Canadian Rockies Hiking Plus

Trip Length 8 Days
Group Size 4-12
Difficulty
Starting from
$2,699 for REI Members
$2,949 for non-members
Departures Jun 2020-Aug 2020

The vast Canadian Rockies were shaped over countless years, and we have eight days to hike through the area?s most awe-inspiring scenery.

After meeting in Calgary, we drive to the heart of Canada?s hiking capital to set up basecamp for the next five days. Near Lake Louise, we set out with our experienced guides on scenic hiking trails through grand valleys, alongside turquoise lakes and up onto ridgelines with jaw-dropping views of jagged peaks. Spend some time exploring, canoeing and getting to know your companions along the way.

Heart-pounding whitewater rafting awaits us in Yoho. Then it?s a hike on the immense Columbia Icefield, a highlight of Jasper National Park. Our adventure comes to a close with a final hike to stunning panoramas surrounding Stanley Glacier in Kootenay National Park. The trip concludes having spent one week roaming through some of the most dramatic scenery the Rocky Mountains have to offer.

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Trip Highlights

  • Hike in the amazing mountain scenery of the Canadian Rockies
  • Explore the famous destinations of Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper
  • Raft Kicking Horse Canyon, canoe Emerald Lake, and hike to stunning glaciers
  • Follow expert guides and spend five nights at a beautiful basecamp

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Participants should feel comfortable hiking up to 12 miles with elevation gains and losses of up to 2,000' over uneven dirt and rocky trails. Rafting and canoeing are suitable for beginners; rafting is on a glacier-fed river, on class II-IV whitewater (all rafting gear is supplied). Participants should also have some camping experience and be willing to participate in camp chores such as cooking, dishes clean-up, setting up tents and breaking down camp when departing.

  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • Canoeing

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; all camping equipment except sleeping bags; all vehicle transfers as noted in the daily itinerary; guide leadership; park entrance fees.

Accommodations

Hotel, 2 nights; Camping, 5 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Calgary for an orientation to our hiking adventure.

Arrive in Calgary, Alberta, Canada by 4:00 p.m. and take a hotel complimentary shuttle from the airport to our lodging. We meet in the hotel lobby that evening for a group dinner and orientation with your guide and fellow travelers. Dinner included.

Day 2

Visit Num-Ti-Jah Lodge and hike to Bow Falls or to Sherbrooke Lake.

We drive to the heart of Canada's hiking capital and set up our camp for the next five nights at the Lake Louise (5,052') campground. Then we head north along the scenic Icefields Parkway, one of the world's most scenic mountain roads, to the legendary Num-Ti-Jah Lodge built by mountain man Jimmy Simpson in the heart of the Rockies. After a visit to the historic lodge, we may hike to Bow Glacier Falls, a lovely hike along the shores of sparkling Bow Lake to the impressive 500' falls or to Sherbrooke Lake with views across Kicking Horse Canyon to Cathedral Crags. Upon our return to camp, everyone pitches in to assist the guides in preparing a delicious campfire dinner. All meals included.

Hiking: 4-5 miles; Elevation gain: 300-500'.

Day 3

Hike to lovely Eiffel Lake surrounded by alpine meadows.

At turquoise Moraine Lake, we take in the famed view of the Valley of Ten Peaks (each peak over 10,000'). From here, we hike through Larch Valley, its meadowlands filled with dense stands of alpine larch and panoramic views over the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Continuing on to lovely Eiffel Lake, the towering Rocky Mountains surround us. Alternately, we may hike the Helen Lake Trail through some of the most beautiful alpine meadows in all of Banff Park. All meals included.

Hiking: 7-11 miles; Elevation gain: 1,300-1,800'.

Day 4

Hike to a teahouse above Lake Louise; raft the Kicking Horse River!

After a hearty breakfast, we spend the morning hiking or wildlife watching depending on the inclination of the group. A favorite option is a hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House above Lake Louise; the trail begins in an old-growth forest of spruce and fir before leading to an open view of the magical blue of glacier-fed Lake Louise and the surrounding peaks. Once at the tea house we enjoy the vistas with the option to refuel on over 100 varieties of loose leaf tea and freshly baked goods. In the afternoon a bus ride takes us through Yoho National Park into British Columbia for rock-and-roll rafting on the Kicking Horse River. This exhilarating trip allows us to raft the best section of the frolicking class III-IV whitewater rapids. We return to camp for dinner. All meals included.

Hiking: Options to 7 miles; Elevation gain: to 1,300'; Terrain: Moderate. Rafting: 3 hours.

Day 5

Head to Jasper; hike to Athabasca Glacier and Parker Ridge or Wilcox Pass.

We hike in Jasper National Park today. The first stop is to view Peyto Lake from a platform hanging on a cliff high above. Depending upon the time of year, the hue of the lake runs from dark blue to opaque turquoise to gorgeous jade green. The road then takes us onto the Columbia Icefield, the geo-hydrographic center of North America. Meltwaters from the Icefield and its glacial tongues feed 3 different oceans. We walk up to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier. Everything you've ever wanted to know about glaciers ? this is the place to learn! Then we continue hiking up to either Parker Ridge for a spectacular view of the Saskatchewan Glacier from above or, for a true wilderness experience, a hike up to Wilcox Pass. Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner on your own in the Lake Louise area.

Hiking: Parker Ridge 5 miles; Elevation gain: 1000'; Wilcox Pass 5 miles; Elevation gain: 1,200'.

Day 6

Visit Takakkaw Falls; hike the Iceline Trail; canoe on Emerald Lake.

We cross the Continental Divide at Kicking Horse Pass into Yoho Park and take a short hike to Takakkaw Falls (1,000'), the highest waterfall in the Canadian Rockies. From here we continue along the gorgeous Iceline Trail toward Emerald Glacier?this trail is amazing each step of the way. After our hike, we head to beautiful Emerald Lake, a true Rocky Mountain gem surrounded by the majestic peaks of the President Range and Burgess Shale. Relax on the shore or enjoy a peaceful paddle on the lake by canoe, keeping an eye out for loons and bald eagles. An alternate hike is through Paradise Valley. All meals included.

Hiking: 5-8 miles; Elevation gain: 1,300-2,000'; Canoeing is flatwater and easy.

Day 7

In Kootenay National Park, hike a trail to Stanley Glacier.

After breaking camp we head south into Kootenay National Park for a hike to Stanley Glacier. The trail encompasses a myriad of nature's work: remnants of a forest fire, a hanging valley, and a prominent landscape of peaks including Stanley Peak (10,348'), Storm Mountain (10,371'), Mt. Whymper (9,334') and Boom Mountain (9,055'). At the end of the maintained trail we are rewarded with an overlook of the spectacular bowl with caves in the sheer cliffs of Stanley Peak and the hanging Stanley Glacier in the distance. These stunning views are a worthy finish to a great week of hiking! We will stop briefly in Banff before continuing to Calgary to check in to our hotel and say our farewells. Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own.

Hiking: 5 miles; Elevation gain/loss 1,200'; Terrain: easy to moderate.

Day 8

Depart Calgary any time today, awed by nature!

Flights from Calgary can be booked for any time today. A complimentary hotel shuttle bus will take you to the Calgary airport. Breakfast at the hotel included.

Gear List

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.

What to pack

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Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.