Six nights at alpine resorts in Banff & Jasper national parks set the stage for... wildlife viewing of elk, deer, moose, bear, bighorn sheep and mountain goats that call the wilderness home... a guided hike around emerald lakes, bicycling, canoeing, boating, swimming and more in Jasper National Park, whitewater rafting down an alpine river, an Ice Explorer ride on a prehistoric glacier - and a gondola ride to a mountain summit, a mountie talk, a scavenger hunt, a bowling party in Banff National Park. The definition of family fun!
Day 1: Arrive Calgary and head to Lake Louise
Tour departs: 2:00 PM from Calgary International Airport. For guests spending the previous night in Calgary, an airport transfer from Calgary International Airport to the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire hotel is included; pick-up time today is 1:00 PM at the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire hotel. Everybody travels to Lake Louise this afternoon for an overnight stay at a lakeside resort that wows with amazing scenic beauty. Enjoy our welcome reception and dinner in this awesome setting.
Day 2: Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway... nature's perfection
Breathe in the fresh mountain air and expect to see some pretty dramatic sights as you join our local guide on a hike along the shores of Lake Louise that comes alive with wilderness fun. In the afternoon, set off for a drive on the Icefields Parkway to Jasper National Park. One look around tells you why this stretch of highway is world-famous - there are mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and snowfields as far as you can see... not to mention the moose, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, or bears you might spy along the way! Wait until you see the backyard of the lodge where you will be spending the next three nights - it's surrounded by snow-capped peaks and sparkling lakes in the heart of Canada's largest national park.
Meals: B, D
Day 3: Hike, bike, canoe... in Jasper National Park
Start off the morning by joining a national park official for an interactive (and active) family strategy game on the grounds of the lodge that's fun for everyone. Then spend the rest of the day just as you please in the wilderness wonderland of Jasper National Park, at your inside-the-park resort set in the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Best of all, you'll receive a free Summer Resort Activities Card* to use for fun things like a free hour of bicycle rental, a boat for an hour, one hour of tennis court and racket rental, or a bucket of balls and club rental at the golf driving range; your card is good for the entire time you're staying at Jasper. Maybe you and your family will go off in search of the wildlife that calls the area home or play in the swimming pool... or perhaps engage in other optional activities (available at an additional charge) like golf or horseback riding. It's up to you! Join us tonight for a private lakeside barbecue at your lodge!
Meals: B, D
Day 4: Explore Maligne Canyon and go river rafting on the Athabasca River
Check out cascading waterfalls, mysterious potholes, age-old fossils, lush plant life and towering limestone walls as you explore Maligne Canyon. One of the most beautiful gorges in the Rockies, it was created about 160 million years ago by churning waters as they swirled through the Palliser Formation, a layer of limestone once covered by a shallow sea. Gazing at its sheer walls - some plunging more than 150 feet - look for the ripple marks of ancient waves imprinted on the rocks, as well as nesting ravens and rare black swifts. Then it's off to whitewater rafting* along the glacier-fed Athabasca River, fresh from the Columbia Icefields, where the wilderness scenery and the gentle waters take your breath away.
Meals: B, D
Day 5: Across a glacier in the Columbia Icefields & on to Banff
Glaciers owned these landscapes for hundreds of years, freeze-framing the wilderness you see today. See them as you travel to the Columbia Icefields, then get a closer look when you ride aboard a specially designed Ice Explorer up the surface of 7,200-ft.-high Athabasca Glacier, traveling atop glacial ice that in some places is more than 400 years old! Later, watch for soaring eagles, hawks and grizzlies as you return to the Icefields Parkway. Wind your way between snow-domed peaks and hanging glaciers to Banff National Park, where you'll stay for two nights in a resort referred to as a "castle in the mountains."
Meals: B, L
Day 6: A gondola car, Mounties & more in Banff
Experience a Rocky Mountain high as you ride 7,500 ft. up to the top of Sulphur Mountain aboard the modern Banff Gondola; keep an eye out for wildlife that may include Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. At the summit, you'll be amazed by the views in every direction - including six mountain ranges. A real-life Mountie waits below to share the story of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as you drive to the town of Banff for a scavenger hunt and time to explore on your own. Tauck Bridges includes a Banff Heritage Passport for admission to the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, showcasing mountain art, and the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, dedicated to the appreciation, interpretation, demonstration and display of the cultures, traditions, and values of the First Nations of North America and their trading partners. Tonight's farewell reception features Canadian-style five-pin bowling at the Banff Bowling Center, a great way to wrap up your family adventure before our farewell dinner!
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Journey home
Travel back to Calgary this morning (approx. 80 miles). Tour ends: Calgary Int'l Airport at 10:00 AM. Guests spending additional nights in Calgary will be transferred to the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire hotel upon arrival; a transfer from Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire hotel to Calgary International Airport is included. Allow two hours for check-in.
Stay inside Banff and Jasper national parks; ride on the surface of a glacier; take a rafting trip; visit with a Mountie; go on a scavenger hunt in Banff; enjoy an interactive hike with a park official and included resort activities at Jasper Park Lodge
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