place to view mountain peaks reflecting in its glass-like waters. Take a stroll along the shoreline of String Lake through towering forests of pine and alder.
 Lunch: Signal Mountain Lodge - on the shore of Jackson Lake.
 Afternoon: Congressionally recognized, the National Museum of Wildlife Art focuses on wildlife and nature. This museum is unique among American art museums. The NMWA was founded to enrich and inspire international appreciation and knowledge of fine art. With a collection of over 5,000 catalogued works of art, the museum strives to strengthen humanity's relationship with nature through its collections, exhibitions, research, educational programs and publications. Situated on a dramatic cliff overlooking the Jackson National Elk Refuge, the National Museum of Wildlife Art appears to emerge from the earth like a natural outcropping of rock. The Museum's location provides a rare opportunity to view wildlife in its natural habitat, as does the artwork that pays tribute to it.
 Dinner: Dinner - Jackson Hole
 Evening: This evening we'll join a local expert for a presentation.
Accommodations: Snow King Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park
(Thursday, July 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet - Snow King
 Morning: On our way north to Yellowstone we'll stop at the Jackson Lake Lodge. Built on a grand scale this 1950's lodge has sixty-foot-high windows that frame the Teton range. As we begin our Yellowstone National Park exploration we'll first stop at the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Hydrothermal features are fragile rarities of nature. Yellowstone National Park preserves the largest collection of hydrothermal features on the planet. You'll have an unparalleled opportunity to view hot springs, geysers, mudpots, and fumaroles in a natural setting. Twin Geysers, the Abyss Pool, Black Pool, Lakeshore Geyser and Thumb Paint Pots are just a few of the amazing features you'll discover in the West Thumb caldera.
 Lunch: Lunch - Lake Village Lodge
 Afternoon: Keep your eyes sharpened on the grass prairies of Hayden Valley on our way to Canyon Village. Hayden Valley is a hot spot for four legged wild and wooly wildlife. At the north end of Hayden Valley you'll discover the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The canyon formed after a huge volcanic eruption and subsequent lava flow. The soft rock was easily eroded by the Yellowstone River creating one of the most magical views in Yellowstone - the Lower Falls from Artist Point. Framed by the canyon walls the Yellowstone River thunders more than 308 ft over Lower Falls, creating a dynamic focal point. The canyon is also home to birds of prey such as bald eagles and osprey.
 Dinner: Dinner - Canyon Village
 Evening: After dinner you're encouraged to visit the Canyon Village Educational Center. A room-size relief map illustrates Yellowstone's volcanic activity, and a variety of interactive exhibits describe the formation of geysers, hot springs and other geologic features here and around the world. A giant lava lamp demonstrates how magma rises with heat convection. Murals, dioramas and panoramas show how glaciers and volcanic eruptions have shaped the landscape.
Accommodations: Canyon Village Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Yellowstone National Park; Midway Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Geyser
(Friday, July 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Canyon Village
 Morning: Explore some of the most rare and fragile hydrothermal formations in the world when you visit Midway Geyser Basin. It houses one of the largest springs, the Grand Prismatic Spring. The immensity of the spring can be witnessed by walking the boardwalk of Midway. For some, Old Faithful is the heart of Yellowstone. Old Faithful Geyser is neither the tallest nor the most frequently erupting geyser in Yellowstone, but it always provides a great show and is both highly accessible and predictable. Experience this textbook example of geyser activity along with the numerous other geysers surrounding Old Faithful.
 Lunch: Lunch - Old Faithful
 Afternoon: After lunch continue on with a local expert as you discover more anomalies of Yellowstone National Park.
 Dinner: Dinner - Canyon Village
 Evening: Free Time
Accommodations: Canyon Village Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hot Springs and Helena Montana
(Saturday, July 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Canyon Village
 Morning: This morning we'll continue the exploration of Yellowstone as we visit Mammoth Hot Springs. Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine. Deposits of calcium carbonate create the unique appearance of a snow terraced landscape. Boardwalks will get you up close and personal with these amazing formations. Mammoth also serves as the Park headquarters and radiates a unique history of its own. It features some of the oldest buildings in the Park, including structures from the days when the U.S. Army managed Yellowstone.
 Lunch: Lunch - Mammoth Hot Springs Dining Room
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll make our way to Montana's capital city, Helena. Helena will be a stop along the way to our Glacier National Park destination.
 Dinner: Dinner - Red Lion Colonial Hotel
 Evening: This evening we'll join a local expert for a presentation.
Accommodations: Red Lion Colonial Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Glacier National Park, Glacier Park Lodge and Many Glacier
(Sunday, July 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Red Lion Colonial Hotel
 Morning: This morning we'll depart for Glacier National Park.
 Lunch: Lunch - en route to Glacier
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll tour the original Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier. The immense timbers that support the Lodge were around 500 to 800 years old when they were cut. There are a total of 60 timbers. They are 36 to 42 inches in diameter, 40 feet long, and all retain their bark. The timbers in the lobby are Douglas fir and the verandahs are supported by Cedars from Washington.
 Dinner: Dinner - Many Glacier Hotel
 Evening: Many Glacier is a spectacular site set in one of the most scenic National Parks. It boasts amazing views, a plethora of wildlife and a relaxing atmosphere to help you wind down after a day of travel.
Accommodations: Many Glacier Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Tour the "Crown of the Continent", Glacier National Park, via Going-To-The-Sun Road
(Monday, July 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Many Glacier Hotel
 Morning: This morning we'll enjoy a presentation at Lake McDonald from a local Glacier area expert.
 Lunch: Lunch - Many Glacier Hotel
 Afternoon: Glacier National Park, named for the glaciers that carved it, is the undisputed "Crown of the Continent." Here, over one million wild acres crown the Continental Divide, a place where lush green parklands meet up with towering jagged peaks sporting some of the world's oldest rock. Glacier National Park is a rugged country with a rare ecosystem of indigenous wildlife from bear grass to grizzly bears. We'll begin our exploration of Glacier with a trip to Logan Pass via the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, (weather permitting) a testament to human ingenuity. Tunnels, switchbacks, and arches were built along with the narrow two-lane road that cuts across steep slopes allowing for amazing discoveries of the park's natural wonders.
 Dinner: Dinner - Many Glacier Hotel
 Evening: Free evening to roam around Swift Current Lake.
Accommodations: Many Glacier Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Waterton National Park in Alberta, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Banff National Park
(Tuesday, July 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Many Glacier Hotel
 Morning: This morning REMEMBER YOUR PASSPORT as we'll travel into Alberta Canada to visit Waterton Lakes National Park. Although active glaciers vacated Waterton's borders years ago, the results of ice gnawing on its landscape left lake pockets strewn through the park, one of these lakes being Upper Waterton Lake, the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies. While in Waterton we'll visit the historic Prince of Wales Hotel. Designated a Canadian National Historic Site, the 122-foot-tall, four-story hotel took more than a year to build. Constructed by the Great Northern Railway its massive lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows frame Waterton Lake. Next we'll depart Waterton Lakes National Park and visit the famous Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is an archaeological site known around the world as a remarkable testimony of the life of the Plains People through the millennia. The Jump bears witness to a method of hunting practiced by native people of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years.
 Lunch: Lunch - en-route to Banff
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll arrive in Banff National Park. Banff is the crown jewel in Canada's national park system and home of the world's most photographed lakes.
 Dinner: Dinner - Mount Royal Hotel
 Evening: Free evening to settle into your room.
Accommodations: Mount Royal Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Banff National Park, Mountain Gondola, and Banff Lake Cruise
(Wednesday, July 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet - Mount Royal Hotel
 Morning: This morning we'll tour some of Banff's most historic and scenic spots. Far from the wild peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Catharine Robb and Peter Whyte met at the Boston Museum School of Fine Art in 1927. She was a Boston debutante. He was a member of one of Banff's pioneer families. They married in 1930, and made Banff and the Canadian mountains their home. A studio was built one year later where they would live and paint the grandeur of their beloved mountains. This morning we'll tour the Whyte Museum. Next, we'll ride a Gondola up to Sulphur Mountain. From the observation deck, breathtaking views of Banff, Bow Valley, Cascade Mountain, Lake Minnewanka, and the Fairholme Range await you.
 Lunch: Lunch - Summit Cafeteria
 Afternoon: This afternoon put on your sea legs for an interpretive boat cruise around Lake Minnewanka. This interpretive cruise will guide you through a rugged paradise richly steeped in history, native folklore and geology. The Lake Minnewanka valley offers some of the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in the Canadian Rockies.
 Dinner: Dinner - Local Banff Restaurant.
 Evening: This evening we'll join a local expert for a presentation.
Accommodations: Mount Royal Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Jasper National Park, Snow Coach Ride on Athabasca Glacier and Skywalk
(Thursday, July 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet - Mount Royal Hotel
 Morning: Travel north to Jasper National Park for a snow coach excursion onto the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefields. The snow coach journey is lead by experienced drivers who will share a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, icefields and their impact on our environment. Mid-point tour, passengers can safely step out onto the glacier and stand on this powerful ancient ice.
 Lunch: Lunch - Columbia Icefield Cafeteria
 Afternoon: Go beyond nature's edge and immerse yourself in an awe-inspiring interpretive experience in one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. Explore the immense powers of glaciology from a fully-accessible, cliff-edge walkway that leads to a glass-floored observation platform 280 meters (918 ft) above the Sunwapta Valley. From ice-capped mountain peaks to vast glacier-formed valleys, the Glacier Skywalk is your front row seat to nature's most grand performance. Return trip to Banff.
 Dinner: Dinner - on your own to choose from local cuisine.
 Evening: Free evening to explore more of beautiful Banff.
Accommodations: Mount Royal Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Lake Louise, Calgary
(Friday, July 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet - Mount Royal Hotel
 Morning: As you witness the spectacular beauty of Mount Victoria reflecting in the sparkling waters of Lake Louise, you'll understand why this lake is regarded as one of the most tranquil and beautiful lakes in Canada. Overlooking the magnificent scene, Fairmont Château Lake Louise is without a doubt one of the world's most photographed hotels. This morning enjoy exploring Lake Louise in all of its splendor.
 Lunch: Lunch Buffet - Lake Louise Fairmont Chateau.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll travel into Calgary, the end destination of our 12-day exploration in the Rocky Mountains.
 Dinner: This evening celebrate with a final banquet at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel.
Accommodations: Sheraton Cavalier Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Independent Departures
(Saturday, July 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Sheraton Cavalier Hotel
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

Crown of the Continent

Author: Ralph Waldt

Description: A professional naturalist's incredible, personal portrait of America's largest and most pristine wilderness in the lower 48 states: the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem in Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia. This vast area includes two national parks in two countries (Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes in Canada), three designated wilderness areas including the famous Bob Marshall Wilderness. This book describes the area's geology, wildlife, plant life, and crucial environmental issues with over 150 stunning photographs.

Wildflowers of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

Author: Richard Shaw

Description: The purpose of this paperback book is to picture and describe the beautiful wildflowers of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as the other areas included in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Rocky Mountains; Smithsonian Natural Histotry Series

Author: Scott Elias

Description: The Rocky Mountains are one of the Earth's most spectacular geological features, containing vast stretches that remain wild and untamed. Hikers on mountain trails often see the wilderness just as Lewis and Clark saw it almost 200 years ago. The diversity of life found along the Rockies' 2,000-mile range is so varied that the mountains are divided into three regions: the Northern, Central, and Southern Rocky Mountains. Scott A. Elias discusses the unique features of each region in his comprehensive natural history of "the backbone of the continent." Elias examines the physical environment of each of the three regions, looking at geology, important land forms, climatology, soils, water resources, and paleontology. Equally detailed chapters examine botany, invertebrate zoology, native fishes of the plains and mountains, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Elias also includes a history of the native peoples and a synthesis of activities since the Spanish colonial period in the Southern Rockies. Conservation topics are woven throughout the book and the final pages examine the problems of overuse and overcrowding in national and state parks. Elias offers recommendations to alleviate these problems and stresses that the Rockies are a national treasure and should be treated as such.

Wildflowers of Glacier National Park

Author: Shannon Fitzpatrick Kimball and Peter Lesica

Description: Wildflowers of Glacier National park and Surrounding Areas is a user-friendly guide featuring over 300 of Glacier National Park's most common plant species. From wildflowers to trees to grasses and sedges, this book features beautiful photographs, detailed descriptions, notes on habitat and fun facts for each plant. It's a perfect plant reference for anyone with an interest in the natural history and splendor of Glacier National Park. The index lists plants both by their common and scientific names.

Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone

Author: George Black

Description: Empire of Shadows is the epic story of the conquest of Yellowstone, a landscape uninhabited, inaccessible and shrouded in myth in the aftermath of the Civil War. In a radical reinterpretation of the nineteenth century West, George Black casts Yellowstone's creation as the culmination of three interwoven strands of history - the passion for exploration, the violence of the Indian Wars and the "civilizing" of the frontier - and charts its course through the lives of those who sought to lay bare its mysteries: Lt. Gustavus Cheyney Doane, a gifted but tormented cavalryman known as "the man who invented Wonderland"; the ambitious former vigilante leader Nathaniel Langford; scientist Ferdinand Hayden, who brought photographer William Henry Jackson and painter Thomas Moran to Yellowstone; and Gen. Phil Sheridan, Civil War hero and architect of the Indian Wars, who finally succeeded in having the new National Park placed under the protection of the US Cavalry. George Blacks Empire of Shadows is a groundbreaking historical account of the origins of Americas majestic national landmark.

The Great Divide: The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind

Author: Gary Ferguson

Description: FOR MOST 0F OUR NATION'S HISTORY, Americans have identified with the "purple mountain majesties" of the Rockies. Trappers and debutantes, miners and missionaries, artists and drinkers, escaped slaves, independent women abandoning hoopskirts, and assorted black sheep of respectable families have all sought refuge and inspiration there. This spectacular landscape has always offered a sense of freedom from crowds and conformity--a world, as Frederic Remington described it, "beyond derby hats and mortgages bearing eight percent." Gary Ferguson spins magnificent tales about the vivid characters who have peopled this majestic region, from the original Indian inhabitants and their interactions with European explorers, to the delirious victims of gold rush fever, to hippies in the Sixties, to today's adventure travelers in high-tech outerwear toting satellite phones into the wild. Throughout, he explores the ebbs and flows of America's attitude toward the vast expanses that embody our sense of freedom.

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