8 POV photos from the Canadian Rockies sure to fire up your inner explorer


Editor’s note: The Canadian Rockies range from southwestern Alberta to southeastern BC, and move into the US over the borders of Idaho and Montana. At 3954m (12,972ft), Mt. Robson is the highest peak of this range (although not the tallest mountain in BC). The second highest peak of the Canadian Rockies is Mount Columbia in Alberta at 3747m (12,293ft). This is the tallest mountain in that province. Much of this area is protected by national and provincial parks and is a popular destination for outdoor adventurists in any season. Below, local photographer Dax Justin goes to some epic lengths to share what he’s seen in this wild location.

1

Paragliding at Panorama Mountain

This is an image captured by my GoPro at 8,000ft above ground at Panorama Mountain, British Columbia, Canada. On my Columbia Valley Expedition in Winter 2015 the premise was to participate in athletic adventure activities. In this image I skied off the summit of Panorama Mountain and paraglided (for the first time) down to the base. I will never forget the snow-dusted trees on this exceptionally clear and calm day; the view was like nothing I had ever seen before.

2

Mount Norquay Via Ferrata

One of my first adventures in the outdoors took place on my S14 Expedition in 2014 when I decided to visit 14 places in Alberta that would make me "feel alive." This photo is from crossing the swaying suspension bridge on Mount Norquay's Via Ferrata climb. This was a guided, fixed-cable high-alpine climb that took us on a route up Mount Norquay in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

3

Patricia Lake - Jasper National Park

While visiting Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada I had just picked up a kayak and was on the prowl for open waters. I came across Patricia Lake unexpectedly and seeing the lake's reflections while driving by I suddenly parked on the side of the road, unloaded the kayak, and was off on my first paddle. This was the day I learned there is something very meditative and profound about kayaking on calm waters. This shot is from a GoPro mounted on my chest.

4

Athabasca Glacier

I visited Jasper National Park during the Summer months in 2015. On my final day while in the Columbia Icefields I was told there was an ice cave at the bottom of the glacier, and that it was inaccessible due to melting and the formation of a new river in front of the glacier. I trekked to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier and, blocked by the river, I could see just the top of the ice cave. I was determined to stand in front of my first ice cave so I planned a safe route through the icy river. I overcame the obstacles and for me this symbolizes that achievement.

5

Kicking Horse Via Ferrata

In the Summer of 2015 I wanted to do more adventurous mountain activities. I embarked on climbing the most exhilarating Via Ferrata (Italian for Iron Stairway) in Western Canada, found at Kicking Horse Mountain in Golden, British Columbia. I captured this image while we were tacking Terminator Peak's north face, just prior to summiting the mountain.

6

Moraine Lake - Banff National Park

Moraine Lake is found in the Canadian Rockies within Banff National Park, Alberta and is said to be one of the most photographed places in all of Canada. This glacially-fed lake, when full, reflects a distinct shade of blue. The colour is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake. This image was captured at the peak of the rockpile facing the lake.

7

Snowbiking on Brewer Mountain

On my Columbia Valley Expedition in British Columbia, Canada I woke up one morning to find myself staring at a spontaneous activity -- "Snowbiking" -- in my itinerary. I didn't know what a snowbike was. On the previous day I was snowmobiling so I figured it would be a similar activity, or maybe a variation of fat tire biking. I was wrong. Snowbikes are basically a dirt bike, with a large ski replacing the front wheel, and a large high-powered track in the rear for traction in deep snow. I've never been on a dirt bike before, so this was all new to me. I jumped on a bike and after a quick tutorial from a former pro snowbiker we were off, heading up Brewer Mountain in the Purcell Mountains of the Columbia Valley. Being on a snowbike is like surfing on a cloud at very high speeds -- the power beneath the seat is unparalleled (my bike even had nitrous). This image is from riding the snow waves on the edge of the mountain, captured from my helmet-mounted GoPro.

8

Whistler's Mountain - Jasper National Park

On my trip through Jasper National Park I decided to head up to the top of Whistler's Mountain. Jasper has the SkyTram, a gondola that takes visitors approximately 4278 ft up nearly to the peak of the mountain.


Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies (French: Rocheuses canadiennes) or Canadian Rocky Mountains comprise both the Alberta Rockies and the B.C. Rockies in the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains. They are the eastern part of the North American Cordillera, which is a system of multiple ranges of mountains which runs from the Prairies to the Pacific Coast. The Canadian Rockies mountain system comprises the southeastern part of this system, lying between the Interior Plains of Alberta and northeastern British Columbia on the east to the Rocky Mountain Trench of BC on the west. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the United States. In geographic terms, the boundary is at the Canada–United States border, but in geological terms it might be considered to be at Marias Pass in northern Montana. The northern end is at the Liard River in northern British Columbia.

The Canadian Rockies have numerous high peaks and ranges, such as Mount Robson (3,954 m, 12,972 ft) and Mount Columbia (3,747 m, 12,293 ft). The Canadian Rockies are composed of shale and limestone. Much of the range is protected by national and provincial parks, several of which collectively comprise a World Heritage Site.


25 photos of the Canadian Rockies that will make you pack your bags and go

I had the joy of travelling to and living in many beautiful places in my life. The landscapes of Lord Of The Rings in New Zealand, coral gardens and white beaches in the Philippines, jungles of northern Sumatera or surreal blue ice caves in Iceland. I hardly thought, that something could surprise me and make my jaw drop again.

Yet the Canadian Rockies blew my mind. The rugged mountains, pristine hiking trails, deep Canadian woods and colourful alpine meadows full of wildlife, crackling glaciers and dramatic waterfalls and lakes whose turquoise blue waters are unreal.

If you love mountains, lakes, backpacking, camping and squirrels, and if you are still not sure what should be your next travel destination, think no longer. The Canadian Rockies should be your next choice.

Are you already planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies?

Jump into my The Complete Guide to Travelling in The Canadian Rockies! There you find really valuable information on when is the best time to go to the Canadian Rockies, what to pack, how to camp, how to get around and more. Also I share there the best day and multi-day hikes in these beautiful mountains! You'll like it!

Here are some of pictures I took during six months of living in Banff, in the very heart of the Canadian Rockies.

#1 - Peyto Lake

You have probably seen this stunning view before, in a calendar, or just somew here . Famous Peyto Lake is changing its milky blue colour depends on season and time of day.

#2 - Cavell Lake

Situated in Jasper National Park, Cavell Lake with its ice­bergs float­ing in the powder blue melt water of the two glac­i­ers feels like you had stepped back in time and were looking at the scene of an ice age.

#3 Fairmont Hotel

Wit hin a walking distance from Banff you will get to t his winter fairytale. Wit h t he castle indeed!

#4 - Grassi Lakes

A s hort easy hike close to Canmore will lead you to t his slice of paradise. Crystal clear waters of two small lakes full of tiny brook trouts, surrounded by dramatic cliffs (good for rock climbing), will leave you speac hless.

#5 - Cavell Meadows

In summer popular Cavell Meadows are covered with a colourful carpet of alpine flowers. T his picture is from September after t he first snow fall. Angel Glacier hanging just above t he Cavell Lake is the one to remember.

#6 - Bighorn sheeps

You will see lots of t hese beauties in t he Canadian Rockies. T his herd crossed my way next to Lake Minnewanka.

#7 - Eiffel Lake

Make yourself a favour and w hen you visit famous Moraine Lake, take a moderate trail to t his beautiful lake up in t he mountains. T here were almost no tourists in June, but lots of beautiful alpine flowers, s hy marmots, w hite mountain goats and even one female grizzly bear. And t hat's w hy you here for, rig ht?

#8 - Maligne Lake

A very popular destination close to Jasper. Not so popular in late April , so I enjoyed t his view in complete silence (and wit h freezing toes). In summer you can take a boat tour to famous Spirit Island.

#9 - Takkakaw Falls

A beautiful drive on mountain serpentines will get you to t he second largest waterfall in western Canada (302 m).

#10 - Mt. Assiniboine

Welcome to one of my favourite places in t he Canadian Rockies so far. T his pyramid-s haped mountain is nicknamed Matter horn of t he Rockies and i t takes a bit of an effort (or money) to get t here, but it's well wort h. You can eit her hike in, w hic h takes up to a few days, or you can pay a few hundreds dollars and get a heli ride.

#11 - Bears

Some people hiking in excitement to spot them and some people are carrying thousands of bear bells on their backpacks to scare them of. I belong to the first group and I am happy to have had spotted both black and grizzly bears. This black gentleman was obsessed with dandelions more than with my humble presence.

#12 - Icefields Parkway

T his 232 km long drive connecting Lake Louise and Jasper is c laimed to be one of t he most beautiful scenic drives in t he world. And I can only confirm that . T he views along all the Icefields Parkway are just amazing and t here are many stops to see waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and deep limestone canyons within a walking distance from the highway . T here is so muc h to see, so be sure you allow some extra time to drive t hroug h.

#13 - Sunshine Meadows

A beautiful alpine setting high in the mountains. Flowers, lake with an island in t he middle and some of the highest peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Suns hine Meadows now belongs to s ome of the most beautiful places I've ever visited.

#14 - Sulphur Mountain

If you happen to stop by in Banff, Sulp hur Mountain is kind of 'a must do'. You can hike up (2-3 hours) or get a ride wit h Gondola. Once you up t here, you can admire breat htaking mountain views in all directions including overlooking t he town of Banff itself. Take a swimsuit, so on your way back you ca n soak in Banff Upper Hot Springs for very reasonable $7.

#15, 16 - White Swan Lake

Incredible blue water will make you t hink t hat you are on a beach in the Philippines. Only the mountains in the background will remind you, that you are still in Canada.

#17 - Ogg Lake

T hat moment w hen you feel like a Hobbit! On t he way to Mt. Assiniboine.

#18 - Squirrels, squirrels, squirrels

T hey are everyw here and t hey are not scared of you. Resist your temptation to feed t hese cuties (it is hard, I know!) Please, r espect t he rules and do NOT feed any wildlife. T hank you, t hank you!

#19 - Lake Louise

Charming at any time of year. In winter you can enjoy ice skating, while in summer Lake Louise is great for canoeing and hiking around.

#20 - Autumn in the mountains

Autumn is my very favourite season and my oh my! I've never experienced suc h a beautiful autumn in my life like the one spent in the Canadian Rockies. Especially if you go to a place with larch trees like t his Kinney Lake below or Lake O'Hara, with all that contrast of yellow trees, turquoise waters and white snow-capped mountains, you will witness some of the most spectacular views of your life.

#21 - Athabasca River

Sitting here makes you feel so small. You will enjoy many of these views and moments along the Icefield Parkway.

#22 - Berg Lake

T he most favourite place of mine in t he Canadian Rockies. You have to hike 22 km long Berg Trail before you get to t his magical lake, w here t he silence and pristine nature hit all your senses. T he only sound you can hear is crackling of glaciers hanging above t he lake.

#23 - Mt. Robson

Once you make it to t he Berg Lake, put your tent up in one of t he campgrounds along t he s hore of t he lake, have a rest and don't miss t he opportunity to enjoy views of Mt. Robson from Mumm Basin. Mt. Robson wit h its 3954 m is t he hig hest peak of t he Canadian Rockies and usually it's hiding in t he clouds.

#24 - Wildlife

I truly can't get enough of all those beautiful creatures wandering in the woods (sometimes in towns) of t he Canadian Rockies . I have spotted both black and grizzly bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheeps, one wolf, one cougar, countless deers and squirrels, majestic elks, marmots and many many more. In my home country - Czech Republic - I am used to see deers only from a long distance and for a very short time before they spot me and run away. Here in Canada I feel like in Disney movie. And I love it!

#25 - Moraine Lake

There are really no words to describe the beauty of t his place.

Arrive early to avoid crowds, rent a row boat or a canoe to escape t hem , hike up to Eiffel Lake, or just enjoy a picnic on t he s hore w hile soaking in t hese postcard-like views.

OK these were just 25 images, but let's be honest: photos can’t show enough the magic and majesty of the Canadian Rockies, you just must get up here and experience it yourself :)

And if you are already convince to go to the Canadian Rockies, definitely check my Guide to Travelling in The Canadian Rockies. I share there budgeting, best hikes, logistic, camping rules and more.

Here are briefly some of the useful tips and links for travelling in the Canadian Rocky Mountains:

When to visit

The Canadian Rockies are undoubtly beautiful and spectacular at any time of year. Although if you want to hike and camp, the best time to visit is mid-June to mid September.

Mid-June is when the most of trails are already snow-free and open.

Winter starts early, heavy snow fall in the beginning of September (I even experienced one in mid August) is not unusual.

I personally loved exploring the Canadian Rockies in late September and beginning of October the most. It's the time with significantly less tourists, magical snow falls and not yet frozen turquoise lakes.

How to get there

If you are entering Canada from abroad, the best will be to fly to Calgary in Alberta. It is just about an hour and half drive to the Canadian Rockies. You can also fly to Kelowna in British Columbia and enter the Rockies from the west.

My favourite website to find cheapest flights to Canada from abroad is Momondo.

Getting around

You will have a few options to explore t his stunning place .

Public transport in the Canadian Rockies is reasonably good (f.e. Grey hound, Brewster) , but not really sufficient. Especially if you want to do hiking and exploring on your own. Therefore I wouldn’t recommend it.

Hitchhiking of course can be fun and it is certainly the cheapest option to get around, but you mig ht will find yourself struggling wit h not being able to get to more remote places and trailheads. I can't imagine traveling in t he Canadian Rockies wit hout my own car.

Two of t he following options on how to travel in the Canadian Rockies I find the best:

  • Rent a car / campervan / RV - Rental car prices may vary a lot. Between national companies, they’d be two to three times as expensive for the same vehicle. Make your rental car reservation early—if you’re flying into Calgary—and check back before you leave to see if prices have changed to see if you can lock in extra last-minute savings.
  • Buy a car / campervan - I bought my minivan for just as low as 950 CAD and converted a family car to a campervan - got rid of its five back seats, built a bed, made curtains and bought all the camping and cooking gear. Voilaaa! To buy your own car is a great option if you want to come to Canada for at least two months. Advantage of this is that you will save a lot of money on renting a van plus you can sell it quite easily after your trip. Downside is a certain effort and time you have to put into the searching right car. Calgary or Kelowna are both great places to buy a car. Car insurance is not the cheapest, I pay around 130 CAD a month. But especially if you are sharing expenses with one or more travel buddies, it won’t ruin your bank account so much. You can look for a car at Kijiji or eventually Craigslist (personally I find Kijiji better in Canada).

Do you have any questions about t he Canadian Rockies or want to s hare your experience ?

Feel free to leave a comment below or send me a private message.


Scenic rail journey on the Rocky Mountaineer

Common Questions

Our vacations are not typically ‘escorted.’ We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of ‘independent’ travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

Can this trip be made shorter or longer?

Absolutely! We personalize all our clients’ trips to fit their exact tastes and needs. You can add days at locations that you’d like to explore and spend more time at. Or leave out certain areas that don’t interest you as much. Discuss your travel goals with our Canadian Insiders who make sure that your trip fits your needs and budget.

Can I personalize this trip?

Your trip can be as rich as you’d like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs at no extra cost. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your free trip plan and decide what you’d like to see and do.

If your trip is a special occasion, we’ll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you’re traveling with a group, we’ll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

Am I on the train the whole time?

All of our trips include stops to get off the train to explore Canada’s beautiful locations, national parks and unique cities. However, if you’re keen to maximize your time onboard, we’ll pair you up with the perfect train experience.

Where am I staying on this trip?

You’ll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We’ll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

What is the train experience like?

Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in the US or Europe), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You’ll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, and great food.

Featured train experiences:

Rocky Mountaineer operates daylight touring trains, which travel along three of the most spectacular routes in Western Canada. You’ll enjoy onboard commentary, award winning service, and incredible food.

How much does my trip cost?

All our trips are personalized to fit our clients’ schedule and budget. The price of your trip generally depends on the travel season, train service, accommodations, and the sightseeing tours you take. Please request your free trip plan which will provide you with the detailed information you need.

What is included in the price?

Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don’t have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You’ll receive your detailed digital travel documents, and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal throughout your trip to answer any questions.

What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

When is the best time to see wildlife?

That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we’ll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Canada’s west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C). The interior of British Columbia, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer.

This Trip in Pictures

Take in stunning views of the Canadian Rockies during this one-of-a-kind railway experience.

Your trip begins in the vibrant city of Vancouver, which is framed by awe-evoking mountains.

Enjoy your first night with a feature dinner selected by Fresh Tracks Canada.

Aboard the train you will be pampered with friendly, attentive service and fresh, tasty food.

Arrive in the charming mountain town of Jasper and breathe in fresh mountain air.

Join an experienced guide on a motorcycle sidecar tour of Jasper National Park.

Stretch your legs on a nature walk in Jasper National Park, suited to your level and interests.

Join a sightseeing tour on the Icefields Parkway, one of the most scenic mountain roads in the world.

Experience a thrill stepping out onto the glass floor of the Glacier Skywalk.

Alternatively, take a private Icefields Parkway tour with a one-on-one guide and picturesque stops.

Soar over the Icefields on an unforgettable helicopter tour.

Savour a delicious meal at your hotel, while enjoying expansive views of the Canadian Rockies.

Don't miss out on the classic Afternoon Tea at Lake Louise, ask your Vacation Advisor to add in this experience.

Along the way from Lake Louise to Banff be amazed by the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

Take the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain.

Your departure from the Canadian Rockies takes you through the bustling city of Calgary.

Recommended Itinerary

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized trip plan for you that matches your travel style, schedule and budget.

Day 1 – Arrive in Vancouver
Welcome to Vancouver, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, surrounded by towering mountains and sparkling ocean. From the very beginning, we ensure your vacation is off to the best start. Walk out of the airport and right into your own private vehicle. Your driver will help orient you to our hometown, Vancouver!

Feature Dinner in Vancouver
This evening, we’ve included a delicious dinner at one of our favourite restaurants in Vancouver.

Day 2 – Onboard the Rocky Mountaineer – Vancouver to Kamloops
Bright and early this morning, you will be transferred to the Rocky Mountaineer station in time for your journey towards the Canadian Rockies. Over lunch you will climb the steep Fraser Canyon, past the thundering water of Hell’s Gate, and take a trip through the high desert of British Columbia’s interior. Relax, chat, read, or stretch your legs while taking in the unique scenery of British Columbia. This evening, your train arrives in the small town of Kamloops where you are free to enjoy a dinner on your own and a night in a standard hotel.

Day 3 – On the Rocky Mountaineer – Kamloops to Jasper
The exhilaration of your Canadian train trip continues today, as you enjoy another day of great food, service, and incredible mountain scenery. In the late afternoon, the train pulls into the station in Jasper. Breathe in the cool, fresh mountain air of the Rockies – you’ve arrived! A transfer brings you to your hotel.

Day 4 – In the Canadian Wilderness – Explore Jasper
Jasper’s wide-open valleys are enticing to a variety of wildlife and are incredibly breathtaking. Spend the day exploring the jewel of the Rockies, Jasper.

You have 3 options to choose from today in Jasper:

• Option 1: Maligne Lake Tour with Cruise
Visit the beautiful natural wonder of Maligne Lake with your friendly local tour guide. Walk along Maligne Canyon, where the raging river has eroded the rock for thousands of years. Visit Medicine Lake and the tranquil blue-green waters of Maligne Lake, where you will take a boat cruise to scenic Spirit Island.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Sidecar Motorcycle Tour
Explore winding mountain roads and beautiful scenery on a thrilling sidecar motorcycle tour (for 1 or 2 passengers). Visit your choice of Athabasca Falls, Maligne Canyon and Medicine Lake or Mount Edith Cavell. Enjoy the sights as you cruise along past rivers, mountains and beautiful forests.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 3: Privately Guided Nature Walk
See wildlife, rare alpine wildflowers, and magnificent valley views with one of the best, hand-picked mountain guides in Jasper. Enjoy a leisurely pace, and plenty of time for photos and discussion.
Activity rating: Moderate (approx 4 miles | 6.5km) – more challenging hikes are available on request.

Day 5 – The Icefields Parkway – Jasper to Lake Louise
Travel along the spine of the Rockies, on what is surely one of the most beautiful roads in the world – the Icefields Parkway.

Here are 2 options to explore the Icefields Parkway:

• Option 1: Small Group Sightseeing Tour
With a small group and guide, explore the Icefields and its main attractions. Stop to enjoy a picnic lunch, walk on the Athabasca Glacier, and marvel at the Glacier Skywalk. Arriving at picture-perfect Lake Louise this evening.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Private Icefields Tour with Helicopter Experience (additional cost)
Spend the day with a private guide, to explore the Icefields Parkway at your own pace. Stop to enjoy a picnic lunch before stepping away from the crowds and taking a helicopter tour abundant in natural beauty, glaciers and waterfalls.
Activity rating: Easy

Insider tip: Sightseeing tours along the Icefields Parkway are typically a full day. If you’d prefer a more relaxed pace, ask us about other transportation options.

Day 6 – The Southern Canadian Rockies – Lake Louise to Banff
This morning relax, soak in the views, and enjoy free time at Lake Louise.

• Suggested Add-on: Lake Louise Gondola (additional cost)
If you have additional time in Lake Louise, add on a 14-minute ride up the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola. At an elevation of 2088 m / 6850 ft, see magnificent mountain views, wildflowers, and wildlife.

Later on, a guided interpretive transfer brings you to Banff, with plenty of time for photo stops. A lively mountain town with great restaurants, Banff is a welcome change of pace. Enjoy strolling Banff Avenue or try one of the numerous outdoor adventures offered in this outdoor playground.

Day 7 – Exploring Banff
Fill your lungs with cool, fresh Rockies air and head out for a day of exploration.

You have 3 options to choose from today in Banff:

• Option 1: Banff Sightseeing Tour and Banff Gondola Admission
Enjoy a small group tour by bus to discover Banff’s unique heritage and stunning backdrop in the Canadian Rockies. Discover the secrets of this majestic mountain town by taking in the sights, snapping photos and enjoying short walks to view points on the many stops with your guide. Then, soar to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Banff Gondola to experience a stunning bird’s-eye view of six incredible mountain ranges. With breathtaking vistas in every direction, you’ll understand why this is a Canadian Rockies must-see destination!
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Lake Minnewanka Cruise
See the Canadian Rockies from a fresh perspective on a Lake Minnewanka scenic cruise. Choose from daytime or dusk tours – or enhance your experience with an evening Craft Beer Voyage, pairing the beautiful scenery with a sampling of local brews.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 3: Sunshine Village Walk with Scenic Gondola
Begin your day with a scenic gondola ride up to a mountainside resort. Take in the spectacular views before a guided walk through Sunshine Meadows. Your guide will teach you all about the fascinating ecosystem above the treeline.
Activity rating: Moderate

Insider tip: There is so much to see and do in Banff that many guests wish they could stay longer. Ask your Vacation Advisor about adding more nights in the Rockies to explore Banff and try activities such as a private sunrise photography tour with an experienced photographer.

Day 8 – Depart from Calgary
Much too soon you leave the fresh air and colourful sights of the Rockies as your Canada train trip comes to an end. A transfer brings you from Banff to Calgary where you depart for home, or you may choose to spend some time in Calgary – the cowboy city!

Start Dates

2021 – Vancouver Start Dates
April 26, 29
May 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20,24, 27, 31
June 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28
July 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
August 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30
September 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
October 4

2021 – Calgary Start Dates
April 24, 27
May 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
June 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
July 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31
August 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31
September 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28
October 2

2022 – Vancouver Start Dates
April 25, 28
May 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30
June 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
July 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28
August 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
September 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
October 3

2022 – Calgary Start Dates
April 23, 26, 30
May 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31
June 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28
July 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30
August 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
September 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27
October 1

Pricing

Prices of this trip vary by departure date, hotel class and the choice of activities. Request your quote to check availability or to book this trip.

Comfort Level Hotels SilverLeaf Train Service

From US $3,590 to US $5,660 per person

Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with our unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.

Superior Level Hotels SilverLeaf Train Service

From US $3,990 to US $6,340 per person

Our Superior Level provides amazing value for clients wanting something more upscale but not at the price of a top-end 5 star resort. Superior level hotels are some of our favorites because of the character and unique charm that you won't find at the average chain hotel. Unique tours and seamless transfers complete your itinerary.

Deluxe Level Hotels GoldLeaf Train Service

From US $5,590 to US $8,820 per person

On our Deluxe Level vacation, it's likely you'll be staying at one of the iconic Canadian Fairmont Hotels in a room with a view. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 20th century, these hotels are luxurious and full of history – ensuring an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy unique sightseeing experiences and the insider detail that only Fresh Tracks Canada can provide.

Train Experience

Learn more about the onboard service and look inside the trains you will be traveling on during this trip.

The Rocky Mountaineer

The Rocky Mountaineer is a uniquely daylight-only train service to the Canadian Rockies, meaning you don’t miss a minute of the view! Glass-domed cars, first-class service and exquisite food, make it world-famous.

Accommodations

Below are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.

Georgian Court Hotel

The Georgian Court Hotel features 180 guestrooms in a 12-story brick building, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Enjoy a comfortable sleep in your elegant room, surf the internet with the complimentary wifi, or enjoy a meal on the seasonal patio.

Rimrock Resort

The 4.5 star Rimrock Resort is built into the side of a mountain, when you enter the main lobby, you are actually on the 7th floor, and the views from the pamorama of windows over the Bow Valley are simply stunning. The hotel has an upscale yet understated feel, and the service is impeccable.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

The 5 star Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is undoubtedly a beautiful and impressive hotel. Its amazing location overlooking beautiful Lake Louise and the distant mountains can not be compared. There are a variety of restaurant types, so you can do casual or fine dining as you choose. Strolling around the lake, renting a canoe, riding horses, or hiking up to the tea house are all great summer activities. In winter choose from snow shoeing, skating, skiing or taking a sleigh ride around the lake.

What’s Included

These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

Accommodations:

• 7 nights of hotel accommodation

Train Experiences:

• 2 days onboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train*

Jasper Experiences:

1. Maligne Lake Tour with Cruise

2. Sidecar Motorcycle Tour

3. Privately Guided Nature Walk

Icefields Parkway Experiences (between Jasper and Lake Louise):

1. Small Group Sightseeing Tour (Includes picnic lunch, Ice Explorer, and the Glacier Skywalk)

2. Private Icefields Tour with Helicopter Experience (additional cost)

Banff Experiences:

1. Banff Sightseeing Tour + Banff Gondola

3. Sunshine Village Walk with Scenic Gondola

Meal Inclusions:

• Feature Dinner in Vancouver

• 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches onboard Rocky Mountaineer Train

Transfer Inclusions:

• A personalized and private pick up between the Vancouver Airport and hotel

• Train station transfers in Vancouver, Kamloops and Jasper

• Interpretive transfer between Lake Louise and Banff

• Transfer between Banff and Calgary Airport*

Other Inclusions:

• Gratuities for private transfers (unless otherwise noted)

• Fresh Tracks Canada customer service support – from the time you book, you will be assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator with whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.

*Inclusion Notes:

✔ Comfort and Superior hotels are paired with SilverLeaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer Train. Deluxe hotels are paired with GoldLeaf Service.

✔ Deluxe level includes a private transfer between Banff and Calgary. Superior and Comfort levels include a scheduled bus transfer.

Important Schedule and Trip Notes:

• Train schedules are subject to change and delays may occur

• Daily tour availability may vary based on the season and may not be available for all departures. For more information, please speak to your Vacation Advisor.

Not Included

• Meals, other than those mentioned
• Airfare
• Gratuities for rail, hotel, tour & transfer staff (unless otherwise indicated)
• Trip Cancellation & Travel Medical Insurance (highly recommended)
• Canadian Sales Taxes

Ideas to personalize your trip

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

• Add on a cruise along Alaska’s Inside Passage.
• Let us arrange additional experiences, such as golf, spa, hiking, or specialty wildlife tours.
• Ask us to arrange a car rental, and drive through the Rockies at your leisure
• Add on a few days in the charming capital of British Columbia, Victoria, along with a tour of the world famous Butchart Gardens.
• For a full loop of spectacular British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies, add a Rocky Mountaineer train journey back to Vancouver at the end of your trip.
• Visit the Olympic city of Whistler, and take in the sights and activities by spending a night or two there.

This was a spectacular trip

“ This was a spectacular trip. All the people we dealt with - train employees, hotel staff and tour guides were friendly and helpful and knowledgeable. The entire trip went smoothly. ”

The beauty of the whole area is etched in my mind forever

“ The Butchart Gardens was phenomenal, standing on the biggest ice cube in the world was good fun too, and the train service was excellent! The beauty of the whole area is etched in my mind forever. ”

“ There was so much to see and do. We enjoyed the Rocky Mountaineer the most. Everything was spot on. ”

It was an exceptional experience

“ It was an exceptional experience. All of those involved, from the initial arrangements, accommodations and tours were most accommodating and informative. The special meals at the Primrose dining room and the Aura restaurant were fantastic, staff at both restaurants were very attentive, even offering to take photos of our experience. ”

The best part was seeing the Canadian Rocky mountains in the spring time

“ The best part was seeing the Canadian Rocky mountains in the spring time. The accommodations and the experience of the Rocky Mountaineer train was first rate. ”

All the logistics and transfers worked exactly as planned

Martin & Virginia, QLD, Australia

“ We had a great holiday. All the logistics and transfers worked exactly as planned. The hotels in Vancouver, Jasper, Chateau Lake Louise and Banff were great. ”

Kristy, Brett & Family, QLD, Australia

“ The scenery was magical. Canadians are very friendly and we were made to feel very welcome. The entire experience was fantastic and we will recommend Canada and Fresh Tracks to everyone. We will also definitely be back again. ”

The advice and the coordination from Fresh Tracks was nearly perfect

“ We loved the Rocky Mountaineer, the Icefields Parkway, Maligne Lake, Lake Louise, and the Banff Gondola. The advice and the coordination from Fresh Tracks was nearly perfect. ”

A truly awesome experience

“ Great trip, it was unforgettable, a truly awesome experience!! Fresh Tracks are the way to go to the Canadian Rockies! ”

We really loved the trip and would be happy to recommend it to anyone

“ The train was excellent and the hotel in Kamloops was very good. We enjoyed the hop on hop off in Vancouver. We really loved the trip and would be happy to recommend it to anyone. ”

It was an extremely well planned trip!

“ The scenery was truly spectacular! The experience was seamless - we didn't have to worry about any logistics at all. The organization was truly amazing considering all the different tours, accommodations, transfers, etc. And there was the very important benefit of making all those logistics happen without having to travel in a large group - yay! I can't imagine I'd change anything - it was an extremely well planned trip! ”

This was a beautiful, memorable experience

“ This was a beautiful, memorable experience. It was as special as any anniversary trip could ever be. I think our time in Jasper and Lake Louise topped the list. Our best guides were in Jasper and en route to Lake Louise and it was topped off with an amazing room and meal at the Chateau Lake Louise. My dealings with Fresh Tracks Canada was a very positive experience. They were very quick to respond to all my questions and their answers were not merely informative but cordial. They made me feel like I was their top priority customer. ”

It was a trip that my family will never forget

“ The service by all members of Fresh Tracks that I may have dealt with was the best. Everyone stayed right on top of everything and as a result, we had no issues during the entire trip. It was a trip that my family will never forget. We crammed allot of activities in the amount of time we had available. If I were to change anything, I may have eliminated a tour from our itinerary. Not because of the tour but because it would have been nice to just relax for a day during the week. Didn't realize that even though we were just sitting on a train or bus, it still takes allot out of you. ”

“ We couldn't have done this trip without Fresh Tracks Canada, they provided great service, we highly recommend. The scenery was gorgeous. ”

The Fresh Tracks Canada documentation package was essentially seamless

“ What we most enjoyed about our trip was the camaraderie amongst our fellow travelers, the larger than life beautiful scenery, the gorgeous accommodations, and the friendliness of the Canadian citizens that we met. The uniqueness of the train travel was also extremely enjoyable for us. The Fresh Tracks Canada documentation package was essentially seamless and made the trip that much more enjoyable for us. ”

This was an excellent sight seeing itinerary

“ This was an excellent sight seeing itinerary with excellent accommodations at every destination. Visiting Canada in August fitted our timing perfectly and the weather cooperated with most days being sunny with pleasant temperatures. All hotels did something very nice to acknowledge our anniversary. We greatly appreciate Fresh Tracks setting up excellent rooms and letting the hotel staff know we were celebrating our anniversary. ”

Each day seemed more thrilling than the previous one

“ Each day seemed more thrilling than the previous one. We liked the glacier Skywalk and ice Explorer the most. Accommodations at Lake Louise were superior & the surrounding scenery was breathtaking. ”

We really enjoyed the Rocky Mountaineer train

“ We were very happy with this experience. The guides were wonderful. We really enjoyed the Rocky Mountaineer train and the people were terrific. ”

The whole trip was amazing

“ This was absolutely one of our favorite trips we've taken. The whole trip was amazing. The Rocky Mountaineer was a great way to see the countryside, and the staff on the train were very impressive. The Fairmont hotels took great care of us at each stay. Thank you for all your hard work and efforts you put into this itinerary, all of the information you provided us made this trip a breeze. ”

Everything about the trip was perfect

“ We had an absolutely wonderful trip! All the arrangements worked out perfectly. The train staff were wonderful. The dining car stewardess was particularly kind to my seventeen year old grandson who has all the food allergies. She was caring, considerate, professional and made him feel special instead of a nuisance. He said he wanted to stay on the train forever. Everything about the trip was perfect. We loved all the special tours - even one in the rain - and, in fact, the weather was perfect almost every day. The hotels of course were a real experience - and again the service was great. And the boys were completely involved - no endless checking their smart phones, instead using them to take innumerable photos of the fantastic scenery! And in Lake Louise the whole family (except me!) took a 9 mile hike, even enjoying tea at the Tea House on the mountain. I can't thank you enough for all your detailed planning and advice - and I've been telling everyone they should take a trip with Fresh Tracks Canada. ”

Everything was extremely good

“ Everything was extremely good. Thank you for your excellent service and professionalism. ”

We are now in love with Canada

Theresa, Richard & David, TX, USA

“ We had a fabulous trip! Really wonderful. I think our single favorite thing (if you twisted our arms to make us choose) would be the train ride. It was such a unique experience and we felt so pampered. But the other overriding feeling was that the scenery was spectacular. Each place we went seemed more beautiful than the last. And the people were all so nice - I was surprised at how international it felt. We ran into very few Americans but loved seeing lots of Aussies, Asians and Europeans and the Canadians were lovely and such fun. So, OK, maybe I can't pick a single favorite thing. In short, we are now in love with Canada. Thanks so much for all the work you all did to ensure that it all would go smoothly. I am passing on your information to 3 or 4 friends. ”

We never had to worry about a thing

“ You did an amazing job with our trip. Everything ran like clockwork and we never had to worry about a thing. The train ride was spectacular and the service beyond excellent. Ken and I both think the trip down the Icefields Parkway was one of the most beautiful areas we've ever seen and our guide/driver should get a huge bonus for the wealth of information he shared with us. Seeing Moraine Lake was such an awe inspiring moment that I had tears in my eyes. We're thinking about going to Nova Scotia next year. Thank you for a vacation of a lifetime. We've already given your name to friends and family who may be considering a trip like this. ”

Thank you for organizing such a terrific trip

You really went above and beyond in customer service!

“ We can't thank you enough for all the excellent help you gave us in planning this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Fresh Tracks came so highly recommended by our friends and we are spreading the word as well. We will specifically tell our friends & family your names as you really went above and beyond in customer service! If you could have seen the joy on Ken's face as he enjoyed every moment on the Rocky Mountaineer, as he's such a train buff. We also felt so special that it was not only his birthday month, but we celebrated our wedding anniversary as well. Thanks for communicating that to the Lodge. They had champagne, two glasses and a hand signed card​ waiting in our room. ”

Thanks to you, we had a memorable time

“ JoAnn & I should like to express our sincere thanks for your arranging a wonderfully memorable trip for us. We had a great time indeed, the awesome sights and the friendly people contributed so much to our enjoyment. The Hotels were really most luxurious and, of course, the Rocky Mountaineer was spectacular and unforgettable. Again, thank you very much indeed. Thanks to you, we had a memorable time. ”

All our connections and transfers went really well

Harry & Julie, NSW, Australia

“ We had a great trip in a beautiful countryside and all our connections and transfers went really well. Our guides were excellent, they were a wealth of knowledge. ”

We can't wait until our next venture and we look forward to doing business with you again

“ The trip was fantastic. The Rocky Mountaineer trip was better than I could have imagined and my father was a Railroader. Lake Louise was worth the trip. We can't wait until our next venture and we look forward to doing business with you again. We have 212 photos. We felt very at home at Kamloops as it looks just like most of Nevada. We have several areas that deserve a longer trip next time. The voucher packet was terrific to keep up organized. I will recommend your company to others who may be planning their trips. Thank you very much. ”

Having everything organized made for a truly wonderful and relaxing holiday

“ Just a short note to say thank you to Fresh Tracks Canada for organizing such a great holiday for us. Everything went according to our itinerary and could not have been better planned. From the first airport pickup to the hotels and sightseeing, we were always looked after. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. We were upgraded on the Rocky Mountaineer which provided us with another highlight. The scenery was spectacular, the weather kind and having everything organized made for a truly wonderful and relaxing holiday. Once again thank you for a very professional service. ”

As we hoped, the trip was 1st class

“ We wanted to thank you for preparing our outstanding trip to the Canadian Rockies. As we hoped, the trip was 1st class. The hotels, the tours and tour guides were wonderful. Everyone showed up on time and where they were expected.The train with GoldLeaf service was more than we anticipated. Your quick response to all our requests were great. Our appreciation and best wishes to all those who participated in preparing our trip. ”

We appreciated your arrangements and will remember the trip a long, long time!

“ We loved our trip - it was what we were expecting and better. Having not done an arranged trip with side tours before, with a small group emphasis, we were satisfied and saw most everything we wanted. I've already recommended Fresh Tracks to an acquaintance and I will do so again, gladly. We appreciated your arrangements and will remember the trip a long, long time! ”

Y'all are either very passionate about your work or just very kind folks

Caroline, Allison, Lindsay & Hugh, MD, USA

“ We are having a blast and have been since we got to Vancouver yesterday! We loved the Fairmont Waterfront and felt very special to be greeted by the wonderful chocolate covered strawberries that awaited us in our perfect adjoining rooms! You are so sweet to have done that. Truly y'all are either very passionate about your work or just very kind folks (ok, probably both!) but having a gift from the travel company to greet us was really over the top! We gobbled down most of them immediately, before dinner, just the way to begin a vacation! We had a great day in Vancouver! Went to Stanley Park and rode a horse drawn carriage, then went up to the Capilano bridge. The natural beauty in your fair city is just incredible. Sadly we did not make it over to Victoria, but I feel that we must get back over here at some point. When we were heading here, the girls asked if we would meet you, so cute! You're like a family friend. It's around 8:15 and we're on the VIA train, it's really cool and exciting and nice! We're a little sad to leave Vancouver but know that other great parts of our adventure await. Thanks again for everything, including the strawberries! ”

It truly was a once in a lifetime trip to celebrate our 35th anniversary

“ We had such a wonderful time on our trip. We loved the whole train experience. We got to celebrate Canada Day in Kamloops with fireworks at Riverside Park and even stopped at the casino. Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff were spectacular. Our accommodations were great especially at the Chateau Lake Louise. The bus tours and the guides were so nice and had a wealth of information to share with us. Everything went off without a hitch. All our pickups were on time. It truly was a once in a lifetime trip to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Thanks so much for everything and if the opportunity ever arises I will surely recommend Fresh Tracks to my family and friends. ”

We LOVE Canada, and will gladly recommend Fresh Tracks

Carol Jean & Walter, TX, USA

“ Our trip was just wonderful. The detailed itinerary was so well thought out that all of our questions were answered by reading the it. We had good weather that helped us enjoy the trip even more. We were especially impressed with our train hostess, Holiday. Our accommodations were what we expected. We were especially pleased with the Fairmont (no kidding!) and the Caribou Lodge in Banff. The Jasper lodging was adequate but could stand some improvement. We enjoyed our guides - they were informative and seemed to enjoy their jobs. Thank you so much for the hard work, thedetailed itinerary, and letting us know that we could call if needed. We LOVE Canada, and will gladly recommend Fresh Tracks. ”

I've never been anywhere as beautiful!

Marsha, Brian, Pat & Karen, AZ, USA

“ Our trip was amazing! I've never been anywhere as beautiful and there is not one thing I would have changed! Great suggestions by you - overnight train, Moraine Lake vs Lake Louise (we saw both and were so pleased we were on Moraine Lake 'side'). Tour guides were amazing with their knowledge and passion for the earth! Thank you so much for truly a memory not to be forgotten! ”

The view of Lake Louise is spectacular!

“ We had a wonderful vacation. All the arrangements were perfectly orchestrated. We enjoyed our two days in Vancouver—walked around quite a bit and had some great food. The Rocky Mountaineer was an awesome experience, and one which we will remember for years to come. All the accommodations throughout the trip were great. We especially enjoyed the Post Hotel. It was raining pretty hard when we arrived that evening in Lake Louise, but it didn't keep us from enjoying all that the town has to offer. The view of Lake Louise is spectacular, and the high tea service there made for a really memorable experience. Thanks for arranging that for us. Jasper and Banff were also great towns. We saw an abundance of wildlife, pretty much everything but grizzlies. The guides were all very knowledgeable — a special “kudos” for Fred from Sundog Tours and Graham from Discover Banff. When I get a little time I'll go to the two websites you listed below and add comments if appropriate. Once we've downloaded photos, I may also send you a picture or two. And please know that if the opportunity arises, we will be certain to refer people to Fresh Tracks. Thanks, again, for all of your assistance in making this a wonderful and memorable experience for us. ”

Thank you again for all your help in making this a trip of a lifetime

“ What a great trip! We met several other couples that had booked through Fresh Tracks. Everyone thought it was a great company to use. We also recommended it to others who hadn't booked through you. Everything went smoothly, the train trip was excellent with a great crew – very memorable. We saw a cinnamon bear, black bear, eagles, elk right in people's yards, big horn sheep right beside the train as we went by. All our accommodations were nice – especially the Chateau Lake Louise which was very elegant, a nice choice. Our next favorite was the Banff Caribou Lodge. We were impressed with the whole package and how well everything was organized. Thank you so much. I was also impressed with Canadians in general. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I thought Vancouver airport was excellent. You did everything through the kiosk, it took your picture and a printout and you carried your own luggage to the conveyor belt, they scanned the picture printout and then on to your gate. Slick. The weather was a bit cold as it had snowed recently and the gondola ride in Banff was rain/snow mix, we also had a whiteout at the glacier walk but it was still spectacular. Our horseback ride was partly in the rain but then it cleared up. Even so, the experiences were great. Thank you again for all your help in making this a trip of a lifetime. ”

Thank you for taking such good care of us

“ We loved the entire trip, but let us list some outstanding features: (a) The hotels were superb. We thought the Metropolitan Hotel in Vancouver was a perfect choice in terms of location, the size, and the personnel working there. The Moraine Lake Lodge was incredible. Moraine Lake is almost more beautiful than Lake Louise. The Lodge includes a lovely breakfast, a naturalist, and someone who provides complimentary hikes. When we saw the frenzy at the Fairmonts, we were glad we booked the other choices. Sawridge, by the way, was very nice. (b) The tours with Sun Dog were incredible. Joy and Tyler took such good care of us and we tipped them appropriately. We would hope that Sun Dog receives the positive information about these two individuals. We really liked the intimate tours we received – one day with two Australians and one day by ourselves. We were so surprised, though your descriptions promised this. The only disappointment was that we did not get to go on the Icefields. On that day with Joy it was raining and a bus got stuck up there, putting all the huge Brewster tours hours behind schedule. If we had stayed and waited, we would never have seen anything else. This was the only negative aspect of the trip. (c) The schedule was exact and very helpful. Thank you so much for answering so quickly our frantic email about the tranfer to Lake Moraine. You certainly alleviated our anxiety about the process. (d) We enjoyed the two days on the train and the opportunity to chat with so many individuals from England, Scotland, and Australia. We felt like we were the only Americans in our car. We learned so much during our breakfast and lunch times with these individuals. (e) We highly recommend the Grand Tour of Vancouver on bikes. Cycle City Tours and Spokes took us on an amazing 5-hour ride of Vancouver and introduced us to the city. The ride was very easy, though we do bike at home. What a way to begin an adventure! Again, thank you for taking such good care of us. We will be recommending you and Fresh Tracks Canada to all our friends. ”

The Rocky Mountaineer experience was excellent

“ My parents and I definitely had a wonderful trip and we'd like to thank you for all your help in arranging everything to make it a smooth, stress-free vacation. We loved all the sight-seeing and couldn't get over the beautiful nature that surrounded us, including all the wildlife. We had great encounters with deer, great-horned sheep, elk, bald eagles and even 2 black bears! And the Rocky Mountaineer experience was excellent. I'm already excited to return. Hearing news of the floods and heavy rainfall in western Canada makes us feel quite lucky that we we only had 1 day of rain the entire time. But thank you again and hopefully you'll be able to help us again in the future. ”

Booking through Fresh Tracks Canada was a big plus

“ Denise and I had a fantastic trip and a great time. It exceeded our expectations. The Pacific Rim Fairmont, where we stayed our first day is a gorgeous hotel and is highly recommended. Although we could not stay at my convention hotel, the Westin Bayshore, being next to Canada Place ended up being a plus. Pan Pacific hotel was rather ordinary but great for the view. Rocky Mountaineer. Wow! I cannot believe how efficient, well run and friendly the train trip was. From taking your luggage in the parking lot at arrival, comfortable seating great food on board (GoldLeaf), efficient and convenient handling of luggage, friendly and informative staff, and of course the views, made this portion of the trip very enjoyable. Fairmont Jasper Lodge was very enjoyable but had very limited dining options. It would seem that after Victoria Day they would have more of their restaurants open, however, only their main restaurant and the lobby bar/restaurant were open. Also the staff (2 seperate bellmen and the head bellman) at the Fairmont was unaware of Sun Dog tours. When we sought to confirm our 8:30 departure to Lake Louise, he adamantly insisted that unless I had arranged a private transfer there was no tour pick-ups at 8:30, instead told us that we were mistaken and the only tour pick up time was 7:50 (Brewster Tour Bus). I couldn't reach anyone that prior evening when they informed me of this (including Ryan). I finally reached Sun Dog tours the next morning and was able to confirm but only after having to be ready for the earlier pick-up, just in case. Sun Dog Tours should be better known. The bellmen said they were owned by Brewster Bus, so I should be on the Brewset bus. This was the only blemish, and a minor one at that, of a great overall experience. Sun Dog Tours and their tour guides were great. Using the smaller tour vehicles rather than the big buses that others were using was a big plus. The Maligne Valley and Lake tour was a bit over-hyped. The Columbia Ice Fields were fantastc. We were able to skip the long ticket lines, and had the good fortune of having the ice vehicle breakdown on the icefield itself so we got to stay for about an hour on the glaicier, rather than the standard 15 minutes. Lake Louise is gorgeous and the Fairmont was great. We had a room overlooking the Lake. We sent pictures of our view to some of our friends, and a couple wanted to know if it was a real picture! The Fox Hotel was nice. My only comment would be that the couch in our room looked like it had been there forever. Both cushions were worn and split at the seams. Arranging for a private transfer to Calgary Airport had all of our touring friends jealous and was a great idea. It picked us up a bit earlier than needed. We were at the airport at 9:30 for a 1 pm flight. It was clear that booking through Fresh Tracks was a big plus over booking directly. All in, it was one of the best vacations we ever took, and thank you for being so helpful in arranging it. I have a friend who is planning a trip in August, and I will be highly recommending you to him. ”

Your guidance was essential and appreciated!

“ The train was a superb way to see the province (or two), especially for the first time. The train was a luxury and the drivers were friendly and informative. Being chauffeured around educated is a perfect way to take an inaugural trip. In fact, we're considering a Churchill trip in November. Given the time of year which may not cater to safe driving, we will indeed look into Fresh Tracks transportation options. You were an enormous help toward steering us where hotel upgrades were well worth it. Your guidance was essential and appreciated! We really enjoyed Jasper. In such a concentrated area, it had abundant wildlife (even though our effort to spot a reported bear on the golf course came up empty), beautiful scenery and an active enough downtown to keep us busy after the sun went down. The stop at the Maligne Canyon and Lake was well worth it. As was the trip along the Icefields Parkway and Athabasca Glacier. And getting a lakeview room at Lake Louise was sublime. I was surprised that it was still partially frozen in late May. But it was beautiful and we were in no rush to leave. We loved Banff. Very walkable, good wildlife, and the downtown was beautiful. The Best of Banff tour was a decent overview, though the weather did not cooperate re. the gondola, as there was almost no visibility on this day. The evening wildlife safari, on the other hand, was my favorite tour of the trip. Truly excellent guide whose review is aided and abetted by a great view of bighorn sheep and a lucky black bear sighting. Thanks a ton for the help with what was a marvelous trip! ”

We appreciate all the work you put forth to make our trip so nice

“ Phil and I wanted to let you know that we are so pleased with the trip to this point. In Jasper we saw about every wildlife creature possible, we hiked the trails and canyons, took the Spirit boat ride, took the motor coach onto the ice glacier, and have eaten way too much. but all the food and service personnel we have encountered have been excellent. We appreciate all the work you put forth to make our trip so nice. All the transportation up to this point has been on time and the tour guides everywhere were very knowledgeable with the ecology, geology and wildlife that they were interpreting to the public. In Jasper, we saw the coyote, elk (male and female), black bear and her 3 cubs, a female moose and calf, a male moose, mule deer, and mountain goats and sheep. all thanks to the evening tour that was sponsored by a Sundog tour guide. Earlier today we toured Stanley Park (aquarium and totem poles) and took the Big Bus tour around the city a couple of times. Last but not least, the Rocky Mountaineer trip was simply awesome. The train service personnel were exceptional and very professional in their interactions with all the guests. We did not see many large wildlife, but over a dozen bald eagles flew with us part of the way from Banff to Vancouver – off and on around the canyons and river beds. Thanks to all of you for helping us overcome the hurdles of getting the money from Florida to Canada. We will let you know when we arrive back in Florida. We have been thinking about you all during our wonderful time in your beautiful city. ”

We really enjoyed ourselves

“ Thank you! The itinerary and places to stay as well as your suggestions for eating and visiting were great. We really enjoyed ourselves. It was one of the best vacations we have had and hassle free. Everything was extremely well arranged by Fresh Tracks from arrival to departure. The hotels were very well chosen. The scenery in the Rockies was stunning and we saw a lot of wildlife including eagles and bears. One of the restaurants you recommended in Jasper has closed down but may we suggest the "Fiddle River" as an excellent place. We ate there on all three nights we spent in Jasper. Thank you once again for an unforgettable vacation. ”

The Rocky Mountaineer was spectacular!

Michael & Marie Ann, QC, Canada

“ We had a great adventure in Western Canada. We saw Stanley park, English Bay where I had to dip my feet in the Pacific. It was the first time I saw, felt and tasted the Pacific. The Rocky Mountaineer was A! From the train we saw bears, eagles, elks and one wolf. In Jasper we tried to go the the Columbia Icefields but by the time we got there there was a snow out but our guide made up for it by showing us other points of interest. Lake Louise was still frozen but the scenery was great. We had lunch at the Chateau. Banff, again the scenery was awesome. We noticed a lot of young people wearing shorts and flip flops. Still kind of early for my liking. Again thank you for all your help in this adventure. We would like to go out West again in the future. Here is a picture of me all dressed up to go and have lunch downstairs! ”

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Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 The Matterhorn
  • 3 Exploration in Greenland
  • 4 South American exploration
  • 5 Canadian Rockies
  • 6 Illustrator
  • 7 Final years
  • 8 Works
  • 9 References
  • 10 Bibliography
  • 11 External links

Edward Whymper was born at Lambeth Terrace on Kennington Road in London on 27 April 1840 to the artist and wood engraver Josiah Wood Whymper and Elizabeth Whitworth Claridge. He was the second of eleven children, his older brother being the artist and explorer Frederick Whymper. He was trained to be a wood-engraver at an early age. In 1860, he made extensive forays into the central and western Alps to produce a series of commissioned alpine scenery drawings. Among the objects of this tour was the illustration of an unsuccessful attempt made by Professor Bonney's party to ascend Mont Pelvoux, at that time believed to be the highest peak of the Dauphiné Alps. [3]

In 1861, Whymper successfully completed the ascent of Mont Pelvoux, the first of a series of expeditions that threw much needed light on the topography of an area which at the time was very poorly mapped. From the summit of Mont Pelvoux, Whymper discovered that it was overtopped by a neighbouring peak, subsequently named the Barre des Écrins, which, before the annexation of Savoy added Mont Blanc to the possessions of France, was the highest point in the French Alps. [3] Whymper climbed the Barre des Écrins in 1864 with Horace Walker, A. W. Moore and guides Christian Almer senior and junior. [ citation needed ]

The years 1861 to 1865 were filled with a number of new expeditions in the Mont Blanc massif and the Pennine Alps, [3] among them the first recorded ascents of the Aiguille d'Argentière and Mont Dolent in 1864, and the Aiguille Verte, the Grand Cornier and Pointe Whymper on the Grandes Jorasses in 1865. That same year he also made the first crossing of the Moming Pass. According to his own words, his only failure was on the west ridge of the Dent d'Hérens in 1863. [4] As a result of his Alpine experience, he designed a tent which came to be known as the "Whymper tent" and tents based on his design were still being manufactured 100 years later.

Professor John Tyndall and Whymper emulated each other in determined attempts to reach the summit of the Matterhorn by the south-western, or Italian, ridge. [3] In 1865, Whymper, who had failed eight times already, attempted unsuccessfully to climb a couloir on the south-east face with Michel Croz. After Croz left for a prior engagement with Charles Hudson, Whymper was unable to secure the services of Val Tournanche guide Jean Antoine Carrel, and instead planned to try the eastern face with Lord Francis Douglas and the two Zermatt guides, Peter Taugwalder father and son.

Whymper was convinced that the Matterhorn's precipitous appearance when viewed from Zermatt was an optical illusion, and that the dip of the strata, which on the Italian side formed a continuous series of overhangs, should make the opposite side a natural staircase. This party of four was joined by Hudson and Croz, and the inexperienced Douglas Hadow. Their attempt by what is now the normal route, the Hörnli ridge, met with success on 14 July 1865, only days before an Italian party. On the descent, Hadow slipped and fell onto Croz, dislodging him and dragging Douglas and Hudson to their deaths, the rope parted, saving the other three. [3]

A controversy ensued as to whether the rope had actually been cut, but a formal investigation could not find any proof, and Peter Taugwalder was acquitted. The rope had snapped between Taugwalder and Lord Francis Douglas. Whymper asked Taugwalder to show him the rope. To his surprise, he saw that it was the oldest and weakest of the ropes they brought, and one which had been intended only as a reserve. All those who had fallen had been tied with a Manila rope, or with a second and equally strong one, and consequently it had been only between the survivors and those who had fallen where the weaker rope had been used. Whymper also had suggested to Hudson that they should have attached a rope to the rocks on the most difficult place, and held it as they descended, as an additional protection. Hudson approved the idea, but it was never done. [5] It can be deduced that Taugwalder had no other choice but to use a weaker rope, as the stronger rope was not long enough to connect Taugwalder to Douglas. The account of Whymper's attempts on the Matterhorn occupies the greater part of his book, Scrambles amongst the Alps (1871), in which the illustrations are engraved by Whymper himself. [3] The accident haunted Whymper:

Every night, do you understand, I see my comrades of the Matterhorn slipping on their backs, their arms outstretched, one after the other, in perfect order at equal distances—Croz the guide, first, then Hadow, then Hudson, and lastly Douglas. Yes, I shall always see them .

Whymper's 1865 campaign had been planned to test his route-finding skills in preparation for an expedition to Greenland in 1867. The exploration in Greenland resulted in an important collection of fossil plants, which were described by Professor Heer and deposited in the British Museum. Whymper's report was published in the report of the British Association of 1869. Though hampered by a lack of supplies and an epidemic among the local people, he proved that the interior could be explored by the use of suitably constructed sledges, and thus contributed an important advance to Arctic exploration. [3]

Another expedition in 1872 was devoted to a survey of the coastline.

Whymper next organised an expedition to Ecuador, designed primarily to collect data for the study of altitude sickness and the effect of reduced pressure on the human body. His chief guide was Jean-Antoine Carrel, who later died from exhaustion on the Matterhorn after bringing his employers to safety through a snowstorm. [3]

During 1880, Whymper made two ascents of Chimborazo (6,267m), including its first ascent, though Alexander von Humboldt had climbed on the volcano in 1802, he did not reach the summit. [6] Whymper spent a night on the summit of Cotopaxi and made first ascents of Sincholagua, Antisana, Cayambe, Sara Urco and Cotacachi. In 1892, he published the results of his journey in a volume entitled Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator. [3]

His observations on altitude sickness led him to conclude that it was caused by a reduction in atmospheric pressure, which lessens the value of inhaled air, and by expansion of the air or gas within the body, causing pressure upon the internal organs. The effects produced by gas expansion may be temporary and dissipate when equilibrium has been restored between the internal and external pressure. The publication of his work was recognised on the part of the Royal Geographical Society by the award of the Patron's medal. [3]

His experiences in South America having convinced him of certain serious errors in the readings of aneroid barometers at high altitudes, he published a work entitled How to Use the Aneroid Barometer, and succeeded in introducing important improvements in their construction. He afterwards published two guide-books to Zermatt and Chamonix. [3]

While in Ecuador, Whymper made a collection of amphibians and reptiles that he handed over to George Albert Boulenger at the British Museum. The collection received some praise from Boulenger, who said that "though containing no striking novelties", the collection was "interesting on account of the care bestowed by its collector in recording the exact locality from which every specimen was obtained". [7] Boulenger described four new species from the materials, three of them named after Whymper: the snake Coronella Whymperi (now a junior synonym of Saphenophis boursieri) and the frogs Prostherapis Whymperi, Phryniscus elegans, and Hylodes Whymperi (now a junior synonym of Pristimantis curtipes). [7] [8]

In the early 1900s, Whymper visited the Canadian Rockies several times and made arrangements with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to promote the Canadian Rockies and the railway in his talks in Europe and Asia. In exchange, the CPR agreed to pay transportation costs for him and his four guides. In 1901, Whymper and his four guides (Joseph Bossoney, Christian Kaufmann, Christian Klucker and Joseph Pollinger) made the first ascents of Mount Whymper and Stanley Peak in the Vermilion Pass area of the Canadian Rockies. [9] [10] [11]

When not climbing, Whymper pursued his profession as an engraver of illustrations for books and periodicals. Among the books he illustrated was his fellow-mountaineer Florence Crauford Grove's The Frosty Caucasus (1875) [16] Whymper also illustrated and engraved John Tyndall's "Hours of Exercise in The Alps" (1871). He illustrated books for Isabella L. Bird [17] but his brother Charles Whymper was the designer of the Henrietta Amelia Bird memorial clock tower in Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland. It was built in 1905, funded by Isabella Bird (Mrs. Bishop) in memory of her sister. [18] [19]

On 25 April 1906, aged 65, Whymper married Edith Mary Lewin aged 23 (born 1883) at Emmanuel Church in Forest Gate, Essex (now London). [20] The service was presided over by Canon J. M'Cormick, who had assisted the mountaineer after the Matterhorn accident. [20] The marriage produced one daughter, Ethel. The couple were separated in 1910. [20] Edith remarried in 1913 and died the following year from complications of pregnancy. [21]

Shortly after returning to Chamonix from another climb in the Alps, Whymper became ill, locked himself in his room at the Grand Hotel Couttet, and refused all medical treatment. [22] Whymper died alone on 16 September 1911, at the age of 71. [22] [23] A funeral was held four days later. He is buried in the English cemetery in Chamonix. [22]


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