Tip your Stetson to Canada’s ‘Cowboy Country’, kick-starting your adventure through the inimitable Rockies in Calgary. This evening, gather at your hotel joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
Embark on a spiritual encounter with the Canadian Rockies, admiring the ethereal beauty of Lake Louise, the surrounding summits and Victoria Glacier, before we continue along the Icefields Parkway. Skirt the craggy peaks, waterfalls and luminous glacial lakes keeping an eye out for bears, elk and mountain goats as you make your way through the wilderness to Jasper.
Soak up pristine natural surroundings enjoying a morning at leisure. Then venture to Maligne Lake and indulge in a Regional Lunch with wine at the Maligne Lake Chalet, a rustic log building situated on a rise of land offering magnificent views of beautiful Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. Take to the aqua waters of Maligne Lake later this afternon (seasonal), admiring views of its three glaciers and Spirit Island, named by the Stoney Nation indigenous people for the experiences their ancestors had at this place centuries ago. It's a tiny grove of trees set in pristine nature separated from the mainland by an isthmus. Spirit Island becomes a true island for a few short days during the summer. Then enjoy the dramatic views as you take a guided walk to Maligne Canyon.
We crunch across the glistening icefield of Athabasca Glacier this morning, stepping aboard an Ice Explorer to learn about glaciers and their impact on the environment. Take a sip of ice cold glacier water and admire the surrounding snowcapped panorama before continuing your journey to the alpine village of Banff. Before dinner, you'll enjoy a rare opportunity to meet a retired Royal Canadian Mountie, dressed in the traditional red serge uniform. This Local Specialist will share colourful stories about life in the ‘force’ and even pose for a photo or two. Tonight, enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers.
Learn the art of playing the puck like a pro when you meet a real Canadian hockey player in Canmore. Dive into Culture and embrace Canada’s national sport, learning the secrets and superstitions of hockey players as a professional coach walks you through a day in the life of a player. Go inside the players' dressing room and put on the full hockey gear with help of a real coach. Grab your stick and it's off onto the ice where you'll soon find out whether you are a lefty or righty and learn how to score the big goal. A sightseeing excursion around Banff reveals the exquisite natural beauty of the area. Admire the classic viewpoint of Surprise Corner, spectacular Bow Falls, and the hoodoo rock formations.
Join your Travel Director for an optional excursion in the morning to explore the jewels of the Rockies, and head to Yoho National Park and Moraine Lake in the Valley of Ten Peaks. See Takakkaw Falls, the second tallest waterfalls in Canada. Straddle the continental divide at Kicking Horse Pass as you head to view the Spiral Tunnels, the famous railway built in the early 1900's. After a day in the Rockies, meet Julie, Owner and Entrepreneur of Banff Trail Riders and dive into the world of horsemanship in the Rockies. Meet a blacksmith, visit the leather work shop, and learn about the history of the barns followed by a traditional BBQ dinner.
Bid farewell to your newfound friends as you transfer to your hotel in Calgary. Brace yourself for the wonder of the GMC Rangeland Derby, and the TransAlta Grandstand Show. Chuckwagon racing is followed by an epic stage show.
Continue your day at The World's Richest Tournament Style Rodeo and enjoy the main events today including ladies barrel racing, bareback, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, and bull riding.
Take a transfer to the Calgary International Airport this morning.