Road Scholar : Home
Hiking Seven National Parks: A Cross-Border Adventure From Yellowstone to the Canadian Rockies

Program Number: 21492RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/6/2014 - 7/17/2014; 8/10/2014 - 8/21/2014;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Price starting at: $3,495.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; On the Road Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 30; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Dazzling landscapes, amazing wildlife and adrenaline-fueled terrain accompany your every boot step on an extraordinary hiking adventure in seven national parks in the United States and Canada — Waterton, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Kootenay, Jasper and Banff. Set out where two cross-border friends meet in the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. In geothermal-rich Yellowstone, learn why bison, elk and bighorn sheep thrive in the multi-ecosystems. Relish the spectacular view of your hard-earned climb in the jagged Tetons. And in Banff hike to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier for incredible views.




Highlights

• In Yellowstone, witness Old Faithful’s 91-minute time clock and learn why President Ulysses S. Grant signed an 1872 law making this the world’s first national park.
• Travel the breathtaking Icefields Parkway from Banff to the Columbia Icefields, then relax in the hot springs.
• In Glacier National Park, hike to a cliff overlooking Hidden Lake, watching for marmots and mountain goats.



Activity Particulars

Hiking up to seven hours daily over varied terrain; ice fields, glaciers. Elevations up to 10,000 feet.



Itinerary Summary

Independent arrival Calgary, Alberta, 1 night; coach to Waterton, 1 night; coach to Great Falls, Mont., 1 night; coach to Gardiner/Yellowstone, 3 nights; coach to Missoula, Mont., 1 night; coach to Invermere, British Columbia, 2 nights; coach to Banff, Alberta, 2 nights; coach to Calgary, independent departure.




Banff

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.



Calgary

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.



Accommodations
Comfortable motels, hotels and inns in natural settings.

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

Ben Gadd is one of Canada’s better-known naturalists and Rockies writers. Author of the ground-breaking “Handbook of the Canadian Rockies,” Ben has written eight other books and contributed to several more. His novel, “Raven’s End,” has become a prize-winning Canadian best-seller. Ben has received three Banff Mountain Book Festival awards for his work. Educated as a geologist, Ben has pursued a career mainly in natural history, including a stint as a Parks Canada naturalist. He has also taught writing at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Grant MacEwan College. For nearly 30 years, he has worked in the summer as a freelance interpretive guide — he is one of only six master guides in Canada’s professional Interpretive Guides Association — and in the winter as a writer and sought-after lecturer on Rockies topics. Heard frequently on CBC radio, Ben has also appeared in many television items and several documentaries on the Rockies.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel
  Calgary, AB 1 night
   Bayshore Inn
  Waterton, AB 1 night
   Days Inn Great Falls
  Great Falls, MT 1 night
   Super 8 Motel
  Yellowstone, WY 3 nights
   Red Lion Inn Missoula
  Missoula, MT 1 night
   Best Western Invermere Inn
  Invermere, BC 2 nights
   Irwin's Mountain Inn
  Banff, AB 2 nights
 Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: BEST WESTERN PLUS Port O' Call Calgary Airport Hotel is conveniently located only 3.72 miles (6 kms) from the Calgary International and also provides easy access to downtown Calgary, a number of Calgary attractions and Banff National Park. In addition, the hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet, an indoor pool, New Water Park featuring two slides, extensive fitness room, and several onsite restaurants for your convenience.
  Contact info: 1935 McKnight Blvd N.E.
Calgary, AB T2E 6V4 Canada
phone: 403-291-4600
web: www.bwportocallhotel.com/
  Room amenities: All hotel rooms have cable television with in-room movies, voicemail, irons, coffee makers and hair dryers. High speed Internet is available upon request.
  Facility amenities: • Complimentary shuttle to/from Calgary Airport • Indoor pool • Hot tub - Whirlpool • Exercise facility • Squash courts • Barber/beauty shop • Gift Shop • Dry cleaning • Guest laundry • High-speed Internet access
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for availability & rates. Contact hotel directly.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Bayshore Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: The only hotel located on the shores of beautiful Waterton Lake, the Bayshore Inn Resort & Spa provides everything you need for the perfect mountain getaway. This rustic family owned and operated hotel offers spacious rooms, amazing dining experience, boutique shopping ,Waterton's only Spa and the gorgeous lakeside views are just a few of the reasons to stay with us. Toll free: 1.888.527.9555 Winter Offices : October 15 - April 15 Tel: 604-708-9965
  Contact info: PO Box 38 - 111 Waterton Ave
Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0 Canada
phone: 403-859-2211
web: www.bayshoreinn.com/index.cfm
  Room amenities: All of our guest rooms have their own private balcony. Lakeside rooms offer a stunning view of Waterton Lake while our other rooms look out over the charming Waterton village. No matter where your room is located, you will wake up to the splendor of the Canadian Rockies all around. 4-piece bathroom, heavenly bedding with down filled comforters,air conditioning, TV/DVD, satellite TV, telephone, free satellite internet (may be subject to interruptions), coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, in-room safe.
  Facility amenities: The Bayshore Inn offers a great selection of dining options for our guests and visitors to Waterton Park. Our facilities range from exceptional fine dining to casual meals or picnics-to-go as well as a variety of flavourful choices in between. Other amenities include on-site gift shop, spa services and business centre.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Days Inn Great Falls
Type: Inn
  Description: Located off Interstate 15 and Route 87, the Days Inn Great Falls, Montana, is near Giant Springs State Park puts the best of the area within your reach. Enjoy the inviting atmosphere and comfortable rooms. The Great Falls Days Inn takes pride in providing our guests with a clean, well maintained hotel. Our friendly staff strives to assure your stay is the best in Great Falls. Being located off the street, away from noisy traffic, assures our guests of a quiet nights sleep.
  Contact info: 101 14th Avenue NW/I-15
Great Falls, MT  59404 USA
phone: 406-727-6565
web: www.daysinngreatfalls.com/home.nxg
  Room amenities: Comfortable rooms with air conditioning, alarm clock, desk, iron/ironing board, coffee/tea, free hi-speed Internet.
  Facility amenities: Connect to free Wi-Fi throughout our hotel, or use our guest computer to access free high-speed Internet. Our front desk staff is available to assist you at any time, and we also offer conveniences like free coffee in our lobby 24 hours a day, guest laundry facilities and a fitness center.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Super 8 Motel
Type: Motel
  Description: Super 8 Gardiner / Yellowstone Park Area hotel lets you make the most of your travels in the area. Conveniently located on U.S. Highway 89 at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, MT, within minutes of hiking trails, hot springs, stunning scenery and abundant wildlife.
  Contact info: 702 Scott St. West
Hwy 89, PO Box 739
Gardiner, MT 59030-0739 USA
phone: 406-848-7401
web: www.yellowstonesuper8.com/
  Room amenities: Free Wi-Fi, alarm clock, TV, cable/satellite, hairdryer. Irons and ironing boards are available.
  Facility amenities: Accommodations include 66 clean, comfortable rooms and 24 front desk. Free Wi-Fi in public areas and guest rooms and access to guest laundry facilities. If you need to unwind from a long stretch on the road, swim in our heated indoor pool or take in the mountain scenery from our redwood deck. Restaurants, bars, shops, grocery store, post office and galleries nearby. 24 hour coffee and tea; juices in the morning.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Red Lion Inn Missoula
Type: Inn
  Description: Located off I-90 at Orange Street exit, near City Center and 10 minutes from the airport, the Red Lion Inn Missoula is close to Missoula MT downtown shopping, restaurants and galleries. Riverfront Park is across the street with walking and biking paths, a tennis court and fishing pond.
  Contact info: 700 W. Broadway St.
Missoula, MT 59802 USA
phone: 406-728-3300
web: www.redlion.com/our-hotels/montana/missoula/
  Room amenities: Our 76 spacious and well-appointed guest rooms feature all the amenities you would expect including, Red Lion's signature plush Sealy pillowtop beds and Eco Fresh Environmentally Responsible Products (ERP). Standard room amenities include free wireless Internet access, desk and chair, microwave, refrigerator, alarm clock/radio, coffee maker, iron with board, hairdryer, and Premium Cable or Satellite TV offered and Eco-Friendly Bath Products.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary wi-fi, seasonal outdoor swimming pool and hot tub open seasonally May- September (weather permitting), a fitness facility and valet laundry services.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Best Western Invermere Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Invermere Inn is centrally located in this picturesque town nestled between the Purcell and Rocky Mountains.
  Contact info: 1310 Seventh Avenue
Invermere, BC V0A 1K0 Canada
phone: 250-342-9246
web: www.invermereinn.com
  Room amenities: Cable TV, hairdryers, dataports, coffee maker, iron, ironing board.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a fitness facility, outdoor spa and exercise room, cold beer and wine store on the premises, 24-hour security, fax and photocopy services, and free high-speed internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 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
web: www.irwinsmountaininn.com/
  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 after: Call for availability & rates Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Indpendent arrivals to Calgary, AB. You will be staying at Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Morning transfer to Calgary, AB. Independent departures from Calgary, AB. You will be staying at Irwin's Mountain Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. PASSPORTS: Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit www.travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html for information.
  Parking availability:
Long term parking available at the airport.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Calgary, AB
  Nearest city or town:  Canmore, Alberta
  Nearest airport:  Calgary International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Banff, AB
  Nearest city or town:  Calgary, Alberta
  Nearest airport:  Calgary International Airport
Travel Details
 

Calgary, AB

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 403-291-4600
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 15 minutes 

   

A complimentary shuttle is available from the airport to the Best Western Port O' Call. Please call the hotel from the airport for pickup. The hotel staff will advise when the next shuttle will be at the airport and will let you know where to go to meet the shuttle.

 

Calgary

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Included in program
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 - 2 hours 

   

Transfer by coach from Banff to Calgary (drop-off at airport and downtown).

Elevation Note: Altitudes reaching up to 10,000 feet in Yellowstone.

Equipment Requirements: Bring supportive/comfortable footwear, hiking boots, walking shoes or boots (all-weather or waterproof and broken-in.) for daily hikes; appropriate attire for hiking and rain gear. Recommend dressing in layers for variable conditions. Bring daypack, water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses.
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: Independent Arrivals/Introductions
(Sunday, July 6)
   
 Arrive To: Independent arrivals and transfers to the program hotel after 4:00 pm. Please note that rooms are not generally available until mid to late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel; introductions, a review of the program and site orientation.
 Evening: An evening presentation with an expert from the Glenbow Museum will introduce the natural and human history of the Canadian Rockies and Rocky Mountain National Parks.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Waterton/Hiking Waterton National Park
(Monday, July 7)

Note: Waterton: A short but very rewarding hike of only 9 km (5.6 mi) with 375 m (1248 ft) gain to a waterfall. Walking time 2.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Driving south along the edge of the Rockies while the mountains show on the horizon. As we get closer to Waterton National Park you notice the abrupt change from prairie to mountains. The park preserves this unique landscape where the grassland prairie meets the rugged Rocky Mountains. More than 900 plant and wildflower species have taken root, including 30 wildflowers indigenous to only Waterton.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: After arriving in Waterton we set out for a short hike that takes us to a beautiful waterfall. Spectacular Waterton Lakes National Park is located in south-west Alberta. It borders Glacier National Park, Montana and together the two parks form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a World Heritage
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Bayshore Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hiking Waterton National Park/Great Falls, Montana
(Tuesday, July 8)

Note: Today we travel from Waterton, AB to Great Falls, MT. Interpretive commentary and stops/short hikes en route at points of interest.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel.
 Morning: Take an early morning hike in Waterton National Park before crossing into the US.
 Morning: Depart for Great Falls, Montana via the border crossing into the USA at Peigan Post. Drive through the Blackfeet Indian Reserve with the town of Browning as it’s centre. Now you are back in the prairie with pleasant, rolling hills, hoards of cattle and horse just like you imagined the West.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive Great Falls, Montana. Join your group leader for a walk in the area. Great Falls is the eastern gateway to Glacier Park and just a four hour drive from Yellowstone. An important stop for the Corp of Discovery, the city now hosts the impressive Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Days Inn Great Falls
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Yellowstone National Park
(Wednesday, July 9)

Note: Today we travel from Great Falls, MT to Yellowstone National Park. Interpretive commentary and stops/short hikes en route at points of interest. We will visit Old Faithful at some point during our time in Yellowstone.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Still heading south through changing scenery, straight roads stretching to the horizon, serpentines through forested river valleys, we make our way to Yellowstone National Park. 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.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: We stop for the night in Gardiner, MT, just outside of Yellowstone National Park. North Americas first and most famous national park contains many natural treasures and countless amazing hiking opportunities. Old Faithful and the majority of the world's geysers are preserved here. They are the main reason the park was established in 1872 as America's first national park—an idea that spread worldwide. A mountain wildland, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Inn.
   
Accommodations: Super 8 Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Hiking: Yellowstone National Park
(Thursday, July 10)

Note: Yellowstone: Hiking 5 - 6 hours;approximately 5 km (3 mi) with 424 m (1412 ft) gain to the peak at 3107 m (10346 ft). Hiking destinations may change at the last minute due to the guide's preference, weather conditions, trail or area closures due to thermal or wildlife activity.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel
 Morning: An explosion 600,000 years ago created the Yellowstone volcano area. What’s left from this eruption today is Mount Washburn. Hike through flowery meadows to the peak and enjoy the panoramic view all the way to the Grand Teton Ranges 80 km (50 mi) in the distance.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue hiking in Yellowstone National Park, through different zones of wildflowers. Bighorn sheep use the summer pastures on the slopes, and this is the best location in the park to observe them. From the summit, it also is possible to scan the entire park. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone Lake, the Grand Tetons, Mount Holmes and even an eruption of Old Faithful can be viewed on a clear day.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Learn about the natural history of Yellowstone National Park. Examine its diverse flora, thermal features, canyons, and waterways
   
Accommodations: Super 8 Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hiking: Grand Teton National Park
(Friday, July 11)

Note: Grand Teton: Hiking up to 5 hours; 8 Km (5mi)one way with 720 m (2397 ft) gain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel
 Morning: With today’s hike you pass two mountain lakes on your way to the most spectacular view point of the Tetons. On your one side Teton Glacier is already worth every hard earned step, but don’t turn around if you are afraid of heights: Vertical cliffs down into the broad valley, needle pointed pillars, sharp ridges and far in the distance Jackson Hole, already in the plains
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Continue hiking in Grand Teton National Park. Located high above sea level at elevations from elevations from 6,320 to 13,770 feet, Grand Teton National Park is a diverse ecosystem with terrain ranging from summertime wildflower meadows to rushing whitewater streams. There are also numerous serene lakes with deep blue pools, echoing the stillness and color of the glaciers that shaped them. The wild and winding Snake River descends through the park in a rush of water and the dense forests blanketing the mountainsides provide habitat for a vast array of fauna and flora, with some species dating back to the prehistoric era.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Super 8 Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Missoula/Bitterroot Mountains
(Saturday, July 12)

Note: Today we travel from Yellowstone to Missoula, MT. Interpretive commentary and stops/short hikes en route at points of interest



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel
 Morning: We travel north on winding roads down the valley of the Salmon River on our way to Missoula. Forests and mountains as far as the eye can see, ever so often a small settlements of shacks or an impoverished farm. Following the tracks of Lewis and Clark until reaching Missoula on the Grand Forks River in the Bitterroot Mountains.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive to Missoula, Montana. Known as the "Garden City" for its forested, lush surroundings and plentiful fresh water, Missoula is located in an old, glacial lakebed, which is now cut by Clark Fork River. The Bitterroot River feeds into the Clark Fork on the Southwest edge of town; the famed Big Blackfoot River meets the Clark Fork just east of town.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Red Lion Inn Missoula
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Hiking Glacier National Park/Transfer to Kootenay National Park/Invermere
(Sunday, July 13)

Note: Glacier: Hiking up to 3 hours. Ride a shuttle bus up to Logan Pass at 2030 m (6760 ft). From here you hike 2.5 (1.6 mi) with 153 m (509 ft) elevation gain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your hotel.
 Morning: Heading north reach Glacier National Park, this 525 sqkm (203 sqmi) mountain park was created 1910 in cooperation of the US and Canadian governments. But long before that Native Peoples believed in the mystical powers of these valleys and mountains. Going-to-the-Sun-Road, narrow, steep and hugging the cliffs is winding its way across the divide. You ride a shuttle bus up to Logan Pass. then hike through the flowers of the "hanging Gardens“ to a cliff overlooking Hidden Lake. Watch for marmots and white mountain goats along the way.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Travel further north Kootenay National Park where we spend he next two nights. Kootenay National Park represents the south-western region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Invermere Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Hiking Kootenay National Park
(Monday, July 14)

Note: Kootenay: Hiking 6 - 7 hours; 16.5 km (10 mi) loop with 1055 m (3513 ft) elevation gain into a pass, then along a ridge with peak experience at 2400 m (7992 ft).



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Inn.
 Morning: The western ranges of the Rockies feature outstanding hiking trails, hike through a pass for a peak experience and explore the alpine tundra. From glacier-clad peaks along the Continental Divide to semi-arid grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Trench, where cactus grows, Kootenay National Park is noted for its diversity of landscapes, ecology and climate. Natural features characteristic of the Rocky Mountains include sedimentary rocks and thrust-faulted mountains, landscapes sculptured by glaciers and water, and plants and animals typical of alpine, subalpine and montane ecological zones.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Hiking continues in Kootenay National Park. Kootenay National Park (1,406 km 2 ) is one of 44 national parks in Canada. Together, they celebrate and protect the diversity of the nation's great landscapes.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Invermere Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Banff National Park/Lake Louise/Moraine Lake/Bow Valley Parkway
(Tuesday, July 15)

Note: Moderate walks on stops in Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Crossing the Great Divide today and arrive again on the East side of the Rocky Mountains en route to Banff National Park. As the first national park established in Canada and a coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site, what makes Banff National Park so special is its combination of vast unspoiled wilderness, mountain lakes like Lake Louise, and the gateway to it all: the Town of Banff.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: We continue our journey with a stop at Lake Louise where you will discover the geological highlights of the Rockies with Ben Gadd, renowned naturalist and author of the ground-breaking Handbook of the Canadian Rockies. Continue on to Moraine Lake and travel the Bow Valley Parkway into the resort town of Banff.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Irwin's Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Banff/Columbia Icefields/Athabasca Glacier
(Wednesday, July 16)

Note: Columbia Icefields: Hiking approximately 5 kms/3 miles; 2 - 3 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel from mountains to glaciers on the Icefields Parkway; the road linking Lake Louise and 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. Interpretive commentary along the way.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Travel to the Columbia Icefields for a short hike to access the toe of the Athabasca Glacier and hike the trails at either Wilcox Pass or Parker Ridge for views of Athabasca or Saskatchewan glaciers.
 Afternoon: After a day of hiking you might want to relax in the warm outside pool of the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs or stroll through the town of Banff. There are several museums including the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff Park Museum, Luxton Museum and the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner.
   
Accommodations: Irwin's Mountain Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Transfer to Calgary/Departures
(Thursday, July 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer from Banff to Calgary International Airport. Independent departures from Calgary, Alberta.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Calgary, AB 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 www.calgaryzoo.com/
  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 www.winsportcanada.ca/facilities/cop.cfm
  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 www.fortcalgary.com/
  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 www.heritagepark.ca/index.php
  Banff, AB 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 www.canadianrockies.net/hotpools.html
  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 www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ab/banff/natcul.aspx
  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 http://www.explorerockies.com/minnewanka/
  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 www.banffcentre.ca/
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, aadvice 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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