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Canadian Rockies: Jasper and BanffTwo National Parks in One Magnificent Adventure

6 Days
6 Days
33.8 miles
$1,995 non-peak member
Book Early & Save $100
About the trip

Hike through Canada’s Treasures

The National Parks of the Canadian Rockies may best be expressed through the native Cree word "Yoho," meaning truly magnificent or awesome. The range possesses inspiring peaks that launch vertically out of lush river valleys. Crystal clear lakes magnify emerald and turquoise colors over stone below, and glaciers and icefields loom so massive that one can visualize the formation of this wild landscape in action. The beauty and scale of the Canadian Rockies is seemingly endless, with natural grandeur at every turn.

We’ll set out as a team and celebrate as we kick back each evening. Across our adventure, we’ll collect the premier experiences of the region. Some earned with hearty hikes, others served up as views from scenic drives through the park system.

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6 Days



Arrive in the Canadian Rockies

Upon landing at Calgary International Airport, your Discover Outdoors guides will pick you up and drive you and your fellow hikers to Jasper, B.C. On the way, we'll stop to admire the turquoise beauty of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. This evening will be a time for relaxing by the fire in the hostel, or exploring the town of Jasper while getting to know your group. Over dinner, we will go over the itinerary for the days ahead.


Four contiguous national parks comprise the Canadian Rockies' UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our Mountain Series explores two of these parks: Banff and Jasper. This wild playground is home to over 13,000 square miles of protected land encompassing countless high peaks, shifting glaciers, emerald lakes, glistening streams, and wildlife of all kinds. The Canadian Rockies are part of the American Cordillera, an uninterrupted mountain range that stretches from Northwestern Alaska to Southern Patagonia.

Wilcox Pass

On your first morning in the park, your guides will welcome you with hot drinks and a hearty breakfast while reviewing the plan for the day. Today we'll be hiking along the Wilcox Path Trail. The hike begins with a steady climb through an alpine forest, then opens to an exposed ridge with alpine meadows and vast views of the Athabasca Glacier. Keep an eye out for the family of mountain goats and bighorn sheep that live in these meadows. After hiking along the ridge, you'll turn up the valley and climb through the open, flower-filled meadows towards Wilcox Pass, which offers even greater views of the Athabasca Glacier and six high ice field peaks across the Columbia Icefield. 

If we're feeling energetic, we can continue on to Wilcox Lake, which is tucked behind a series of ridges. 

Back at the hostel, well-deserved cold beverages and lip-smacking dinner await. 

Hiking Distance: 5.6+ milesElevation Gain: 1,312

Cavell Meadows Trail

Today we'll be exploring the Cavell Meadows Trail, which offers breathtaking scenery of the flowery meadows, glaciers, and mountains. The trail starts off with a gentle climb along the Path of the Glacier, and continues uphill as it passes over a rocky moraine and enters the subalpine forest. It eventually opens to a beautiful meadow with colorful wildflowers above the treeline.

After we return, we can add on a short hike to the Edith Cavell Outlook for more stunning vistas. 

Hiking Distance: 5.3+ milesElevation Gain: 1,500

Columbia Icefields Walk

Adventure awaits us today on the Columbia Icefields, which sits on the border of Banff and Jasper National Parks, about a 1.5-hour drive from the town of Jasper. When we arrive, we'll meet our local guide for three hours of hiking on the Athabasca Glacier. There will be constant views of the Canadian Rockies, along with glacially carved landscapes such as moraines, millwells, and crevasses. 

As we travel along the glacier, there's a good chance we will spot bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, and deer, plus many little critters such as marmots, pikas, and Columbian ground squirrels!

Hiking Distance: 3+ miles

Sulphur Skyline Trail

The Sulphur Skyline Trail offers some of the most incredible views in the Canadian Rockies. Our hike begins with a constant climb up to Shuey Pass. Once at the pass, we'll catch our breath in the meadow before tackling the steep climb to the summit. 

The summit overlooks the Fiddle Valley with its white peaks, green valleys, and endless skies. We'll enjoy lunch while admiring the view and then begin our descent. 

At the bottom of the hike lies Miette Hot Springs, where we'll sink into the hot water to soothe our muscles after a strenuous hike. 

Hiking Distance: 4.6 miles Hiking Time: 5 hours Elevation Gain: 2,300

Final Day in Canada

After sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely breakfast, we pack up our bags and say goodbye to our beloved hostel and the Canadian Rockies. Your guides will drive you to the Calgary International Airport for your flight home. On the way, we'll stop to admire glacial Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Keep your camera out for the drive along Bow Valley, as the Trans-Canada highway bisects Banff and can offer some amazing last minute panoramas for your collection.


Here’s what you need


Essential Gear
  • Backpack, 35-50 L
  • Sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees for Stanley Mitchell Cabin
  • 3 1-liter water bottles or Camelback Backpack
  • Toiletries
  • Medications, prescription and non-prescription
  • Small towel and washcloth
  • Headlamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
Recommended Gear
  • Binoculars for viewing wildlife
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Journal

If you are unsure of what to bring, give us a call or send us an email! Our staff is happy to help ensure you are comfortably outfitted for your trip. To prepare yourself for the activities, join Discover Outdoors on any of our local day trips. Our trained guides will coach you and offer helpful tips in preparing for your big adventure. Below is a list of equipment for this trip. The specific gear considerations are designed to prepare you for all possible conditions. For questions about the gear list, please contact our office at 212-579-4568 or [email protected].


Essential Clothing
  • Hiking boots with sturdy soles
  • Hiking socks, four pairs
  • Gloves, two pairs
  • Warm hat
  • Sun-blocking hat (baseball cap)
  • Base top layer (wicking t-shirts)
  • Heavy layer (sweater or fleece)
  • Pants, hiking shorts
  • Long underwear/thermals
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Underwear
  • Casual wear

Trip Package

  • Professional trail guides
  • Meals as outlined in itinerary
  • Hostel accommodations
  • Park entrance fees
  • Transportation throughout trip
Does not Include
  • Airfare to Calgary International Airport
  • Some meals
  • Incidentals
  • Gratuity for your guides


Flights should be booked through Calgary International Airport (YYC). To arrive for adequate time to drive to and from your basecamp in Field, please arrive before 12 PM on day one and book flights no earlier than 2PM on your final day. If you'd like to arrive early or stay later than the trip dates, our guides will be happy to pick you up at a hotel in Calgary at the start of your trip with advance arrangements.


The high mountain areas have extremely variable weather. The evenings can turn cold and the days can warm up substantially, even in the alpine environment. Strong winds, rain, hail, even summer snow showers may be encountered. Most days will be in the 50s and 60s when the sun is out. Evenings can drop down to freezing during the night at elevation.


Each evening you will retire to our modern hostel in the picturesque town of Jasper, B.C. Located in the Athabasca River Valley and surrounded by magnificent peaks, lakes, and rivers, Jasper is the ideal launching point for this week-long adventure. The hostel ensures a comfortable experience with room to kick back, relax and discuss the conquests of the day. Bedrooms are shared, with single beds as well as bunks and pillow-top mattresses with cotton sheets. Amenities include a fireplace, sauna, and barbecue, shared bathrooms with showers, full kitchen and dining room, a comfy lounge and individual storage lockers.


Hiking the Canadian Rockies does not require technical climbing skills or experience. It does, however, require a minimum level of physical fitness. We strongly encourage our hikers to experience hiking on rugged trails, particularly up and down steep hills, since this is much of what you will experience in the Rockies. Those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the views along the trail. Those who engage in regular exercise before hiking long miles in unknown terrain do just fine on the ascent. Give yourself adequate time to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters and rowing machines can supplement cardiovascular training. Day hikes or other longer endeavors will help you prepare for the endurance required in the Rockies. Carrying a 20 to 30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal.


While elevations are not as consistently high as other Discover Outdoors trips, high altitude considerations are necessary to ensure a successful trip in the Canadian Rockies. We will be sleeping at an elevation of 3,478′ feet in Jasper and we will be hiking across mountain passes with elevations close to 8,000 feet. To help your body adjust to the thinner and drier air, you must first hydrate. Drinking enough water markedly improves athletic performance and helps to prevent acute mountain sickness. Before and during your hike, aim for 3 liters of water a day. Make sure your water is readily accessible. During the ascent, hydration systems like Camelbacks, or a water bottle on your hip will provide easy access to your water. Sport drink mixes like Gatorade are recommended; they promote drinking and help replenish electrolytes. Avoid too much alcohol and caffeine, as these have the effect of dehydrating your body. If you have never been to high altitude before, do not worry, everyone has a first time. Keep your guide posted on any physical symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have had trouble with altitude in the past, please let us know ahead of time and consult with your physician before you come.

Why this trip

Recommended for...

This trip is ideal for adventurers who want to explore new trails, new cultures and who enjoy the hiking in the mountains. We recommend this trip for participants who have a moderate level of fitness. Those new to hiking are welcome to inquire. Our DO staff will give you tips for training so you can maximize your enjoyment on the trail.

Dates and Prices

The right trip,
at the right time.

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Jul 30, 2020
Aug 4, 2020
Book Early & Save $100
Before Apr 30
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