Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies

Treat yourself to vistas of unspoiled lakes and mountains during this eight-night journey through the Canadian Rockies. Stay in Kananaskis, Jasper and Banff, and discover the awe-inspiring scenery and unique culture of this rugged area. Pet the pups at a sled dog training facility. Feast your eyes on the scenery along the Athabasca River during a guided rafting excursion. Gaze at the planets above Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve. Board a specially designed vehicle to explore a glacier, and take a delightful gondola ride on Lake Louise!

Trip Itinerary:

July 11 Depart gateway city/Calgary, Canada/Kananaskis

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Calgary, Canada. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: YYC.

Arrive at Calgary International Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.

Transfer to Kananaskis, and check in to Delta Lodge at Kananaskis. Please note, if you arrive at the hotel before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore the many amenities at the lodge including an indoor pool, tennis courts, restaurants and other recreational facilities, or venture out to explore Kananaskis.

Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations – Delta Lodge at Kananaskis
Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

July 12 Kananaskis Valley

Discovery: Sled Dogs.
Experience a kindred moment with lovable huskies during an excursion to Mad Dogs & Englishmen – Sled Dog Expeditions. In addition to meeting and interacting with the friendly pups, learn about the history of dog sledding and how these beautiful canines — recognized for their strength, stamina, speed and endurance — are trained to work as disciplined sled dogs. This kennel is home to over 90 Alaskan huskies and puppies!

Discovery and Enrichment: Canadian Ranching.
Enjoy a barbecue lunch at Boundary Ranch, and indulge in the mystic beauty of the Kananaskis Valley. Tour the ranch and learn about the history of this family-run business and then visit their exhibition on local wildlife.

Accommodations – Delta Lodge at Kananaskis
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

July 13 Kananaskis/Jasper

Following breakfast, depart Kananaskis and drive toward Jasper.

Discovery: Peyto Lake and Athabasca Falls.
Travel into the heart of Alpine country in Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The mountain landscape and surrounding valleys were once undiscovered by Westerners. It wasn't until Europeans arrived in the 1700s that exploration truly began in this area, and Banff National Park was officially established in 1885. Marvel at the picture-perfect turquoise waters of Peyto Lake, which sits at 6,170 feet above sea level. During summer, large amounts of glacial rock flour flows into the lake, giving Peyto its magical blue color.

En route to Athabasca Falls, discover the historic and scenic Saskatchewan River Crossing during a brief stop.

Continue to Jasper, and check in to the Sawridge Inn Jasper.

Accommodations – Delta Lodge at Kananaskis
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

July 14 Jasper

Free Time: Enjoy time at leisure to explore Jasper today, or explore the beautiful countryside during today’s Elective Activities. These excursions leave at different times of day, and you are welcome to join one or both excursions if you wish.

Elective Excursion: Maligne Lake.
Journey to Maligne Lake, Canada’s largest glacial lake, and enjoy broad valley views resplendent with snow-capped mountains and sub-alpine forests. Embark on a cruise of the vivid-blue, 22-km long Maligne Lake. Along the way, learn about its history and how Henry MacLeod, a surveyor looking for a route for the Canadian Pacific Railway, stumbled upon the lake in 1875. Perhaps you will spot some of the region’s beautiful wildlife including elk, bear, moose and deer. Stop at the lake’s popular Spirit Island for a photo opportunity and to stretch your legs. Available at an additional cost.

Elective Excursion: Jasper Skytram.
Board the Jasper Skytram, the longest and highest aerial tramway in the Canadian Rockies and delight in a ride up Whistler Mountain. At the top, enjoy views from a soaring 7,472 feet! On a clear day, marvel at pristine scenery and see six different mountain ranges stretching up to 80 kilometers away, including Mount Robson in the distance. Aailable at an additional cost.

Dine on local fare during dinner in Jasper.

Discovery: Jasper Dark Sky Preserve.
Discover the Dark Sky Preserve of Jasper, an area where residents make a special commitment to protect and preserve the night sky and where no artificial lighting is visible at night. Begin with a visit to the Jasper planetarium to learn about the stars, planets, moons and galaxies hovering above Jasper. From the comforts of your chair, embark on an interactive, soul-stirring adventure of the black universe beyond Jasper’s lakes and glaciers. Learn about Jasper’s cosmic heritage and discover the “Canadian” constellations of the aboriginal First Nations such as the Great Bear or the Seven Bird Hunters. Experience a meteor shower and the Northern Lights. Afterward, stargazers will delight with taking an intimate stargazing journey above the world’s largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve. Peer through the largest telescope in the Rocky Mountains and view nebulas, star clusters, planets and galaxies. Guided by a planetarium astronomer, capture these live blazes of brilliant light that are simply hanging out in space, millions of light-years away. Also, learn how to use your DSLR camera to take photos of the night sky.

Accommodations – Sawridge Inn Jasper
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

July 15 Jasper

Free Time: Established in the early 19th century, Jasper was originally used as an outpost for the fur trade. Spend the morning at leisure in this endearing mountain town. Perhaps visit Jasper Brewing Company, a combination brew-pub and restaurant, or browse the village’s quaint boutiques and cafés.

Discovery: Athabasca River.
Board a specially designed raft and take an easy ride down the marine-hued Athabasca River, Alberta’s longest river. A licensed guide enhances your leisurely cruise with stories about the region’s human and natural history. In the Wood Cree language, Athabasca means, “there are plants one after another,” and the diverse flora surrounding the river’s four ecological regions boasts a rich assortment of spruces, firs, mosses and shrubs as well as aspen and poplar trees.

Accommodations – Sawridge Inn Jasper
Meals – Breakfast

July 16 Jasper/Banff

Following breakfast, depart Jasper for Banff.

Discovery: Columbia Icefield.
Delight in a visit to the Columbia Icefield. This Ice-Age sheet, formed during the Illinoisan period, once stretched across most of Western Canada’s mountains. Today, the giant hunk of ice covers just a small portion of a wide plateau. Climb aboard an Ice Explorer, a specially designed glacier vehicle driven by an expert guide, and embark on an adventure on a glacial highway. Learn about how the glacier was formed and delight in gorgeous topographic colors and land formations from the vehicle.

Enjoy lunch at a lodge located on the shores of Bow Lake.

Upon arrival in Banff, check in to the Moose Hotel & Suites and spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. You may enjoy strolling down Banff Avenue or visiting the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies to see an interesting portrayal of the art and culture from this beautiful region.

Accommodations – Moose Hotel & Suites
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

July 17 Banff

Discovery: Banff.
Today is filled with soul-thumping views of the Canadian Rockies. Admire alpine vistas, flower-strewn meadows, rugged terrain and rough-and-tumble mountains. See Bow Falls, located on the Bow River. Then take a drive around Surprise Corner where you will discover an amazing view of the historic Banff Springs Hotel complete with snow-capped mountains and the winding Bow River. Listen to the rush of the Bow Falls below and snap some photos of this postcard-perfect panorama. Continue on Tunnel Mountain Drive. See the sentinel Hoodoos, sedimentary rock that has been carved into interesting geological formations by wind and water. Take in the sights of Two Jack Lake, Johnson Lake, Lake Minnewanka and the deserted town of Bankhead while driving along the Lake Minnewanka Loop. Bankhead, now a ghost town, was once a community that supplied coal for locomotives of the Canadian Pacific Railway. See Banff’s largest lake, Lake Minnewanka, also called “Minn-waki” or “Lake of the Spirits.”

Enrichment: Memories of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Meet a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and, after lunch together, delight as he shares the history of the RCMP and his experiences.

Discovery: Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
Originally discovered by three Canadian Pacific Railway employees in 1883, these natural hot springs were recognized as Canada’s first national park. Take a guided tour around the Cave and Basin National Historic Site where the growth of Canada’s national parks are celebrated through interactive displays and exhibits. View the original cave where the hot mineral springs are located and see the nearby bathhouse.

Accommodations – Moose Hotel & Suites
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

July 18 Banff

Discovery: The Lakes.
Spend a morning visiting two of Canada’s prettiest lakes, Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Begin with a visit to glacial-fed Moraine Lake, which sleeps in a nook of the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Marvel at the turquoise waters and snow-capped mountains, an image once featured on the Canadian twenty-dollar bill. Continue to Lake Louise. Sitting at an elevation of 5,680 feet, Lake Louise is surrounded by the lofty peaks of Mount Lefroy and Mount Fairview. Often called the “Jewel of the Canadian Rockies,” this alpine lake is symbolic of the raw and rugged Canadian landscape. The lake is named after Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. Explore the sights of Lake Louise during an interpretive walk near the lake with a knowledgeable guide. Then, at Lake Louise Gondola, climb aboard either a ski-lift chair or an enclosed gondola for a gentle ride up to an elevation of 6,850 feet! During your ride, look for local wildlife including grizzly bears, black bears and elk. At the top, pause to take in stunning views of neighboring mountains and rolling fields from a viewing platform. This is a perfect opportunity to absorb the unspoiled wilderness of Banff National Park.

Join your group for lunch at a local establishment.

This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner.

Accommodations – Moose Hotel & Suites
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

July 19 Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Calgary International Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals - Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

NOTE: Itinerary schedule may change due to local conditions. Walking is required on many excursions, and surfaces may be uneven or unpaved.

Map:

Testimonials:

My expectations for this tour were high to start with and they were met on this tour. Alumni tours have always been well done and enjoyable. Just outstanding!

- Terry and Irene Summers, 2017


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