Winter in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is a true bucket list experience. This adventure focuses on a unique stay in historic Shadow Lake Lodge, which is accessible only by ski or snowshoe for a short time each season. The cozy, solar-powered lodge is fully-serviced and provides delicious meals each day, meaning we need only carry in our personal belongings for our stay. Your exploration of this quiet corner of Banff National Park is made even more enjoyable with with expert local guiding, rich and abundant meals, and lodging that matches the character of the trip. In the town of Banff, enjoy an afternoon soak at the Upper Hot Springs or ride the gondola to Suphur Mountain.
Snowshoeing is winter's equivalent to hiking - Anyone who is in good physical condition can do it, but the adjusted way of walking to accommodate a bigger footprint can take a little getting used to and will leave you a little more tired at the end of the day. Our walks are relatively flat (excluding the optional challenge to Gibbon Pass) with distances ranging from 5 to 14km, but you will be outside in winter conditions for up to 6 or 7 hours per day, which accounts for the 'moderate' aspect. While at Shadow Lake Lodge, you may opt out of the day's walk, however there is no option to opt out of the walk in and out of the lodge. No previous snowshoeing experience required.
We will provide transportation from Calgary airport to the group hotel in beautiful Lake Louise (on Day 1 only). We meet at the hotel this evening to go over plans for the following days, look at maps of the area and check to see that you are properly outfitted.
After breakfast, we transfer to the trailhead for Shadow Lake. It's time to shoulder our packs, strap on our snowshoes, and take the quiet, snow-packed, wind-shielded, forest trail 14km to our rustic backcountry lodge. We are rewarded for our efforts upon arrival where we'll discover 12 cozy cabins nestled in the forest looking out on the massive rock face of Mt. Ball. An early afternoon 'tea' spread of hot drinks and baked goods will be waiting for us, followed by a well-deserved dinner. Settle into our cabins and enjoy the calm and beauty of our remote surroundings - Our home for the next 3 nights.
At daybreak you'll be awakened by a knock on the cabin door and a container of hot water for washing up. Breakfast is whole and hearty and followed by a selection of lunch fixings to make your own lunch with. The snowshoeing today is casual and we'll likely head out to Shadow Lake and to the base of impressive Mt. Ball. An early return to the lodge greets us with tea, coffee, and snacks again and the comfortable couches of the original CPR cabin.
The more than ample meals at the lodge mean that we'll need to do some work to keep from putting on the pounds! After breakfast, we'll challenge ourselves to a snowshoe to Gibbon Pass and the fantastic views over the Rockies that it offers (weather dependent). The route is steep and steady through the forest but what a reward at the top! Return to the lodge in the afternoon for another incredible meal.
One more delicious breakfast and then it's time to pack up and say goodbye to our backcountry wonderland with our final snowshoe out to our vehicle. This afternoon, we arrive in the popular town of Banff where we have the option of free time in town or to take the gondola up Sulphur Mountain for views out over Banff and surrounding peaks. A visit to Banff Upper Hot Springs for a soak in thermal waters before our final farewell dinner is almost mandatory. Overnight Banff.
*Optional Sulphur Mtn descent - 5.5km/655m elevation loss
After breakfast, the group is transferred to Calgary where services end.
Per Person, Twin Share