Nature escape in the Canadian Rockies

At the border between Alberta and British Colombia, there are wonderful hiking trails waiting after you. In mountains or glaciers trails or in the morning fresh wood. It’s a colorfull adventure which is offer to you. Moreover, you will have the chance to see all animals of these area in the middle of this beautiful nature. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Calgary

    Calgary Welcome at the airport and transfer to the hotel in Calgary downtown.

    Accommodation : Hotel

  • Day 2 Calgary - Banff National Park

    Calgary - Banff National Park Visit Calgary, small west town between the Rockies and the plains and famous for its rodeo festival. In the morning , transfer to Banff. Half- day hike to the discovery of Johnson Canyon and Falls. This footpath allows a good warm-up for future hikes. Installation to the camping in Banff in the end of the afternoon. (B, L, D)

    Accommodation : Camping

  • Day 3 Banff National Park

    Banff National Park Discovery of the charming Banff’s Town. Surrounded by Rundle and Cascade Mountains, we go to Cirque C trail to admire the Lake Minnewanka. Wonderful hiking around Lake Louise on the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail. At the end of the day, Rest in the tearoom near the Victoria Glacier. (B, L, D)

    Accommodation : Camping

  • Days 4 to 5 Banff National Park - Kootenay National Park

    Banff National Park - Kootenay National Park On the Road to Kootenay National Park in the heart of the West Canadian Rockies. Discovery walk from Marble Canyon and Painted Pot. First Nations have discovered the natural ocher in small streams flowing through the Vermilion plain where today the Kootenay Park is. They mixed the red clay of fish oil or from animal fat and used it to paint their bodies, embellish their clothes and tipis or make drawings on the rock. Installation to the camping of the park. Day 5: Morning hike on the Kimpton Creek trail, in the forest with a little freshness during hot summer days. Located in British Columbia, Kootenay National Park is the only park in the Canadian Rockies to host both the glaciers covered peaks of the Continental Divide and semi-arid grasslands of the Columbia Valley. Optional, relaxation in Radium Hot Springs in the afternoon. (2B, 2L, 2D)

    Accommodation : Camping

  • Days 6 to 7 Kootenay National Park

    Kootenay National Park Road to Yoho Park. Hiking Trails on the Emerald Lake. Optional afternoon , possibility to take part in a rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River. Installation to a hostel in Golden for 2 nights. The next day departure to Yoho National Park. Ride the falls Takkakaw second highest waterfalls in Canada (254 meters) flowing from Daly Glacier. Back to Golden in the late afternoon. (2B, 2L, 2D)

    Accommodation : Hostel

  • Days 8 to 10 Lake Louise - Jasper National Park

    Lake Louise -  Jasper National Park By Van, we’ll travel the famous road "Icefield Parkway" toward Jasper. Along the way we cross the line of the watershed to Kicking Horse Pass: any rain flowing to the east of this imaginary line empties into the Atlantic Ocean and west, the Pacific Ocean. Many lakes, glaciers, forest, waterfalls and mountain passes are linked along the 250 km route. From the road, we will certainly have the chance to see elk, black bears and mountain goats. Installation to the camping in the late afternoon in Jasper Park for 3 nights.
    Day 9: Walking tour of the subalpine and alpine meadows. We admire the sublime Angel Glacier. By late afternoon, possibility to participate in a horseback excursion in the park.
    Day 10: Direction Maligne Lake that extends into the hollow of an old glacial valley. We perform a hike in the Maligne Canyon where we observe gorges, waterfalls and fossils. Then hike around Maligne Lake in the heart of the alpine meadows. (3B, 3L, 3D)

    Accommodation : Camping

  • Day 11 Jasper National Park - Canmore

    Jasper National Park - Canmore Road through the Icefields Parkway to reach Canmore. Possibility to found walk trails on the road. Stop in Banff or Canmore and free time to buy souvenirs. Installation at the camping for 1 night. (B, L, D)

    Accommodation : Camping

  • Day 12 Canmore - Calgary

    Last day of hiking in the surroundings area. Road to Calgary. Free time to buy souvenirs. Installation at the hotel for 1 night. (B)

    Accommodation : Hotel

  • Day 13 Calgary

    Last day in Calgary. Transfer the airport. (B)

Dates & prices

Departures for French-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
C$3,068 Yes Book now!
C$2,891 Yes Book now!
C$2,891 No Book now!
C$2,891 No Book now!

Trip code: GRP-UCAW1

Notes

The cost includes:


· Transportation in passenger van
· Camping gear (except sleeping bag)
· Hard-foam mattress
· Admission to the National Parks
· Camping fees
· Services of a guide
· 12 nights accommodation including 8 in camping
· 32 meals : 12 breakfasts, 10 lunchs, 10 dinners
· Applicable taxes

The cost does not include:


· Air travel
· Personal expenses
· Alcoholic beverages
· Non-included meals
· Shower in some camping
· Tips
· Sleeping bag

Practical info

Staff

You will be supervised by a French-speaking guide-driver (for a group of 9 or more participants, one guide is added). It is important to note that you are expected to participate actively in the preparation of the meals and the installation of the camp.

Food

Meals: During overnight stays in camping, all the meals are included. We offer breakfast in the morning, a picnic for lunch and a hot meal made with local products is prepared for dinner. We enjoy numerous grilling over the campfire or BBQ. We provide cooking equipment and utensils. Your help will be greatly appreciated during the preparation of the meals. Meals taken out are not included. 

Drinks: Don’t forget that you can buy duty free products at the airport of embarkation. Alcohol is always appreciated after a long day of walking. Stops are planned throughout the trips to buy drinks. They are not included in the price.

Accommodation

You will be staying in a hotel in Calgary. You’ll sleep in a youth hostel in Lake Louise (multiple occupancy possible depending on the number of people in the group).For the rest of the trip, you’ll be staying in tents where showers will sometimes have to be paid for (around 1$-2$ CAD for 4 to 5 minutes.) there’s no showers in some non-equipped camping sites. During your trip, you will be able to do your laundry in some laundromat available in some camping sites (around 2$-3$ - washing and drying). We stay in three-place tents for more comfort. You must bring your sleeping bag. It will be with you all along the trip. Everybody is expected to participate in the collective tasks:  preparation of the meals, dishwashing, installation of the camp and loading of the vehicle.

Transportation

For transfers from park to park and village to village, we travel in a comfortable 15-passenger minibus. Luggage are carried inside the minibus or in a trailer pulled by the minibus depending on the number of participants.

Budget & exchange

Visa and Mastercards credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. You can also exchange euros. 1 Euro = 1,57$CAN (04/04/2018) 

Tips

In the United States and in Canada, service is never included in the prices. In bars, restaurants and all the places where service is provided, it is expected that you tip the waiter/waitress between 15% and 20% of the total sum. Note that a lot of employees working as waiters are paid by tips only. Not giving anything or not giving enough would be poorly received. Even when paying by credit card, you’ll indicate the sum you wish to give. On this type of trip, it is customary to tip the guide(s) 4$ to 5$ by persons and per day.

Supplied equipment

All the cooking and camping equipment (excepted the sleeping bag) is provided for this trip: dishes, portable stoves, canvas, refuge etc. tree-person tents with a vestibule and auto-inflating mattress are provided.

Vital equipment

From head to toe

Head :
  • Hat, fleece hood, caps 

Torso :     
  • Breathable underwear of synthetic fibers       
  • Shirts of breathable synthetic fibers     
  • Fleece     
  • Waterproof and breathable jacket fitted with a Gore-Tex typed membrane       
  • Poncho or rain cape 

Legs :       
  • Synthetic and breathable hiking trousers
  • Shorts
  • Swimsuit
  • Synthetic tights to create extra heat 

Hands :
  • Gloves of fleece Feet
  • Socks of synthetic fibers
  • High-upper hiking shoes
  • Hiking sandals 

To sleep : 
  • Down sleeping bag, sarcophagus shaped. Suggested comfort temperature : 14°F

Material

  • Toilet bag : biodegradable soap and shampoo, toothbrush, biodegradable toothpaste        
  • Bath towel of micro fibers      
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • Sunscreen (face and lips)
  • Flashlight or headlight with spare batteries
  • 1.5-liter to the minimum flask, light and isothermal
  • Pocket knife, multi-purpose preferred (to be placed in your checked-in luggage)
  • Hygienic gel

Helpful equipment

  • Waterproof case for your passport and/or your ID card, your driver’s license, your immunization record, your travel insurance, your credit card and your personal documents
  • Plastic bags to insure the waterproofing of your belongings, camera and clothes.
  • Dirty laundry bag, earplugs, notepads, books, card games.
  • Walking stick (optional). They are a precious helper to your knees during the ways down (up to 30% of your weight + your bag are carried by the stick) and maintain your effort during the way up (arms also help)
  • A pair of binoculars
  • Camera and battery charger
  • Socket adapter
  • A 32 Ft cord (0.5 in) to hang out on your bivouac.

Luggage

Your entire luggage must be divided into two bags. Avoid stiff bags and suitcases. Limit the weight to the maximum. 

Allow:
  • A flexible traveling bag with a zip on the side to give an easier access to its content. During the times of travel it will carry the belongings that you don’t need during the day
  • A little backpack (68 oz capacity) for the belongings needed during the day (sweaters, spare shirts, flask, glasses, lunch) 

Just in case, prepare what’s necessary to ‘’survive’’ for the first days in case of a late arrival of your checked-in luggage (toothbrush, shirts, walking shoes on …) 

Medicine

Your guide will have an emergency first aid kit.

It is nevertheless advised that you have your own first aid kit:
- Moisturizing sunscreen (body and lips)
- Estoplast and scissors
- Vitamin C
- Eye lotion
- Doliprane and/or aspirin
- Aintidiarrheal and intestinal antiseptic (immodium/intetrix)
- Healing cream and local antiseptic
- Common antibiotics (optional) 

Hygiene: You can drink the water in Canada. In remote regions, the guide will provide pellets to purify the water.

Passport

Consular formalities for Europeans and Swiss nationals: 

Upon your registration, please transmit your passport information (name, first name, passport number, date of issues and expiration). Currently, to stay as a tourist for less than six months, a visa is not mandatory and a valid passport is sufficient with a validity exceeding by one day your stay in Canada.

Travelers must imperatively have an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. You will have to fill the form online and individually (one application per person) on http://www.cic.gc.ca/francais/visiter/ave.aspIt is essential that you have a valid email address. The 7 CAD fees are payable by Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit cards. The eTA is granted in just a few minutes but we advise you to apply for it as soon as your trip is confirmed. The eTA is an electronic document linked to your passport and stays valid for 5 years or until the expiration of the passport, depending on the first of these eventualities to occur. You must then travel with the passport used to apply for it. 

CAREFUL: for French women, the eTA must be filled with your maiden name. Hence, to facilitate the check-in at the airport, we ask travelers in Canada to indicate their maiden name for the booking of their tickets.

You travel with children:
Children and adults are submitted to the same obligations regarding passports and visa described above. Registration of minors on parents’ passports is now impossible; children must hold an individual passport. It is compulsory to apply for an eTA for each child individually. 

CAREFUL, from January 15th 2017 onwards, for all French minors traveling abroad alone, an authorization to leave the country is compulsory.
The child will have to submit the three following documents:
- The minor’s valid passport
- A photocopy of the signatory’s identity card, valid or expired for less than 5 years and the birth certificate
- The form, signed by one of the legal guardians, available online on https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1359 

Concerning other nationalities, seek the Canadian consular authority of your country.

ARRIVAL IN CANADA VIA A TRANSIT THROUGH THE UNITED STATES :
CAREFUL, we can exceptionally use American airlines for travels bound for the American continent (North and South). 
They stop over in the US: you must possess an electronic or biometric passport which is still valid 6 months after your departure from the US (under ‘’passport’’, a rectangle under a circle meaning a secure symbol). 

You must also apply for an electronic travel authorization (ESTA) on the official website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Valid for a duration of two years or until the expiration of the passport, this authorization must be requested at the latest 72h before your departure: we advise you to apply to it as soon as your trip is confirmed. It has to be paid for (14 USD online by credit card). The name you put on the form must be the same as the one that figures on your plane tickets and must of course appears on your passport. If the name used on the ESTA form is different from the one on your tickets, the airline can deny your boarding. Minors must also fill out an ESTA authorization. 

The Visa Waiver Program allows French nationals to enter the American territory without a visa, either via transit or for a stay of 90 days to the maximum. A visa is nevertheless necessary if you only have an emergency passport. Furthermore, travelers who went to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen or Soudan since March 11th 2011 and people who are national of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Soudan cannot benefit from the Visa Waiver program anymore: more information on http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/etats-unis/

ARRIVAL IN THE US OR TRANSIT THROUGHT THE US :
Upon your arrival, the immigration service will take your photo and fingerprints. You’ll have to wait behind the yellow line and not cross it unless you’re told to, it can take some time. Customs controls will take place at the first access point to the territory (in case of a transit through a Canadian airport, it will be considered as a first access point to the US and the following process must be applied). Once you’ve been through the immigration service, you’ll get your luggage back from the conveyer belt and go to the customs. In case of a continuation of your trip, you’ll have to get your luggage back and bring them the baggage conveyer which serves.

Weather

Spring is a rainy season in the major part of Canada. During the day, temperatures generally get high but nights still cool. The median temperature is 12°C in March, April and the beginning of May. Summer officially starts on June 21st but for most Canadians, July and August are the real summer months. It is warm in most regions of Canada. In the South, they are above 20°C during the day and can sometimes pass 30°C. Autumn starts in September. Temperature gets chillier and leaves change color and fall. This season can be very rainy. In some regions, particularly in the North and in the mountains, it may start to snow towards the end of October. During the day, normal temperatures vary between 10 and 12°C in the major part of the country.

Unlike Europe, seasons are well defined in Canada. Temperatures can get higher than 30°C in summer and down to –30°C in winter. In fact, Canadian climate changes a lot from a region or a season to another. Canada extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and lies at the same latitude as Roma at his southern extreme, where it reaches the Arctic.  

To knoz the current climate and weather conditions by provinces and territories, go to www.meteo.gc.ca or www.meteomedia.com 

Spring : Spring comes as soon as February on the West Coast. In the rest of Canada, weather gets warmer at the beginning of April and lasts until June.

Summer : Summer in Canada bring cool to hot temperatures from the end of June to the end of September. The warmth of summer last from June to August, and July is often the hottest month.

Autumn : Autumn brings pleasant and cool temperatures, particularly in September and in October. It is the best time of the year to enjoy the spectacular beauty of Autumn leaves in the East of Canada, to take long walks while breathing fresh air.

Winter : A major part of Canada is covered with a white coat during winter, temperatures fall below the freezing point, and snowfalls start at the end of October. However, winters are very cool on the West Coast where the snow doesn’t stay long.


Electricity

As everywhere in the US, voltage runs at 110 Volts/60 cycles. New electric devices can be adapted o the current. It’s preferable to check whether or not your device is equipped with a current transformer. In general, it is a black box located between the electric plug and your device. If your device isn’t compatible with the 110-volt current, you’ll need to get a current transformer sold separately. As electrical plugs are flat, you’ll also need an adaptor to plug your device in. you’ll find it easily on the spot or before departure in a shop specialized in travels. A waterproof Zip Lock bag is a good way to keep your equipment in a dry place.

Local time

There’s an eight-hour difference between Paris and Calgary. When it’s midday in Paris, it is 4.00 AM in Calgary.

Sustainable tourism

Since the outset, Altai works for an eco-tourism and an organization of trips that respects equitable and sustainable principles.  

The harmonization of practices assures:
  •  A fair economical repartition
  • The improvement of local teams’ working conditions and their awareness of the protection of the environment
  • The information of travelers about respecting the local population and environment and the collection of their feelings at their return. 

You can also act in favor of an eco-tourism by adopting simple green gestures during your trips:
  • Avoid letting waste out, throw it in the trash can or bring it with you
  • Use potable water sparingly (take a shower instead of a bath and report any leaks) and avoid wasting it (use biodegradable soap to wash yourself)
  • Avoid damaging cultural sites: don’t touch the statues, don’t move the stones and objects
  • Exchange instead of giving (too Important gifts can destabilize the local economic stability of the country depending on their living standards)
  • When taking a walk, especially in some fragile ecosystems, observe the fauna from afar, do not go beyond beaten roads, limit stamping and do not bring any souvenirs: give up picking rare flowers picking fossils...
  • In some hotels, you can have  individual air conditioning. It is advised to systematically switching it off when you’re out of the room to avoid energetical overconsumption and greenhouse gas emission.

Sarah

My local agent
Sarah

  • Specialist in Canada and USA
  • Holder of a tourism licence
  • An adventurer at heart
  • Fascinated by local culture and people
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Destination
Alberta British Colombia Rocky mountains
Activity
Summer Trekking and hiking
Duration
13 days
Group
4 to 12 people
Code
GRP-UCAW1
Price
From C$2,891
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
French

Strengths

  • The iconic national parks of the Rockies: Banff, Kootenay, Yoho and Jasper
  • Hiking to lakes Louise, Maligne, Emerald and Moraine
  • Wildlife viewing: bears, moose, elk
  • Camp in the heart of national parks





Required level


Accessible to all.

  • Easy walks of 4 to 6 hours of walk per day with uneven elevations rarely exceeding 500 meters
  • No technical difficulty.
  • However, the weather is sometimes capricious. It can evolve quickly and make hiking more difficult.

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