Breathtaking. It's an interesting word, really. Looking up at the ice-draped Rockies is "breath taking." But stepping out on the glacier, feeling it crunch under your feet. Being humbled by the enormity of it is a different kind of breath taking. It's the difference between "taking it in" and "diving in." Rafting on a glacier-fed river. Hiking a slot canyon. Biking among crystalline lakes. Moose. Bighorn sheep. The more you get into the Canadian Rockies, the more you'll get out of it. Some vacations are about catching your breath. This one's about losing it.
Days 1-2 Pedal past virgin forest and vibrant wildflowers as you follow the winding Bow River A scenic hiking trail leads from Johnston Canyon to a picturesque waterfall Walk through subalpine forest lined with larch trees Marvel at the blue-green hues of Moraine Lake, beneath the striking Wenkchemna Peaks Take advantage of a late-afternoon photo op at Lake Louise, a world-renowned beauty and World Heritage site ringed by towering glaciated peaks.
Day 3 Bike the stunning Icefields Parkway alongside the Continental Divide with sweeping vistas of mountains, glaciers, lakes and evergreens Got keen eyes? Use them to spot wildlife, including moose, bighorn sheep and black bears Wander along the shores of Bow Lake for a closer view of Bow Glacier Falls.
Day 4 Explore Athabasca Glacier with expert mountain guides at your side This glacier is just one part of the enormous Columbia Icefield! Continue along the Icefields Parkway and watch the landscape change as you pass the Endless Chain Range Check out the impressive Athabasca Falls, where the most powerful river in the park plunges over a cliff of eroded limestone Back on your bike, continue down the Athabasca Valley, tracing the path of the river.
Days 5-6 Abundant wildlife, from black bears and elk to pikas and mule deer Teal-hued Maligne Lake wows you before a gradual, downhill-to-rolling spin Hike through spectacular Maligne Canyon, a limestone slot canyon up to 250 feet deep yet at points only 3 feet wide Ready to take the plunge? Float gentle Class II rapids on the Athabasca River, following a route used by early fur traders and explorers Traveling by boat offers a new perspective on the landscape - as well as more chances to see wildlife Amble through pristine mountain wilderness in the Valley of Five Lakes, winding past its blue-green namesakes.
- Natural and historic treasures discovered by foot, bike and boat
- Ice walk on massive Athabasca Glacier with informative mountain guides
- Bike to impossibly blue Lake Louise and hike around teal-hued Maligne Lake
- A float trip down the Athabasca River
- Spot signs of marmots, deer, elk and coyote
Baker Creek Mountain Resort (2 nights): This hidden gem, nestled in a wooded setting beneath the Canadian Rockies, features a great location next to a babbling brook.
Num-Ti-Jah Lodge (1 night): A simple mountain retreat offering an atmosphere of secluded tranquility on the bank of Bow Lake.
Tekarra Lodge (2 nights): A cluster of simple cabins with fireplaces and porches, nestled in pines above the confluence of the Athabasca and Miette Rivers.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Guided ice walk (2 hours)|
|Rafting||On the Athabasca River (2 hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 7/1-6 Price: $3098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $630 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/15-20 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $630 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/29-8/3 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $630 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/12-17 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $630 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/26-31 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $630 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
FANTASTIC trip - absolutely exceeded any expectations I had. The accommodations were stellar, the scenery spectacular and the leaders truly "off the charts". I am 37, and this so far has been the best, most relaxing, most invigorating, most moving vacation so far...but I am sure I will say that about the next Backroads trip as well! Several of us shed a tear or two when saying our goodbyes.- Hamilton, Bermuda
Thank you for a wonderful trip! The activities were perfect - the scenery unmatched, the food - delicious, the lodging offered exactly what I had hoped for!! I loved our guides as I felt like I was hanging with 2 of my best buddies!! What a way to experience the Canadian Rockies! I couldn't have asked for more!- Boise, ID
This was one of the best trips that I have had in a long time. I will highly recommend Backroads to my friends and family and hope that they will sign up for a trip in the future. Our leaders were superb. They really made the trip so enjoyable and helped me overcome my fear of heights during our hikes. Hats off to Backroads for a fabulous vacation that I will always remember. I look forward to future trips with your company.- Westchester, IL
An outstanding multisport trip that balances cycling, hiking and rafting. Among the best, most enjoyable vacation experiences I've had. Banff/Jasper is one of the most beautiful places I've visited, with a view around every corner that could be on a postcard. The trip leaders were accommodating, knowledgeable, flexible and overall great ambassadors for the area and for Backroads.- Fitchburg, WI
I am now the Southeastern poster child for Backroads. This was a life-changing experience, a rebirth, an epiphany, a blessing. As I have told my friends, the only part more spectacular than the scenery is the amazing people, both guests and staff. This was the smartest thing I've ever done for myself.- Spartanburg, SC
Far exceeded our expectations. We really enjoyed not having to worry about anything, including spend time researching where we were going to stay or eat. The organization and planning was off the charts and the leaders were fantastic. I had some reservations about being together with an unknown group of people for a vacation, but that turned out to be one of the nicest things about the trip.- San Anselmo, CA