Canadian Mountain Holidays Family Heli-Hiking
REI Adventures and Canadian Mountain Holidays have teamed up to offer a program that provides a perfect environment for a family vacation. Just west of the Canadian Rockies, the Columbia Mountains provide a natural playground for children and adults to explore and a wonderful place to create lasting family memories. Parents choose their own pace for the day, with or without children, from a leisurely walk in alpine meadows to rigorous hikes; the decision is up to you. By night, families exchange discoveries and join together for evening activities. Having fun is the #1 priority for this vacation.
Kids get an REI day pack — Kids traveling on our Family Adventures will receive an REI day pack for their adventure! Kids age 8-17 will receive the REI Flash 18 Pack (while quantities last, colors may vary).
Not traveling with kids under 18? Check out our Canadian Mountain Holidays Heli-Hiking trip.
Sample 4-day Bobbie Burns Lodge package:
Canadian Mountain Holidays Family Heli-Hiking Itinerary:
Day 1 Begin your adventure with a motorcoach transfer to your helipad where you'll get your first taste of heli-hiking.
Days 2-3 Kids go one way and parents go another. Fun activities for the young ones all day long. Catch up on the day's outing at dinner.
Day 4 Say good-bye to new friends and transfer to Calgary by way of Banff. After just three nights, you'll be tempted to stay longer!
Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
If you are traveling alone and are willing to share accommodations, we will assign a roommate if one is available. If we are unable to assign a roommate, you will not be required to pay an additional fee. If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement that applies to your trip itinerary. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single rooms available.
Accommodations for the specified number of nights in a full-service alpine lodge (all lodges feature outdoor sundecks, whirlpool, sauna, and massage service); transportation from Banff to the helipad and return to Banff or Calgary Airport; 3 meals each day from lunch on the first day to a box lunch on the last day; helicopter transfers to and from the lodge; helicopter flights for each hiking day at all lodges; daily hiking and/or walking with professionally certified mountain guides; the use of top quality equipment (see gear list).
Airfare to Calgary; extra hotel nights (if needed) in Banff, Jasper or Calgary; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; trip cancellation insurance; alcoholic beverages; tips to local guides; massage services; and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
A non-refundable deposit of $400 per person is required at time of booking to secure space. Full payment is required 90 days before fixed departure date. For cancellations made within 90 days, 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable. REI Adventures standard deposit policy does not apply to this trip.
CMH lodges blend harmoniously into their mountain surroundings. Guests enjoy the finest quality living space and amenities, such as rooms with private bath and a relaxation massage service, while the camaraderie of both staff and guests contribute to the family atmosphere of the lodges.
As long as you enjoy walking and have a spirit of adventure, you can enjoy any one of Canadian Mountain Holidays' trips. One of the greatest advantages of these vacations is that we can accommodate all abilities! Hikes can range from 1-10 miles on any given day depending on your preference and ability level.
The children are divided into 3 main age groups: 5-7, 8-10 and 11-14. However, adjustments will be made depending on the total make-up of ages. While out hiking, there is one caregiver and one guide to a maximum of eight children. The children's program for the Family Adventure is designed for ages 5-14. Although they are welcome, children under 5 years must be accompanied by a parent during the hikes for safety reasons. Children over 14 are also welcome to join the adult groups. Fun activities are always available back at the lodge in the dedicated activity/craft room.
Compared to the US Rockies and the Alps, the Columbia Mountain range of British Columbia is at a relatively low altitude. Because tree line is at 7,000' and the highest peak is 11,000', we don't have to go to the rarefied air of higher altitudes to get spectacular views. Hiking generally takes place between 6,000'-9,000', which is very comfortable for most people.
Generally, the weather is sunny and pleasant. Due to the high mountain environment, this adventure can also bring adventurous weather. You need to be prepared for cooler temperatures, rain, windy conditions and possibly snow. As long as it is safe to fly, we do hike in the rain. The temperatures range from highs of 50-85°F during the day to lows of 30-60°F at night.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Canadian Mountain Holidays Family Heli-Hiking
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.
Daytime temperatures usually range between 50-85° F, with evening temperatures dropping to 30-60° F. Due to high mountain environment, this adventure can also bring adventurous weather.
- Hiking boots
- Wind pants
- Insulated hooded jacket
- Rain poncho
- Water bottle
- Airline tickets
- Photo identification
- Passport or proof of U.S. citizenship
- Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase
- Small carry-on bag
- Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel wear and evenings at the lodge.
- Midweight fleece or wool sweater
- Fleece pants
- Lightweight thermal underwear top and bottom, synthetic or wool
- Hiking pants
- Hiking shorts
- Long-sleeve shirt(s)
- Hiking socks
- Liner socks
- Casual socks
- Sun hat
- Wool or fleece hat
- Thin liner gloves
- Sturdy hiking boots, waterproof, lightweight, broken-in, aggressive tread
- Comfortable shoes for evenings
- Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable (if you prefer your own)
- Rain or wind pants, waterproof and breathable (if you prefer your own)
- 2 one-quart water bottles or hydration pack
- Flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries/bulb
- Sunglasses and retainer strap
- Sunblock and lip balm
- Toiletry kit
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer gel
- Insect repellent
- Several Ziploc plastic bags
- Camera, film and spare batteries
- Watch with alarm or travel clock
- Spare contact lenses or glasses
- Reading and writing materials
- Knee supports
- Ear plugs
Things to Consider
- Please remember to always pack essential items such as appropriate identification, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
- Wind chill can be a significant feature of this trip. Air temperatures are not very cold, but when the wind is constant, and when you combine this with the stress that altitude puts on your body, you can be robbed of body heat quickly. Wind or rain gear is very important.
- Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene®, MTS® and Thermax®.
- Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
- Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
- Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.