Ice-fields, rushing streams, lovely waterfalls, glacial peaks and towering summits are just a few of the scenic wonders awaiting you in the Canadian Rockies and at Glacier National Park. Once an exclusive Gilded Age wilderness playground, the Canadian Rockies are protected by four large national parks and collectively are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its wild and beautiful landscape permanently preserved, it is among the world's premier resort, outdoor sports and scenic drive destinations. Glacier National Park, home to more than 1,000 acres of forest, Alpine meadows and lakes, is where you will enjoy a drive over one of the most spectacular routes in North America - the Going to the Sun Highway. In the heart of the Canadian Rockies - and home to more than 100 glaciers and some of the most dramatic vistas in North American - the Icefields Parkway was originally a fur trading route. The first roadway was built in 1930s. Your trip on the present roadway, completed in 1965, is the chance to spot elk, deer, moose, black bears, grizzly bears, wolves and other wildlife. During a stop at the Columbia Icefields, a 200 square mile stretch of glaciers, you may have the opportunity to ride across the 1,000 foot thick Athasbasca Glacier on a snocoach if weather permits. Bow Falls and the Hoodoos (the land of the sleeping giants) are among the highlights of your stay in Banff, Alberta.
Day #1 Calgary, Alberta - Tour Begins - Beginning in the Canadian province of Alberta, your tour combines the best of the prairies, the majesty of the Canadian Rockies, and the beauty of Montana’s Glacier National Park, giving you a superb overview of these U.S. and Canadian wonderlands.
Day #2 Calgary Stampede - This morning, it’s off to the Calgary Stampede which has been entertaining people since 1912. You will travel to the Stampede grounds where you can visit the Midway, an authentic Indian Village, various exhibits and entertainment. Tonight you will have the opportunity** to have reserved seating for a great view of the various Stampede performances including the Chuckwagon races and musical entertainment.
Day #3 Calgary - Waterton Lakes National Park - This morning, journey south to the prairie lands while enjoying the distant views of the spectacular Rockies. Visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, one of the world’s oldest and best preserved buffalo jumps, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Head-Smashed-In, in the foothills of the Rockies, has been used continuously by Aboriginal people for over 5,500 years. Continue traveling south to Waterton Lakes National Park. En route, pass through quaint villages and travel along roads sometimes traversed by grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, cougars, wolves, moose and elk. Enjoy some leisure time to explore the grounds and take some photographs.
Day #4 Waterton Lakes National Park - Glacier National Park - Waterton Lakes - Today you’ll explore Glacier National Park. A naturalist's paradise, Glacier preserves over one million acres of forests, Alpine meadows and lakes, and is home to over 70 species of mammals and 270 species of birds. Enjoy a drive aboard one of the famous Jammer cars, built in the 1930s, over one of the most breathtaking roads in North America. “Going to the Sun Road”* stretches for 52 miles across the Continental Divide and offers incredible views of the valley and Glacier National Park.
Day #5 Waterton Lakes National Park - Banff, Alberta - This morning, relax during your journey to Banff and soak in a backdrop of wonderful wildlife and the majestic Canadian Rockies. Arrive at the grand Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as the “Castle in the Mountains,” for a luxurious two night stay. Enjoy leisure time to explore its charm, grace and beauty before a fun-filled, award-winning dinner show, “Oh Canada, Eh?!”. Enjoy a musical tribute to Canada as a singing Mountie, lumberjack and other native characters serve your delicious, family-style meal in a log cabin atmosphere.
Day #6 Banff - Begin the day with a sightseeing tour of the Banff area including stops at the lovely Bow Falls and at the fascinating Hoodoos, also known as the “Land of Sleeping Giants.” Later, enjoy a visit to a local ammonite specialist where you will learn about this rare gemstone that is found only in Alberta. The afternoon is at leisure. You may choose to browse through the shops and museums, or just take in the natural beauty of the area.
Day #7 Banff - Jasper - A wonderful day of sightseeing is in store for you while en route to Jasper. Journey along the unforgettable Icefields Parkway and behold lofty waterfalls, rushing rivers, glacial peaks, imposing cliffs and snowcapped mountain ranges. Stop at the Columbia Icefields for a ride (weather permitting) across this mass of glacial ice which is over 1,000 feet thick, representing the largest accumulation of ice south of the Arctic Circle. Continuing up the parkway, you may see bears and stately elk. Stop at powerful Athabasca Falls, which has carved intricate features into stone, before arriving in Jasper.
Day #8 Jasper - Calgary - Leaving the wonder of the Rockies for the prairies of Alberta, you'll enjoy a trip to the extraordinary Maligne Canyon before you return to the vibrant city of Calgary. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant.
Day #9 Calgary - Tour Ends - Your tour ends, leaving you with many pleasant memories of your outstanding vacation to two of the world’s most beautiful areas, the incomparable Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park.