Canadian Rockies & Northern Lights

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Canadian Rockies & Northern Lights

Was From $ 5,285 AUD
Now From $ 4,492 AUD
Sale!

Description

Experience the rugged mountains of Canada and go in search of the northern lights in the night skies of Alberta. Watch for moose, white-tailed deer and elk as you drive through pristine Canadian wilderness. Admire curtains of ice along a steel catwalk built into the rock walls of Johnston Canyon. Meet and greet a team of canines before ticking dogsledding off your bucket list – one of the many optional activities on offer. Otherwise, just wrap your hands around a mug of hot chocolate and lose yourself in the beauty of the Rockies. Packed with eye-popping views of snow-capped mountain ranges and frozen wonderlands, this 11-day adventure is the ultimate great white north escape.

Trip Name
Canadian Rockies & Northern Lights
Last Updated
2020-01-21
Days
11
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Spend time exploring Edmonton, Peace River and Banff at your own pace, stopping to admire the surrounding mountain ranges.
  • Navigate the frozen waterfalls, ice caves and ice formations of Maligne Canyon on a guided exploration of the deepest accessible canyon in Jasper National Park.
  • Gaze at the clear night skies of Peace River and witness the natural phenomenon of Aurora, often referred to as the northern lights.
  • Cruise from Jasper to Banff driving on the Icefields Parkway and enjoy the roadside views – made even more scenic when you’re not the one driving.
  • Discover the natural beauty of renowned Lake Louise, and perhaps join an optional sleigh ride around its snow-covered banks.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MEALS Please note that day-by-day meals are indicative only. You will receive the same number of meals, but they may not happen exactly on the days indicated. Your leader may change the days that meals are provided to best suit the needs of the group and the timing of the activities on your trip.

Day 1 - Edmonton
Welcome to beautiful Edmonton, Canada. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. If you arrive early, perhaps visit the biggest mall in North America: West Edmonton Mall, or instead, learn about Canadian living history at Fort Edmonton Park, visit the nearby Ukrainian Cultural Village, and explore the small theatres and diners of the University District.
Day 2 - Peace River
Get a full-on sense of Alberta’s past with an included morning visit to the Royal Alberta Museum, the largest in western Canada. Learn about the heritage of Alberta’s people and natural environment through the exhibitions on display. Then, drive through spectacular wilderness to the town of Peace River (approximately 6 hours). After dinner you will head out in search of a view of the spellbinding northern lights (clouds permitting). Enjoy a bonfire under the darkness of the night sky and cook some s’mores while you’re waiting.
Day 3 - Peace River
Today you are free to choose your own adventure in Peace River. Perhaps head to the Wildland Provincial Park, an important wildlife corridor for elk, deer and bears. This is a perfect place to practice snowshoeing before your excursion to Lake Louise later in the trip. You could stroll along the Peace River, which may or may not be frozen, and breathe in mountain air. You may even try your luck at ice fishing. After dinner, head back again to look for the unpredictable northern lights in your second dedicated night of sky gazing. The lights occur when several factors, including local cloud levels, solar flares on the sun or solar wind, converge to produce magical hues dancing in the winter night sky.
Day 4 - Jasper
Drive to Jasper National Park (approximately 6 hours), arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon. Once settled in, go searching for wildlife such as moose, elk, deer, bears and coyotes. In the evening, perhaps take yourself out for dinner in Jasper, as there are a variety of restaurants to choose from. Ask your local leader for suggestions on where to go.
Day 5 - Jasper
Experience the caves, icicles and frozen waterfalls of Maligne Canyon on an ice walk in the morning. The canyon’s name refers to its ethereal beauty in winter, where waterfalls freeze over and icicles cascade like teeth in the mouths of the park’s many caves. A local guide will safely escort you through this maze of natural ice sculptures (tread-enhancing cleats will be provided) while you learn about Jasper’s karst topography and the mystery of disappearing Medicine Lake. Included today is lunch at Jasper Brewing Co: Canada’s first National Park Brewery. The rest of the afternoon is free. Try one of Jasper’s short walking trails, admiring the scenic mountain ranges that greet you in every direction.
Day 6 - Lake Louise
Prepare yourself for an unforgettable drive as you set out on the Icefields Parkway. The world-renowned roadway between Jasper and Banff stretches 232 kilometres (144 miles) through a landscape of jagged mountaintops and past 100 ancient glaciers. At its heart is the Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains. The massive Athabasca Glacier, measuring 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) long and 1 kilometre (.62 mile) wide flows within walking distance of the roadway, so take a hike to its toe (the current lowest endpoint of a glacier). Tonight, arrive at Lake Louise to relax and ready yourself for another active day tomorrow.
Day 7 - Lake Louise
Lake Louise is an iconic snapshot of Canada, and today you’ll experience one of its many beautiful moods. There are many options on how to spend the day, including an optional horse-drawn sleigh ride past the glacial lake. You’ll be able to take a snowshoe hike along one of the lake’s many trails, or perhaps pop on a pair of skates and practice some figure eights (or ice stumbles) while gliding across the surface of the lake. Included today is lunch at The Station Restaurant – a heritage railway station which serves hearty Canadian favourites. If you’re looking to continue to put your feet up, the Fairmont Chateau does a beautiful afternoon tea. For those lucky enough to be in Lake Louise during its annual Ice Magic Festival in January, be sure to take a look at the precision and delicate skill on display in the various ice sculptures by the lake.
Day 8 - Banff
Drive to nearby Banff (approximately 1 hour): Canada’s most famous mountain resort town. While located inside a national park, Banff offers plenty of shops, restaurants and bars to distract you from the surrounding natural beauty. Gain a sense of Canadian Rockies culture at the Whyte Museum, where over 200 years of artwork tells the story of the rugged men and women who settled in Banff. Sub-zero temperatures turn Banff’s waterfalls into glittering ice sculptures, and today you will visit Johnston Canyon ice walk to see this all on display. Hike along steel catwalks built into the canyon walls and wander among massive pillars of ice. With all this adventuring, you must be hungry, and so it’s a perfect time for a Beavertail tasting experience. Beavertails are a deep-fried sweet dough made with whole wheat flour and pulled by hand to resemble the long flat tail of a beaver. Order a classic cinnamon and sugar or go a little bit wild with some whipped cream and decadent Nutella – you’ll be licking your lips for hours!
Day 9 - Banff National Park
Enjoy a free morning in Banff before an included snowshoe hike with your group at Sunshine Village Ski Resort, about 20 minutes out of town. To start, head above the tree line, and then put on your snowshoes and trek across the white powder with a professional guide. Your backcountry hike will be made extra sweet with a stop for hot cocoa and cookies on top of the (Sunshine Village) world.
Day 10 - Banff/Canmore
In the morning, take a short drive to Canmore, which is within the Kananaskis Country park system, and embark on an included ice walk at the Grotto Canyon, using special hiking crampons to grip the smooth frozen creek beds. Alternatively, you could book yourself a dogsledding adventure with a trusted provider, where you’ll meet and greet the dogs on your team before being pulled along the frosty trails by these canines. Return to Banff for the night – a group dinner in town may be on the cards.
Day 11 - Calgary
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge before a drive back to Calgary (approximately 1.5 hours). Your trip will end at Calgary International Airport, the arrival time depends on each group however If you decide to fly out this day, please don't book a flight before 3pm. Drop off in Calgary city can be arranged, please discuss this with your Trip Leader. There are no activities and accommodation planned for the day. If you have the rest of the day here, why not visit the giant pandas at the Calgary Zoo, check out the urban neighbourhood of East Village, or walk across Peace Bridge and explore Prince Island’s Park on the Bow River.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
01-03-202011-03-2020AUD $ 4,492-
06-12-202016-12-2020AUD $ 5,285-
20-12-202030-12-2020AUD $ 5,815-
17-01-202127-01-2021AUD $ 5,550-
28-02-202110-03-2021AUD $ 5,285-
05-12-202115-12-2021AUD $ 5,285-
19-12-202129-12-2021AUD $ 5,285-

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nts)

Transport

Private vehicle

Map