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16593
Alberta

Christmas in the Canadian Rockies

Join us for Christmas in Banff to experience the winter wonderland of the Canadian Rockies. Learn about the local wildlife and culture, and marvel at the majestic mountain scenery.
Rating (5)
Program No. 16593RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
2,359
Alberta

Christmas in the Canadian Rockies

Join us for Christmas in Banff to experience the winter wonderland of the Canadian Rockies. Learn about the local wildlife and culture, and marvel at the majestic mountain scenery.
Length
6 days
Starts at
2,359
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
2,359
Program No. 16593RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2022
Starting at
2,359
Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2023
Starting at
2,699
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2022
Starting at
2,979
Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2023
Starting at
3,399

At a Glance

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas filled with old-fashioned charm and stunning mountain scenery, then join us for the holidays in Banff! Savor breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies as you learn firsthand about local wildlife like deer and elk. Dip your hands in thermal waters at Cave and Basin National Historic Site, marvel at colorful lights shimmering in the cavern and discover plumes of steam billowing through the cave’s vent. Experience everything Christmas in the Rockies can offer as you celebrate the season with new friend and Christmas cheer!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to one mile daily on varied terrain; snow and ice, slippery conditions. Elevations up to 4,540 feet.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Harken back to a bygone era as you dash through the snow on a horse-drawn sleigh through the pristine Bow River Valley.
  • Sip afternoon tea in the luxurious Banff Springs Hotel as you gaze out at the majestic mountain peaks of Banff.
  • Learn about the culture shaped by the mountain landscape at the Whyte Museum and hear the stories of the early explorers drawn to these rugged mountains.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Brent MacDonald
Brent Macdonald has been a resident of the Canadian Rockies for almost 30 years. As a geology expert, he provides a wealth of knowledge about geography and geomorphology. Brent has had a diverse career as a freelance natural history interpreter, also working as a consultant for a geotechnical engineering company. He has shared his knowledge of geology and natural history as an interpreter and guest lecturer. Brent is also a certified mountain leader and ski instructor.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Brent MacDonald
Brent MacDonald View biography
Brent Macdonald has been a resident of the Canadian Rockies for almost 30 years. As a geology expert, he provides a wealth of knowledge about geography and geomorphology. Brent has had a diverse career as a freelance natural history interpreter, also working as a consultant for a geotechnical engineering company. He has shared his knowledge of geology and natural history as an interpreter and guest lecturer. Brent is also a certified mountain leader and ski instructor.
Profile Image of Greg Allemang
Greg Allemang View biography
Growing up in the military has brought Greg across Canada and given him a real taste of everything the country has to offer. Finally settled now in the Calgary area, Greg has followed his passions for his country to study travel management and become a certified hiking instructor. Greg also enjoys climbing and enjoying the beautiful wilderness that surrounds his home. His love of nature has fueled his passion for connecting people to their environment and showing off his country to visitors.
Profile Image of Jennifer Royal
Jennifer Royal View biography
Jen Royal graduated with a bachelor’s in Canadian history from the Wilfred Laurier University and has over ten years of experience teaching, leading and interpreting history. She has worked at the Whyte Museum since 2014 in both the Education Department and the Archives and Library.
Profile Image of Routes Adventures Mobile Phone
Routes Adventures Mobile Phone View biography
Please call the toll free line at 1-866-745-1690 during regular business hours or for non-urgent matters (Mon - Fri 8:30 - 4:30 EST). The mobile phone #1-613-331-5777 is for after hours and weekends for emergency use only. The phone is carried by a staff member.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Alberta Wildlife
by James Kavanagh
FIELD GUIDE, 2005, PLASTIC CARD A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered wildlife in Alberta. (CND279, $5.95)
This Wild Spirit: Women in the Rocky Mountains of Canada
by Colleen Skidmore
In 1912, Mary Vaux, a botanist, glaciologist, painter, and photographer, wrote about her mountain adventures: “A day on the trail, or a scramble over the glacier, or even with a quiet day in camp to get things in order for the morrow's conquests? Some how when once this wild spirit enters the blood…I can hardly wait to be off again." Vaux's compulsion was shared by many women whose intellects, imaginations, and spirits rose to the challenge of the mountains between the late-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. This Wild Spirit explores a sampling of women's creative responses—in fiction and travel writing, photographs and paintings, embroidery and beadwork, letters and diaries, poetry and posters—to their experiences in the Rocky Mountains of Canada.
Switchbacks, True Stories from the Canadian Rockies
by Sid Marty
A native Albertan and park warden in the Canadian Rockies, Marty relates colorful anecdotes from friends, colleagues and his own youth in this collection of tales, which includes A Horse Named Candy.
Moon Handbook Canadian Rockies
by Andrew Hempstead
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
by Roy MacGregor
A journalist and popular author, MacGregor takes the full measure of Canadian life in this irreverent, entertaining portrait of a people.
Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains
by James Halfpenny | Todd Telander
An essential pocket guide to 70 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, with line drawings, range map and description.
Raven's End
by Ben Gadd
A young raven, with no memory of his past, arrives to the beautiful and dangerous landscape of Yamnuska, Banff. A book that looks at the complex world of ravens.
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6 days
5 nights
10 meals
4 B 2 L 4 D
DAY
1
Arrival and Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Banff, Alberta
D
The Rimrock Resort Hotel

Activity note: Check-in 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Independent arrivals and transfers to the program hotel in the afternoon. Check-in after 4:00 pm. Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel by 4:00 pm. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby to register and get your welcome packet; or pick up your package at the front desk if you arrive after 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel at 6:00 pm. is a plated meal with starter, entrée, dessert; coffee, tea, water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Banff Geology, Cave and Basin, Whyte Museum
Banff, Alberta
B,L,D
The Rimrock Resort Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile; over 3.5 hours on pavement and boardwalks; slippery terrain with snow or ice. Dress warmly in layers.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel includes hot & cold items; juice, milk, coffee, tea.

Morning: We transfer by coach to Cave and Basin National Historic Site where we will join a local expert to learn about the fascinating story and geology of the Canadian Rockies. Then explore Banff's natural heritage and share a discovery that changed the course of history at Cave and Basin. In 1883, hot springs were discovered by CPR railway workers, and the notion to protect natural and cultural treasures in Canada was born shortly thereafter. Stand in the dramatic spot that started it all. Watch plumes of billowing, sulphurous steam coming from the cave’s vent hole. Dip your hands in silky thermal waters that once attracted thousands of hot springs bathers. See colourful lights shimmering in an underground Cave. Marvel from raised boardwalks at breathtaking Bow Valley.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant will be a plated meal with starter, entrée, dessert; coffee, tea, water. Other beverages available for purchase. Transfer by coach to the Whyte Museum.

Afternoon: Step into the 1931 home of artists and Whyte Museum founders Peter and Catharine (Robb) Whyte, whose home illuminates their simple yet classic mountain style. Then journey back a generation to soak in the rustic elegance enjoyed by collectors Phillip and Pearl (Brewster) Moore in their 1907 home. This field trip provides an intimate look at both homes and the intriguing people who lived in them. In addition, visit to the galleries and exhibits in the Whyte Museum including the Gateway to the Rockies exhibit and learn how these mountains were opened up to all. Who were the guides in this unforgiving landscape? Who protected it? Many people have been drawn to these peaks, come discover their stories. The Museum also has exceptional collections documenting the Stoney First Nation. Its art collection contains close to 4,000 works relating to the visual arts of the Canadian Rockies, including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, prints, mixed media works and objects of fine craft. Transfer by coach back to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant will be a plated meal with starter, entrée and dessert; coffee, tea, water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: An expert from the Whyte Museum will introduce you to the "Women of the Rockies". This presentation will introduce you to historical and current figures that have shaped our mountain culture landscape. Discover the women whose lives are a part of a legacy of backcountry travel, ranching, climbing, scientific research, writing, drama and art.

DAY
3
Coach Exploration of Banff and Bow Valley, Free Afternoon
Banff, Alberta
B
The Rimrock Resort Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; coach travel approximately 4 hours with stops. Mileage and routing for the coach exploration will be weather dependent. Dress warmly in layers.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: This morning we depart for a coach exploration of Banff and the surrounding area. See the area in all its winter wonder with waterfalls and lakes providing dramatic winter scenes. Keep your eye out for wildlife seeking shelter from the elements; animals shelter themselves in the valley against harsh winter conditions, but you can still spot, elk, coyotes and sometimes deer and wolves. Expert led by your Group Leader. Coach returns to the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore the many dining options in Banff; or join your group leader at a local restaurant ($$).

Afternoon: Free afternoon to relax or explore the town of Banff. There are few places more magical in the world that Banff at Christmas. The streets are carpeted in white, snow covered trees look more dramatic than ever and there is a general feeling of Christmas cheer around this glorious little lit up town. There are some suggestions in your package and additional options will be provided in the arrival package.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: Enjoy outdoor festivities at the holiday bonfire or relax by the fireplace. Alternatively, stroll through the townsite of Banff and admire the decorations.

DAY
4
Banff Park Museum, Banff, Free Time, Christmas Eve
Banff, Alberta
B,D
The Rimrock Resort Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile during morning field trip on paved walkways; slippery terrain with snow or ice. Dress warmly in layers.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach transfer to the Banff Park Museum which displays an extensive collection of natural history specimens - from stuffed bears to minerals and plants. The museum is also involved in educating the public about natural resource management. Explore the museum with a Park expert and learn about the wildlife found in the Banff area. Coach transfer back to the hotel or stay downtown to explore independently.

Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore the many dining options in Banff; or join your group leader at a local restaurant ($$).

Afternoon: Free afternoon to take part in Christmas celebrations; or some winter activities such as snowshoeing or skiing; the sparkling, glacier-fed waters of Banff National Park freeze over in winter, providing you with some of the most scenic ice skating rinks in the world. Information and options will be provided. We will regroup late afternoon at the hotel to join in the Christmas Eve Celebration with a cocktail reception, and carol sing-along.

Dinner: Special Christmas Eve dinner buffet at the Rimrock Hotel; coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At your leisure. Attend midnight service or just relax at the hotel.Information on church services will be supplied to you on arrival at the hotel.

DAY
5
Afternoon Tea, Banff Springs, Sleigh Ride, Christmas Dinner
Banff, Alberta
L,D
The Rimrock Resort Hotel

Activity note: Walking less than 1 mile on paved walkways; some stairs; slippery terrain with snow or ice. Dress warmly in layers. Warm blankets and hot chocolate provided for sleigh ride.

Breakfast: Breakfast on your own.

Morning: Free morning to attend a church service or take part in Christmas activities. Information will be provided on area services and activities available on Christmas Day.

Lunch: Transfer by coach to the historic Banff Springs Hotel for afternoon tea. Since 1888, the Fairmont Banff Springs has symbolized the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies. Styled as a Scottish baronial castle, it was originally built for adventurous travelers crossing the Canadian Rockies by train. The grandeur of the holiday décor will add to this special experience. See why few hotels in the world can rival its majesty, hospitality and location. We will enjoy a festive themed Afternoon Tea while overlooking the breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Afternoon: A short coach transfer will take us to the stables to embark on a 45-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride through the winter wonderland of the Canadian Rockies, a unique and memorable way to experience another side of this wonderful mountain area. Glide beneath the snowy boughs and over fields of white powder in a crisp and clear afternoon or beneath the moonlit sky. Snuggle beneath warm wool blankets and breathe in that fresh mountain air as you sip hot chocolate and listen to the jingle of the sleigh bells. The friendly drivers will help deliver the perfect “Western Touch”.

Dinner: Enjoy a spectacular Christmas buffet feast in a private room at the Rimrock Hotel. Mix and mingle until the festive meal begins.

DAY
6
Program Concludes, Departure
Banff, Alberta
B

Activity note: Check-out is 12:00 p.m.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Independent departures after breakfast as per individual travel plans. Hotel check-out is 12:00 noon. 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.






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.