The Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, Canada

Canadian Rockies - Reverse Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Canada
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
PCRC
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

12 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

Get ready for mountains, lakes and glaciers, Canadian style! Explore some of North America's grandest scenery and take advantage of the hiking and adventure activities available on this lodging tour. Walk to stunning waterfalls and aquamarine lakes, spot wildlife in wilderness parks and enjoy the spectacularly scenic Icefields Parkway. Add on as much adventure as you want, from zip lining to mountain biking, and white water rafting to canoeing. See Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, then return to city life in Calgary. This 12-day Canadian Rockies tour is one great big adventure, so what are you waiting for?

At a Glance

  • Travel by private minibus
  • Variety of daywalks to suit all abilities
  • Some long journeys
  • Group normally 6 to 13, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • 6 hotel, 4 lodge & 1 cabin nights included

Trip Highlights

  • Drive the famous Icefields Parkway, rated as 'one of the best drives in the world'
  • Two nights in Whistler, Jasper National Park, Golden and Banff
  • Wildlife viewing opportunities

Is This Trip for You?

This tour has been graded Leisurely/Moderate.

It is an active tour suitable for people of most levels of fitness. Active tours are about exploring the places you visit so whether it’s walking, or kayaking you’ll be experiencing the best from each place. Given the nature of this tour, if you suffer from medical issues you should advise us prior to booking.  

Please note: both the weather conditions and presence of wild animals can be unpredictable in the Rockies. Either of these may force the guide to change a planned hike for the day. It is important to use common sense when walking in the wilderness and to follow the advice of the guide at all times concerning wildlife and weather conditions.

There are opportunities for optional activities during your tour. Your tour guides will organise these on your behalf and you will pay locally in cash. You’ll find the main optional activities listed above under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices. It may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour.

Group

Your tour leader will take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your tour, they will drive the van taking you from A to B and make sure everything runs smoothly. Your tour leader is there to make sure you get the most out of your tour; organising activities, providing information and answering any questions you may have as well as sorting out any queries or problems. If you have any particular interests or things you would like to do on your tour, then please let your tour leader know at the beginning of the tour and they will do their best to help you.

Please note that Canadian Law regulates the total number of hours your tour guide is available to work. Our trips are designed to make the most of your time in Canada, but please understand that there will be certain times each day that your tour guide will need to be off duty from work. Due to these restrictions, particularly after the longer driving days, your tour guide may not be able to join you for some of the daily activities or may need to tend to other work duties.

 

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
13

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Calgary
End City:
Vancouver

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Calgary

    Sandwiched in between the Rocky Mountains and the winding Bow River, Calgary is at the epicentre of Alberta's oil industry. The high-rise buildings and urban parklands create a balanced modern city. Climb the Calgary Tower if you want impressive 360-degree views and visit the interpretive centre to discover the heritage of the First Nation People.

    A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs, where you'll meet your tour guide and fellow travellers. 

    Optional Activities:
    Heritage Park Historical Centre CA$28

    Accommodation: Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Calgary Downtown (or similar)

  • Days 2-3

    Banff National Park

    Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park was established in 1885 and is Canada's oldest national park. Its mountainous terrain encompasses coniferous forests, alpine meadows, icefields and glaciers. Take a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain or opt to view all this scenic grandeur from a helicopter. Outstanding hikes are available and with an abundance of wildlife around, there's always a chance of spotting something special, so keep your camera at the ready. There's nothing better after a hard day's hiking than an included soak in the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs. 

    Optional Activities:
    Aerial gondola/tramway CAD$49-64
    Scenic glacier flight (20 minutes) CA$275
    Horseback riding (1.5 hour ride) CA$64-119 

    Accommodation: Charltons Banff (or similar) 

  • Day 4

    Banff National Park - Lake Louise

    Lake Louise has always been a popular tourist destination, and it's no surprise that it is the most photographed destination in the region! With its snow-capped peaks, ancient pine forests and aquamarine waters, Lake Louise is known as the 'Gem of the Rockies'. The vibrant glacial hue of Lake Louise will take your breath away. It almost doesn't look real, but believe us when we say it most certainly is!  Your next two nights will be spent in the nearby town of Golden. 

    Optional Activities:
    Canoeing CAD$125 per hour (CAD$95 per additional hour) 

    Accommodation: Kicking Horse River Lodge (or similar)

  • Day 5

    Yoho National Park

    Yoho National Park is considered the hidden treasure of the Canadian national park system, and you have a full day to explore. It's a photographer's dream with several hiking opportunities which showcase the stunning mountains, lakes and waterfalls of this pristine alpine landscape. You can experience the Kicking Horse River first-hand with an exhilarating half-day optional white water rafting excursion, or choose to hike at the magnificent Emerald Lake. An excellent alternative option is walking the challenging trails overlooking Takakkaw Falls - you're bound to be impressed by its beauty. Make the most out of this spectacular national park before returning to Golden tonight. 

    Optional Activities:
    White water rafting CA$120-$173

    Accommodation: Kicking Horse River Lodge (or similar) 

  • Day 6

    Golden - Icefields Parkway

    The Icefields Parkway, cutting through the heart of the Rockies, is recognised as being one of the top scenic drives in the world, travelling for 230km (140 miles) past hanging glaciers, sheer rock walls and broad sweeping valleys. You have a chance to traverse a portion of the imposing Athabasca Glacier on an optional guided glacier hike and be amazed by Peyto Lake's turquoise hues. End your day in Jasper.

    Optional Activities:
    Guided glacier walk CA$100 (CA$60 for under 17s)

    Accommodation: Jasper Inn & Suites (or similar)

  • Day 7

    Jasper National Park

    Jasper National Park is the largest national park in Canada, covering an area of 10,878 square km. It's much less developed than other areas of Western Canada and offers a true wilderness feel. There are several options on offer in Jasper, including the SkyTram cable car to Whistler Mountain for a bird's-eye view of this splendid park. There's also ample opportunity for mountain biking or hiking amidst glorious lakeside scenery, and visiting spectacular Maligne Lake. 

    Optional Activities:
    SkyTram cable car CA$50
    Mountain biking CA$20 per hour

    Accommodation: Jasper Inn & Suites (or similar) 

  • Day 8

    Wells Gray Provincial Park

    Don't let the fact that Wells Gray is not a national park fool you, this place is stunning! After your drive along the old Gold Rush Trail, stretch your legs with a walk to the edge of Helmcken Falls, Canada's fourth highest waterfall, stopping at various viewpoints to admire the lush valley below. Wells Gray is also home to many smaller but equally beautiful waterfalls. Embrace the stillness, silence and isolation, and never venture too far without your camera so you can capture the beautiful meadows full of wildflowers or a roaming bear. Tonight you'll stay in a simple hotel in the town of Clearwater close to Wells Gray Provincial Park.

    Accommodation: Clearwater Lodge (or similar)

  • Days 9-10

    Wells Gray Provincial Park to Whistler

    Perhaps better known as a winter resort, Whistler has plenty on offer all year round. Take the opportunity to hit the trails, jump on a bike to explore at a different pace or zip line through the trees! Whether you're an adrenaline junkie, foodie or someone who likes to get close to nature, there's something for everyone in Whistler. 

    Optional Activities:
    Extreme zip line course CA$129-219
    Mountain biking from CA$53
    Gondola ride CA$27 

    Accommodation: Aava Whistler Hotel (or similar) 

  • Day 11

    Vancouver

    Leave Whistler for one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in the world, Vancouver. There is plenty to fill your time but we highly recommend a stroll around this cosmopolitan city to get a feel for it. Treat yourself to some moreish maple cookies in Stanley Park, a 400-hectare green wonderland where you can see the authentic totem poles erected in the 1920s, or sit in one of the cafes and enjoy a spot of people watching.

    Accommodation: Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Center (or similar)

  • Day 12

    Vancouver

    Free to leave at any time.

Accommodation

Hotel, lodges & cabins

Hotel accommodation will be in clean, comfortable hotels and lodges with en-suite bathroom facilities, chosen for their friendly atmosphere and proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple.

In remote locations, we have chosen the best accommodation available but they may be of a slightly lower standard than you are used to.

There are no compulsory single supplements on our tours, however if you’d like your own space, you can request a single room for an additional fee. Please note, we cannot guarantee single occupancy for nights at Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Accommodation - Pre trip

This tour begins and ends at a gateway hotel, conveniently located in the departure and arrival cities. We offer you the option to book additional hotel nights before or after your tour however, they should be booked prior to departure with our reservations team. See below for joining and end hotel details.

Please note some hotels may take a debit or credit card as a deposit at check in. They may also take an amount to cover incidentals. Funds can be held until check out at which time the amount actually incurred will be charged. Please clarify with the hotel when you check out that all deposits will be refunded as promptly as possible.

Single supplement from $1,600.00 USD

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

No meals included on this tour.

You will usually eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from CA$6-12, lunches from CA$8-15 and dinners from CA$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately CA$5 per glass and beer CA$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.

Your tour leader may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty, this has proven to be a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Leaders will explain this option while on your tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run.

Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of North America certain food types can be limited.

Transportation

Travel in a private air-conditioned 15-seater vehicle driven by your tour guide. All luggage and equipment are stored in a specially designed trailer or storage area to maximise comfort in the vehicle. Every group is virtually self-sufficient and are able to explore the backroads where the crowds can’t go. vehicles are equipped with CD systems (often iPod compatible), are Bluetooth compatible, and have large windows for a more enjoyable journey.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Summers in the Rockies are generally warm and sunny. Average daytime temperatures are 18degC in June and the first half of September, 22degC in July/August. Max temperatures can often be 5degC higher. Night temperatures will be cool in July and August; cold in June and from early September and can go down to near freezing point. Temperatures will vary depending on altitude. June gives long hours of daylight. The weather in the Rockies can be unpredictable and you should be prepared for sudden thunderstorms, strong winds or even snow. Although summers are fairly dry, the odd rainy day can be expected. September can bring early snow on the peaks. Residual snow at higher elevations may linger until mid July. Walking on hard packed snow is sometimes required.

Joining Instructions

You will need to make your own way to the joining hotel for your tour. 

You are free to arrive at any time on day one of your tour but please ensure you leave plenty of time to reach your joining hotel and attend your welcome meeting. Details on the time and specific location of your meeting will be available early on the arrival day. During this evening meeting you will meet your tour guide and fellow travellers and also spend a few minutes filling out necessary paperwork, so please bring your insurance documents, passport and tour documentation to the meeting.

ARRIVAL COMPLICATIONS

Sometimes the unexpected can happen; your plane may be delayed or you may even miss it! If you have missed your tour departure, first check with the hotel to see if your tour guide has left you a message. If not, call the relevant emergency number and speak to our staff who will be happy to help you catch up with the group. Please note that you are responsible for any extra travelling expenses incurred due to you missing your tour’s departure, so please be on time.

FINISHING POINT

CALGARY - Ramada Downtown Calgary
708 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1H2

Your tour will end upon arrival at the above hotel, which will be around 17:00 hrs on the final day. Some tour activities scheduled for the last day may preclude an earlier arrival at the end point hotel, so you should not book a flight that leaves prior to 21:00 hrs. You will be responsible for any transportation costs if you have to arrive for an earlier flight and you must make us aware of this well in advance of your tour departing. If you require accommodation for the last night, it is essential that you book this before your tour departs.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Calgary
Location end:
Vancouver

What to Take

Essential Equipment

It is advised that you take a practical selection of clothes for both warm and cool climates to suit the season. Please see the temperature guide showing the highs and lows that can be expected in key locations that your tour visits. However please remember that this is just a guide and you may encounter a wide variety of temperatures en route due to altitude and unforeseen weather conditions - so it’s best to be prepared!

Besides your essential clothing, here’s a checklist of other items you should take:
• Small day pack
• Waterproof jacket
• Warm sweater / fleece
• Casual ‘evening out’ clothes
• Hiking shoes / boots
• Thick walking socks
• Blister packs and plasters
• Hiking poles
• Comfortable day shoes
• Sandals or flip-flops
• Warm hat / gloves
• Swim wear
• Sun hat / sunglasses
• Camera / binoculars
• SD memory card / Spare camera batteries
• Water bottle
• Small flashlight / head torch
• Sunscreen / insect repellent (20% DEET)
• Travel power adaptor
• Toiletries / personal medicine
Please note airlines have various rules on what can be carried in your luggage - if in doubt check with your airline before travelling.

FOOTWEAR

We recommend walking shoes/boots, as comfortable shoes with good ankle support will make all walking more enjoyable.  Trails in North America are generally well maintained and wide, but they can occasionally be steep and rocky.  If you do not own a pair, then sports trainers will suffice if you’ve used them successfully in similar conditions, although this is a personal choice. Conditions can also be muddy and wet, so a pair of waterproof shoes are recommended

CLOTHES WASHING
You will have the opportunity to wash your clothes whilst you are on tour, and this can often be done at the campsite or in town. Ask your tour leader for local information.

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE
One suitcase, soft holdall or rucksack (23kg maximum) per person. A small daypack and camera can also be carried in the van. Before you travel, please check the baggage allowance with the airline you’re flying with as this may be less than 23kg.
We are unable to offer luggage storage facilities however, some of our pre and post tour hotels will provide this service although there may be a charge. Please contact the hotels directly for further information.

Moraine Lake Sunrise

Practical Information

Passport

Canada

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for the duration of the intended length of stay, if your passport has less than 6 months validity it may take longer to pass through immigration. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Canada

The Government of Canada has an entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for some international travellers flying into Canada. Citizens from countries other than the US who do not require a visa to enter Canada are required to obtain an eTA before entering the country. Eligible travellers will need to go online to apply for their eTA.

To apply for your eTA you will need your passport, credit or debit card and an email address. At the time of publication there was a CAD$7 fee to process your eTA. Your eTA will be valid for a period of five years, or until your passport expires. We recommend you carry a print out of your eTA approval when you travel. Please visit www.canada.ca/eTA to apply.

If you have not applied for and received authorisation via an eTA prior to travel you may be denied boarding, experience a delayed processing or be denied admission at the Canadian point of entry. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visafree on the eTA, guarantees admission to Canada. As with most countries, the final determination of admissibility is made by immigration officials at the point of entry.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Canada

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Canada's Timezone:
America/Vancouver PDT (GMT -07:00)

Electricity

Canada's Electricity:

120 Volts. Plug types A & B; establishments often take two flat parallel pin plugs and/or two flat parallel pins and a round grounding pin plug.

Money

Canada's Currency

The national currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (February 2021) of approximately 1.75 to the GBP, 1.28 to the USD, 1.54 to the EUR, 0.97 to the AUD and 0.92 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATM’s and cash machines are readily available throughout North America and major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country. All ATMs in the USA charge to withdraw money (from $1-$5). In some off-the-beaten-track destinations ATM’s and cash machines may be limited. Please ensure that your credit or debit cards have international access and a PIN number to access your funds at the start of the tour. It is important you advise your bank prior to leaving your home country of your intended travel, so they do not block your card citing the reason as fraud.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Your spending money needs to cover meals not included in the tour, drinks, personal expenses such as souvenirs and snacks throughout. For this tour we recommend you take at least CAD$75 dollars per person per day, but it’s better to bring more than you need rather than run short on tour. . You should also budget for tipping, as well as for the optional activities that you would like to do. Guideline prices for the most popular optional activities are listed on our website. We suggest you bring CAD$150 with you in cash to have with at the beginning of your trip.

Tipping

Although it may not be customary in your country, it is normal and expected in North America to tip local guides, waiters, bar staff, taxi drivers and anyone who provides a service for you. Service workers are paid a low wage and depend on tips for their livelihood. It can be embarrassing if you’re confronted by a local who is expecting a tip and you are not aware of how much to offer. For this reason we have listed guideline prices below.

A 15-17% tip is standard in restaurants and you should also expect to tip $1 per drink in bars, $1-2 per bag for porters as will 10% for taxi drivers. It’s also typical to tip around 10% for local guides who provide optional activities.

Your tour leader will work long and hard for you during your tour and we recommend a discretionary tip of US$5-$10 per passenger per day if your leader’s performance meets or exceeds your expectations.

Canadian female black bear with its cub.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.