Banff National Park
Jewel of the Canadian Rockies
Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies is one of the world’s most magnificent natural playgrounds. You think you can prepare for the scenery — brilliant glaciers, waterfalls, and gem-colored lakes that mirror pine fringes and snow-etched peaks — but even jaded world travelers have been known to take in audible gasps when they view Banff for the first time! In Canada’s first national park, you’ll breathe in crisp, fresh air, view wildlife (including deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, grizzly, and black bears), and gaze upon stunning views you’ll never forget.
In addition to free time to explore at your leisure, tours with a local guide will introduce you to the highlights of Banff. Discover Hoodoo Lookout and Surprise Corner. Ride the Banff Gondola for a 360-degree panoramic view of the Bow Valley. Marvel at Victoria Glacier from Lake Louise, stand in awe of Takkakaw Falls, and soak in the view of picturesque Moraine Lake.
An optional excursion to the Columbia Icefield travels along the spectacular Icefields Parkway for a guided all-terrain vehicle tour onto the surface of Athabasca Glacier and to visit the Glacier Skywalk.
Tue, Aug 2: Fly to Calgary, Alberta, Canada and transfer to Banff by motorcoach. Check in to the Banff Park Lodge, ideally situated within the park near restaurants and shopping. Settle in to your beautiful surroundings and enjoy dinner at the hotel. (Meal: Dinner)
Wed, Aug 3: A half-day tour this morning includes Bow Falls, Hoodoo Lookout, Lake Minnewanka and Surprise Corner. The highlight of the day is sure to be a ride on the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for a panoramic view of Bow Valley and the six surrounding mountain ranges. Enjoy lunch at the top and soak in the scenery. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to discover more of Banff on your own. (B,L)
Thu, Aug 4: A full-day tour takes you to see some of the most famous features in the Canadian Rockies. Stop at a photographer’s dream, Moraine Lake, located in the dramatic Valley of the Ten Peaks. Continue to Lake Louise, often known as the “Jewel of the Canadian Rockies,” where the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise proudly stands at one end and the Victoria Glacier reflects off the other. Enjoy a boxed lunch while at Lake Louise before heading across the Great Divide with a stop at the Spiral Tunnels viewpoint, where three lines of railway are laid at different elevations to cross the Kicking Horse River on four bridges. Marvel at Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls before heading back to Banff. (B,L)
Fri, Aug 5: Day at leisure. An optional full-day tour is offered to the Athabasca Glacier, the most-visited glacier in North America and one of the six principle “toes” of the Columbia Icefield. Even the journey to the glacier on the Icefields Parkway is memorable as it passes through a vast wilderness of magnificent peaks, ancient glaciers, and pristine mountain lakes. Board a specially designed Ice Explorer for a guided tour onto the surface of the glacier. Visit the Glacier Skywalk, a glass platform that provides an awe-inspiring experience and features the only unobstructed, completely accessible glacier view in the world! Lunch is included on the optional day trip. (B)
Sat, Aug 6: Transfer to Calgary for your flight home. (B)
Comfortable, convenient and relaxing, Banff Park Lodge is a full-service resort hotel ideally situated within the park near restaurants and shopping. Highlights: in-room coffee maker and mini-fridge • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • 2 restaurants • fireside lounge/bar • heated indoor pool • steam room and whirlpool • fitness center.
Optional Columbia Icefield Day Trip: $199 per person
* Subject to change due to increase in exchange rate or fuel surcharge
Documents Required: A valid passport. Visit travel.state.gov for specific requirements.
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