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Banff to Jasper Drive & Hike

7 Days & 6 Nights 4.5 Read 2 reviews
  • Travel the length of the Icefields Parkway, one of Canada’s national treasures
  • Hike the highlights of 3 National Parks: Banff, Kootenay, & Jasper
  • Spend an afternoon paddling the turquoise waters of Lake Louise
  • Explore vibrant mountain towns and stay with friendly Canadian hosts
  • Watch for wildlife: big horn sheep, bears, elk, caribou, and mountain goats
One of the world’s most scenic drives, the Icefields Parkway connects some of the best hiking in the Canadian Rockies. Stretch your legs on winding trails over glacial moraines, past imposing peaks, and along turquoise lakeshores. Then hit the open road to your next destination. From bustling streets to rock-strewn trails, Banff is the perfect introduction to the size and grandeur of this landscape. Enjoy delicious Alberta beef or bison with a side of Canada’s famous poutine (French fries with gravy and cheese curds) – the perfect reward to a day on the trail. Heading north, Lake Louise’s glacial waters beckon you for a paddle or wake up to catch sunrise over Victoria Glacier. Jasper, a railway frontier town and former fur-trading depot, is the perfect end to your Rocky Mountain escape; choose between a soak in the hot springs and a refreshing visit to the microbrewery.
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What To Expect

This drive & hike tour combines the highlights of the Canadian Rockies with classic hikes in each location. The itinerary offers a chance to stretch your legs every day and time to soak up the mountain scenery. Easy to moderate hikes will have you out on the trail for 2-5 hours (averaging 4-5 miles per day), leaving plenty of time to sightsee at your own pace. If this world-class road trip has always been on your bucket list, but you want to go beyond the roadside and get up close with Canada’s rugged landscape, this tour is for you.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Drive & Hike | Enjoy the best of a large region by car and on foot. Day hikes in the best places. Itinerary usually inn to inn, with mapping provided. No bag transfer. Car hire offered as an option or included.

This trip is suitable for:

Families, Multi-Generational, Mixed Abilities, First Timers, Avid Adventurers

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Grade & Terrain

The hiking on this trip is easy to moderate. The hikes are designed to complement the drives and show you the best of each destination. 

The hiking trails are paths on dirt, gravel, and rock – although they are maintained by Parks Canada there is always the possibility of washed out, snow-covered, or overgrown conditions.

Navigation

Navigating is easy using the Macs Adventure Navigation App. Your daily hikes will be mapped in the app with GPX tracks, route notes, and turn-by-turn directions. You can download all of the routes for use offline, which means you won’t need cell service or Wi-Fi (which are often unreliable outside of your accommodations). Written turn-by-turn driving directions are included in the app; although the drives are straightforward, you may still consider using a GPS device while in the car. You will also have 24/7 Macs Adventure telephone support.

Experience & Fitness

The hiking on this trip is easy to moderate. The hikes are designed to complement the drives and show you the best of each destination. Hikes will typically take 2-5 hours and on average involve between 4 and 5 miles of walking with 1,300 feet of ascent and descent. To get the most from your trip, you should be a regular hiker or do some training prior to departure to get accustomed to walking every day.

There is an option to extend one of the half-day hikes for a full day adventure but be aware that this is a longer and challenging extension.

The hiking trails are paths on dirt, gravel, and rock – although they are maintained by Parks Canada there is always the possibility of washed out, snow-covered, or overgrown conditions.

Note: You will be hiking and traveling in bear country. Your pre-departure information pack will outline the best practices for responsible travel in bear country and other wildlife-specific practices. 

Accommodation Information

Stay six nights in hand-picked accommodations, chosen for their character, comfort, and Rocky Mountain charm. While each accommodation differs in style - from B&Bs to cabins, lodges, and boutique hotels - they all offer outstanding service, excellent food and warm hospitality.

As a highly popular summer destination with a short hiking season, lodging in this region fills very early; therefore early booking is recommended. The properties shown here are the ones we use most frequently. If we are unable to secure you a room in the following properties at the time of your booking, we will do our best to accommodate you in an alternate property which we have selected for their standard of comfort (we will let you know this before we confirm your booking).  For some nights it is also possible to upgrade your lodging.

Single Rooms

This trip is based on two people sharing a room. If you’d like separate rooms, a single supplement is required. If you would like to request a twin room (same room with two separate beds), pleasenotify us during booking so we can request this option where it is available. This trip is not available to solo hikers.

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning. Typical breakfasts include juice, tea, coffee, yogurt, granola, breads, jams, eggs or a choice of hot dish. Please notify us of any dietary restrictions at the time of booking.

Lunches and dinners are not included. If you would like a ‘hikers lunch’, some of your accommodations will be able to prepare this for you for an additional fee. Should you choose this, be sure to order it the evening beforehand. If your hosts cannot prepare lunch or you’d like more selection, there are places to purchase picnic provisions in each of your overnight destinations and we recommend taking a lunch with you on the trail. For dinner, choose from the nearby restaurants; just ask your host if reservations are needed.

Extra Nights

You may opt to add extras nights during this itinerary as there is plenty more to see, do, and hike in all three destinations. For further details and pricing, please ask us at the time of booking. 

Included
  • 6 nights in characterful accommodations (B&Bs, lodges, and cabins)
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • National Parks Passes
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Turn-by-turn route notes for driving and hiking
  • Macs Adventure Navigation App
  • 24/7 telephone support
Excluded
  • Travel to/from Banff and Jasper
  • Car rental (Can be added)
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks, and drinks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel Insurance
Extras
  • Car rental
  • Additional nights before, during or after the trip
  • Accommodations upgrades (if applicable)

When To Go

The hiking season in the Canadian Rockies is relatively short as snow can remain in the mountains until early summer and autumn arrive early with cool temperatures and higher chances of snow falling (although it can snow during the summer months here too). The opening of trails in the early season is dependent on the previous winter’s snowpack and can change dramatically from year to year. June and July bring the longest days, with July and August being the warmest months. However, weather is variable in the Rockies, and you should be prepared for a range of conditions. The optimal months for wildflowers are mid-July to mid-August, which also brings higher numbers of tourists. September and early October are characterized by typically drier weather and fewer crowds, making this a great time to visit. Depending on your adventure goals, any time between June and October offers a memorable Canadian Rockies experience!

Availability

This trip is available mid-June through early-October (ending Canadian Thanksgiving, the second Monday of the month). As this region is a highly popular tourist destination, we suggest booking as far in advance as possible for a better chance at securing your desired dates. This tour is available to start any day of the week.

Getting to the Start

Fly into Calgary International Airport (YYC) and rent a car from there. Driving to Banff takes 1.5 hours.

Getting from the End

You may choose to return your car and fly from the Calgary International Airport (YYC) (5 hour drive). You may also drive to return your car and fly from the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) (4 hour drive).

Alternatively, you may return your rental car in Jasper and take the train to onward Canadian destinations.

General Information

You will need a car for this itinerary. Either plan to drive to the trip start or fly to Calgary and rent a car (1.5 hours from Banff). if you wish, we can arrange a rental car for you for an additional charge.

Equipment

Our pre-departure information pack includes a detailed equipment list on what to take with you. This includes warm and cold weather gear, hiking boots, rain gear, and lots of other specifics. If you have any questions about what to take, we'd be happy to share our own top tips and advice.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance helps protect your travel investment, your belongings and most importantly you, from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip. For more information, please visit our travel insurance page by clicking this link.

What is responsible travel in bear country?
How far in advance do I need to book?

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Banff Day 2: Hike Tunnel Mountain & Explore Banff 3.2 miles / 5 km Day 3: Hike Stanley Glacier & Drive to Lake Louise 5 miles / 8 km Day 4: Hike to Lake Agnes Teahouse & Optional Canoe on Lake Louise 4.5 miles / 7 km Day 5: Drive Icefields Parkway & Hike Wilcox Pass 5 miles / 8 km Day 6: Sulphur Skyline Hike & Miette Hot Springs 5 miles / 8 km Day 7 Onward Travel

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