Your effortless journey through undulating, endless fields of ice, crosses the Continental Divide in vintage style and follows in the footsteps of brave buffalo runners many centuries ago. The 105 year-old Calgary Stampede is the big spectacle you’ve been waiting for, and your chance to experience all things cowboy.
Don your Stetson and buckle up those cowboy boots. You've arrived in Stampede country. Get settled into the ways of the Wild West before meeting your Travel Director and fellow explorers for a Welcome Reception.
Calgary – Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump – Waterton Lakes National Park
This morning, travel to the UNESCO-listed Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump, where a Local Specialist explains how buffalo were driven off a cliff by buffalo runners centuries ago. Travel on to meet the majestic Rockies at the tranquil Waterton Lakes National Park. Beneath ice-capped peaks, indulge in a memorable dinner.
Waterton Lakes National Park – Glacier National Park
The Big Skies of Montana beckon this morning as you cross the international border and travel along the shore of Lower St. Mary Lake and enter Glacier National Park, touted as the Crown of the Continent. Then, continue along St. Mary Lake in a restored 1930s vintage touring red "jammer". You will head up into the cirques of the St. Mary Valley along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and stop at the Continental Divide continuing over Logan Pass. Traverse one of the few remaining rainforests in Montana as you drive alongside the glacially carved valley. Finally, you will arrive at the Lake McDonald Lodge, situated on the shore of Lake McDonald.
Glacier National Park – Banff (2 Nights)
Today, you will exit Glacier National Park through West Glacier and head north, back into Canada. Tavel along the Windermere-Banff Highway, one of the most scenic drives in British Columbia. Then, enter Kootenay National Park and drive through Sinclair Canyon. Make the climb up to Vermilion Pass at the Continental Divide, reaching an elevation of 1,680 m (5,510 ft) and enter Alberta and Banff National Park. Descending into the Bow River Valley, you will arrive in Banff where you check in at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs, the 'Castle in the Rockies'.
After a free morning, spend the afternoon exploring the rugged beauty of Banff, from its postcard viewpoint of Surprise Corner to Bow Falls.
Banff – Lake Louise
An early rise today as we head for Moraine Lake. Take a walk on the Lakeshore Trail, or the Rockpile Trail for the best views of the Canadian Rockies with stunning Moraine Lake nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This afternoon we arrive at Lake Louise where your have 'Your Choice' of activities: a stroll into the picture perfect image of Lake Louise, keeping an eye out for rock climbers, ground squirrels, marmots or even a mountain goat. Or perhaps the picture-perfect setting of Lake Louise will awaken the artist within you as you try your hand at plein air painting.
Lake Louise – Athabasca Glacier – Jasper (2 Nights)
Blaze a trail through the heart of the Canadian Rockies-a journey through stunning wilderness, passing sparkling mountain lakes, tumbling glaciers and sweeping valleys en route to the Athabasca Glacier. Board a specially designed Ice Explorer, crunching over the white wonderland of the glacier's surface. Later, head to your home in the heart of Jasper National Park.
Embark on a leisurely walk admiring the sheer limestone cliffs of Maligne Canyon and learning about the underground river system that flows out to Medicine Lake. Surrounded by a ring of mountains, we will indulge in delicious regional lunch with wine at the Lake Maligne Chalet with views of the lake, followed by a cruise of Maligne Lake to Spirit Island (seasonal).
Jasper – Icefields Parkway – Kananaskis
Journey south through the national parks of Jasper and Banff to arrive in the small resort town of Kananaskis. We travel to a family-owned and operated cattle ranch situated in the beautiful foothills of the Rockies. Here, you will 'Connect with Locals' over an exclusive 'Be My Guest' Farewell Dinner while learning about operating a cattle ranch. Sadly, it is time to bid farewell to your hosts as you make your way back to the hotel.
Kananaskis – Calgary (2 Nights)
Descend from the Canadian Rockies to the festive pavilions and parades of the 'Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth'. Check into your downtown hotel the night before your first taste of the Stampede. Make sure you get plenty of rest as a full day of fun and all things western awaits tomorrow!
Immerse yourself in the spirit of the Stampede - your all-inclusive pass is the gateway to a day of effortless fun and excitement. Don your Stetson, put on your best boots, and summon your inner cowboy, getting into the spirit of the West. Make your way around Stampede Park, tapping along to the lively tunes of the Stampede Showband. End the day with a bang at the Grandstand Show, an all-singing, all-dancing musical extravaganza, which culminates in a spectacular fireworks display.
This morning, a transfer is provided to Calgary International Airport or you may choose to extend your stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Calgary.