5339
Canmore
Canadian Rocky Mountain Hiking: Banff, Lake Louise and Yoho
Hike Banff and Yoho National Parks with experts as you learn about Lake Louise, giant glaciers, pioneer history and the impact humans are having on these delicate alpine environments.
Program No. 5339RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,999
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7 days
6 nights
16 meals
6 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Canmore, AB
D
Coast Canmore Hotel

Activity note: Check-in is 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to Canmore, Alberta. Shuttle from Calgary airport departs at 3:30 pm. Approximate arrival 5:00 p.m. Check-in is 4:00 p.m. for those arriving independently.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Program orientation and introductions after dinner. 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.

DAY
2
Hike Sunshine Meadows in Banff National Park
Canmore, AB
B,L,D
Coast Canmore Hotel

Activity note: This is a very active program with daily hikes on mountain trails with varied terrain. Two levels of hiking options are available. Moderate: (5-6 miles; 1000 -1700 feet elevation) and Motivated: (7-9 miles; 1200 - 2400 feet elevation). In addition to the distances listed, it is important to consider the amount of elevation gained and lost, the varied terrain, and the starting elevation of hikes, which ranges between 4,200-7,200 feet. Coach transfers to trailheads are between 45 - 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast with hot/cold options at Inn from 6:30 - 7:45 am.

Morning: During your scenic drive to the trailhead, your knowledgeable guides will present information about the history of Banff National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the harsh alpine environment of Sunshine Meadows and the influence of the pine beetle in mountain environments. Full day of interpretive hiking at Sunshine Meadows in Banff National Park. Learn about the ecology of the Sunshine Meadows area, one of the premiere hiking areas in the Rockies. The meadows are famous for the summer wildflowers, magnificent lakes, and monumental mountain peaks. All of our guides travel at what we call "guides pace" which is a easy-going but steady pace, with occasional breaks along the trail. The pace also reflects the relative speeds of the participants in the group, and won't go faster than the slowest person. We try to keep it at a pace where folks are able to have conversations while they're walking. That speed will vary from group to group, and from Moderate to Motivated.

Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Café includes sandwich, fruit, dessert & drink.

Afternoon: Continuation of morning hiking options at Sunshine Meadows. Discuss the human impact on the park's delicate alpine environment. Learn what measures are being undertaken to balance human encroachment with park conservation.

Dinner: Private buffet-style dinner at a local restaurant in Canmore; tea/coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Free evening to explore the town of Canmore

DAY
3
Icefields Parkway
Canmore, AB
B,L,D
Coast Canmore Hotel

Activity note: This is a very active program with daily hikes on mountain trails with varied terrain. Two levels of hiking options are available. Moderate: (5-6 miles; 1000 -1700 feet elevation) and Motivated: (7-9 miles; 1200 - 2400 feet elevation). In addition to the distances listed, it is important to consider the amount of elevation gained and lost, the varied terrain, and the starting elevation of hikes, which ranges between 4,200-7,200 feet. Coach transfers to trailheads are between 45 - 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast.

Morning: Talks will cover the history of Canmore, names and stories of surrounding peaks, and history of mining in the Rocky Mountains as we travel up the Icefields Parkway for full day of interpretive hiking in the North end of Banff National Park. Considered one of the most beautiful drives in the country, you will have the opportunity to see a landscape vastly altered by glaciers, many of which are still present to this day. Learn about the ecoregions of the Park while hiking upward from one to the next, starting in the subalpine and ending up in the alpine region.

Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.

Afternoon: Continuation of hiking options on the Icefields Parkway Examine the specific ecology of this area including native wildlife and their habitats.

Dinner: Buffet-style dinner at a local restaurant in Canmore.

Evening: Free evening to explore the town of Canmore.

DAY
4
Johnston Canyon, Banff, Bow Valley
Canmore, AB
B,L
Coast Canmore Hotel

Activity note: This is a very active program with daily hikes on mountain trails with varied terrain. Two levels of hiking options are available. Moderate: (5-6 miles; 1000 -1700 feet elevation) and Motivated: (7-9 miles; 1200 - 2400 feet elevation). In addition to the distances listed, it is important to consider the amount of elevation gained and lost, the varied terrain, and the starting elevation of hikes, which ranges between 4,200-7,200 feet. Coach transfers to trailheads are between 45 - 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Group breakfast buffet at the Coast Hotel from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Transportation will be provided.

Morning: Journey by coach up the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) while discussing the unique features of this montane ecosystem along the way. Explore the impact of wildfires, controlled burns and fire management efforts as strategies for protecting mountain wild lands. Learn about the stages of mountain building in the Canadian Rockies. Arriving in Johnston Canyon, morning hikes are enjoyed at your own pace as you learn about the geological timeline of the Canadian Rockies and the concept of differential erosion. Johnston Creek has carved down into the limestone on the valley bottom, creating a spectacular and deep canyon in a short period of time.

Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.

Afternoon: En route via Banff, the guides will share their knowledge on the history of Banff townsite, and the Banff Springs Hotel. Enjoy some free time in Banff. Explore independently the "Castle of the Canadian Rockies" - the Banff Springs Hotel and/or the many museums, shops and cafes that line Banff's bustling main street. Gain an appreciation for original Canadian artists and the art history of Banff with a visit to the Whyte Museum, or one of the town's cutting-edge art galleries. Learn more about aboriginal heritage, culture and handcrafted antiquities with a visit to the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. Optional walk to Bow Falls.

Dinner: Dinner on your own (at your own expense) in Canmore

Evening: Evening to explore Canmore.

DAY
5
Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake
Canmore, AB
B,L,D
Coast Canmore Hotel

Activity note: This is a very active program with daily hikes on mountain trails with varied terrain. Two levels of hiking options are available. Moderate: (5-6 miles; 1000 -1700 feet elevation) and Motivated: (7-9 miles; 1200 - 2400 feet elevation). In addition to the distances listed, it is important to consider the amount of elevation gained and lost, the varied terrain, and the starting elevation of hikes, which ranges between 4,200-7,200 feet. Coach transfers to trailheads are between 45 - 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast.

Morning: Today we cross the Continental Divide and head into British Columbia while learning about the famous Burgess Shale fossil beds (UNESCO World Heritage Site), wildlife corridors in the Bow Valley, and history of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Learn about the remarkable Spiral Tunnels and witness the amazing engineering feats of early railway construction through high mountain passes. Embark on a full day of interpretive hiking in Yoho National Park. Levels and groups as in previous days. Hiking destinations for the day include: Yoho Pass and Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Basin, and Emerald Lake circuit. Witness breathtaking views on all hikes and enjoy the lush and unique west-slope vegetation.

Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.

Afternoon: Continuation of interpretive hiking in Yoho National Park. Enjoy lakeside hikes along the jade-green waters of Emerald Lake and/or hike the trails of Emerald Basin. Discuss the significance of the Burgess Shale Fossil beds in the surrounding mountain ranges, one of the largest, oldest and best-preserved fossil beds in the world.

Dinner: Enjoy a unique dinner location at the historic Lake Louise Train Station restaurant. Dinner is plated and some of the ingredients are grown on-site in the Chef's garden; includes coffee/tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. The building is a treasure trove of historical photographs and early Canadian Pacific Railway memorabilia.

Evening: Return to Canmore will be later than usual due to our dinner in Lake Louise

DAY
6
Hike Moraine Lake & Ten Peaks Valley, Lake Louise & Chateau
Canmore, AB
B,L,D
Coast Canmore Hotel

Activity note: This is a very active program with daily hikes on mountain trails with varied terrain. Two levels of hiking options are available. Moderate: (5-6 miles; 1000 -1700 feet elevation) and Motivated: (7-9 miles; 1200 - 2400 feet elevation). In addition to the distances listed, it is important to consider the amount of elevation gained and lost, the varied terrain, and the starting elevation of hikes, which ranges between 4,200-7,200 feet. Coach transfers to trailheads are between 45 - 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast.

Morning: Today our topics of discussion include erosive powers and the shaping of the Canadian Rockies, current issues and future of our National Parks, and climbing culture (the Golden Age of Mountaineering). A full day of interpretive hiking at Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Levels and groups as in previous days. Begin your hiking expedition at turquoise-colored Moraine Lake, with close-up views of the Ten Peaks. Today's various destinations include secluded and picturesque Consolation Lake, the breathtaking Larch Valley trail, and the spectacular vistas of Sentinel Pass.

Lunch: Hearty home-made trail lunch from the Summit Cafe.

Afternoon: Following the hikes, a special stop later in the afternoon will give you the opportunity to view the world-renowned Lake Louise, the Victoria Glacier, and the grand Chateau Lake Louise. Free time to explore the Chateau and lakeside panoramas. Return to Canmore for dinner.

Dinner: Special farewell dinner (buffet) at Vic's Steakhouse in the Coast Hotel; coffee/tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Wrap-up and farewell gathering at the hotel.

DAY
7
Shuttle to Calgary, Program Concludes
Canmore, AB
B

Activity note: Check out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Deluxe continental buffet-style breakfast is served between 6:30 - 7:45 am.

Morning: Group shuttle departs from Canmore en route to Calgary Airport at 8:30 am. Approximate arrival at Calgary Airport is between 10 - 10:30 a.m. To allow for unexpected weather, and/or traffic conditions, participants should book flights that are scheduled to depart in the early afternoon. 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.