COVID-19 UPDATES Learn More >

Canada

7-Day Canadian Rockies Wildlife & Scenic Wonders

Tour:
7 Days
Price From:
4,398
Pricing Details
Singles:
1,198 What's this?
Close

A Little More Info

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Single travelers staying in a room by themselves will be charged this additional single supplement fee, as all of our regular prices are otherwise based on double occupancy.

SINGLE SHARE OPTIONS (if available)
If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will make every effort to find you a roommate of the same gender, in which case you will not have to pay the single supplement fee. The single supplement will be charged until we are able to confirm a roommate for you. If we are able to match you with a roommate, the single supplement will be refunded. In the event that we cannot find a share for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee.

New: Click the Singles Find a Share' icon below or check our "Community" page to connect with other single travelers looking to share.

Rating:
Easy to Moderate

Canada

7-Day Canadian Rockies Wildlife & Scenic Wonders

Destinations

  • Banff National Park
  • Lakes Louise & Moraine
  • Jasper National Park
  • Icefield Parkway
  • Athabasca River
  • Switzer Wetlands

Highlights

  • Five distinctive ecosystems: Foothills, mountains, wetlands, woodlands and prairie for a wide range of wildlife habitat…and maximum wildlife!
  • Banff & Jasper’s Must-See Icons: Lake Louise, Lake Moraine, Columbia Icefields, Icefields Parkway
  • Photo safari in Kananaskis protected area.
  • Nocturnal Wolf-Pack Howl / Dark Sky Preserve Stargazing in Jasper National Park
  • Athabasca River Rafting Wildlife Float trip
  • Wild Planet Exclusive Wildlife Canoe Paddling & Active Beaver Dam in rarely accessed wildlife-rich habitat of William Switzer Park

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1 Banff National Park, Alberta
  • DAY 2 Banff - Kananaskis
  • DAY 3 Banff - Lake Louise & Moraine
  • DAY 4 Icefield Parkway - Jasper National Park
  • Day 5 Jasper - Maligne Lake, Cottonwood Slough
  • Day 6 Athabasca River, William Switzer Wetlands
  • Day 7 Elk Island National Park, Edmonton

7-Day Canadian Rockies Wildlife & Scenic Wonders

Wildlife Expectations: We have designed this itinerary with an equal and complimentary emphasis on both wildlife and natural wonders. As with any Wild Planet adventure, our itinerary is specially designed by wildlife experts to maximize wildlife sightings – including extremely unique opportunities that we hope will increase the chance of seeing animals that are otherwise not often seen. But the unsurpassed beauty of the region and the wildlife diversity is different than a trip to Africa or the rainforest, so we’ve adjusted our emphasis accordingly. The must-see natural wonders of the region – the magnificent Rocky mountain peaks of Banff and Jasper, the cobalt-blue Lake Louise & Moraine, and the pristine wild rivers and wetlands, all demand an equal amount of our attention, while also being prime habitat for the wildlife we seek.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Banff National Park
Upon your arrival to the Calgary airport transfer to Banff mid-afternoon. This evening we’ll enjoy an easy walk along the Bow River to introduce you to the Canadian Rockies and get to know your guide and fellow travelers. The Bow River Valley is home to many river birds and small mammals, and it is not uncommon for elk to walk right through town. A 1.4km trail from town leads to Surprise Corner Viewpoint, aptly named for the spectacular and surprising views overlooking the Bow River.

Day 2: Banff National Park - Kananaskis
Today we will enjoy a wildlife spotting excursion into the Kananaskis Country on a mix of well-maintained gravel road and pavement. A 200km (3.5hrs if we just drove non-stop) driving loop with plenty of stops for photos, wildlife, and short hikes makes this a full day in Kananaskis. The jagged peaks and dramatic valleys of Kananaskis Country are 12,000-year-old reminders of the last ice age. They were carved as kilometer-thick, million-year-old glaciers melted to mere remnants. The name comes from the Cree "Kin-e-a-kis" - the name of a warrior who survived an axe blow to the head!

Many small and large carnivores live in the Kananaskis country, such as the pine marten, three species of weasel, lynx, cougar, bobcat, wolf, coyote, grizzly bear, black bear, and wolverine. However, carnivores can be elusive so some of these sightings can be rare, although others like bears, pine martins, weasels and many other mammals are regularly seen. Coyotes, in particular are quite common and sometimes seen travelling along the road.

The road winds through the mountains and foothills where we’ll have a great chance to see bears, elk, moose and coyote, as well as bighorn sheep which can often be seen licking salt alongside the highway. Mountain goats, who are more wary, can be seen high on the mountain slopes with the help of binoculars. The spectacular views and photo stops along our route way showcase the vast expance of this mostly roadless and wild area, formerly a part of Banff National Park itself. About 130 species of birds also nest in Kananaskis Country, with highlights being the ruby-crowned kinglet singing from the treetops and the unique spiraling song of the Swainson’s thrush in the early evening hours. Many birds of prey include goshawk, red-tailed hawk, osprey, and spectacular golden eagle.

Day 3: Banff National Park, Lake Louise, & Lake Moraine, Gondola Ride, Tunnel Mountain Hike
A visit to the Canadian Rockies would not be complete without seeing the iconic cobalt blue waters of Lake Louise and Lake Moraine Lake. Enjoy the view from the shore and then join our guide for a short hike on a lesser-known trail for different perspective than most travelers get to see. An option to savor the view over tea in the Chateau is available if you prefer not to hike. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are iconic, must-see destinations and can be crowded, but we will have enough time here to savor the rich blue of the water, green trees, granite mountains and crystal-clear skies which offer an unforgettable palate of color for the photographer in you.

Then we’ll enjoy an exciting ride on the Lake Louise gondola over the ski resort, which, during summer, offers a bird’s eye view of a favorite grizzly bear hang out. In addition to the impressive vistas from the gondola, the clear alpine tracks make perfect grizzly bear habitat. At the top, our guide will lead a short hike for further exploration. This evening our guide will lead an interpretive walk at Tunnel Mountain with views of the Bow Valley and another opportunity to spot wildlife.

Day 4: Jasper National Park, Icefield Parkway
Rated as one of the top drives in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, the Icefield Parkway winds along the Continental Divide through soaring snow-capped rocky mountain peaks, magical icefields, cascading waterfalls, clear emerald lakes, dramatic rock spires and vast sweeping valleys. The Icefield Parkway was so named because its dotted with more than 100 ancient glaciers!

The abundance of wildlife in Jasper National Park and along the Icefield Parkway is legendary and includes woodland caribou, bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, pika and the carnivores that hunt them. In order to take advantage of the best opportunities for viewing wildlife we will start early and arrive in Jasper close to dusk, with the particular intention to be on the road at dawn and dusk, which are the best times for wildlife viewing. This timeline also allows for plenty of stops for views, short hikes, photos and wildlife encounters.

Day 5: Jasper National Park - Maligne Lake Road, Cottonwood Slough
This morning we’ll start with an early morning drive on Maligne Lake Road which offers excellent wildlife viewing and leads us to Maligne lake where woodland caribou and moose are known to call home. It is 50km from Jasper to Maligne Lake, and the road up to the lake can be great for wildlife spotting. Once at the lake there are an assortment of trails, from short walks to 16km round trips that we will choose from based on our group’s desires and makeup. This will take somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 hours including drive time, hiking and time spent with wildlife.

The Cottonwood Slough is a wetland area on the Pyramid Bench in aspen and fir forest. Great habitat for elk, moose and more, having time in the forest near dusk is perfect for animal viewing. The guide will enhance this experience with facts and interpretation. Allow 2-3 hours.

Wild Planet Adventures Exclusive: Nocturnal Wolf-Pack Howl / Dark Night Stargaze

After dinner join our guide for an incredible evening at Cottonwood Slough. Designated a “Dark Sky Reserve” by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Canada has established an extensive and even more stringent standard for dark sky preserves, that addresses lighting within the DSP and influences from skyglow from developed areas, based on the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. We’ll go on a short hike to look for nocturnal wildlife and listen for the howling of a wolf pack that has been seen in this area. While the chances of seeing them may be slim, we’ll certainly give it our best shot and keep our eyes open, however, the howls themselves are a wonder to hear. Here, even if the wildlife alludes us, the stars are noticeably brighter and are awe inspiring on their own. After some stargazing and perhaps a display of meteors, we’ll head back to our lodge for the night.

Day 6: Hinton – Athabasca River Rafting, Switzer Wetlands Wildlife Canoeing, Active Beaver Dam
Today we’ll take to the water to search for wildlife from a different perspective. This morning we’ll raft downriver on the Athabasca River. This gentle stretch of water is the backdrop for spotting deer, elk, eagle, bear and more. We’ll be in comfortable rafts for this easy Class I flat-water float trip with wildlife spotting as our main goal.

Wild Planet Adventures exclusive! William Switzer Wetlands Wildlife Canoe Paddling & Active Beaver Dam

After our morning on the river, we’ll switch to two-person canoes to easily maneuver in the quiet bays and inlets of William Switzer Park. The network of interconnected lakes, creeks and wetlands is rarely visited by people, making it a spectacular opportunity to view wildlife undisturbed, including beaver, moose, eagles, loon and more. We’ll start on a small lake nestled in the foothills and then paddle up a narrow creek through fantastic wetlands habitat for an unparalleled chance to spot birds and with a little luck, a family of beavers hard at work. Our intention is to paddle to an area where beavers have been known to be active, ideally in the process of making or maintaining their dams. If the beavers are present, we’ll spend some time observing them and their activity before continuing to explore what other animals we might find in this rich wetlands habitat. We’ll make the most of this exclusive opportunity with no pressure to end the evening until we’re ready to go. Overnight Hinton.

Day 7: Edmonton - Elk Island National Park
This morning we’ll depart the Rocky Mountains and head east to Edmonton, arriving early afternoon at Elk Island National Park. This small National Park boasts more than forty-two species of mammals including plains and wood bison, elk, moose and more, as well as 250 species of birds plus amphibians, reptiles and fish. Its diverse landscape includes rolling woodlands, meadows dotted with lakes, wetlands and grasslands. We’ll try to visit several of these different wildlife habitats this afternoon. A short lakeshore hike can be good for water birds, beavers and muskrats, and a trail in the woodlands is often excellent to safely spot moose or bison. After our hike we’ll drive another hour to Edmonton to either depart on evening flights home or overnight at additional cost.

Special Note: Meals and Optional Activities not included in tour price

 

Canada Lodging

BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Brewster Mountain Lodge

The Brewster Family is proud to honor over a century of western tradition by providing guests with comfortable accommodation in the heart of downtown Banff, surrounded by the splendor of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Each room and suite comes complete with rich colored Western décor, historical photographs from the Brewster family archives, log furnishings, cozy duvets and woolen blankets, granite and fully tiled bathroom, satellite television, complimentary wireless internet service, a kettle, coffee maker, ironing board, telephone and hairdryer.

JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Jasper Inn and Suites

Situated in the Majestic Rocky Mountains of Jasper National Park, The Jasper Inn is known for its warm hospitality and for providing comfortable accommodation with thoughtful guest amenities. Rooms feature two double beds, a small fridge, complimentary Wi-Fi, coffee service, and a flat-screen 32” TV.

HINTON

Overlander Lodge

Nestled at the edge of Jasper National Park, overlooking the majestic Rocky Mountains, sits the Overlander Mountain Lodge. This jewel in the Canadian Rockies offers spectacular views, gourmet dining and ultra-comfortable lodging. Warm hospitality and a casual yet cozy atmosphere are combined in a mountain setting of unique, natural beauty.

Overlander's Mountain View Rooms come with a breathtaking view of the Rockies right from your very own private balcony! Equipped with a queen-sized bed, full bath and gas fireplace the Mountain View rooms ensure a romantic and relaxing stay.

 

Canada Activities

At a Glance

Unparalleled Wildlife Viewing

We know you've chosen to travel with us for our wildlife emphasis, so we've included a wide variety of adventure activities designed to educate, inspire, and bring out the wonder in you. All of our Canadian vacations' activities are flexibly designed to accommodate different skill levels and interests, while exposing you to a variety of unique eco-systems in order to see the most amount of wildlife. And did we mention fun?

Throughout your tour take advantage of opportunities to spot brown bears, moose, snowshoe hares, bald and golden eagles, mountain goats, spawning salmon, river otters, ptarmigan, and more.

Exclusive Wildlife Activities

Coming Soon!

Other Activities

Coming Soon!

 

Canada Wildlife

Prolific & Likely Sightings

Wild Planet's tours are designed for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. We take care to seek out wildlife that is rare, off the beaten path, and in greater numbers than you will see on conventional tours.

Our expert naturalist guides will educate you in the field so your experience is intimate and unparalleled. Still, wildlife viewing can unpredictable and requires patience and sensory awareness. A partial list of some of the animals you are likely to see is below:

Common = 75% or more chance to see

  • Black Bear- active in valley bottoms (near roads) more in May, June
  • Coyotes
  • Fox
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Elk
  • Mule Deer
  • White tailed deer
  • Beaver
  • Marmots if hiking to alpine
  • Pikas if hiking to alpine
  • Ground Squirrels
  • Squirrels

Rare or Endangered Possible Sightings

All authentic wildlife viewing in nature is unpredictable and cannot be guaranteed:

Rarely seen = less than 50% chance to see

  • Grizzly Bear- rarely seen, most likely to view near Lake Louise/Banff
  • Wolves- rarely seen
  • Cougar-rarely seen
  • Lynx- rarely seen
  • Caribou rarely seen

Less common = about 50% chance to see

  • Mountain Goat- less common
  • Moose- less common
  • Porcupine - less common

 

Canada Guides

Garrett Kuhnert

Garrett Kuhnert, Naturalist Guide

As a third-generation tour guide, Garrett grew up travelling with groups and surrounded by the stories of guides’ and their adventures. His love of all things outdoors is deep and his knowledge of Canadian wilderness comes as second nature. Whether hiking in the Rockies or paddling his canoe he has a keen eye for animals big and small and is eager to share stories and facts of all the locals.

Besides the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Vancouver Island and West Coast, Garrett has travelled in Europe and Asia he’s learned what travelers need to know and where to find the off the beaten track places that can be a trip’s highlight. His enthusiasm for nature is contagious.

 

Canada Departures

Canada-7-Day Canadian Rockies Wildlife & Scenic Wonders

Aug 22, 2021 - Aug 28, 2021 7-days $4,398
Sep 12, 2021 - Sep 18, 2021 7-days $4,398

 

Canada FAQ

Canada Facts for Visitors

Location:

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometers (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometers (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with a monarch and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the Cabinet and head of government. The country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and officially bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.

As a highly developed country, Canada has the seventeenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally as well as the thirteenth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Geography:

By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, however, Canada ranks fourth, due to having the world's largest proportion of fresh water lakes Of Canada's thirteen provinces and territories, eight share a border with the United States, and only two are landlocked (Alberta and Saskatchewan), with the remaining eight provinces and three territories directly bordering one of three oceans.

Much of Northern Canada is covered by ice and permafrost; however, the future of the permafrost is uncertain because the Canadian Arctic has been warming at three times the global average as a result of climate change. Three of Canada's arctic islands – Baffin Island, Victoria Island and Ellesmere Island – are among the ten largest in the world.

Since the end of the last glacial period, Canada has consisted of eight distinct forest regions, including extensive boreal forest on the Canadian Shield; 42 percent of the land acreage is covered by forests (approximately 8 percent of the world's forested land), made up mostly of spruce, poplar, and pine.[133] Canada has over 2,000,000 lakes—563 of which are greater than 100 km2 (39 sq mi)—which is more than any other country, containing much of the world's fresh water. There are also fresh-water glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, the Coast Mountains and the Arctic Cordillera.

Canada is geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes, notably Mount Meager massif, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley massif, and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex. The volcanic eruption of the Tseax Cone in 1775 was among Canada's worst natural disasters, killing an estimated 2,000 Nisga'a people and destroying their village in the Nass River valley of northern British Columbia. The eruption produced a 22.5-kilometre (14.0 mi) lava flow, and, according to Nisga'a legend, blocked the flow of the Nass River.

Population:

Canada's population density, at 3.7 inhabitants per square kilometer (9.6/sq. mi), is among the lowest in the world. Canada spans latitudinally from the 83rd parallel north to the 41st parallel north, and approximately 95 percent of the population is found south of the 55th parallel north. About four-fifths of the population lives within 150 kilometers (93 mi) of the border with the contiguous United States. The most densely populated part of the country, accounting for nearly 50 percent, is the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor in Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario along the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. An additional 30 percent live along the British Columbia Lower Mainland and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta.

According to the 2016 Canadian Census, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32 percent of the population), followed by English (18.3 percent), Scottish (13.9 percent), French (13.6 percent), Irish (13.4 percent), German (9.6 percent), Chinese (5.1 percent), Italian (4.6 percent), First Nations (4.4 percent), Indian (4.0 percent), and Ukrainian (3.9 percent). There are 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands, encompassing a total of 1,525,565 people. The Indigenous population in Canada is growing at almost twice the national rate, and four percent of Canada's population claimed an Indigenous identity in 2006. Another 22.3 percent of the population belonged to a non-Indigenous visible minority. In 2016, the largest visible minority groups were South Asian (5.6 percent), Chinese (5.1 percent) and Black (3.5 percent). Between 2011 and 2016, the visible minority population rose by 18.4 percent. In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) were members of visible minority groups.

Language:

A multitude of languages are used by Canadians, with English and French (the official languages) being the mother tongues of approximately 56 percent and 21 percent of Canadians, respectively. As of the 2016 Census, just over 7.3 million Canadians listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (1,227,680 first-language speakers), Punjabi (501,680), Spanish (458,850), Tagalog (431,385), Arabic (419,895), German (384,040), and Italian (375,645). Canada's federal government practices official bilingualism, which is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages in consonance with Section 16 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Federal Official Languages Act English and French have equal status in federal courts, parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.

Entry Requirements:

Whether you can travel to Canada without a visa will be determined by your country of origin. Please visit Canada’s official website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/entry-requirements-country.html to learn the entry requirements for your home country.

Please contact your local Canadia Embassy / Consulate for up-to-date entry requirements.

Banking and Currency:

The currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Current exchange rates can be found at http://x-rates.com. Many, but not all, locations accept credit cards, mainly Visa and MasterCard.

Climate and Weather:

Average winter and summer high temperatures across Canada vary from region to region. Winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces, which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near −15 °C (5 °F), but can drop below −40 °C (−40 °F) with severe wind chills. In non-coastal regions, snow can cover the ground for almost six months of the year, while in parts of the north snow can persist year-round. Coastal British Columbia has a temperate climate, with a mild and rainy winter. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature ranges from 25 to 30 °C (77 to 86 °F), with temperatures in some interior locations occasionally exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).

Electricity and Plug Standards:

Outlets and voltage (110 volts) are the same as in the United States. Small appliances such as hair dryers, irons, razors, etc. can be used in Canada. For those from other countries, adapters are required for electrical appliances.

WIFI - All the hotels we use have wifi. Some places have faster/better service than others, but it is generally available.

Sales Taxes:

In Canada, there are two types of sales taxes levied. These are :

  • Provincial sales taxes (PST), levied by the provinces.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), a value-added tax levied by the federal government. The GST applies nationally. The HST includes the provincial portion of the sales tax but is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and is applied under the same legislation as the GST. The HST is in effect in Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
  • Every province except Alberta has implemented either a provincial sales tax or the Harmonized Sales Tax. The federal GST rate is 5 percent, effective January 1, 2008.

    The territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut have no territorial sales taxes, so only the GST is collected. The three northern jurisdictions are heavily subsidized by the federal government, and its residents receive some additional tax concessions due to the high cost of living in the north.

    Tipping:

    Tipping is never expected, but always appreciated. Tips are seldom included. General guidelines are:

  • Hotel housekeeping staff: US$2 per day per room
  • Guides: US$40/person/day
  • Drivers and Boat Captains: Half what you prefer to tip your guide
  • This Trip's Exclusive Wildlife Features:

    Choose Your Canada Travel Style! Any of our wildlife adventures are also available as fully customizable private trips, honeymoons or family wildlife adventures.
    CONTACT US | EMAIL US | CHAT NOW | RESERVE A TRIP | 1-800-990-4376
    We're Wild for Wildlife...
    • Five distinctive ecosystems: Foothills, mountains, wetlands, woodlands and prairie for a wide range of wildlife habitat…and maximum wildlife!
    • Banff & Jasper’s Must-See Icons: Lake Louise, Lake Moraine, Columbia Icefields, Icefields Parkway
    • Photo safari in Kananaskis protected area.
    • Nocturnal Wolf-Pack Howl / Dark Sky Preserve Stargazing in Jasper National Park
    • Athabasca River Rafting Wildlife Float trip
    • Wild Planet Exclusive Wildlife Canoe Paddling & Active Beaver Dam in rarely accessed wildlife-rich habitat of William Switzer Park
    We're Wild for Wildlife...
    • Five distinctive ecosystems: Foothills, mountains, wetlands, woodlands and prairie for a wide range of wildlife habitat…and maximum wildlife!
    • Banff & Jasper’s Must-See Icons: Lake Louise, Lake Moraine, Columbia Icefields, Icefields Parkway
    • Photo safari in Kananaskis protected area.
    • Nocturnal Wolf-Pack Howl / Dark Sky Preserve Stargazing in Jasper National Park
    • Athabasca River Rafting Wildlife Float trip
    • Wild Planet Exclusive Wildlife Canoe Paddling & Active Beaver Dam in rarely accessed wildlife-rich habitat of William Switzer Park
    Close

    Share this trip via Email

    Send me a copy of this Email