The World-Famous Calgary Stampede and Banff
Discover a world of cowboys and cowgirls, Canada-style, at the Calgary Stampede, where you’ll learn the nation’s pioneer story and enjoy excursions to parks, canyons and museums.
Rating (4.5)
Program No. 20648RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
11 meals
5 B 3 L 3 D
Getting There
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Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Banff, Alberta
The Rundlestone Lodge

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel in Banff; check-in is 4:00 pm. A transfer will be available from Calgary airport to the hotel in Banff; departing the airport at 3:00 p.m. - this is included in the program. Approximate arrival in Banff is 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel at 6:00 p.m.

Evening: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. 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.

Banff National Park, Cave & Basin, Lake Louise, Emerald Lake
Banff, Alberta
The Rundlestone Lodge

Activity note: Optional 1.25 mile/2 km trail walk at Lake Louise. Trail walk at Emerald Lake is an easy 1.5 hour walk on a flat lakeside trail, no elevation gain. Stops along the way for interpretation

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Join a local expert to learn about the history and geology of the Canadian Rockies. Then explore the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. The warm waters issuing from Sulphur Mountain were known to aboriginal peoples. These hot springs later became the centrepiece of Canada's first national park (and the world's third.) We will also stroll down to the warm marshes below the springs, easily accessible along a boardwalk, to see introduced tropical fish and warm-water plants. Bring your binoculars!

Lunch: Box lunch in Lake Louise (weather permitting). Explore the alpine beauty of the Lake Louise area; optional trail walk.

Afternoon: After lunch we explore Lake Louise, then head for Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is another jewel of the Canadian Rockies. On a guided trail walk, learn about the interesting plant species found here and the Burgess Shale quarries along Fossil Ridge. Thanks to its position of the west side of the Great Divide in Yoho National Park, Emerald yields up four very different environments: a huge avalanche path, the normal forest, a dry and dramatic alluvial fan and the towering trees of the rainforest.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Whyte Museum, Travel to Calgary, Glenbow Museum, Stampede
Calgary, Alberta
Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel

Activity note: Participants will receive an up to date event planner with confirmed times and venues for all Stampede events and activities. There will be several options to choose from this evening which could include: a tractor pull, cutting horse competition, heavy horse pull, miniature donkey showcase, stock dog championship and more. The schedule and activities are subject to change.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Take a walk back in time and get to know the colorful individuals who built the town of Banff at the Whyte Museum. This expert-led walk meanders through history to take you to the riverside site where Tom Wilson established one of the first outfitting operations in the area, St. Georges-in-the-Pines Anglican Church with its unique stained glass windows, and the Luxton Home and Garden. These and many other intriguing stops reveal the fascinating history of this town. In addition, visit to the galleries and exhibits in the Whyte Museum .

Lunch: Box lunch en route to Calgary. Travel time from Banff to Calgary will be approximately 1.5 hours on the coach (washroom available).

Afternoon: Arriving in Calgary, we explore the colorful western history and heritage of the Canadian west at the Glenbow Museum, western Canada's largest. Hear tales of the RCMP, the Blackfoot people, early European pioneers, whiskey traders, and ground-breaking entrepreneurs with an expert guide. Discover the new permanent exhibit, "Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta", which illustrates the province's history through the dynamic stories of over 40 mavericks from Western Canada's Past.

Dinner: Dinner on your own at the Stampede grounds.

Evening: Participants will receive an event planner with confirmed times and venues for all Stampede events and activities. There will be several options to choose from this evening including the Stock Dog Trials, Mini Horse Competition or the Heavy Horse Competition which showcases light, middle, and heavy weight classes of heavy horses as they try to pull loads of over five times their own body weight across various distances. Late check-in (9:00 p.m.) at the hotel in Calgary.

Big Four, Calgary Stampede, Rodeo Event
Calgary, Alberta
Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, standing.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: A presentation will provide an introduction to the city of Calgary, highlighting the 'Big Four' founders of the world famous Calgary Stampede. American promoter and trick rider Guy Weadick launched the first rodeo and festival in 1912 in the hopes of establishing an event that more accurately represented the "wild west" than the shows he was a part of. Hear how he convinced several businessmen to put up $100,000 to guarantee funding for the event who came to be known as The Big Four. Over 100,000 people attended the first event in 1912. Then we head to the Stampede grounds.

Lunch: Lunch at the Stampede Clubhouse.

Afternoon: We will take in one of the rodeo events at the Calgary Stampede with reserved seating. Attend the Rodeo and watch the world's best rodeo athletes - both humans and livestock. Your reserved seat gives you a great view of this major Stampede event. Thrill to the contest between cowboy and stock and see which one comes out on top! There will be additional time before dinner to further explore the grounds and take in more of the activities that the Stampede has to offer.

Dinner: Dinner on your own on the Stampede Grounds.

Evening: Participants will receive an event planner with confirmed times and venues for all Stampede events and activities. There will be several options to choose from this evening. We will depart the grounds approximately 9:00 p.m.

Stampede, Indian Village, Chuckwagon Races & Grandstand Show
Calgary, Alberta
Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel

Activity note: Today is a full day at the Calgary Stampede, with up to 2 miles of walking, standing. The Chuckwagon Races and Grandstand Show starts at 8:00 p.m. We depart the Stampede approximately 11:30 p.m.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Enjoy a full day and evening at the Calgary Stampede, 'The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth'. We will have some scheduled activities and participants will have free time to explore the grounds. This morning we visit the agricultural area; and learn about the history of the Treaty 7 First Nations historic partnership with the Calgary Stampede at the Indian Village. A major part of the Calgary Stampede since its inception in 1912, the Indian Village provides the opportunity for visitors to experience the First Nations traditions and culture first hand. Knowledgeable Native interpreters will guide you through the village to demonstrate the heritage and culture of the Treaty 7 natives.

Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Stampede Grounds. There are many venues including The Cantina, Nashville North, Mavericks Dining Room and Lounge: Harvest Room Cafe and The Range.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore on your own. There are lots of other exciting activities to choose from - see a working cow horse competition and rodeo events in the Northern Lights Arena, learn how the West was built with horsepower at Saddledome Lane or visit the Western Oasis and experience artistic excellence in photographs, bronzes, paintings, cooking demos, arts & crafts and western entertainment. We will provide a list of events.

Dinner: Farewell dinner on the grounds of the Calgary Stampede at the Stampede Clubhouse.

Evening: Your farewell evening begins with the exciting Rangeland Derby and the thundering Chuckwagon Races. The pounding of hooves and trembling of the ground marks the beginning of the world's premier chuckwagon event. Witness all the heart-stopping action as the teams vie for over $1.15 million in prize money! During the Stampede, the races start nightly at 8 pm. Then finish the night with a real blast at the Grandstand Show where it's all about heat, horses and hoof beats. It promises gravity defying sights at dizzying heights and combines equine magnificence, whimsical dreamscapes and spontaneous bursts of pyrotechnic energy. This extravaganza blends music, dancing, singing and spectacle into a remarkable production that is sure to create an unforgettable experience. The climax of the evening is the explosive, award-winning fireworks finale. The show is a blazing ball of energy featuring popular artists, fantastic acrobats and amazing scenes. The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede are joined by a world-class line-up of performers that will awe you, inspire you and energize you.

Program Concludes
Calgary, Alberta

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel is at 7:30 am.

Morning: Departures from the Calgary hotel after breakfast as per individual travel plans. Hotel check out is 11:00 am. 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.