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23439
Alberta

Outdoor Adventure in the Canadian Rockies With Your Family

On this active adventure with your family, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of the Canadian Rockies and watch for grizzly bears, eagles, mountain goats and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 23439RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
2,799 / ADULT
1,949 / CHILD
Alberta

Outdoor Adventure in the Canadian Rockies With Your Family

On this active adventure with your family, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of the Canadian Rockies and watch for grizzly bears, eagles, mountain goats and more!
Length
7 days
Starts at
2,799 / ADULT
1,949 / CHILD
Program No. 23439 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Age 9 - 18
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Jul 10 - Jul 16, 2022
Per Adult
2,799
Per Child
1,949
Select
Jul 10 - Jul 16, 2022
2,799
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
2,799
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
3,499
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
SOLD OUT
Jul 17 - Jul 23, 2022
Per Adult
2,799
Per Child
1,949
Select
Jul 17 - Jul 23, 2022
2,799
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
2,799
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
3,499
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
SOLD OUT
Jul 24 - Jul 30, 2022
Per Adult
2,799
Per Child
1,949
Select
Jul 24 - Jul 30, 2022
2,799
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
2,799
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
3,499
/ Adult
1,949
/ Child
Select Date

At a Glance

Experience the beauty of the majestic mountains as you ride on horseback along the Bow River trail with your family. Search for massive grizzly bears from up above on gondolas in one of the best places on earth to see them in the wild. An exploration of the Canadian Rockies is a dive deep into the great outdoors. Experience the incredible opportunity to explore the Rockies on hikes over iron catwalks above rushing rivers and on a white water raft as you glide over rapids. Together, you and your family will discover a region so abundant in wildlife, colorful nature and geology that you’ll think you’ve stepped into another world.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking two miles daily, stairs, river float on Class II to III rapids. Elevations up to 5,700 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Float the upper waters of the Kicking Horse River on a gentle but exhilarating white water rafting trip as your rafting instructor reveals the secrets of the mighty river.
  • Explore Yoho National Park, home to timber wolf, lynx, cougars, black bears, moose and more, and learn about Burgess Shale fossils, one of the most significant fossil sites in the world.
  • Witness a true feat of engineering — the Spiral Tunnels — two vast tunnels running figure-eight loops through the snowcapped mountains, and watch a train looping over and under itself, deep into the mountains and up the valley to the Kicking Horse Pass.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Cory Gross
Cory grew up in the Calgary area, living both in the city and on the ranches where his father worked. In 2005 he received a bachelor’s in Museum and Heritage Studies from the University of Calgary and currently works as an educator at the Glenbow Museum. Cory is also a volunteer with the Western Art Gallery at the Calgary Stampede and with several other heritage organizations throughout the city.

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

Profile Image of Cory Gross
Cory Gross View biography
Cory grew up in the Calgary area, living both in the city and on the ranches where his father worked. In 2005 he received a bachelor’s in Museum and Heritage Studies from the University of Calgary and currently works as an educator at the Glenbow Museum. Cory is also a volunteer with the Western Art Gallery at the Calgary Stampede and with several other heritage organizations throughout the city.
Profile Image of Morag Mottram
Morag Mottram View biography
Morag (which is an old Scottish Gaelic name), was born in Scotland and immigrated with her parents to Toronto in 1964 where she grew up, went to school, married, and raised two sons. Her and her husband moved to Canmore, Alberta in 2004 and have been enjoying living in this postcard ever since! Her goal is to share her passion, stories and knowledge of the Rocky Mountain Parks. Through engaging sessions which will motivate, inspire and energize, she wants others to learn about and experience what makes this the world’s best place to visit. Morag currently works in the guiding industry giving presentations, leading hikes and interpretive walks; as a step-on bus guide; and as a tour facilitator. She likes to share an awareness of the geology and geography, as well as the flora and fauna of this region, and enjoy discussing topics such as wildlife under/overpasses, fire and the landscape, water sources and sustainability, and local historical figures and their importance to the area. In addition to the various activities related to her careers in guiding and fitness, Morag enjoys travelling, kayaking, cycling, hiking, snowshoeing, sewing, cooking, music (studied oboe and piano) and reading.
Profile Image of Tracey Gage
Tracey Gage View biography
Tracy Gage feels most at home in nature. She has a bachelor’s in wildlife biology as well as a degree in geology and teaching. Tracy has been a professional excursion leader, educator and naturalist for over 20 years in the kind of jobs you only see on TV: grizzly bear and whale expert, hiking leader and mountain bike coach. Throughout the year she works as the executive director of a local not-for-profit group that trains educational excursion leaders to work in Alberta’s National Parks.
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.
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.
Stories from Where We Live, The Great North American Prairie
by Sara St. Antoine, Paul Mirocha (Illustrator), Trudy Nicholson (Illustrator)
An anthology of writings about this North American ecoregion, from Alberta and Saskatchewan south to Texas -- wonderfully useful as a young person's guide to people, nature and place.
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.
The Rocky Mountain Berry Book
by Bob Krumm
In an inspired move, Bob Krumm included recipes in this family oriented field guide to 15 berry species of the Rockies. Now children may pick and parents may cook, and everyone will be pleased.
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.
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.
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.
A Prairie as Wide as the Sea: The Immigrant Diary of Ivy Weatherall
by Sarah Ellis
Ivy Weatherall and her family leave a comfortable life in London for the promised riches of Canada's expanding West. Expecting to make their fortunes on Uncle Alf's ranch, the Weatheralls are shocked to find themselves living in a sod hut on a rented farm. Ivy is determined to taste life to the fullest, whatever hardships she may encounter. Writing in her diary, she recounts learning the new skills expected of a young farm girl. She struggles to help the family survive, but ultimately learns that responsibility brings its rewards.
Mark of the Grizzly
by Scott McMillion
McMillion gives readers a thorough understanding of the behavior of these magnificent, yet deadly creatures through examples of encounters gone very wrong.
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.
Rocky Mountains
by Jonathan Grupper
This National Geographic "Destinations" book, featuring breathtaking color photographs, introduces the wildlife and terrain of the Rocky Mountains. Geared for kids ages 6 to 12.
All Fall Down: The Landslide Diary of Abby Roberts
by Jean Little
After her father dies, Abby and her family move west to live with relatives who run a hotel in the mining town of Frank, Alberta. Abby keeps busy helping out at the hotel, being chief caregiver to her little brother with Down Syndrome, and learning Morse code at the telegraph office. When the devastating Frank Slide buries much of the town, Abby must do all she can to help. But a long-buried family secret emerged just before the disaster — and now she will have to wait for the dust to settle before getting the answers she so desperately wants. Inspired by two of her own relatives, one who helped run a telegraph office in the late 1800s and another who shares Abby's story (and her family secret), Jean Little crafts a compelling story rich with emotion and historical detail.
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.
Lost in the Barrens
by Farley Mowat
Two brothers face the wilderness with no food and little hope of rescue when their canoe is destroyed by the rapids in this tale of adventure for ages ages 9-12. To survive, they build an igloo, battle a towering grizzly bear, track several wolves, slaughter caribou for food and clothing. They tame two lost huskies for companionship -- and maybe a way home.
As Long As the River Flows
by Larry Loyie
In the 1800s, the education of First Nations children was taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures. As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl and watches his grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting and gathering trip
Reading The Rocks, A Biography of Ancient Alberta
by Monique Keiran
Scientists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology and natural history writer Keiran worked together to bring about this vividly detailed account of Alberta’s rich geological history, beginning with the Big Bang and traveling into the modern era. Includes over 200 full-color photographs and 45 maps, timelines and line drawings.
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7 days
6 nights
15 meals
6 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Calgary, Alberta
D
Best Western Plus Port O'Call Calgary Airport Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Register with the program staff and get your welcome packet. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel at 6:00 p.m.

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 daily 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. This is a Road Scholar Intergenerational program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised. We’ll continue getting to know our fellow Road Scholars and then settle in for the night.

DAY
2
Glenbow Museum, Calgary Zoo, Transfer to Banff
Banff, Alberta
B,L,D
Royal Canadian Lodge

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles on uneven terrain; bring sturdy shoes.

Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.

Morning: This morning we depart on a field trip to the Glenbow Museum, Western Canada’s largest and one of the nation’s foremost museum facilities. Its collection focuses on cultural and military history, ethnology, and mineralogy. What sets it apart from other museums chronicling the continent's Native cultures and pioneer settlement is the excellence of its interpretation. Especially notable is its vivid evocation of Native cultures — particularly the local Blackfoot — and compelling descriptions of western Canada's exploration and settlement. Docents will be on hand to answer questions during our self-directed exploration.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Encounter the animals who call the prairies, sub-alpine forests and Rocky Mountains home. Wander forested paths to discover natural enclosures where brown bears can bathe in a pond, bison survey the land and cougars and wolves nap in the sun. The Canadian Wilds section of the Calgary Zoo is also home to Skoki, a rescued Grizzly bear, whose story illustrates the sometimes sad consequences of human/bear interaction. We will then transfer by coach to Banff.

Dinner: At hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Banff National Park: Cave & Basin Site, Johnston Canyon
Banff, Alberta
B,L,D
Royal Canadian Lodge

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles on pavement and groomed trails, some stairs and uneven terrain at historic site. Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours drive by motorcoach with stops at points of interest.

Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.

Morning: Embark on an expert-led field trip to learn about the 1883 “discovery” of thermal hot springs at Cave and Basin National Historic Site, which gave birth to Banff National Park and the creation of Canada’s national park system. See dancing lights in the cave’s bubbling waters. First Nations people have long known and revered this spot and the reputed healing power of the mineral-rich waters and regard the Cave and Basin as a sacred place.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Banff.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our exploration of Banff National Park at Johnston Canyon. This spectacular canyon has been formed over thousands of years by the waters of Johnston Creek passing over limestone as it approaches the Bow River. The creek has cut through the limestone rock to form sheer canyon walls, as well as waterfalls, tunnels, and pools. We’ll traverse sturdy iron catwalks, with the waters of the creek flowing beneath our feet. Scan the rocks and woods for abundant flora and fauna, and keep an eye out for dippers, or water ouzel, who can be seen bouncing up and down on streamside rocks. These slate-grey birds are equipped with an extra eyelid that allows them to see underwater, and scales that close their nostrils when submerged.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Tonight we will have a scavenger hunt.

DAY
4
Horseback Riding, Ranching, Free Time
Banff, Alberta
B
Royal Canadian Lodge

Activity note: No experience necessary for horseback riding. Every rider has a friendly horse; lead and tail guides; basic horseback riding instruction; and a helmet (mandatory). The trail ride will be approximately an hour in duration.

Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.

Morning: Travel back in time while following the Bow River on horseback. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife amongst the thick marshes and grassy meadows. You’ll pass by the birthplace of the Banff National Park, where craggy rock walls surround pools of bubbling thermal water. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the horse stables, learn how a functioning ranch works, and about the daily activities of the staff. It’s not all romantic rides into the sunset!

Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore local cuisine

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local cuisine. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Grizzly Bears, Lake Louise Gondola
Banff, Alberta
B,L,D
Royal Canadian Lodge

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile on pavement or groomed trails. Approximately 1.5 hours total time on the coach; 75 miles.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Travel by coach to the Lake Louise region, a place of remarkable beauty and a significant habitat for grizzly bear, elk, lynx, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat. We’ll learn from a wildlife expert about the role national parks play in grizzly bear conservation and how plants and animals have adapted to survive in this remarkable landscape. The Bow Valley is considered an internationally significant wildlife migration corridor within the Park and the Lake Louise area is notable for its critical grizzly bear, elk, lynx, bighorn sheep and mountain goat habitat. As protected areas, the parks make an important contribution to grizzly bear conservation in the Rocky Mountain ecosystem. During the presentation, we will also hear how Parks Canada is conducting land use and management policies. We’ll have a chance to see grizzly bears in their natural environment from the fully-enclosed Lake Louise Gondola. The grassy slopes below the gondola offer lush, rich vegetation and, if we’re lucky on our brief but exciting ride, you may be able to observe one or more of these awesome creatures. We will also enjoy views of the green waters of Lake Louise from the top of the mountain.

Lunch: At a local restaurant near the gondola.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will visit Moraine Lake, surrounded by peaks and deep teal in color, this lake is nothing less than stunning and sits in the gorgeous Valley of the Ten Peaks. There will be time to explore during a visit to Chateau Lake Louise and walk the trail around the lake before returning to Banff for our farewell dinner and final night together.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Children's Activities with Group Leader

DAY
6
Whitewater Rafting, Yoho National Park, Field Centre
Banff, Alberta
B,L,D
Royal Canadian Lodge

Activity note: Whitewater rafting, on a moderate section of river, for 1.5 hours. Six fun and splashy rapids from Class II to Class III. No experience necessary. Bring own swimsuit and towel. Quality gear provided: neoprene wetsuits, booties and gloves; polar fleece sweaters; spray jackets; mandatory government-approved life jackets and helmets. Gear is meticulously maintained; cleaned and dried daily.

Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.

Morning: Starting inside Yoho National Park, this section of the Kicking Horse River offers fun and splashy waves and rapids along with beautifully scenic float sections. It is the ideal introduction to whitewater rafting. With expert river guides at the helm, six playful Class II and Class III rapids are safely navigated during the 1 ½ hour, downstream journey. ‘Alarm Clock’ rapid (just moments after pushing off from shore) is sure to wake everyone up, and ‘Hopi’s Hole’ will dowse the crew! How did the Kicking Horse River earn its name? What wildlife inhabits the area? What makes the river that beautiful colour? Discover the answers to these questions while enjoying the quieter, upper reaches of the Kicking Horse River.

Lunch: Delicious BBQ lunch served back at the RiverBase after the rafting trip.

Afternoon: We will transfer by motorcoach to Yoho National Park, with a stop at the Spiral Tunnels where we will see the trains go through the feat of engineering that was safer than the previously used switchbacks. With its name deriving from the Cree word for wonder and awe, Yoho boasts an impressive array of wildlife and geological marvel. At Emerald Lake, named for its remarkable color, we’ll go on an expert-led trail walk to learn about the interesting plant species found here and at the Burgess Shale quarries along Fossil Ridge. We will also visit the nearby Field Interpretive Centre, which has some informative displays including one with Burgess Shale fossils. Parks Canada staff will be available to provide information and answer questions.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Evening wrap-up and activities. We’ll share memories of the week and a photo montage of our adventures.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Banff, Alberta
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. Airport transfer departs Banff at 8:30 a.m. Approximate arrival at Calgary airport is 10:30 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel at 7:00 a.m. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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