You will travel the Plain of Six Glaciers to the dazzling waters of Lake Louise, an emerald nestled in a valley between gorgeous peaks. Quartzite cliffs and melt water streams give way to a splendid view of all six glaciers. You will see extraordinary mountain vistas, stunning lakes and abundant waterfalls, and maybe walls of ice, enroute to Jasper National Park.
At Stutfield Glacier, the interlacing channels of a braided river flow along the valley floor and evolve into the majestic Sunwapta Falls. The Sunshine Meadow Trail is a sub-alpine paradise. At Maligne Lake, an open forest of lodgepole pine and spruce are a haven for wildlife; and the Brewers sparrow sings in the willows. Come, connect with nature and feed your soul’s most lustful hunger. Dinner is served!
Highlights: Mount Assiniboine, Sunshine Meadows, Kootenay National Park, Lake Lousie, Victoria Glacier, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Columbia Icefields, Sunwapta Falls, Bald Hills, Maligne Canyon.
Day 1: Easy 10km (6 miles) hike; drive up to 2 hours
Meet at Banff Springs Hotel in Banff at 10:00 for a short transfer to begin along the trails at Sunshine Meadows near the famous Sunshine Ski Resort. Mount Assiniboine provides the backdrop for rolling floral hills. This signature landmark rises an impressive 3600 meters (almost 12,000 feet). Its snowy crown is a magnet for the eyes and the first of many peaks to liven your view over the next six days. Hand-hewn logs and a massive fieldstone fireplace set the ambience at your night’s lodging, and you can indulge yourself at the spa if you want a real treat! LD
Caribou Lodge, Banff
Day 2: Moderate 9km (5.5 miles) hike; drive up to 1 hour
Cross the provincial border into British Columbia where another national park of hanging glaciers and breathtaking summits awaits. Kootenay National Park was once a meeting place for Plains and Mountain First Nations as well as fur traders and explorers. Pictographs and ancient paint pots found here were used by the Kootenai Indians to decorate themselves and their teepees years ago. The hike takes you on a well-traveled trail in the Rockies to Stanley Glacier, named after Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley (his name is often passed around in hockey circles). BL
Day 3: Moderate 11km (7 miles) hike; drive up to 1½ hours
Today, your adventure takes you to the “Hiking Capital of the Rocky Mountains,” Lake Louise. The Stoney Indian people knew the lake as Ho-run-num-nay, the "Lake of the Little Fishes," which lies in a valley close to some of the higher peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Lake Louise has been a famous attraction since the late 1800’s when the Canadian Pacific Railway and accommodations near the lake were completed. In 1902, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and the surrounding area were protected as Banff National Park. The trail gives views of the terminal moraine left by the most recent advance of the Lower Victoria Glacier during the Little Ice Age, which peaked circa 1850. The present outlet stream flows through the steep, narrow gorge it has breached in the material deposited at the toe of the receding glacier. Quartzite cliffs and rushing glacial melt water streams will guide your way to – yes - a high altitude teahouse. The view here reveals the complement of six glaciers that gave rise to the name: hanging glaciers. These include Mts. Aberdeen, Lefroy, and Victoria; the Lefroy and Lower Victoria Valley glaciers; and finally the bulge of the hanging glacier on Pope’s Peak to the North. BL
Day 4: Easy 8km (5 miles) hike; drive up to 4 hours
Wilcox Pass. You will travel the Icefield Parkway through the Columbia Icefields on your way to Jasper National Park. Dramatic mountain vistas, huge walls of ice, beautiful lakes, and spectacular waterfalls make this one of the world’s classic mountain drives. Look for bighorn sheep and goats at Tangle Falls, Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint and Goat Lookout. Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint offers a view of the Sunwapta River, an excellent example of a braided river - the valley bottom is filled with sand and gravel, spreading the river across the valley floor in interlacing channels. The Stutfield Glacier features a picturesque pair of ice falls, which spill down the face of Mt. Stutfield. You can enjoy the majestic beauty and power of Sunwapta Falls and Canyon and will see where the Sunwapta River plummets into a deep canyon, producing a spectacular waterfall. We will hike to Wilcox Pass, where the view across the Icefields is spectacular. BLD
Becker's Chalets Near Jasper
Day 5: Challenging 12km (7.5 miles) hike; drive up to 2 hours
Bald Hills Trail. This hike takes you to the most photographed area in the Rocky Mountains: Maligne Lake is not only the oldest attraction in Jasper National Park but also the largest lake in the Canadian Rockies. The trail to the Bald Hills, overlooking Maligne Lake, takes you along the open forest of lodge pole pine and spruce, home of moose, caribou and harlequin ducks and many other types of wildlife. Listen for the trilling of the Brewers sparrows that nest in the willows here. BLD
Day 6: Sightseeing with short walks, drive up to 6 hours
Maligne Canyon. To punctuate the drive back to Calgary, we will enjoy stops and short walks along the way. Arrive in Banff by about 15:00. B
Start: Banff Springs Hotel, 10:00 day one. Optional 2 hour transfer available departing Calgary at 08:00 for $60pp
Also see tour packages in:
Canada Alberta Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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