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Great American Get-Together in Banff

Program No. 22397RJ
Join fellow Road Scholars in the heart of the Canadian Rockies to learn about the geology, ecology and culture of Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Emerald Lake and more.

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2024
Starting at
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED! Enroll by May 31, 2024 for free air from many cities!

DATES & starting prices
Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2024
Starting at
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED! Enroll by May 31, 2024 for free air from many cities!

At a Glance

Experience the very best of Road Scholar as you join lifelong learners from around the country for a week in Banff National Park — Canada’s oldest National Park. In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, enjoy field trips and insightful presentations that give you an up-close look into the geological history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nature walks shed light on the ecology of Lake Louise, Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake and more. Be introduced to the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity by the Director of this world renowned institution, and get a taste of the arts scene during a private screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles at a moderate pace, on mostly groomed trails or pavement.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Enjoy an exclusive screening and discussions with experts at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.
  • Journey along the Columbia Icefields Parkway and learn more about geological history and glaciology, then stop at the famous Athabasca Glacier.
  • Visit the world-famous Lake Louise as you learn about the challenges the future holds for these gems of Canada’s wilderness.

General Notes

Max of 75 participants, divided into groups for activities.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Jennifer Royal
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.

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 Colleen Campbell
Colleen Campbell View biography
Colleen is a Victoria, British Columbia native who has lived all over Canada and in many parts of the world. She holds three degrees in visual arts, has studied in the sciences and has worked as a wildlife field researcher, concentrating on coyotes and grizzly bears. She believes that studying wildlife means learning about all their interactions — plants and other animals — and about how and where they travel. Colleen was also full-time faculty at Mount Royal in Calgary for more than 30 years.
Profile Image of Andrea McPherson
Andrea McPherson View biography
Originally from Ontario, Andrea has settled into Calgary. Her love of travel has taken her around Canada and around the world. Andrea loves introducing visitors to the wonders of her home country of Canada and the vast range of experiences it has to offer. She is just as happy in the heart of a downtown metropolis as she is in the middle of the wild. From whale-watching to dog-sledding, from walks in downtown metropolises to the Rockies, Andreas has done it all.
Profile Image of Susan Carr
Susan Carr View biography
Susan Carr is a true nature lover. She studied geology in England — her home country — and expanded her knowledge of the Earth around her as she worked in the mining industry in both the U.K. and Western Canada. Susan moved to Canada over 30 years ago and loves exploring the mountains around her home in Calgary. Upon retirement, Susan began leading groups through the natural wonders of Heritage Park and discovered a love for sharing her knowledge of local history and nature with others.
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 Jim Olver
Jim Olver is the director of guest services at Banff Centre for Creativity where he has worked for 34 years. Jim has a bachelor’s in geology and a master’s from the Ivey Business School. He spent the first 15 years of his Banff Centre career producing leadership seminars and workshops specializing in marketing and customer service. As campus historian, Jim enjoys recounting stories of Banff Centre history. Jim is very active exploring the Rocky Mountains and is an active curler – one of Canada’s iconic sports.
Profile Image of Ileana Nielsen
Ileana Nielsen View biography
Ileana was born and raised in the beautiful city of Montréal. She stayed in Montréal to attend McGill University where she studied nursing. Ileana’s career led her to Ottawa where she married and had two boys, and eventually led her family to Calgary where she currently lives. Ileana fit right into the outdoor lifestyle of the Canadian Rockies with her love of skiing, hiking and photography. Two years ago Ileana made the transition into the travel industry and loves introducing Canada to visitors.
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.
Northern Rocky Mountain Wildflowers, Including Glacier, Waterton Lakes, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, and Yoho
by Wayne Phillips
Compiled by a former forest service ecologist and botany teacher at Yellowstone Institute, this handy guide features 300 species, expertly photographed, explained and organized by color and family for quick identification.
The Great Rocky Mountain Nature Factbook
by Susan Ewing
Ewing's family-friendly guide, with black-and-white drawings throughout, answers the curiosity of engaged visitors about the plants, animals and natural features of the Rockies.
Beautiful Alberta
by Mike Grandmaison
This oversized, photographic portrait of Canada's most prosperous province reveals the natural beauty of the Canadian West. From towering mountains to crystal clear lakes, Grandmaison's photos capture the beauty of Alberta.
Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains
by James Halfpenny, Todd Telander (Illustrator)
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.
Moon Handbook Canadian Rockies
by Andrew Hempstead
This comprehensive and authoritative guide by Banff-based Hempstead covers where to go and what to do from Jasper to Waterton.
Field Guide to Banff National Park
by James Kavanagh
This fold-up, laminated card features 133 color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered wildlife and a map.
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.
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 Banff National Park
by Andrew Hempstead
A practical guide to Banff National Park, packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history. With full-color maps and photos throughout.
Handbook of the Canadian Rockies
by Ben Gadd
Geology, plants, animals, history and recreation from Waterton/Glacier to the Yukon.
The Amazing Death of Calf Shirt and Other Blackfoot Stories, Three Hundred Years of Blackfoot History
by Hugh A. Dempsey
A wonderful collection of stories, illuminating the history of the Blackfoot people of the prairies of southern Alberta and northern Montana.
Rocky Mountain Nature Guide
by Andy Bezener
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.
After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America
by E.C. Pielou
Eighteen thousand years ago, an immense sheet of ice covered all of present day Canada and northernmost U.S. This story tells of how a harsh terrain was transformed into the environment we know today.

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.