Get ready for some of the most spectacular winter scenery in the world. Winter in the Rocky Mountains is a true bucketlist experience. It lacks the crowds of summer and snowcover allows access to places unreachable any other season. Stunning Lake Louise and Kananaskis Country (where much of the movie 'The Revenant' was filmed) offer consistent snow cover in idyllic settings, making them perfect options for snowshoeing and winter hiking. Our expert guides will have you snowshoeing confidently following a short introduction to winter walking techniques. At night, return to comfortable lodges and warm up by the fire, soak in the hot tub, or experience Banff's hot springs. At the heart of this adventure is a 2-night stay in historic Sundance Lodge, which we access by snowshoe. The cozy lodge is fully-serviced and provides delicious meals each day, meaning we need only carry in our personal belongings for our stay. We explore the world-famous Icefields Parkway without the mass of summer drivers - a very special experience - and strap on ice cleats to enjoy 'ice walking' within beautiful Johnston Canyon. There is no better way to enjoy the quiet calm of winter in the mountains.
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. Most of our walks are relatively flat with distances ranging from 5 to 10km, but you will be outside in winter conditions for 4-5 hours per day with two days being up to 6 or 7 hours which accounts for the 'moderate' aspect. On some days there will be opportunities to opt out of the walk, however there is no option to opt out of the walk in and out of Sundance Lodge. No previous snowhoeing or hiking experience required.
We will provide transportation from Calgary airport to the group hotel in Canmore (on Day 1 only). We meet at the hotel this evening to go over plans and options for the following days, look at maps of the area and check to see that you are properly outfitted.
Your guide will meet you at the hotel for breakfast and from there, we make our way to Kananaskis country - an area made famous as the backdrop of the Oscar-winning film, "The Revenant". Our likely destination is Chester Lake - one of the most serene and beautiful snowshoe routes in Canada's Rockies with great views of the Kananaskis Range Mountains. From the lake, it is possible to wander along and over to the 'Elephant Rocks' and to visit another small side valley. The dramatic landscape and reliable annual snow-cover make this a great introduction to snowshoeing in the region. We return to our comfortable lodging in Canmore for the night.
We head towards world-famous Lake Louise today. Enroute, we will explore Johnston Canyon. The canyon is a very popular winter hike with an incredible display of frozen waterfalls and ice pillars that is not to be missed. Once we arrive at Lake Louise, we will put on our snowshoes to cross the Lake and admire the Victoria Glacier or hike up towards the Plain of Six Glaciers. Overnight Lake Louise
A short drive north along the famous Icefields Parkway takes us towards the Bow River and Bow Glacier. We stop and snowshoe across scenic Bow Lake with a breathtaking landscape of glaciers and peaks and the iconic red roofed Num-ti-jah Lodge in the background. It just doesn't get more classically Canadian than this! Overnight Lake Louise
On our travels today we’ll cross the continental Divide and visit Emerald Lake in British Columbia. There is an excellent snowshoe trail and xc ski trail around the lake and we’ll have options to enjoy either activity followed by lunch inside historic Emerald Lake Lodge. After lunch we’ll return to Lake Louise where we can snowshoe across the lake, or go ice skating or take a sleigh ride to the end of the lake and back.
Today is the big day! We shoulder our packs, strap on our snowshoes, and take the quiet, snow-packed, forest trail 10km to rustic back country Sundance Lodge. We are rewarded for our efforts upon arrival where we'll discover a charming lodge nestled in the forest next to a bend in Brewster Creek. An afternoon 'tea' spread of hot drinks and baked goods will be waiting for us, followed by a well-deserved dinner. Settle into our cozy accommodations and enjoy the calm and beauty of our remote surroundings - Our home for the next 2 nights.
Breakfast is whole and hearty after which you’ll have a great selection of lunch fixings to make your own lunch with. The snowshoeing today is casual and we’ll likely head out along the historic trail towards Allenby Pass following Brewster Creek. An early return to the lodge greets us with tea, coffee, and snacks and the comfortable couches inside the lodge.
One more delicious breakfast and then it's time to pack up and say goodbye to our back country 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