Sure, Alberta is home to some pretty stunning scenery and wildlife. But there’s a lot more to do in this Canadian province than just sit back and enjoy the nature show. As pioneers in the field of multisport vacations, nothing gets us more excited than helping guests experience destinations in active and meaningful ways. While it can be challenging to design group travel itineraries that cater to a range of ages and activity levels, our adventure travel consultants and especially our experienced guides who lead our trips are well-versed in making sure that everyone is having the maximum amount of fun at any given time. Our Banff-to-Jasper Alberta Adventure Vacation is one of our best-sellers, and it’s because we’ve hand-picked the best activities and adventures for this remarkable region. Here are a few highlights of both our adult and family itineraries:
- Hiking – Alberta could arguably be the hiking capital of Canada. It’s home to the impressive Canadian Rockies, and there are enough trails that you can do dozens a day for the rest of your life and still not see them all. On both our adult and family Alberta vacations the biggest hiking highlight is the bird’s eye view from the top of Sentinel Pass. This moderately difficult hike usually takes between 4-5 hours. The payoff is amazing views of the Ten Peaks and an even more spectacular vista of Paradise Valley. Here are two more hikes that appear on our Alberta vacations:
- Plain of Six Glaciers – this very popular 4-5 hour hike is a favorite on our family vacation package. It offers incredible views of glaciers and ends at a tea house where kids can refuel with some refreshing lemonade and treats.
- Lake Agnes Teahouse Trail – this relatively easy 2-3 hour hike that visits both Lake Agnes and Lake Louise is found on Day 4 of our adult itinerary. The hike through the forest passes a beautiful waterfall and culminates with a stop at the Lake Agnes Teahouse which has been serving hikers homemade pastries since 1905.
- Glacier Trekking – This activity sounds intense, but it’s surprisingly easy when you have the right equipment and an experienced guide leading the way. Both our adult and family packages feature glacier trekking across Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. Athabasca is located in the famous Columbia Icefield and is the world’s most visited glacier. Our guides introduce our guests to a knowledgeable mountain guide who provides hiking poles and crampons and gives a tour on the glacier while talking about its history and its impact on the land as it continues to melt.
- Rafting – Canada is home to world-class rafting, so we make sure all of our guests – on both our adult and family vacations – get wet and have a blast taking on some of the most fun rapids in the Canadian Rockies. Our adult itinerary features a trip down the thrilling Class II-IV rapids of the Kicking Horse River, and it includes a delicious riverside picnic. Our family itinerary includes paddling the gentler, yet exciting, Class II-III rapids of the scenic Kananaskis River.
- Biking – Exploring Alberta on two wheels is a great way to be active and cover more ground. Our guides are skilled route scouts and they choose the best rides and customize them to ensure that each guest has a blast on their bike. Mileage for both our adult and family itineraries is between 5-20 miles per ride on easy to moderate terrain. These rides include a morning cycle around the beautiful Banff Springs Golf Course and a scenic cruise on the Bow Valley Parkway where there are plenty of opportunities for spotting wildlife such as elk, moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and much more!
- Shopping – Yes, shopping counts as an activity on our trips! It’s self-guided and done at your leisure in downtime that is built into every itinerary. We wouldn’t want you to return home without any souvenirs (although you get a few special surprises from our guides during your trip). On our Banff to Jasper trip, the best shopping is found in Banff where you can pick up Canadian leathers and furs, designer apparel, jewelry (including pieces with Alberta’s gemstone, Ammolite) and art – including paintings by local artists and First Nations’ handiwork like carved antlers. Of course it’s also easy to find active apparel and sporting goods retailers. Kids will dig Banff’s children’s specialty stores Duck Duck Moose and Bear in Mind Children Store.
All of the above activities are fun anywhere, but doing them in the picturesque province of Alberta makes them even more memorable. It also helps to have experienced guides at the helm who can take care of all of the planning and legwork so all you have to do is show up and have the time of your life.
For more information on adventuring in Alberta, check out Dan Austin’s recent webinar, Adventures in Alberta, and read our blog posts, Country of the Month: Canada and 10 Things to Take Pictures of in Alberta. Finally, don’t forget that we’re offering a special incentive of $200/off per adult for new bookings who reserve a spot on an Austin Adventures Alberta vacation by April 1, 2015. Call our adventure travel consultants at (800) 575-1540 today to take advantage of this limited-time offer and find out if there are other ways you can save on your next vacation!