Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Icefields Parkway, Jasper & Edmonton
The Canadian Rockies is one of the most sought after destinations in North America. The stunning mountain scenery, waterfalls, rivers and lakes, forested valleys and abundance of wildlife make this a nature lover’s paradise. Add to this mix a great choice of hotels and excursions and it is not difficult to see why the area is so popular, yet despite it’s popularity it is rarely crowded. Our Canadian Rockies Icefields Adventure operates Saturdays between mid-May and mid-September. The tour can operate in either direction i.e it can start in Edmonton and finish in Calgary. Similarly, we can change the number of nights and hotels in each location – just let us know what you would prefer. There is an extensive choice of optional excursions – just click here.
Day 1: Arrive Calgary. Day 2: Calgary. Day 3: Calgary to Banff (approx. 80 miles). Days 4, 5, 6 Banff. Day 7: Lake Louise (approx. 25 miles). Day 8: Lake Louise to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway (approx. 125 miles). Days 9: 10, 11 Jasper. Day 12: Jasper to Edmonton (approx 230 miles). Day 13: Edmonton. Day 14. Depart Edmonton.
Day 1: Arrive Calgary. Welcome to Calgary and the big sky country of Alberta! Take a shuttle to your downtown hotel and relax for the remainder of the day. Enjoy a stroll around the downtown shopping area or relax at your hotel. Overnight: International Hotel – breakfast included (Standard) or Delta Bow Valley (Superior) or Fairmont Palliser (Deluxe)
Day 2: Calgary. A free day to explore the attractions of Calgary. Discover the history of the city at Fort Calgary, a National Historic Site and birthplace of the city of Calgary. This interpretive centre allows you to discover the hopes and dreams of the Mounted Police and the early Calgary citizens who shaped the city. Families will love Calaway Park – Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park with 34 rides, 4 attractions, games and stage shows. The TELUS World of Science is an amazing hands-on experience designed for the curious! Experience engaging and interactive exhibit areas including music, fine arts and drama. Rising 525-feet into the air above downtown Calgary, a visit to the top of the Calgary Tower is a great way to see the city. Overnight: International Hotel – breakfast included (Standard) or Delta Bow Valley (Superior), or Fairmont Palliser (Deluxe).
Day 3: Calgary to Banff (approx. 80 miles). Collect your rental car this morning at the airport, and embark upon the leisurely journey into the stunning Canadian Rockies. As you pass the Winter Olympics site and its impressive ski jump, you may recall the plucky English ski jumper Michael Edwards – nicknamed Eddie the Eagle – who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics. As you approach Banff the land rises and the peaks of the Rockies come into view. Overnight: Banff Caribou Lodge (Standard) or Fox Hotel & Suites (Superior), or Fairmont Banff Springs (Deluxe).
Days 4, 5, 6 Banff. Three full days to enjoy the many attractions of the town of Banff and the surrounding Banff National Park. The list of Banff excursions and attractions includes rafting on the Bow River, soaking in the natural thermal hot springs, taking a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain, enjoy a wildlife tour with a local expert, cruise on Lake Minnewanka or take a guided fishing tour, go horse-riding, enjoy a guided tour of Yoho National Park which includes the Spiral Tunnels and the Kicking Horse Pass. There is a lot to do and see from your base in Banff. Overnight: Banff Caribou Lodge (Standard) or Fox Hotel & Suites (Superior), or Fairmont Banff Springs (Deluxe).
Day 7: Lake Louise (approx. 25 miles). A very short drive north of Banff brings you to the beautiful Lake Louise and your base for tonight. Visit the nearby Morraine Lake – one of the Rockies’ most photographed lakes and a must on any tour of the area. Overnight: Deer Lodge (Standard) or Lake Louise Inn (Superior), of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (Deluxe).
Day 8: Lake Louise to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway (approx. 125 miles). Although this is a short drive tour, you should really plan to take all day to get to your destination – Jasper. En route there are many scenic stops – not to be missed are Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, the Columbia Icefield and an Ice Explorer excursion onto the Athabasca Glacier. The Glacier Skywalk is located at the boundary of Jasper and Banff National Parks and is a stunning addition to the region’s attraction. A glass platform soars over 900 feet above the surrounding forests, lakes and mountains and offers fabulous views. Take a look at the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qFm26c_taUQ Plan to picnic and make lots of stops! Overnight: Marmot Lodge (Standard) or Sawridge Inn (Superior), or Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (Deluxe).
Days 9: 10, 11 Jasper. Jasper is much smaller than Banff and has managed to retain its small town friendly atmosphere. The town is the gateway to Jasper National Park and the nearby Mt Robson National Park and has several excellent hotels, a wide choice of restaurants, bars, delis and shops. The surrounding area is dominated by the mighty peaks of the rockies and the stunningly beautiful lakes, glaciers and waterfalls that abound in this lovely region. “Must do’s” include an escorted wildlife tour, a cruise on Maligne Lake, a raft trip on the Athabasca or Sunwapta Rivers, relax in the mineral-rich hot springs pools at Miette Hot Springs a short drive east of Jasper, take a horse-riding trail ride, canoe on Pyramid Lake, ride to the top of Jasper’s Whistler Mountain on the highest and longest tramway in Canada. You can even enjoy a chauffeured motorcycle and sidecar tour of the region – certainly a different, and very enjoyable way to experience the great outdoors. Three full days to explore Jasper and the surrounding area. Overnight: Marmot Lodge (Standard) or Sawridge Inn (Superior), or Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (Deluxe).
Day 12: Jasper to Edmonton (approx 230 miles). Sadly, its time to leave Jasper today as you head east out of the mountains and drop down onto the prairie and on to the city of Edmonton. After checking in to your downtown Edmonton hotel, there’s no better way to learn the history of this lovely city than by visiting Fort Edmonton Park. Here the story of the city, and the region, is told in a collection of four historical areas depicting the history of the city from the earliest fort in 1795, through the 1885 street, 1905 and 1920 streets. Actual historic buildings have been relocated to the park, and are interspersed with some replica buildings to help tell the story of the city with costumed experts all willing to share their knowledge. It would be easy to spend a whole day at Fort Edmonton, but so much more beckons. The Old Strathcona area of the city is a vibrant mix of ethnic restaurants, bars, wine bars, bistros and boutique shops – well worth a visit, especially in the evening. The Muttart Conservatory houses award-winning displays of the plant kingdom arranged in four lush indoor Pyramid gardens. There is rarely a weekend without a major festival in Edmonton, the Blues, Jazz and Fringe Festivals in the summer months attract international performers and visitors from all over the world. For something completely difference why not sign up for a half-day cooking course with Gail Hall, Edmonton’s well known culinarian and food activist. A hands-on lunch with Gail and husband John in their downtown loft is an experience and a lunch, not to be forgotten! The Saturday Farmer’s Market in downtown Edmonton is an absolute delight with local producers showing off their fruit, vegetables, cheeses and much more in a stunning display – try to time your visit to the city to coincide with the market. Overnight: Coast Edmonton House (Standard) or Sutton Place (Superior), or Fairmont Hotel MacDonald (Deluxe).
Day 13: Edmonton. A free day to enjoy the sights and sounds of Edmonton. For shopaholics no visit to Edmonton would be complete without a visit to the West Edmonton Shopping Mall – one of the largest shopping malls in the world with over 800 stores; Galaxyland – a roller-coaster park; an indoor World Waterpark where you’ll enjoy a tropical temperature, miles of waterslides and bungy jumping; skating at the Ice Palace; Professor Wem’s Adventure Golf, an 18-hole mini-golf course and Putt ‘n’ Glow an 18-hole glow in the dark mini-golf challenge; lots of cafes line the Mall’s themed streets and there’s an IMAX 3-D theatre, Sea Life Caverns and much more to explore. If you are yearning again for the great outdoors and some natural attractions, a 45-minute drive east of Edmonton brings you to Elk Island National Park. Here herds of plains and wood bison are protected and can be viewed from your car on a drive-through trail. The lakeshore area has picnic tables and is a lovely spot to enjoy a break before, or after, exploring the park on foot on one of the many easy hiking trails. Overnight: Coast Edmonton House (Standard) or Sutton Place (Superior), or Fairmont Hotel MacDonald (Deluxe).
Day 14. Depart Edmonton. Sadly, it’s time to say farewell to Edmonton and the Province of Alberta as you enjoy a final morning in the city before returning your rental car and heading for the airport.
Standard Hotels Superior Hotels Deluxe Hotels Price per adult
Sharing room type
Prices in £’s
Prices from On request On request On request On request Location No. nights Standard Hotels Superior Hotels Deluxe Hotels (Fairmont rooms) Calgary 2 International Hotel (inc bkfst) Delta Bow Valley Fairmont Palliser Banff 4 Banff Caribou Lodge Fox Hotel & Suites Fairmont Banff Springs Lake Louise 1 Deer Lodge Lake Louise Inn Fairmont Chateau Lake Louse Jasper 4 Marmot Lodge Sawridge Inn Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Edmonton 2 Coast Edmonton House Sutton Place Fairmont Hotel MacDonald
Prices based on Saturday departures – prices for other departure dates available on request.
* 13 nights hotel accommodation including local taxes.
* Maps, guides and itinerary.
Not included: Flights, car rental, travel insurance, petrol, meals, optional excursions, national park admissions & personal expenses.
Children under 12 years free when sharing a room with two adults and using existing bedding at hotels (Max.2 children per room).
Tour prices:The prices shown in the price panels are for the accommodation elements only, they do not include flights or car rental (unless indicated). This enables you to choose the airline and car of your choice and add them to the accommodation package to create your holiday. Our reservations staff will be pleased to help you with flight availability, to suggest which is the best airline for your itinerary and to advise you of any special offers the airlines may have introduced.
Hotels:Hotels featured in our self-drive and independent tours are chosen for their location, value for money and facilities. Whenever possible we offer a choice of Standard or Superior hotels. There is no recognised 'star' system throughout North America for classifying hotels, motels and resorts. The hotel ratings for our tours are subjective and are provided to give you an understanding as to the level of facility. They are either the hotel's official categorisation as per the Official Hotel & Resort Guide, or Just America's. Standards vary from location to location, therefore ratings in the remote areas can differ from those in the cities. Standard hotels would be those classified as Moderate, and Superior hotels would be First Class, in the Official Hotel and Resort Guide. National Park accommodations are more rustic and are chosen almost entirely because of their location. It should not be assumed that because an hotel is listed as Superior that it has certain amenities. Often a hotel is classified as Superior due to its position, views or room standard, it does not always follow that a superior hotel will have a swimming pool, hair-dryers, golf course, room service etc. We will try to provide information on individual hotels on request although the internet is usually the quickest and most accurate source of information. Hotel rooms in North America usually have one or two double beds. Triple and Quad rooms have two double beds. Very few hotels in North America have three or four beds. It is sometimes possible to have a rollaway bed which can be requested, but cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally hotels are chosen purely for their location - i.e. half-way between two points of interest - and may be included as a one night stop to break up an otherwise long journey. Such hotels may not have the full facilities normally associated with a Standard or Superior hotel, but sometimes we don't have any other choice. Where possible hotels providing free car parking have been included, however in some locations, such as city centres, the hotels may make a charge.
Note:Hotels are not usually ready to accept guests until after 3 or 4 pm, so please try not to check in before mid-afternoon. Check out time is usually before 11 am or 12 noon. It is sometimes possible to arrange late check out, or the storage of luggage, but this is at the discretion of the hotel.
Tour notes and itineraries:On several of our tours the tour notes and itineraries are provided at the first hotel. On other tours this information is forwarded with the travel documents approximately 14 days prior to departure. We will endeavour to provide the best information we can to help you, but it is not our policy to provide mile by mile detailed route guides, the frequent changes to local road conditions, layouts etc., makes this impossible. We do provide maps, guides to the major attractions en route, and directions to hotels whenever possible. These are independent self-drive holidays and you will be required to read a map and locate attractions and hotels. Sat.Nav. is available from the car rental companies - at a charge - and you may find this useful, however all technology is prone to failure so we always recommend that you keep the maps handy.
Tailor-made holidays:We will be pleased to discuss your own ideas and itineraries and help you plan your holiday. If you would like to email, fax or mail an outline of your tour with dates, number of people, ages of children etc., to us we will be happy to advise you. We request that you include your daytime telephone number on all correspondence. Where you have chosen the route and we have designed a tailor-made holiday for you, it may not be possible to provide you with a detailed tour itinerary. We suggest that you read up about the area you are planning to visit well in advance, preferably before you book the holiday. Insight Guides cover almost every region of North America and are about the best on the market. Just America can also provide a some tourist information subject to availability, but we do not have detailed route information to cover every area of the Continent. You might find the internet to be the best source of free, up-to-date information.
National Park Passes:Both the US and Canada charge entrance fees for their national parks, and if you are visiting a number of parks, this cost can add up to a significant amount. We recommend that you purchase a Parks Pass at the first national park you visit. For the US the pass currently costs $80 for up to four adults (children under 16 are free). In Canada a family pass currently costs $136.40. Both passes provide unlimited visits to that country's parks for 12 months. The passes can only be used in the country of purchase. Full details available at www.nps.gov (for USA) and www.pc.gc.ca/index_e.asp
Just America provides a full tailor-made holiday service so if you want to alter the itinerary, change the number of nights in any location, substitute hotels, add flights, excursions please let us know at the time of booking.