This compact vacation delivers the pristine wilderness of several national parks and the soaring beauty of the Rockies on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border. From Calgary, travel to Waterton Lakes National Park, a beautiful national park with rugged mountains, beautiful water, and wilderness. Enter Montana through Glacier National Park, where you’ll enjoy a thrilling drive on the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard the famous red "Jammer" bus. The Going-to-the-Sun Road crosses 6,664-foot-high Logan Pass and offers alpine scenery where jagged mountain peaks, deep green forests, pristine lakes, and meadows dominate the landscape.Re-enter Canada and visit the historic mining town of Fort Steele, the famous health spa at Radium Hot Springs, and Kootenay National Park in British Columbia. On to Alberta for 2-night stays in both Banff and Jasper National Parks. In Banff, enjoy a ride on the Banff gondola up Sulphur Mountain and leisure time to explore on your own. As you head to Jasper National Park, stop for a memorable ride aboard an Ice Explorer at the 1,000-foot-thick Columbia Icefield. In Jasper National Park, take a cruise to Spirit Island. Visit famous Lake Louise, a highlight of your vacation, before returning to Calgary, where you’ll attend the Calgary Stampede.
Day #1 Arrive in Calgary. Welcome to Calgary! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day #2 Calgary–Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump–Waterton Lakes National Park. Before departing Calgary, enjoy an orientation tour of the city’s highlights. Travel south along the Macleod Trail. Just outside the town of Fort Macleod, visit HEAD-SMASHED-IN BUFFALO JUMP, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, on to scenic WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK, with a photo stop at Cameron Falls. (B)
Day #3 Waterton Lakes National Park–Glacier National Park–Going-to-the-Sun Road–Whitefish. Enter Montana through Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and behold the awesome snowcapped peaks of GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. A highlight awaits you as you board the famous vintage red “JAMMER BUSES” that will take you along one of North America’s most spectacular highways: Going-to-the-Sun Road. After crossing 6,664-foot-high Logan Pass, enter a geographical wonderland of alpine scenery where jagged mountain peaks, deep green forests, pristine lakes, and meadows dominate the landscape. Before arriving at your resort, enjoy a made-from-scratch piece of [LF] HUCKLEBERRY PIE or ICE CREAM. A delicious treat to end your day. (B,D)
Day #4 Whitefish–Fort Steele–Radium Hot Springs–Kootenay National Park–Banff. Re-enter Canada today, with two stops in British Columbia before crossing into Alberta. First, visit the restored town of FORT STEELE, where fortunes were made during the Kootenay Gold Rush; then, stop at RADIUM HOT SPRINGS, a famous health spa. Drive through the steep red cliffs of Sinclair Canyon and KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARK before entering BANFF NATIONAL PARK, the heart of the Canadian Rockies. (B)
Day #5 Banff. This morning, take a scenic ride on the BANFF GONDOLA to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Enjoy the spectacular views of the valley below as you savor breakfast. Additional morning sightseeing includes stops at Bow Falls and the hoodoos. The balance of the day is at leisure, or join one of the optional helicopter flightseeing trips offering unsurpassed views of the Rockies. This evening, a fun-filled musical about Canada awaits you at the optional dinner theater, Oh Canada Eh? (B)
Day #6 Banff–Columbia Icefield–Jasper. Follow the breathtaking Icefields Parkway today and head for JASPER NATIONAL PARK. Scale Bow Pass, with splendid views of Peyto Lake. Then, climb to Sunwapta Pass to savor stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and glacier masses. Next is the highlight of the day: stop at the 1,000-foot-thick Columbia Icefield for a memorable ride aboard an ICE EXPLORER. See Athabasca Falls before reaching Jasper. Still time this afternoon for an optional float trip down the historic Athabasca River. (B)
Day #7 Jasper. Excursion to Maligne Lake. The morning is at leisure. Optional activities include hiking, canoeing, and strolling the streets of Jasper. Maybe take an optional hike to learn about glacier formations found in the area. This afternoon, journey to Maligne Lake for a fully narrated CRUISE of the glacial lake and Spirit Island. Afterward, enjoy a [LF] lakeside dinner featuring incredible views and local fare including famous Alberta beef. (B,D)
Day #8 Jasper–Lake Louise–Calgary. This morning, retrace the route south along Icefields Parkway. One more highlight saved for the last day of your vacation: a visit to famous LAKE LOUISE. Continue to Calgary, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner at the unique [LF] Selkirk Grille at Heritage Park. Wonderful conversation and Canadian specialties make the perfect finale for your vacation. (B,D)
Day #9 Calgary. Today, explore the CALGARY STAMPEDE grounds at your leisure with your included admission. Step through the gates of Stampede Park and enter a world of wonder, fun, and “Wild West” excitement. Walk back in time through an authentic Indian village, or stroll the streets of a recreated frontier town. Enjoy a wide variety of exciting talent at the many entertainment stages, then maybe head into the dazzling array of international exhibits and displays of Western art. This evening, watch the heart-stopping CHUCK WAGON RACES in an all-out dash for the finish line, an amazing contest of nerves and horsepower. Afterward, get ready for a gigantic OUTDOOR STAGE SHOW featuring hundreds of singers, dancers, and musicians who dazzle you in a lavishly produced and choreographed musical variety spectacular. (B)
Day #10 Calgary. At leisure to explore the stampede grounds. Maybe visit Rope Square with its variety of Western entertainment and fun. This afternoon, see the best of the best as they saddle up for world-class RODEO action. Top professionals take on the West’s wildest horses. You’ll also enjoy rodeo’s most famed event—bull riding! (B)
Day #11 Calgary. The vacation ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Calgary International Airport. (B)