If you’ve been thinking about a trip to the Canadian Rockies this summer it’s time to swing into gear and make some plans. For those of you short on time or who hate the bother of planning the details of a trip, check out the following two Canadian Rockies packages offered by Air Canada Vacations. With a single phone call or a click on your computer you can have your holiday booked and on your calendar. If you’re like me, I always like something to look forward to.
Why book a Canadian Rockies Tours with Air Canada Vacations?
Not everyone has time to figure out the logistics of a week-long trip. On my recent hiking trip to Patagonia I easily spent over 30 hours poring over maps, figuring out buses, hotels and logistics. While it’s fun for some people, planning a trip is not everybody.
Booking a package vacation is both time and cost effective. With a call or a click you can have your flights, hotels, car rentals and guided tours looked after – and the pricing is better when it’s done as a bundle. A bonus of booking with Air Canada Vacations is all those Aeroplan Miles you’re going to collect for a future trip.
The Best of Banff and Jasper tour
The Best of Banff and Jasper offers a guided hiking and camping package that starts and ends in Calgary. Over the nine day trip you camp in Banff, Yoho and Jasper National Parks – UNESCO World Heritage Site designated parks.
In Banff National Park there are two hikes planned. One will warm your legs up along the shores of Lake Minnewanka and the other will get your heart pumping – as it’s a full day hike that gets you above tree line and into a world of alpine lakes and meadows. If you’ve got energy to burn in the evening head into Banff for a look around.
The next stop is Lake Louise – and a hike to a viewpoint. Then it’s onto gorgeous Yoho National Park, just a short drive away. Camp under the trees – perhaps listening to the crash of the magnificent Takakkaw Falls. For those of you who want an adrenaline rush choose the optional rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River (wetsuits included!) while dedicated hikers can enjoy an 18 kilometre hike over two passes – adorned with wildflowers and offering views of Emerald Lake.
On route to the town of Jasper make frequent stops along the Icefields Parkway – one of the world’s most scenic drives. A hike is planned that offers an exceptional view of the Saskatchewan Glacier Hike – with an excellent effort – reward ratio as it’s a short one.
In Jasper you’re spoiled for choice. Either join the guide on a hiking trip to Maligne Lake (you usually see lots of wildlife on the road in) that will get you to a 9,290 foot peak with a view – all things going well or choose a host of other activities including canoeing at Pyramid Lake, mountain biking or even a ride up on the Jasper Skytram for far-reaching views, including Mount Robson on a clear day.
On the return drive to Calgary stop at Wilcox Pass for one of the best hikes in the Canadian Rockies. Over the 11 kilometre return hike enjoy outstanding views of the Columbia Icefields and a very high probability of seeing bighorn sheep.
Fly home the next day with a camera packed full of great memories.
Hiking Escapes Through the Rockies Fly and Drive Package
On the second vacation package – Hiking Escapes Through the Rockies Fly and Drive package head straight for Canmore, the gateway to Banff National Park. (Note: You must be at least 17 years old.) Stay in this charming mountain town for four nights in a one bedroom suite with a fully equipped kitchen so you don’t always have to go out for meals.
While in Canmore you have two excursions and the flexibility to explore on your own for a day. One excursion with a professional naturalist takes you into Banff (a gondola tour is included and I can attest to the fantastic views you’ll get from the summit) and onto Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. The second excursion takes you into Kananaskis Country, a wilder cousin to Banff National Park and a local favourite. Travel to Highwood Pass, Canada’s highest public road via the Spray Lakes Road. There’s a high probability of seeing wildlife including black and grizzly bears as well as bighorn sheep.
From Canmore head north to Saskatchewan River Crossing for two nights. From here you’re a stone’s throw away from some of the best hiking in the Canadian Rockies including Helen Lake, Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and the two hikes described above along the Columbia Icefields Parkway.
Next up is a four night stay in a fully-equipped cabin in Jasper. You’ll have no problem filling three days with hikes, canoeing on pyramid or Maligne Lake, a soak in the Miette Hot Springs (the drive there is worth the trip alone) or even a canyoning adventure!
The last day of the trip is the return drive along the Icefield’s Parkway to Calgary. I highly recommend a stop to do either the Wilcox Pass or Parker Ridge hike before continuing to Calgary. The Beauty Creek hike is also an easy one. In Calgary, there’s lots going on in the summer. Don’t miss a walk along the Bow River before enjoying Calgary’s vibrant restaurant and bar scene.
In this package 11 nights of accommodation, a 12 day midsize car rental, three guided hikes, a float on the Athabasca River and a round-trip flight to Calgary is included – if the flight and package option is selected.
If you’ve never been to the Canadian Rockies, you won’t go wrong with either of these two trips. All the iconic spots have been included and there’s enough flexibility in both itineraries to visit places that speak to you. Visit Air Canada Vacations or call 1-866-529-2079 for all the package details.
Thank you to Air Canada Vacations for making this post possible.
Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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