The Canadian Rockies offer some of the most varied and scenic hiking anywhere in the world. This vast area features amazing mountain formations, ice capped peaks, glacially fed aquamarine lakes, and sparkling glaciers. Alpine meadows carpeted in bright wildflowers add color to an already stunning landscape, and forests of spruce, alpine fir, and larch add their sweet scent to the clean air. Hiking opportunities are practically unlimited so we've chosen the best of the best for our active exploration of this fabled land. Maximum group size: 12
Not included: Travel to and from Calgary, one lunch, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities and travel insurance
This trip is designed for women who enjoy hiking in the mountains surrounded by breathtaking scenery. We will be hiking 8 - 11 miles a day in hilly terrain with significant ascents and descents. One descent is especially steep and rocky. Previous hiking experience is extremely useful, as is having a sense of adventure, a desire to spend time in the mountains, and a good level of physical fitness. A rating of 4 requires aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2-hour hike once a week) and/or strength training is appropriate. Rating: 1 2 3  5.
On this trip we enjoy hiking on some of the most spectacular trails in the Canadian Rockies. The trails are well maintained; some are fairly smooth. Others may be quite rocky, steep (both up and down) and contain scree. There will also be time to explore the town of Banff one afternoon.
While in the Parks, we will stay at the Castle Mountain Wilderness Hostel, conveniently located in between Banff and Lake Louise. We will have the entire hostel to ourselves, including a cozy lounge with a wood-burning stove, a fully-equipped kitchen, an outdoor fire pit and two bunk rooms with enough space for everyone to get a bottom bunk. There are two bathrooms, each with two toilet stalls, two showers and two sinks. This hostel will give you a taste of a rustic Canadian wilderness experience with the benefit of creature comforts and convenient access to our favorite hikes and activities.
On the first and last nights of the trip, we will stay at hotel near the Calgary airport (YYC) with a free airport shuttle.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
Great hiking and great guides.
The Iceline trail hike was the highlight for me. I also enjoyed the Athabascar glacier excursion. I was taken aback by the hordes at Lake Louise, however, and the very difficult parking situation which complicated things on the first day. I think an alternative first day hike that avoids this scene would be advisable. Not sure we need to go the teahouse--it was too crowded to appreciate anyway.
The Canadian Rockies were better breathtaking, and the camaraderie of a he women was a blast.
The guides were fantastic and the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. The other women on the trip made it a delight.
Great trip, amazing hikes. Very good food. Appreciated both guides, especially Leigh Saint and her amazing leadership and composure. My group of 4 had the smallest room, which included a door that did not open all the way and wedged against the bunks. It felt unsafe descending from the upper bunk. Two of us swapped bunks midway to mitigate the issue.
Highlights: the support from the guides as I challenged myself with a faulty piriformis and average lung capacity (I chose to let my breathing dictate how fast I walked); the AMAZING food that they prepared; the truly wonderful Fireweed Hostel in Field B.C.; the guides themselves...both are amazing women and complemented each other's skills.
stupendous landscape; kind and competent guides, lovely company, highline and 10 peaks trails, bear sightings, excellent food, glaciers and glacial lakes
Wonderful hikes with amazing views, fabulous guides, perfectly planned itinerary, great food and accommodations, and truly wonderful trip mates.
Glacier hike Long hikes with beautiful views Interaction with participants Great guides (and food)
It was a level 4 trip but I enjoyed the variety of activities, the home cooked meals, staying in Hostels. It felt more like a family than a group of strangers in the end by the nature of the lodging and cooked meals.
The hikes were great, challenging, but great. Group was fun (my favorite group of all my AGC trips). Food was fantastic. Guides were awesome as usual. Loved all the different activities that we did and had the option to do.
Sentinal Pass and Iceline Trail
Hiking on the glacier, completing the boulder field, experiencing all the different types of terrain and beautiful glacial lakes were highlights. Also pushing myself to do the 10 miler on the 'free choice day' - was rewarded many times over for that choice.
The guides, hostels, food, location, new friends
The leaders were exceptional. They worked so hard for us. Loved hiking on the Athabasca Glacier and Sentinal Pass hike
i showed up without any expectations, and was more than thrilled with everything. I love how well planned out the trips are, even taking into consideration the length of hikes to adjust longer days with shorter.
Nice clean accommodations, great selection of hikes with alternatives for more strenuous hikes on some days, fantastic meals throughout
Every day was a new adventure!
I was looking for some hikes to challenge my ability and this trip certainly fit the bill! The Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass/Paradise Valley Loop trail was the most challenging hike I've ever done. I was nervous about coming down through the rocks and scree from Sentinel Pass but Debra and Janet prepared us well. I felt a great sense of accomplishment completing that hike. The day on the Athabasca Glacier was also another highlight. The entire trip had continual "wow" moments. Of the 3 AGC trips I've taken this has been my favorite. They were all great but this one stands out with the scenery and challenging hikes.
I actually did not know what to expect but I appreciated the depth of knowledge our guides had and finding the most beautiful hikes I could imagine.
Overall, it was an amazing experience!! The hikes were challenging, the scenery outstanding, and the group camaraderie was the icing on the cake. Our guides, Debra and Janet, were excellent leaders, thoroughly planning each day, showed concern if someone had an issue, and after a long day, they cooked delicious meals! The glacier hike was probably my favorite as was the challenging downhill of Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass.
The guides, the community, the scenery - all exceeded my expectations.
I thought it was a good selection of hikes. The trip was well paced, with harder and easier days.
No picture can show the beauty of the places we hiked other than seeing it in person. No matter how difficult the hike, the surrounding beauty help revive ones body, mind
hiking, people, food
Highlights - Congenial, flexible leadership and participants beautiful scenery
The hikes chosen were all fantastic. I like the way they built up in difficulty. And although I knew to expect it, I found the pace a little slow for my taste, and the trails more populated than I like (this was unexpected!) But the company was great, and I learned I need to take a chill pill!
Highlights: The guides were so competent and fun. The participants came prepared, worked together naturally as a group, were positive and fully engaged. The hikes were physically challenging, diverse and memorable. The Alberta Rockies were spectacular, stunningly beautiful, "postcard-like" vistas, breathtaking glacier fed lakes, abundant wildflowers and waterfalls. The weather was perfect too. Hardly a complaint, but it would have been fun to see more wildlife. Hearing from a group ahead of us that they saw a grizzly on the morning of our last hike was perfect. The hardest parts for me were spending time off trail at Lake Louise and Banff. I'd value a bike ride option along the river in Banff vs shopping.
The hikes were fabulous.....I liked the order in which we did the hikes....easier to more difficult, then a break from climbing, then another strenuous hike. Everything was very well organized and, of course, the ladies were great to hang out with (both the guides and the participants). Really enjoyed Emerald Lake, in part because it was a leisure day with great weather, but mostly because it was so beautiful.
The trip was fabulous. Met and exceeded my expectations. I think the Rockies are gorgeous so that is half the battle :) The guides were both excellent. Each offered different things and balanced each other very nicely. I appreciated Debra's fun and lighthearted manner. And underneath that was a very organized women who was on top of her game. Brenda brought other qualities- innate teacher who loves to share her knowledge- of flowers and sex :), weather, yoga/body stuff, art/color and how to look and see things. The daily yoga was a lovely addition to the trip. The only weakness in my mind were the crowds, but can't do much about that.
it exceeded my expectations! Meeting the lovely women and having the pleasure of two well-informed,patient and caring guides, Debra Huntington, and Brenda Porter made it all the more GREAT
The scenery - size of the mountains - glaciers - guides - other women on the trip - incredible organization of trip
It was even more amazing than expected. The guides were both so awesome in their individual ways - it added a different component to the trip.