Don your Stetson and buckle up those cowboy boots. You've arrived in Stampede country. Get settled into the ways of the Wild West before meeting your Travel Director and fellow explorers for a Welcome Reception.
This morning, travel to the UNESCO-listed Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump, where a Local Specialist explains how buffalo were driven off a cliff by buffalo runners centuries ago. Travel on to meet the majestic Rockies at the tranquil Waterton Lakes National Park. Beneath ice-capped peaks, indulge in a memorable dinner.
The Big Skies of Montana beckon this morning as you cross the international border and travel along the shore of Lower St. Mary Lake and enter Glacier National Park, touted as the Crown of the Continent. Then, continue in a restored 1930s vintage touring red “jammer”. You will head up into the cirques of the St. Mary Valley along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and stop at the Continental Divide continuing over Logan Pass. Traverse one of the few remaining rainforests in Montana as you drive alongside the glacially carved valley. Finally, you will arrive at the Lake McDonald Lodge, situated on the shore of Lake McDonald.
Today, you will exit Glacier National Park through West Glacier and head north, back into Canada. Travel along the Banff-Windermere Highway, one of the most scenic drives in British Columbia. Then, enter Kootenay National Park and drive through Sinclair Canyon. Make the climb up to Vermilion Pass at the Continental Divide, reaching an elevation of 1,680 m (5,510 ft) and enter Alberta and Banff National Park. Descending into the Bow River Valley, you will arrive in Banff where you check in at your Stays With Stories, the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs, the 'Castle in the Rockies'.
Our day begins with a morning at leisure, choose to take this time to relax or join one of our optional experiences. Choose to view the alpine forest from above during an optional helicopter ride or explore from the ground with a guided hike. Later, spend the afternoon exploring the rugged beauty of Banff, from its postcard viewpoint of Surprise Corner to Bow Falls, with an optional gondola ride.
An early rise today as we head for Moraine Lake. Take a walk on the Lakeshore Trail, or the Rockpile Trail for the best views of the Canadian Rockies with stunning Moraine Lake nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This afternoon we arrive at Lake Louise where your have Your Choice of activities: a stroll into the picture perfect image of Lake Louise, keeping an eye out for rock climbers, ground squirrels, marmots or even a mountain goat. Or perhaps the picture-perfect setting of Lake Louise will awaken the artist within you as you try your hand at plein air painting.
Blaze a trail through the heart of the Canadian Rockies—a journey through stunning wilderness, passing sparkling mountain lakes, tumbling glaciers and sweeping valleys en route to the Athabasca Glacier. Board a specially designed Ice Explorer, crunching over the white wonderland of the glacier's surface. Later, head to your home in the heart of Jasper National Park.
Embark on a leisurely walk admiring the sheer limestone cliffs of Maligne Canyon and learning about the underground river system that flows out to Medicine Lake. Surrounded by a ring of mountains, we will indulge in a delicious regional lunch with wine at the Lake Maligne Chalet with views of the lake, followed by a cruise of Maligne Lake to Spirit Island (seasonal).
Journey through the national parks of Jasper and Banff to arrive in the small resort town of Kananaskis. Connect With Locals and enjoy a Be My Guest experience with a short walk around the village rim trail, followed by a Farewell Dinner hosted by a backcountry guide that will share wild stories about life in the Rockies.
A transfer is provided to Calgary International Airport or the Hilton Garden Inn for guests extending their stay.