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Holidays

Walking Highlights of the Rockies

Canada, Rockies
Available Departures: Jul, Aug, Sep

13 days from

US$3,775

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

Travel the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff, exploring the best day hikes of the Canadian Rockies.

Trip Code: RWH
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Walking Highlights of the Rockies

Highlights
  • Walk in the stunning National Parks of Banff, Jasper and Yoho
  • Discover the hidden hiking paradise of Kananaskis Country
  • Marvel at the stunning mountain setting of Lake Louise
  • Travel the epic Icefields Parkway, one of the most spectacular roads in the world

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 12
  • 11 days walking
  • 2350m Maximum altitude
  • Join In Calgary

Accommodation & Meals
  • 12 Breakfasts
  • 11 Lunches
  • 6 Dinners
  • 8 nights Campground
  • 1 nights Hotel
  • 3 nights Hostel
Overview

Forming a natural boundary between the states of Alberta and British Columbia and rising to over 3500 metres, the snow-capped Canadian Rockies include some of the world's finest mountain scenery. To make the most of this dramatic region, we have devised a walking holiday that explores a variety of trails and areas that showcase the natural wonders on offer. Traversing forested valleys to flower-filled alpine meadows and pretty glacial lakes, each of our day-walks will take us into the middle mountains allowing access to some of the most coveted and iconic views and experiences.

Starting in the lesser-frequented Kananaskis Country we spend two days exploring these quieter trails, before heading north to Jasper. We spend 3 nights in Jasper to discover the best of the national park, including the Bald Hills and Valley of the Five Lakes. Travelling back south we traverse the Icefields Parkway making stops at Parker's Ridge, Bow Lake and some of the spectacular waterfalls along the route. Lake Louise is our next base, again spending 3 nights to take in the incredible trails and sights. We leave the crowds behind in the valley as we hike up to the Plain of the Six Glaciers, with optional stop for cake and coffee at the quaint mountain teahouse on the trail! After our time in Lake Louise we continue on to the quintessential mountain village of Banff for another 3 night stay. We undertake spectacular hikes surrounded by high mountain peaks at Cory Pass and the Cascade Amphitheatre to round off this incredible journey!

This holiday is a series of moderate day hikes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, reaching spectacular viewpoints, mountain lakes, forests and passes to get a stunning overview of these epic mountains ranges. The selected walks are designed to be achievable for a weekend walker, ranging from 4 to 6 hours daily with moderate elevation gain. There are a couple of longer days as well as easier days, and it would be possible to opt out of certain walks if in need of a rest. The routes are on good well-trodden trail, with a few optional extensions that use steeper trails to reach passes or viewpoints. The Cory Pass trail is the toughest day at 1100m elevation and 8 hours hiking, partly on easy forest trail and partly on rocky scree path. The walks have been selected to balance the key highlights of visiting the Canadian Rockies with exploring some quieter trails to experience the peace and nature of the mountains.

During this holiday we will be using the well-appointed national park campgrounds, staying in tents (with the exception of our time in Lake Louise, where we stay in the Alpine Centre Hostel in shared dormitories). The campgrounds have good shared facilities suchs as toilets, showers and kitchen facilities and are a great way of spending time in the great outdoors surrounded by high mountain peaks!

 

Why KE?

This unique-to-KE itinerary takes in the best of the Canadian Rockies. Striking a balance between bucket-list locations and quieter hiking trails, we immerse ourselves in nature and the great outdoors on this spectacular walking holiday. A mixture of camping and hostel nights allows us convenient access as we travel through many of Canada's premier national parks along the famous Icefields Parkway. Jaw-dropping panoramas will be our constant companion as we explore the lakes, glaciers, forests and passes of this mountain lover's paradise.

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Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel in downtown Calgary. Your holiday starts with the overnight stay at the group hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

In the morning we drive around 2 hours to Kananaskis Country to start our adventure in the Rocky Mountains. Kananaskis is a favourite walking spot for local hikers, less touristic than other areas, we are able to enjoy peaceful trails to spectacular mountain vantage points, verdant alpine meadows and pristine lakes. We reach our campground at Boulton Creek, our base for the next 2 nights, before heading out on our first trail.
Blessed with stunning mountain scenery, the Chester Lake hike is one of the best hikes in Kananaskis. Unlike typical single-track mountain hiking trails, the Chester Lake hike has a nice wide trail allowing groups of people to easily socialize along the way up. A beautiful, moderate trek through a dense pine and larch forest to a picturesque alpine lake surrounded by majestic peaks, the trail to Chester Lake is a gentle incline with a huge visual payoff.
Once you reach your high point for the day, the Chester Lake Trail ventures into the heart of a beautiful alpine meadow with rocky mountain peaks towering above on all sides. Having savoured our first experience of this epic range it is time to return to camp, descending along the same trail.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L D

Ascent

430 M

Descent

430 M

Time

4 Hours walking

Distance

9 KM

Today we enjoy a second day in Kananaskis as we embark on another classic hike to Burstall Pass. Burstall Pass is a classic hike in Kananaskis Country. The route starts out meandering up through larch forest. As we ascend the forest clears allowing us to go down to the Burstall Lakes and take a break admiring these stunning waters. From here the track narrows and crosses Burstall Creek and a muddy and marshy section of the trail, before climbing on to a wildflower filled alpine meadow. From here we again climb through the forest eventually reaching Burstall Pass where the trees open up for beautiful views down into Banff National Park and Mt. Assiniboine. Dropping slightly down the other side of the pass affords extra views into Spray Valley and Mt. Leman. After a break at the pass to admire the views we return back the way we came for another night at our Kananaskis campsite.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L D

Ascent

675 M

Descent

675 M

Time

6 hours walking

Distance

16 KM

This morning we leave Kananaskis and drive north along the Icefields Parkway. After about 3 hours driving through the spectacular scenery we stop at the Wilcox Pass trailhead where we will undertake our next walk. Wilcox Pass provides some of the easiest access to alpine meadows and incredible views of the peaks and glaciers of the eastern edge of the Columbia Icefield. The route passes through alpine meadows on route to the Wilcox Viewpoint across from the Athabasca Glacier. Depending on the group's choice we also have an optional addition of the Athabasca Ice Walk. Returning to our vehicle we continue north to Jasper and our campground for the next 3 nights.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L D

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

6 hours walking

Distance

9 KM

Today we embark on the most outstanding hike in Jasper National Park, with a fantastic panorama that includes the iconic Maligne Lake and the glaciated Queen Elizabeth ranges. Travelling along ridge-tops, you will feel like you're on top of the world! Hiking through well-protected caribou habitat, be sure to keep an eye out for herds ranging in the meadows. Most of this hike is on easy trail the forest, with the views from the summit worth the climb! Above the treeline we continue through an alpine meadow where we can see the steep path up to Bald Hill, from here we have fabulous views down to Maligne Lake and across to the glaciated peaks of Leah Peak, Samson Peak and Maligne Mountain. If time permits we may continue down the ridge for more spectacular views of secluded valleys and impressive peaks. The descent is slightly shallower than the climb, re-joining the main trail in the forest to return to the trailhead and back to our campground in Jasper.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L

Ascent

700 M

Descent

700 M

Time

6 hours walking

Distance

15 KM

Maligne Canyon is the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park, with a depth of more than 50 metres at multiple points. Your tour leader will make this hike easy for you by dropping you off at the upstream end of the canyon and picking you up at the downstream end, so you can explore this incredible natural landmark in one (downhill) direction, crossing six bridges built across various points of the canyon.

In the afternoon, you can either spend your time walking around the Jasper townsite, or alternatively complete another hike through the Valley of the Five Lakes. This hike takes approximately 2 hours, and as the name implies, takes you to views of five different lakes, many of which you can go swimming in. We return to our campground for our final night in Jasper.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L D

Ascent

160 M

Descent

160 M

Time

4 hours walking

Distance

8 KM

This morning we depart Jasper and head back south down the Icefields Parkway towards Lake Louise. About half way to Lake Louise we stop at the Parker Ridge Trailhead for another memorable walk. The Parker Ridge Trail provides some of the best bang for your buck views of anywhere in the Canadian Rockies. A short and steep hike leads you to amazing views of the Saskatchewan Glacier, the largest of the Columbia Icefield's six valley outlet glaciers. Again we start our walk through subalpine forest before climbing above the treeline to an alpine meadow, an abundance of wildflowers greet us in this protected microclimate. The summits of Mt. Athabasca and Hilda peak dominate the view and across the highway we can see back to Wilcox pass. A switch back trail leads us to a scree slope and then on to the Parker Ridge, often welcomed by an fresh blast of air off the surrounding glaciers as we crest the ridge. We descend south down the ridge taking us to the viewpoints of the Saskatchewan Glacier, before returning down the trail the way we came. After our hike we drive on to Lake Louise, making multiple short stops at the various viewpoints and sights along the Parkway (Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, Athabasca Falls & Sunwapta Falls) before arriving to Lake Louise late afternoon and checking in to our hostel.

Accommodation

Hostel

Meals

B L

Ascent

300 M

Descent

300 M

Time

3 hours walking

Distance

6 KM

A classic hike in Banff National Park, Plain of Six Glaciers starts on the shoreline of world-famous Lake Louise, climbs up to a traditional Canadian teahouse, and offers stunning glacier views and a look back across Lake Louise and the Chateau. From the teahouse, views of some of the tallest mountains in the Canadian Rockies are plentiful. Leaving the crowds of Lake Louise behind our trail continues past the lakeshore and climbs up through the forest. Looking back we are afforded stunning views over Lake Louise and the peaks beyond. After 5.5km, finishing with 2 steep switchbacks, we reach the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea house, a quaint and traditional Canadian Teahouse serving tea, coffee, cakes and scones. We can continue on another 1.5km to Abbot's Pass Viewpoint for more spectacular views and a great spot for today's lunch stop. We return to Lake Louise descending the same trail. The evening is free to enjoy one of Lake Louise's many restaurants and relax.

Accommodation

Hostel

Meals

B L

Ascent

600 M

Descent

600 M

Time

5 hours walking

Distance

15 KM

Today's hike begins at Takakkaw Falls, the second highest waterfall in Canada. A stunning 373m cascade of water, these falls are a must-see while you are in the area. After taking in the views, you will head north by foot further into Yoho National Park to Laughing Falls. Expansive views of glaciers and the Little Yoho Valley are all on show as you travel through pristine spruce and pine forest. An optional extension to this hike takes us on a scenic trail to Twin Falls (An additional 8km/3 hours), passing Marpole Lake as we make our way around the base of Whaleback Mountain. We return to Lake Louise for the evening.

Accommodation

Hostel

Meals

B L

Ascent

150 M

Descent

150 M

Time

3 hours walking

Distance

8 KM

A short drive from Lake Louise takes us to Moraine Lake where today's hike starts. The Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass Trail includes a stunning climb up from Moraine Lake with views of the incredible Valley of the 10 Peaks. The wonderful Eiffel Lake provides a great place to stop for lunch and sit and enjoy the view, with the flat calm surface of Eiffel Lake reflecting the surrounding mountains. For those with more energy, you can proceed the remaining 3km up to Wenckehma Pass to enjoy a view into another solitary valley. We return by the same trail where we meet our vehicle and drive around 1 hour to our campground in Banff.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L D

Ascent

600 M

Descent

600 M

Time

5 hours walking

Distance

12 KM

Today starts with a short drive to the trailhead for our hike to Cory Pass. The toughest day of our trip, the Cory Pass is a varied and challenging hike with a steep 900-meter ascent to the pass, where you'll find towering rock formations and breath-taking views of the jagged Mount Louis, popular with rock climbers from around the world. After a kilometre walking through the forest the route forks uphill towards the pass. The trail climbs steeply for 1.5km before reaching a flatter section with incredible views from the ridge. We will be able to see the route contouring Mount Edith towards Cory Pass. A rocky section leads to the top of the pass, with incredible views of the 'Gargoyle Valley' and the mountains that flank it, including Mt Cory, Mt Fifi, Mt Louis and Mt Edith. We descend the other side down a scree slope and back into the forest where we join a gentle forest path back to the trailhead. From verdant forest to rocky valleys this hike provides a variety of spectacular environments to travel through. We then return to our campground in Banff.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1100 M

Descent

1100 M

Time

8 hours walking

Distance

13 KM

Today we take another short drive to the start of the trailhead at Norquay Ski Resort, at the top of a winding switchback road above Banff Village, reducing the amount of climbing we need to reach the mountains. From the base of the ski hill we start our hike with a short descent to Forty Mile Creek, and then a steady ascent through pine forest up to the massive Cascade Amphitheatre. From the meadow below marvel at the towering limestone walls that create the amphitheatre, before descending the way we came. We return to Banff to enjoy our last evening in the mountains.

Accommodation

Campground

Meals

B L

Ascent

900 M

Descent

900 M

Time

6 hours walking

Distance

13 KM

Savouring our last morning in the Rockies, we enjoy some free time in Banff Village. Wander down Banff Avenue exploring the mix of quaint restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops or sample some of the local delicacies such as 'Poutine' - a Canadian dish of deep fried fries with gravy and cheese curds. After lunch your holiday ends with a transfer to Calgary Airport (1 -2 hour drive) in time for evening flights.

Meals

B
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Airport Airport
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional mountain guide (2 guides over groups of 6)
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • A single timed airport transfer
  • All land transport required by the itinerary
  • All activities/excursions/entrance fees mentioned except where specified as ‘optional’
  • National Park entrance fees

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Departure Taxes (if applicable)
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional
  • Tips
  • Miscellaneous personal expenditure - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Sleeping Bag Hire

The group will meet at the hotel in Calgary.

A single transfer from / to Calgary Airport is provided.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals are provided except for 6 dinners and one lunch. These are when we are in the main towns and there is a choice of restaurants and food. Our guide will recommend good establishments and we can eat together as a group.

The group will have one night at the start of the holiday in a hotel in Calgary where we stay in comfortable twin-bedded rooms with private bathroom. The rest of the accommodation will be on a camping basis, staying at well provisioned National Park Campgrounds, with the exception of our time in Lake Louise, where we will stay indoors in the Lake Louise Alpine Centre Hostel in shared dormitories for 3 nights.

Comfortable 3 person tents are used on a 2 person basis while camping. Sleeping mats are provided, but you must bring your own sleeping bag, travel pillow, towel etc.

During our stay in the Lake Louise Alpine Centre Hostel, the dormitories are shared between 4 to 8 people with shared bathroom and shower facilities. Some of the dormitories are mixed male and female.There is a large kitchen area and a communal lounge area.

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex for the 1 hotel night. Single rooms are available for a supplementary cost for these nights. You will also be paired up to share a tent with another single client of the same sex, Single tents are also available at a supplementary cost for the nights camping.

If you are planning on extending your holiday additional nights at the group hotel are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional mountain guide. For groups of 6 and over there will also be an assistant guide. The guides will also drive the minibus.

We recommend you allow £300-350 for your personal expenses, tips and non included dinners, bar bills etc. Your money can be carried in the form of cash (Canadian Dollars) or it is possible to withdraw your money from ATMs using your debit and credit card. There are ATMs in all towns.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. In North America it is the norm to tip for most services and we recommend that you may wish to set aside around CAD$6-$12 per day per guide and have a few dollars to tip for meals and other services.

There is no strict weight limit on this holiday other than that imposed by your airline. We do ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag and a rucksack/backpack. Your main bag will be transported in the support vehicle or attached trailer.

The unit of currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. Please take only one main bag and one rucksack/backpack.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Hiking boots

  • Trainers for travelling and casual wear

  • Socks Underwear

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Baselayer shirt(s)

  • T-shirts / casual shirts / tops

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Gloves

  • Daypack

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rating 0 degrees Celsius)

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottle (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Travel towel

  • Small padlock

  • Insect repellent

  • Emergency Whistle

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, insect repellent, plasters, and blister treatment.

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE OPTIONAL:

  • Shorts

  • Gaiters

  • Travel clothes

  • Travel pillow (inflatable)

  • Trekking poles (recommended)

  • Pen-knife (always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Walking Highlights of the Rockies
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: RWH /01/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 27 Jul and ends on Thu 8 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$105 - Available on 1 night in Calgary
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$200
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking Highlights of the Rockies
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: RWH /02/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 10 Aug and ends on Thu 22 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$105 - Available on 1 night in Calgary
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$200
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking Highlights of the Rockies
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: RWH /03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 31 Aug and ends on Thu 12 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$105 - Available on 1 night in Calgary
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$200
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Walking Highlights of the Rockies
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: RWH /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 26 Jul and ends on Thu 7 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$105 - Available on 1 night in Calgary
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$200
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking Highlights of the Rockies
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: RWH /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 9 Aug and ends on Thu 21 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$105 - Available on 1 night in Calgary
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$200
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking Highlights of the Rockies
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: RWH /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 30 Aug and ends on Thu 11 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$105 - Available on 1 night in Calgary
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$200
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining at the hotel in Calgary. A single transfer is included from/to Calgary Airport.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)

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