It's just plain cool. Walking on a massive river of ice. A certified mountain guide at your side. Navigating 30,000 crevasses. Well, okay, not on this one hike, but they're out there. And you're doing it—not just you—the whole family, you're all there on the ice. In the back of your mind, you know that white-water rafting is next. Then rock climbing tomorrow. Wow. And maybe an elk will visit camp tonight. And you'll get up the nerve to jump in the lake. And s'mores will be for dessert. But right now you're on top of a glacier. Talk about cool.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Tents & Sleeping EssentialsOur roomy four-person dome tents accommodate two adults and two small children snugly, without luggage. Sleeping bag, sleep sheet and an extra-thick inflatable sleeping pad are all provided to make sleeping on the ground more comfortable. Backroads does not supply pillows, so please bring your own. No lighting is provided in your tent, so a small flashlight is essential.
Restroom FacilitiesRestroom facilities are available at each campground. The restroom floors can be wet, so be sure to bring flip-flops! We also recommend bringing a hanging toiletry bag since space is limited and surfaces are wet. Be advised that outlets and mirrors are few. Backroads does not supply towels, so please be sure to pack your own.
Days 1-3 Ride a family-friendly route along the Bow Valley Parkway in the shadow of the Continental Divide As you spin past the beautiful Bow River and towering peaks leading to our campground, keep your eye on the forest for elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer and black bears Families trek to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse for a tasty homemade lunch While adults hike to Mirror Lake, a local naturalist joins the youngsters for some engaging nature-related activities From Lake Louise, bike along the breathtaking Icefields Parkway to the shimmering glacier-fed waters of the Waterfowl Lakes and our campground in Banff National Park.
Day 4 Join certified mountain guides on Columbia Icefield for an adventurous ice walk, surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies A Class II raft trip on the Athabasca River offers a unique view of the wilderness near Jasper and a ton of family fun!
Days 5-6 Relax around crackling campfires and sleep under star-filled skies Grown-ups bike a riverside route from stunning Maligne Lake, stopping to hike at Maligne Canyon Meanwhile, kids are introduced to the exciting sport of rock climbing with accredited instructors Walk in the Valley of the Five Lakes, savoring views of Mounts Edith Cavell and Kerkeslin.
- Natural and historic treasures discovered by foot and bike
- Walk on massive Athabasca Glacier with informative mountain guides
- Crackling campfires and star-filled skies
- Float Class II rapids on the Athabasca River
- Kids rock climb with accredited instructors
Lake Louise Campground (2 nights): This picture-perfect campsite is situated along the Bow River beneath Mount Temple.
Waterfowl Campground (1 night): Set on the bank of the stunning and remote Waterfowl Lakes, this campsite is a great spot for viewing wildlife and the scenic grandeur of the Canadian Rockies.
Wapiti Campground (2 nights): Named for the elk, or wapiti, that roam the area, our peaceful home base looks onto the Athabasca River just a short ride from the charming town of Jasper.
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|
|4||Other||Athabasca Glacier Ice Walk (2 Hours)|
|Rafting||on the Athabasca River (2 Hours)|
|Kids||Rock Climbing (4 Hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/28-7/3 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/19-24 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/2-7 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/9-14 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2016 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/26-7/1 Price: $2198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/3-8 Price: $2198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/17-22 Price: $2198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/24-29 Price: $2198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/31-8/5 Price: $2198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/7-12 Price: $2198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/14-19 Price: $2198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $0 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 6 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to raft, rock climb and ice walk: 6 years
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners, routes are difficult for pulling a Burley Cub trailer and therefore not appropriate for younger children, difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Guest Trip Reviews
This trip was the best vacation ever. From the sites that were visited to the leaders and the food, everything was well managed and spectacular. The trip was completely hassle-free. It was the first vacation where I was not ready to leave! I can't wait to go on my next Backroads trip!- Mystic, CT
The multisport trip to the Canadian Rockies was outstanding. It was everything that I had hoped for and more. The views were spectacular, and I really enjoyed the itinerary. I thought the amount of activity was perfect. Our days were filled and extremely enjoyable. Once again, your leaders are exceptional.- Cedar Knolls, NJ
It was outstanding! We are all so sad it is over. Our guides were almost clairvoyant in their ability to know when rest/refreshment was needed, pick up the mood by entertaining a tired group, cheer participants on to optimum achievement, challenge kids just enough, and keep everyone engaged and excited about what was next. Their passion for the region was contagious and their athletic ability inspirational. They were incredibly flexible and managed to accommodate those who wanted more challenge, as well as those who needed downtime.- Atlanta, GA
I took this trip with two of my grandchildren who are cousins. We all had a marvelous time and I think we created memories that we will share for a lifetime. Our Backroads leaders were EXCELLENT!! As were the local guides who worked with the children on the rock climbing, naturalist trip, and our guides on the white-water rafting and glacier walking. Thanks for making everything first-class!- East Lansing, MI
Without question, this was the BEST family vacation we have ever had. It beats Disney, cruises, etc. I am so happy we were recommended to you.- Rome, GA
We had a wonderful time. Our leaders were exceptional. We did not realize just how good of a trip it was going to be for our shy seven-year-old girl, who by the end of the first day, no longer wanted to be with us since she was having so much fun with the other kids. It was a priceless trip for her!! Thank you!- Miami, FL