Five nights; six days of easy, moderate, and challenging hikes on the most spectacular trails between Banff and Jasper.
“I felt the guides were beyond any measure of ‘excellent’. I feel I have made new friends.” -Eva T
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Fantastic hikes everyday, with a good variety of challenge – from alpine meadow walks to snowy mountain hikes.
- Abundant wildlife, both big and small.
- Waterfalls, glaciers, and icefields.
- Gorgeous Lake Louise, known as the “Hiking Capital of the Rocky Mountains”.
- The spectacular Sunshine Meadow Trail.
- Kootenay, Banff, and Jasper national parks.
Requiring moderate fitness levels, these cover terrain with hills and valleys, and tend to include distances of 50-80km (30-50mi.)/day cycling, or 3-6 hours of walking per day. Most Freewheeling Adventures fall into this category, and are suitable for most ability levels.
A mix of easy, moderate, and challenging hikes. 6-14 km (4-9 miles) per day. Be aware that the altitude adds to the difficulty when comparing the hikes to those closer to sea level.
- DAY 1: 10 km
- DAY 2: 9 km
- DAY 3: Short: 9 km/Long: up to 20 km
- DAY 4: 8 km
- DAY 5: 12 km
- DAY 6: Sightseeing with short walks
Start: Banff, Caribou Lodge, 10:00, day one. 2 ¼ hour shuttle available from Calgary ~$75 operated by Brewster. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Banff, 16:00, day six. Complimentary transfers back to Calgary arrive by 18:00.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Easy 10km hike; drive up to 2 hours
Meet in Banff at 10:00 for a short transfer to begin your walk 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 (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips only)
Moderate 9km hike; drive up to 1 hour
Cross into British Columbia where Kootenay National Park, with its hanging glaciers and breathtaking summits awaits. This 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. Today’s hike takes you on a well-traveled trail through the Rockies to Stanley Glacier, named after Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley (his name is often passed around in hockey circles). Return to Banff for an evening of independent dining and exploration. BL
Moderate hike; Short: 9km/Long: up to 20km; 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 lodges near the lake were completed. In 1902, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and the surrounding area became protected as Banff National Park. Quartzite cliffs and rushing glacial melt water streams will guide your way to a high altitude teahouse. The view here reveals the complement of six glaciers that gave rise to the name: hanging glaciers. You’ll spend the day immersed in the stunning mountain scenery surrounding Lake Louise and have this evening to experience the village. BL
Lake Louise Inn, Lake Louise
Easy 8km hike; drive up to 4 hours
Today you will travel north on 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. Watch for bighorn sheep and goats at Tangle Falls, Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint and Goat Lookout. The view of the Sunwapta River provides 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. You will enjoy the majestic beauty and power of Sunwapta Falls and Canyon and will see where the river plummets into a deep canyon, producing a spectacular waterfall. Today you’ll hike to Wilcox Pass, where the view across the Icefields is spectacular. BLD
Challenging 12km hike; drive up to 2 hours
The Bald Hills Trail 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 an open forest of lodge pole pine and spruce, home to moose, caribou, harlequin ducks, and many other types of wildlife. Listen for the trilling of the Brewers Sparrows that nest in the willows here. BLD
Sightseeing with short walks, drive up to 6 hours
Spend the early morning exploring Maligne Canyon before heading back to Banff. To punctuate the drive there will be stops and short walks along the way. Arrive in Banff by about 16:00 or Calgary at around 18:00. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Guided: C 4545 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners, park entry fees, luggage handling, van and guide support, 5% sales tax
Self-Guided: C 3895 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, park entry fees, luggage handling, transfers between hikes, 5% sales tax
Self-Drive: C 2375 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 5% sales tax
Single Occupancy: 1095
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
2022 Guided dates:
- Jul 17-22
- Aug 16-21
- Sep 11-16
2023 Guided dates:
- Jul 16-21
- Aug 13-18
- Sep 10-15
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Interested in custom or private departures?
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
|Difficulty||This route is rated moderate (blue square).|
|Best Months||July to September|
Before & After the Tour:
“We stayed at Tekkara Lodge in Jasper – perfect. We hiked up the Whistlers and took the gondola back down. Bear Paw Bakery (breakfast, lunch, treats) and the Jasper Brewing Co, (beer, dinner) were both terrific.” – Jennifer S.
Plan far in advance if you would like to include the Calgary Stampede.
Calgary has a host of attractions, including more than 25 musuems, top notch shopping, theatre, ballet, galleries, and dining choices.
Check out the Calgary Festivals site to see what festivals will be taking place while you visit.
Canada’s Rocky Mountains are mesmerizing. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, your walks through alpine meadows among wildflowers make you feel clear-headed and alive as well as anywhere else on earth. There are pristine glacier lakes of a jaw-dropping emerald hue; skin-tingling, crisp mountain air; and views so spectacular you will stand among peaks, hollering hallelujah with your arms held high.
You will travel the Plain of Six Glaciers to the dazzling waters of Lake Louise, a green jewel of a lake 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 sometimes 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. Come, connect with nature and feed your soul with pristine mountain beauty. Dinner is served!