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Alberta: Waterton Lakes to Banff Bike and Hike
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Alberta: Waterton Lakes to Banff Bike and Hike

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Alberta  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Native Americans  
Season: June - September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2895 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3265 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

This is an adventure for people who really like to ride! The revitalizing mountain air is cool, clear, and so magical that on your bike, you will tingle with appreciation, and will shout with sheer delight at the climbs and descents. Beginning at a beautiful lodge tucked away in the foothills of the International Peace Park, you will spend three days exploring the scenic Waterton Lakes National Park before riding on to experience the periphery of the Crows Nest Pass and astonishing Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump – a testament to Blackfoot culture and survival on the prairie.

After enjoying this area on foot and by bike, you will ride north along the Cowboy Trail to the quiet roads of the Kananaskis area, a favourite retreat for locals, who often call it the most beautiful part of the mountains. You will be able to ride over Highwood Pass (the highest paved pass of the Rockies) and descend for a night’s well-earned rest in the Kananaskis Valley before a final morning transfer to the mountain town of Canmore for the final ride into Banff, a perfect place to continue your exploration, or to take advantage of an optional transfer back to Calgary.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: 13:00 pickup in Calgary. You will be picked up from downtown Calgary for an approximate three-hour transfer to Waterton Lakes National Park, also known as the International Peace Park, on the Alberta–Montana border. Stop at the park entrance for a short hike to a scenic lookout then arrive at your lodge in time for bike familiarization, and possibly a short bike ride before dinner. Guided trips include a talk about the days ahead. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only). Waterton Lakes Lodge, Waterton; or Glacier Suites, Waterton.

Day 2: 65 km plus 2 short hikes. Ride both the Red Rock and Akamina Parkways with a break for a picnic lunch, and opportunities for short hikes at Red Rock Canyon and Cameron Lake. Cameron Lake offers exceptional flat water paddling and opportunities for wildlife sightings. Wildflowers and wildlife abound along these scenic parkways. Tonight, you will have the chance to dine independently in Waterton. BL Same lodging.

Day 3: 20 km 6 to 8 hour hike; or 100 km of self-guided cycling. Hike the Carthew-Alderson trail. Wildlife sightings are almost certain. Bighorn Sheep, elk, whitetail deer, and grizzly bears are just a sample of the larger species that inhabit this landscape. Spring and early summer travellers will enjoy the abundance of wildflowers and other flora, including pink meadowsweet, mountain ladyslipper, and beargrass. For those not interested in hiking, self-guided cycling is available along the Chief Mountain Parkway, which climbs from the grasslands near Maskinonge Lake to a viewpoint with a magnificent panorama of the Waterton and Blakiston Valleys. BL Same lodging.

Day 4: ~110 km with longer options available. From the park, cycle north towards the Oldman River Reservoir, enroute to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designated for its remarkable conservation and demonstration of the Blackfoot Culture. The support van will pick up riders to ensure arrival in time for a picnic lunch and an afternoon demonstration of native dance and drumming. Following the spectacle, a guided tour of the site is available before your ride or transfer to a unique ranch near Pincher Creek. BLD. The Bloomin' Inn, Pincher Creek.

Day 5: 112 km. Today’s ride – over Highwood Pass – gives you bragging rights to the highest paved pass of the Rockies. The day starts with a shuttle unless you’re superhuman, and will allow you to start near the top if you prefer the downhill only. Weather conditions can vary as you climb, so be prepared for anything from sunshine to light snow. Rendezvous in Kananaskis, an area rife with cycling and walking trails. This lovely spot was host to the 1988 Olympic Nakiska skiing competition. BLD. Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, Kananaskis Village.

Day 6: Hike Galatea Creek, 13 km plus options. This is a rolling trail winds along Galatea Creek, crossing ten footbridges, including a suspension bridge. Along the 450 meter elevation you will alternate between the cool, moist south side and the drier, rocky north side before reaching the sheltered Lillian Lake. At this forest-fringed lake, you may choose a short swim in its glacier waters to invigorate before descending. More difficult or easier hiking options are available for today, depending on weather conditions and group dynamics. BLD. Same lodging.

Day 7: Banff Legacy Trail 26 km. Transfer from Kananaskis to Canmore where you will cycle along the new Banff Legacy bike trail into Banff. Finish in time for lunch. Transfer to Calgary by mid-afternoon. BL

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- Start: Calgary 13:00.
- Finish: Banff 13:00 or Calgary 15:00.
- Guided Cost: $3265 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners, park entry fees, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps and detailed route notes)
- Self-Guided Cost: $2895 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, all ground transportation including support on day 4, hiking guide on day 3, park entry fees, maps and detailed route notes)
- Single Occupancy: $780
- Bicycle Rental: Hybrid: $145; Racing: $195. Add your own dates.
- Self Guided Dates: You choose! We confirm within 48 hours.
- Extend your stay: Plan in advance to include any of the Calgary Stampede. Continue on the Banff to Jasper Hike.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 5% sales tax applies, but a 50% refund will be applied for non-Canadians.

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