Canadian Rockies Parks & ResortsItinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Calgary, Alberta, Canada / Lake Louise
After arriving in Calgary, transfer to Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise—located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built over 100 years ago, the property is surrounded by a glistening emerald lake, towering mountain peaks, and the majestic Victoria Glacier. Elegant and polished, yet relaxed and inviting, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism, and has also been awarded an AAA Four Diamond rating.
This evening, meet fellow travel companions and your Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (D)
Day 2: Lake Louise / Moraine Lake / Yoho National Park
After breakfast, journey to Moraine Lake for a short walk and remarkable photo opportunities of natural beauty. Nestled in the Valley of Ten Peaks of Banff National Park—and featured on Canadian currency—Moraine Lake is only half the size of Lake Louise, but it's one of the most striking bodies of water in the Rockies. Glacially fed and displaying an intense blue-green color, it's surrounded by forests and mountains, creating a bucolic, and almost surreal, scene.
Continue to Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park for panoramic sightseeing and additional photography opportunities of the pastoral landscape. This lake was discovered in 1882 when famed mountain guide Tom Wilson was rounding up horses that had gone astray, and it continues to be an admired destination of pristine nature to this day.
Return to the property for time at leisure with lunch on your own. In the evening, enjoy a locally guided walking tour featuring the history of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Overnight: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (B)
Day 3: Lake Louise / Jasper
Continue to the Lake Louise Ski Resort to board a gondola for aerial sightseeing over the mountain before arriving at the Wildlife Interpretive Centre for a guided Trail of the Great Bear walk.
The Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola and Wildlife Interpretive Centre offer a unique opportunity to ascend to one of Banff National Park’s most incredible viewpoints. Along with soaring peaks and impressive glaciers, delight in lush carpets of alpine wildflowers and glimpses of wildlife. Grizzly bears may be seen roaming below the safety of the sightseeing lift.
At the Wildlife Interpretive Centre, peruse interactive presentations and displays featuring native and endangered species.
Take a gondola back to the base for lunch followed by a pleasant wildlife- and scenery-rich drive to Jasper.
After checking in to the hotel, explore the grounds before dinner.
Overnight: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 4: Jasper National Park / Maligne Lake
After breakfast, embark upon a narrated cruise on Maligne Lake. When artist and explorer Mary Schaffer laid eyes on Maligne Lake in 1908 she exclaimed, “…if Lake Louise is a pearl, Maligne is the entire pearl necklace.” Witness in wonder panoramic mountain views surrounding the water as a knowledgeable guide shares Maligne’s history, geology, flora, and fauna.
Discover the world-famous, and often photographed, Spirit Island—a tiny grove of trees separated from the mainland. Surrounded on three sides by the same mountain range—a rare and particularly notable feature—Spirit Island is a significant place for the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, as they believe mountains are physical representations of their ancestors.
Following lunch, continue to Maligne Canyon—the deepest in the Rockies—for time to explore this incredible natural landmark. Numerous canyon bridges and trails offer extraordinary views of craggy, lichen-covered canyon walls, natural rock formations, spectacular waterfalls, interpretive displays, and a myriad of flora and fauna—all from different perspectives and elevations. Keep an eye peeled for black swift and raven nests.
Afterward, return to Jasper to explore the town and perhaps shop at some of its specialty stores. Alternatively, choose to join an optional leisurely rafting excursion on the Athabasca River—the longest river in Alberta, with the first 104.39 miles designated as a Canadian Heritage River. (This optional excursion may be purchased in advance from our Guest Services team. We recommend reserving early for best availability, as space is limited.)
The evening is yours to take advantage of the amenities at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Perhaps stroll along the shore of Lac Beauvert, book a treatment at the full-service spa (additional charges apply), or take a dip in the heated outdoor pool.
Overnight: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (B,L)
Day 5: Jasper National Park / Banff National Park
Today's highlight includes a pictorial drive to Banff—with brief photography stops at Athabasca Falls and Peyto Lake—before arriving at Bow Lake.
Approximately 30 minutes north of Lake Louise is Bow Lake, one of the largest lakes in Banff National Park, and home to the red-roofed Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. Learn the amazing tale of legendary outfitter Jimmy Simpson, who first built the lodge as a small "shack" and later expanded it with the help of his family into the beautiful log and stone hotel it is today. The unique name of the lodge comes from a Stoney word for pine marten, a small animal similar to a sable.
Following lunch, set out for Fairmont Banff Springs for a heritage history tour, then relax during an evening at leisure. This stunning hotel will amaze you with its size, majestic façade, and extensive outdoor patios and terraces to enjoy the views of the Bow Valley.
Overnight: Fairmont Banff Springs (B,L)
Day 6: Banff National Park
This morning, visit the Whyte Museum to learn about the pioneers who helped build and shape the town of Banff.
Established in 1968, the Whyte Museum “acquires, preserves, interprets, and makes accessible the history and culture of the Rocky Mountains of Canada by inspiring and cultivating the exchange of knowledge and ideas through our collections, programs, and exhibitions.” This informative mix of historic information and art puts the town of Banff into context. Browse the gift shop’s collection of art posters, books, and original works by Canadian artists. Original cabins and log homes adjacent to the museum offer a glimpse into the life of pioneers and settlers of time past.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the town of Banff or to take advantage of the amenities back at the hotel.
This evening, share photos and stories with your travel companions at a special farewell dinner.
Overnight: Fairmont Banff Springs (B,D)
Day 7: Banff National Park / Calgary / Depart for U.S.
After an early breakfast, take the complimentary group transfer to Calgary International Airport for flights home, or to the Banff train station if you are continuing on the Vancouver post-tour. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
The majority of the program’s activities will take place outdoors, and a fair amount of walking on varying terrain is to be expected. Many of the parks have dirt trails, but they are usually fairly smooth for walking. Some do have paved pathways and boardwalks. It is our expectation that guests on this program are able to get in and out of a motor coach without assistance and be sure-footed on uneven terrain. If you are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, you will be able to enjoy all of the excursions. However, there are opportunities for different abilities to admire the national parks. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes, rising up to 7,705 feet, to which you may not be accustomed.