Rockies and Yellowstone In Winter

Snowshoeing in the land of the timber wolf, Canada and the USA

13

days

Winter

From $4,500 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Visit wintery Banff and Lake Louise on this Snowshoe holiday
  • `Old Faithful` and the geysers of the Yellowstone National Park
  • Ride a snow cat in Yellowstone and stay in comfy accommodation
  • A chance to see incredible wildlife including bison, wolf and elk

This snowshoeing holiday in the Canadian Rockies and Yellowstone National Park provides a fantastic combination of world renowned mountain scenery, wildlife, geological wonders and winter magic; it really is the ultimate wilderness experience. In the Canadian Rockies we have snowshoeing days in the Banff and Lake Louise areas including Lake Agnes. We also hop up to Kootenay National Park for a day snowshoeing around Stanley Glacier and amongst the majestic white clad mountains and pine trees dripping in snow. A couple of days in the lesser visited (but totally splendid) Kananaskis Park ends our time in Canada and we cross the border into the USA and onto the very special Yellowstone National Park. We will explore around all the famous sights of the Geyser Basin including, or course, Old Faithful itself. In winter the wildlife in the park truly comes to life and the sight of bison covered in icicles from the cooled steam from the geysers can be found no where else on this earth. You should expect a proper safari experience as whilst quietly snowshoeing through the park we hope to see moose, elk and if we are very lucky we might even see a bob cat or wolf out hunting. Snowshoeing in this area is an extremely special experience and this really will be a holiday of a life-time.

Is this holiday for you?

On this holiday we have 10 days of snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies and Yellowstone National Park. The days are between 2-6hrs snowshoeing. You should have a good level of hill walking fitness, but no snowshoeing experience is necessary. There is one short walk where you will be using crampons and not snowshoes. Again no previous experience is required and this walk is optional. There are two days when there are long transfers in the vehicle to cover the distances required to travel between Yellowstone National Park and the Canadian Rockies. There are also transfers on several of the other days. All walks are day walks. The accommodation is in comfortable lodges and hotels. Please note that one departure starts in Calgary and finishes in Bozeman and the next departure will start in Bozeman and finish in Calgary.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Calgary.
  • Transfer to the Kananaskis Provincial Park. Snowshoe to Burstall pass, or Chester Lakes.
  • Exploring the Kootenay National Park on the Stanley Glacier Trail.
  • Snowshoe tour of Lake Agnes, Little Beehive, Mirror Lake and Lake Louise.
  • Snowshoeing around Taylor Lake and the Larch Valley.
  • Snowshoe to Johnston Canyon and transfer to Whitefish.
  • Explore Whitefish and drive north to Bozeman.
  • Exploring the Yellowstone National Park.
  • The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Tower Falls.
  • To Old Faithful.
  • Snowshoeing around the Geyser Basin.
  • Return to Bozeman.
  • Departure day.
2016
Sun 31 Jan - Fri 12 Feb Code SNY /01/16/
Calgary to Bozeman
Adult$4,500 Status Departed
More information
  • Rockies and Yellowstone In Winter - Calgary to Bozeman
  • The departure reference for this tour is SNY /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 31 Jan and departs on Fri 12 Feb
  • This trip has already departed
  • Single Supplement $1,365 - Includes all nights
Sun 14 Feb - Fri 26 Feb Code SNY /02/16/
Bozeman to Calgary
Adult$4,500 Status Available Call Us
More information
  • Rockies and Yellowstone In Winter - Bozeman to Calgary
  • The departure reference for this tour is SNY /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 14 Feb and departs on Fri 26 Feb
  • This departure is available and departs within 7 days. Secure your place today with full payment by contacting the KE office
  • Single Supplement $1,365 - Includes all nights
2017
Sun 05 Feb - Fri 17 Feb Code SNY /01/17/
Calgary to Bozeman
Adult$4,500 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Rockies and Yellowstone In Winter - Calgary to Bozeman
  • The departure reference for this tour is SNY /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 05 Feb and departs on Fri 17 Feb
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,365 - Includes all nights
Sun 19 Feb - Fri 03 Mar Code SNY /02/17/
Bozeman to Calgary
Adult$4,500 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Rockies and Yellowstone In Winter - Bozeman to Calgary
  • The departure reference for this tour is SNY /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 19 Feb and departs on Fri 03 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,365 - Includes all nights
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Calgary, Canada or Bozeman, USA. The first departure (SNY.1) starts in Calgary and ends in Bozeman and the second departure (SNY.2) runs in reverse so starts in Bozeman and ends in Calgary. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

Current version:

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • transfer
  • snowshoe

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Calgary.

    We arrive in Calgary, in the province of Alberta, and make our way to our overnight hotel accommodation. KE Land Only package services begin with our overnight hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Transfer to the Kananaskis Provincial Park. Snowshoe to Burstall pass, or Chester Lakes.

    After breakfast take the 2hr drive to Canmore in the Kananaskis Provincial Park, around 90km west of Calgary. This is one of the largest provincial parks in Alberta, encompassing 304 square kilometres around the Kananaskis Lakes. After checking into our hotel, we have our first opportunity to head out in our snowshoes! Today we will take things nice and slowly as we get used to our new equipment; we will have plenty of time, around 4hrs, to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Rockies. Snow conditions and weather depending, we will walk to Burstall Pass, or take a shorter trip to the Chester Lakes.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 300m

    • Distance 7km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 300m

    • Time 3 - 5hrs snowshoeing

  • Exploring the Kootenay National Park on the Stanley Glacier Trail.

    A day snowshoeing in the Kootenay National Park, which takes its name from the Kootenay River. Here we snowshoe the peaceful Stanley Glacier trail. We continue on to Banff, where we can warm up drinking hot chocolate in one of the many cosy cafes. We have a few hours at leisure to look around the town before returning to our hotel in Canmore. Drive time: 2 - 3hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 11km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 550m

    • Time 4 - 5hrs snowshoeing

  • Snowshoe tour of Lake Agnes, Little Beehive, Mirror Lake and Lake Louise.

    After breakfast we transfer 2hrs to Lake Louise. The lake is flanked on each side by mountains; in summer, when the mountains are reflected in the water, this is the most photographed Canadian panorama. During winter, the lake is usually frozen and free of crowds. This is the starting point for today’s 6hr walk and we climb through the thick forest to Lake Agnes (2118m). We have some unforgettable views en route. Continuing up to Little Beehive, we can admire the spectacular mountain panorama of Mount Daly and Mount Hector and of course Mirror Lake and Lake Louise. We descend through the Plain of Six Glaciers. Tonight we will stay near Lake Louise, in picturesque log cabins. Drive time: 2hrs.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 550m

    • Time 4 - 5hrs snowshoeing

  • Snowshoeing around Taylor Lake and the Larch Valley.

    Another day in the Banff National Park. Today we will snowshoe in the area around Taylor Lake and Larch Valley. We have a selection of back country trails to choose from and our route today will be dictated by the snow and weather conditions. In the afternoon we head back to our accommodation at Lake Louise where we will spend a second night.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 650m

    • Distance 15km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 650m

    • Time 6hrs snowshoeing

  • Snowshoe to Johnston Canyon and transfer to Whitefish.

    We depart Lake Louise and take the 5hr drive to Whitefish, stopping en route to visit Johnston Canyon. Equipped with crampons, this morning’s trek takes us along the partially frozen path through the narrow Johnson Canyon to Upper Falls. In summer, the waters plunge dramatically into the canyon, now in winter the icy temperatures have frozen the water into an impressive ice sculpture, over 30 meters high. We return to our vehicles, after around 1 hour of snowshoeing, and continue our journey to Whitefish; stopping along the way to explore the atmospheric ghost town of Fort Steel. This preserved settlement gives a fascinating insight into life on the Canadian frontier during the height of the gold rush. Besieged by hundreds of tourists in the summer, it is empty during the winter months and the main street, worthy of a John Wayne movie, will be all ours! We continue on to Whitefish, this small town is typical of Montana and we will want to head out to experience the nightlife. The sound of Bluegrass bands pours from the bars; this is a town of big trucks and cowboy hats. Drive time: 5 - 6hrs.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bl

  • Explore Whitefish and drive north to Bozeman.

    After a hearty breakfast at our cosy lodge, we have the morning free to stroll the streets and explore. Those keen may want to take the opportunity to book a dog sled tour. We take an early lunch before departing on our second and last, long drive as we head North to Bozeman. The journey will take around 6-7hrs and we will arrive in the late evening. Drive time: 7hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

  • Exploring the Yellowstone National Park.

    Today we make an early start as we drive the last 2hrs to Mammoth in the Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1872, Yellowstone is North America’s original national park. It is thought that the Clovis (a prehistoric Paleo-Indian culture) populated the area over 12,000 year ago. We make a quick stop to drop our luggage at the hotel before we grab our snowshoes and head to the scenic ‘Tower’ region of the park. Today’s trail is narrow and we will test our newly acquired skills as we head to the viewpoint overlooking the Lost Creek. This is a great place to spot wildlife and we will have a good chance of seeing bison and elk today; if we’re lucky, we may chance to see coyote, bald eagle and moose. We can end today with a dip in the natural hot spring at Boiling River – don’t forget to pack your swimwear! Drive time: 2hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 415m

    • Distance 10km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 415m

    • Time 4 -5hrs snowshoeing

  • The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Tower Falls.

    A short drive takes us to the Blacktail Plateau and Tower Junction from where we snowshoe along the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to the half frozen Tower Falls. After lunch we continue up to the Plateau to reach Lost Lake and ultimately the Petrified Tree. Today will be a real safari experiences and we are likely to have encounters with Buffalo and possibly even coyotes and wolves if we are lucky (or not...)! After a day of Snowshoeing we return to Mammoth where we have some free time to explore the hot springs near to our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 370m

    • Distance 14km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 370m

    • Time 5 - 6hrs snowshoeing

  • To Old Faithful.

    After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the edge of the park (3hrs) where we pick up our Snow Cat transfer to Old Faithful (4hrs). We will take time to enjoy this interesting drive, stopping to gaze at the spectacular scenery or to follow any wildlife we may happen across. It is not uncommon for bison herds to occupy the road, forcing a prolonged stop! On arrival we check into our overnight accommodation; close to the world famous geyser, Old Faithful. Named after the metronomic regularity of its eruptions, every 90 minutes the geyser shoots a jet of superheated water 30 to 50 meters into the air; an electronic countdown timer allows you to be there at exactly the right moment. In the afternoon we visit the geyser and explore the surrounding area. In the vicinity there are numerous other geysers, hot springs and pools of multicoloured hot water, making this the most exciting geothermal display on the planet. We explore the volcanic basin on foot before returning our nearby hotel, our base for the next two nights. Drive time: 3hrs and 4hrs snowcoach.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals b

  • Snowshoeing around the Geyser Basin.

    Today will be spent exploring around the geyser basin, visiting Liberty Pool, Grand Geyser, which is the tallest predictable geyser known (reaching a height of around 6am!), and Giant Geyser, which is actually a group of geysers, as we walk all the way to Biscuit Basin. Biscuit basin is the home to a collection of thermal features including Silver Globe Spring, Sapphire and Black Opal pools and Jewel, Cauliflower and Black Pearl Geysers. We carry on up the Mystic Falls Trail to the Falls themselves where we will stop for lunch before returning to Old Faithful via Daisy Geyser.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 320m

    • Distance 18km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 320m

    • Time 6 - 7hrs snowshoeing

  • Return to Bozeman.

    We have some free time this morning and you may want to head to Old Faithful for another chance to experience the extraordinary show. In the late morning, we don our snowshoes for one last time and head out into the Biscuit Basin to explore its volcanic attractions; this time we are free to explore on our own. After lunch we board a Snow Cat for the 4hr journey back to West Yellowstone, where we meet our vehicles for the drive back to Bozeman. We spend our last evening soaking up the atmosphere in a typical Montana steakhouse, those with energy to spare can head on to an authentic cowboy club to enjoy some country-rock and Two-Step dancing; a fantastic way to end the holiday. Drive time: 2hrs and 4hrs snowcoach.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

  • Departure day.

    After breakfast we make our way back to the airport in time to check in for our flight home. KE Land Only package services end with breakfast.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced local leader / driver
  • Accommodation as described
  • Snowshoes and safety gear
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for national parks and other sites
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local guides and support staff
  • Airport transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

During the trip we will enjoy typically hearty American breakfasts, pancakes, muffins, hot rolls etc. On our driving days lunches will be taken at roadside eateries and whilst snowshoeing we will carry simple packed lunches. Evening meals are not included and can be taken in the hotel restaurants or at nearby eateries. 

All breakfast and 10 lunches are included.
No airport transfers are provided. You should make your own way to the group hotel in Calgary or Bozeman (depending on departure) on day 1 of the land only itinerary. Taxis are readily available from outside each airport. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. Private transfers are possible but are more expensive, please contact the KE office for more information. There will be a group meeting with the guide at breakfast the following morning (day 2). All clients MUST inform the KE office of their travel details.
During this holiday the group will spend 1 night at downtown hotel in Calgary, 2 nights at a good tourist hotel in Canmore, 2 nights in a lodge at Lake Louise, 1 night at the Duck Inn in Whitefish Montana, 2 nights at the C'mon Inn in Bozeman, 2 nights at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and 2 nights at Old Faithful Lodge. It is possible, in Mammoth and Old Faithful Lodge, that we will have shared shower/bathroom facilities, this cannot be confirmed until arrival. All accommodation is subject to change and the listed hotels/lodges cannot be guaranteed. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It may be possible to pre-arrange single rooms at some of the places we stay. For single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the holiday on our website. Additional nights in Calgary and Bozeman are also available, please call our office for a price. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be accompanied throughout the holiday by a professional local driver / guide. The guide will also accompany the walks and prepare the packed lunches.

We recommend you allow £250 for your personal expenses, including dinner at the hotel on the day of arrival, bar bills etc.  You should budget between 20-30 USD/CAD per meal. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Your money can be carried in the form of cash (Canadian dollars and US 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 it is recommended that you set aside a few dollars each day to allow for this.

There is no 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 small daypack.

Our holidays are normally designed with minimal 'down time' at the start of the trip, but having a day or two at the beginning will have the additional benefit of allowing you time to get over the stress of travelling across time zones, leaving you refreshed and ready for your holiday. We can easily arrange for you to have additional nights and airport transfers.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (must be waterproof)

  • Snow shoes & poles (provided)*

  • Probe, snow shovel, avalanche transceiver (provided)*

  • Gaiters

  • Trainers (for valley use)

  • Socks

  • Walking/ski socks (2 or 3 pairs)

  • Trekking trousers

  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermal baselayer shirts

  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Warm jacket (eg. down)

  • Daypack 30 litres

  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x1)

  • Thermos flask 1 Litre

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens (plus spare pair)

  • Fleece hat

  • Sunglasses with side protection

  • Ski goggles

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Sunhat

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

  • Basic First Aid Kit including plasters, pain killers, and blister treatment.

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces

  • Earplugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring!)

  • Waterproof liner for your daypack

  • Swimwear (for natural hot springs)

  • Camera

  • Travel clothes

  • Spare clothes

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

Notes

*Snowshoes and poles are also provided as well as specialist standard safety equipment including probe, shovel and avalanche transceiver (if required).

Spiders Gravel Crampons / Yaktrack will be provided for the walk up Johnston Canyon.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Canada

Current to 14 March 2016

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

From 15 March 2016

As of 15 March 2016 all citizens (except for USA citizens) will require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any Canada-bound aircraft or ship. The fee is CAD$7 and you should apply for it at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

Visa USA

UK passport holders, in general, do not require a visa for short stays. You DO require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship. The fee is USD$14 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. As of 1st April 2016 you will be required to have a passport with an integrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the last 5yrs you will have to apply for a visa.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in USA is the US Dollar. 

The unit of currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. While regular walking is the best preparation for this holiday, a weekly exercise plan (running, cycling, swimming etc.) is also good for developing cardio-vascular fitness.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. 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 FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The weather in the Canadian Rockies is ever-changing and always unpredictable. In February we should be prepared for average temperatures of more than -10°C and we can expect some snowfall. Naturally, at the highest elevations on our trip, the daytime temperatures will be lower than this. An Arctic front can see the temperature drop as low as -30 and you should be prepared for this eventuality.

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