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Enjoy hiking in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains through some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Visit spectacular national parks to discover unspoilt wilderness and views of jagged mountain peaks, glaciers and waterfalls.
Explore Tour Leader
8 nights simple camping
2 nights simple hostel
2 nights comfortable hotel
Trip maximum 12
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Calgary, home to the world renowned Calgary Stampede, this most dynamic of cities is a rich fusion of modern architecture and traditional heritage, where the pioneering history of the Canadian west is woven into everyday life.
Due to the number of evening flights into Calgary, your Leader plans to do the welcome meeting on the morning of day 2, and will leave a message in reception with details on timings and everything else that you'll need for the day. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Calgary at any time. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Calgary International Airport (YYC), which is around 20 minutes' drive.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might like to explore the city and soak up the friendly ambience of this spectacularly located community. Filled with museums, shops and cafes, the centre of the city is a great place to just wander and take in its majestic setting against the backdrop of those ever present mountains.
Ramada Plaza Calgary Downtown (or similar)
To the west of Calgary lie the stunning landscapes of Kananaskis Country, Alberta's breathtaking mountain playground. Driving out of the city we head along the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) towards the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. This landscape is home to bears, elk, moose and mountain lion.
We plan to hike out along the Kananaskis Lookout Trail later this morning that takes us through the forest and up to a fire lookout point. This offers some spectacular panoramas across the park to a sea of trees, barren peaks, wide valleys and large lakes.
A note on our campsites: all sites used throughout the trip have toilet and shower blocks, and are in beautiful natural locations. You'll help to set up and break camp, as well as loading and unloading the trailer. Meanwhile, your tour leader will cook you up some tasty food in the evenings. Some campsites include launderette and kitchen areas, and others have space for barbecues and fire pits.
Today's 12 kilometre/7.5 mile walk is expected to take around 4 hours with 420 metres/1378 feet of ascent.
Tunnel Mountain Village Campground (or similar)
Today we continue our exploration of the mountain landscapes of the beautiful Kananaskis Valley, making our way through the forests and willow flats of the Burstall Pass Trail. The wide trail climbs steeply, heading towards a patchwork of alpine meadows, passing Burstall Lakes. Crossing Burstall Creek we continue through a wildflower alpine meadow ascending to the viewpoint. On a clear day will be rewared with views out towards Mount Sir Douglas to the south, Mount Birdwood to the north and the peaks of Mount Galatea, The Fortress and Mount Chester.
Today's 15 kilometre/9.3 mile walk is expected to take around 5 hours and 30 minutes with 475 metres/1558 feet of ascent.
We begin hiking in the Banff region today. Set in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and site of the country's oldest national park, Banff is an expansive wilderness of some 6641 square kilometres/4127.4 mile, encompassing a stunning landscape of spectacular mountain vistas, alpine meadows and crystal lakes. One of the country's most spectacular wilderness areas, it is home to nearly 60 different species of mammals, including grizzlies, black bears, wolverines, marmots and moose. It can also boast some 280 species of birds including golden eagles, ospreys and white-tailed ptarmigan.
Today's route that takes us on the Cory and Edith passes. An often overlooked gem in the area, just a short drive from Banff's town centre, this route offers heart pounding ascents (around 900 meters/2953 feet gain), well worn swtich backs, dense forest and stunning alpine views. Today's loop trail take us up to the Cory Pass - considered by many to be the most spectacular hike along the Bow Valley Parkway - around Mt Edith and past Mt Louis; easily noted by the towering grey slabs of limestone that form its east face. The trail climbs steadily into Cory Pass where natural rock pillars guard the way. Eventually the trail will become a wide and gentle path covered with pine needles, we return back to the trailhead on the Edith Pass.
Today's 13 kilometre/8.1 mile walk is expected to take around 6 hours and 30 minutes with 915 metres/3002 feet of ascent.
Our next destination is Kootenay National Park, 1 of 4 protected reserves that form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. On arrival we take a hike along the scenic Stanley Glacier Trail, a moderate trail that follows a series of switchbacks through a huge burn area that is covered in wildflowers and lodgepole pine, before crossing the creek and meandering our way towards the open expanse of the Stanley basin. After the obvious evidence of fire presented to us on the lower part of the trail, this later section offers us the contrasting views of the Stanley Glacier and its meltwater run-offs. After our hike we make our way to our campsite for a 2 night stay.
Today's 9 kilometre/5.6 mile walk is expected to take around three hours with 395 metres/1296 feet of ascent.
Redstreak Campground (or similar)
Continuing our exploration of Kootenay National Park this morning, we begin our hike on the Kindersley Pass Trail, heading up towards the Kindersley-Sinclair summit, where we join the Sinclair Creek Trail. Passing through alpine meadows and forests of Douglas fir, the trail is dappled with wild roses, blue clematis and yellow columbine. As we reach the 2,395 metre/7858 feet Kindersley-Sinclair Pass we will hopefully be rewarded with some spectacular views of Mounts Sinclair and Kindersley, as well as the Devil's Tooth. Later we have the option to pay a visit to the Radium Hot Spring, where we can relax in the warm waters.
Today's 16 kilometre/9.9 mile walk is expected to take around 6 hours and 30 minutes with 1,055 metres/3461 feet of ascent.
This morning we drive to Golden, where we have an opportunity to take a rafting trip down the Kicking Horse River. Running through iconic British Columbian scenery of pine forests and jagged mountains, the Kicking Horse River showcases Canada at its finest. Class II-IV rapids are on the menu, and there is the option to add a tasty BBQ lunch after the trip.
For those who aren't keen on rafting there is also the option to visit the Takakkaw Falls, in Yoho National Park. Taken from the Cree word for 'magnificent', the falls are fed by the Daly Glacier and, at 373 metres/1224 feet are the second highest falls in Canada. Winding up a stunning switchback road, the falls can be seen from the nearby parking lot, but there is a 1.4 kilometer/0.9 mile easy walk that will take you closer to the drop. Please note that if no one decides to book the rafting, there may be the possibility for the whole group to do a more challenging hike from the Takakkaw Falls, along the Iceline Trail, a dramatic alpine track that traverses a landscape of rock and ice up to the spectacular falls. This is a 13 kilometre/8.1 mile moderate-to-challenging trek that is expected to take around 6 hours and 30 minutes, with 695 metres/2280 feet of ascent.
From here we continue on to Lake Louise, home to one of the most photographed glacial lakes in Canada.
During your 2 nights at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre the hostel rooms are all multi-share, with shared bathroom facilities. You will be in the smaller 4 bed dorms, which we will endeavour to keep private and same-sex where possible, although there may be other travellers outside of the group. The hostel is simple, but sociable - facilities include a living room and kitchen where meals will be cooked for the group.
Lake Louise Alpine Centre (or similar)
Today we undertake a classic hike in Banff National Park that gives us spectacular views of the world-famous Lake Louise area, as we walk on the Plain of 6 Glaciers trail. Walking around the lake in summer, we'll most likely be met by crowds of people that quickly start thinning out as we get further away from the entrance. This lakeside section of the hike is completely flat, before we veer off the lake and start slowly climbing past tall cliffs (look up and you may catch a glimpse of daring rock climbers here) and continuing through forest and onto open, rocky mountain paths. The hike climbs steeply up to a traditional Canadian teahouse, and offers stunning glacier views and a look back across Lake Louise and the iconic Chateau. From the teahouse, views of some of the tallest mountains in the Canadian Rockies are plentiful.
Today's 15 kilometre/9.3 mile trek on the Plain of 6 Glaciers trail is expected to take around 5 hours with 590 metres/1936 feet of ascent and descent.
This morning we'll drive along the celebrated Icefields Parkway, a breathtaking spectacle of lush coniferous forests, immense mountains, turquoise lakes and humbling glaciers. Our journey takes us into the landscapes of Jasper National Park and up to the Columbia Icefield, site of the most accessible glacier in North America. From here we will hike up to Wilcox Pass, named for Walter Wilcox who was in the party that made the first recorded trip into the area in 1896. The glacier scoured trail is blanketed in wild flowers and anemones during the summer season. The trial offers some outstanding views of the Columbia Icefields and Athabasca Glacier.
Today's 8 kilometre/5 mile walk is expected to take around 3 hours with 355 metres/1165 feet of ascent.
Whistlers Campground (or similar)
We continue our exploration of Jasper National Park today as we head out to hike the Bald Hills trail. The start of the trailhead is situated at Maligne Lake and, once on the trail, you will be offered some of the finest views of the lake in the region as well as the glaciated peaks to the east. The trail meandres through a protected caribou range and is around 12 kilometer/7.5 mile round trip, with just under 500 meter/1641 feet of height gain.
Today's 10.5 kilometre/6.5 mile walk is expected to take around 4 hours and 30 minutes with 480 metres/1575 feet of ascent.
Our last hike in Jasper National Park today takes us onto the Edith Cavell Trail. Mount Edith Cavell was named in 1916 after an English nurse who was executed by the Germans in World War I for having helped allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium. The mountain is easily viewed after a short way into our hike we reach Cavell Meadows. Also viewed from this area is the Angel Glacier which flows down the north face of Mt Edith cavell and is named as such due to its appearance of an angel with outswept wings. Named in the 19th century when it was much larger, the glacier is slowly melting and will soon no longer have its distinctive appearance.
Today's 6 kilometre/3.7 mile walk is expected to take around 3 hours with 400 metres/1312 feet of ascent.
This morning we travel back to Banff along the last of the Icefield Parkway. Our final day in the Rockies takes us on a shorter, but no less spectacular, trail, Parker Ridge. The trail takes a steady upwards direction (250 meter/820 feet of ascent) to get to the top of the ridge and above the 3 line. From the top of the ridge we will get great views of the Saskatchwan Glacier, stretching up the valley that it has carved out over thousands of years. At 288 sq km/179 mile the Columbia Icefield is the largest icefield south of the arctic circle. Leaving behind this beautiful region we return to Banff to explore the town where there will also be a chance to pay an optional visit to the Hot Spring before continuing to Canmore where we spend our final night.
Today's 6 kilometer/3.7 mile hike is expected to take around 2 hours with 250 metres/820 feet of ascent.
Quality Resort Chateau Canmore (or similar)
Departing from our hotel in Canmore after breakfast, we drive to Calgary, where our trip ends. We will arrive at the Ramada Hotel in Calgary at around 10am from here you will be transferred to the airport according to your flight departure time. If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Calgary International Airport (YYC). The earliest your flight can depart is 1pm.
If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at the Ramada Hotel and you will have an opportunity to explore a little of the city on foot before travelling to the airport.
Total distance : 110 kilometres
May-Sep is the best time to visit, when the weather is usually warm, dry and pleasant. Temperatures can be a little cooler on the coast and in the mountains; rain can be expected at any time. Early in the season, there can be snow in some areas which may limit walking possibilities.
2 Pin Flat
Roman Catholic, Protestant
English and French
There are a number of exciting optional excursions you can do on your trip: Banff - Gondola CAD$ 65; Hot Springs CAD$ 9.50; Canoeing on the Bow River CAD$50 (1hr) CAD$80 (2 hrs); Three Sisters Peaks Helicopter tour CAD$ 129 (15mins); Royal Canadian Helicopter tour CAD$ 259 (25mins); Mt. Assiniboine Helicopter tour CAD$ 314 (30mins) Kootenay - Radium Hot Springs CAD$9.25; Rafting CAD$92 for a half day, or CAD$128 for a full day (class 1 to 3 rapids) Kicking Horse - Rafting CAD$128 (without barbecue) CAD$179 (with barbecue) (option of class 2&3; class 2 to 4+; or class 4 rapids) Lake Louise - Canoe rental CAD$135 per half hour, CAD$145 per hour Jasper - Skytram CAD$ 69; Maligne Lake boat tour CAD$ 72; Rafting trip CAD$ 69-102 (option of class 2 or class 3 rapids); Miette Hot Spring CAD$ 7.50 All optional excursion costs are subject to change at the discretion of the local supplier.
Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. The weather conditions in the mountains can be changeable, and it can become cool, especially at night, so bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and warmer are recommended as a base layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. A waterproof jacket is essential at all times in case of rain and wind. -Breathable wind and waterproof jacket (you may also wish to bring waterproof trousers) -T-shirts -Long sleeved tops -Sunhat -Long trousers -Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them) -Swimwear and towel -Midlayer Fleece/pullover -Socks (liner and thicker pair)
We recommend you bring walking boots with ankle support- leather or fabric are both fine. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. Some footwear that you don't mind getting wet is essential for whitewater rafting or canoeing. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, water and picnic lunch. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.
-Sunglasses -Sun cream -Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb) -Camera -Walking poles (if you usually use them) -Personal toiletries -Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. -Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone) -Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore -Lunch bag/Tupperware (for packed lunches) -Sleeping mats are provided - Bring a sleeping bag (3 season, up to -7C). Sleeping bags can be hired in Canada for $50CAD. Please request them when you book, or no later than 5 weeks prior to travelling. The $50CAD can be paid to your Tour Leader upon arrival.
All camping equipment is provided except a sleeping bag. Like many adventures of this type, much of the team spirit and camaraderie is developed through mucking in and helping out with basic camp responsibilities. This will include the setting up and taking down of camp, the loading and unloading of the trailer, meal preparation, washing and clearing up. Be prepared for some early starts and some long days - there is an enormous amount to see! All camping sites used throughout the trip have communal toilet and shower blocks, and are in beautiful natural locations. Your local tour leader will cook you up some tasty food in the evenings. Some campsites include launderette and kitchen areas, and others have space for barbecues and fire pits. During your two nights at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre the hostel rooms are all multi-share, with shared bathroom facilities. You will be in the smaller 4 bed dorms, which we will endeavour to keep private and same-sex where possible, although there may be other travellers outside of the Explore group. The hostel is simple, but sociable - facilities include a living room and kitchen where meals will be cooked for the group.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
When travelling to Canada, you will need the following: ETA - Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia and passport holders from several EU countries can apply for an ETA here - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp - other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. When travelling to Canada, you will need the following: ETA - Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia and passport holders from several EU countries can apply for an ETA here - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp - other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. USA: If transiting via the US you will require either a visa or an ESTA (an evisa). Please read on for more information. Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can apply for an ESTA under certain conditions. This applies if you enter the country by sea or by air, and this must be done online via https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov, no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. You must have a biometric passport to apply for an ESTA. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover. If you have visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen since 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA and instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel. You should also be aware that if you have travelled to or have been in Cuba since the 12th of January 2021, you will not be eligible for an ESTA visa waiver and will need to apply for a US visa. You should consult the US State Department website to determine which you will need. Your ESTA application will ask for Point of Contact information. Please note that if you're only transiting through the USA then this is not required. If you're visiting or staying in the USA on an Explore trip, then our USA contact information will be listed on your final documentation which you will receive approximately 3-4 weeks before departure. Entry requirements for the USA can change regularly, therefore, please ensure you have the most up to date information before you travel by checking the US embassy website. Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.