From: July 21 to July 29, 2018

Destination: Banff and Yoho National Parks, Canada

  • Canadian Rockies Hiking Holiday

    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



  • July 21, Saturday
    Arrive in Calgary anytime on Saturday, July 22, but in time to meet at our hotel at 5pm. We will meet in the lobby of our hotel for introductions and then go out together for a welcome dinner where we will continue getting to know each other and talk about our upcoming hiking adventure.

    July 22, Sunday
    This morning we load into the vans and head for Lake Louise. We will visit the world famous Chateau Lake Louise, located in one of the most beautiful settings you will ever see (pictures of it are gorgeous and don't begin to do it justice). After visiting the Chateau we take a short uphill hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House above the actual Lake, the perfect introduction to this amazing land. Our lodging tonight and for the next two nights is the Castle Mountain Hostel, a smaller hostel away from the bustle of Lake Louise that we will have all to ourselves.

    July 23, Monday
    Plain-of-Six Glaciers Hike. 8.2 miles round trip. The Plain of Six Glaciers is an accurate name! Actually the forefront of the Lower Victoria glacier, six glaciers are visible from it. Passing through some of the most interesting glaciated scenery in Banff National Park, our trail rises from Lake Louise to a spectacular viewpoint at the base of Mount Victoria. The teahouse at the end of the trail was built in 1924 by Swiss guides who were employed by the railway to bring tourism to the area. The baked goods served there provide an extra reward for our hiking endeavors. Overnight Castle Mountain Hostel

    July 24, Tuesday
    Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass/Paradise Valley Loop. 11 miles. Of the major trails in the mountain parks, Sentinel Pass at 8,566 feet is the highest. Sandwiched between two peaks, this barren pass offers us a glimpse into the world of mountaineers. Starting in the Valley of the Ten Peaks we walk above Moraine Lake to the beautiful Larch Valley and onto Sentinel Pass. After lunch at the pass with its outstanding vistas in all directions, we descend to Paradise Valley for a gradual walk out to the road. This hike feels long by the end but is so absolutely stunning that it is well worth tired feet. Overnight Castle Mountain Hostel

    July 25, Wednesday
    Glacier hike in Jasper. Today we'll see the Rockies from a different perspective - that of a glacier, one of the geologic forms that is responsible for carving out the Rockies. On our guided glacier walk on the Athabasca Glacier in the Jasper area, we'll learn how to put on and walk in crampons, which make walking on ice safe and enjoyable. And we'll stop often to learn about glaciers- how they're made, what moulin's (glacier mills) are, what a crevasse is, how moraine's are made, and much more. After our full day, we'll move over to the lovely Fireweed Hostel in Field, BC.

    July 26, Thursday
    Today is full of options! We will visit Emerald Lake where you can rent canoes (canoe rental is additional) and/or enjoy the walk around the lake. If you want a longer hike we will pick one of the many that leave from Emerald Lake. We will be back to the lake around lunch in time to enjoy the lake before returning to the hostel. You may be interested in learning more about the Burgess Shale in the area and attending a geology talk at the visitors center. Of course, relaxing at the hostel and exploring the quaint village of Field is also an excellent option. Overnight Fireweed Hostel

    July 27, Friday
    Iceline Trail. 10 miles. This morning we head for Takkakaw Falls, one of the most beautiful and dramatic falls in the Rockies as it plunges 850 feet over a rocky cliff. "Takakkaw", loosely translated from Cree, means something like "it is magnificent". The Iceline trail is too!! Our hike for the day offers simply spectacular overviews of the Yoho Valley. Scratched from glacial rubble, the trail follows a sensational line, contouring the edge of Emerald Glacier for 2 miles. Panoramic vistas of the Yoho valley (Yoho is from a Cree expression meaning awe and wonder) are our reward for venturing into this rocky domain. Overnight Fireweed Hostel

    July 28, Saturday
    After a leisurely morning, we drive back to the city of Banff. Along the way we will stop for a three mile hike along tumbling waters in the deep cleft of Johnson Canyon. This asphalt-covered path is one of the most popular in the Park and no wonder - its gentle grade up to spectacular waterfalls is outstanding. Once in town there are a number of possible things to do, including a visit to the famous cave and basin hot springs, a ride up the Sulphur mountain gondola, or a visit to the Whyte Museum. There will also be time to shop for last minute souvenirs. We will head back to Calgary for dinner and our final farewells. Overnight Calgary

    July 29, Sunday
    We will be staying at a hotel that has a shuttle to the airport and you are free to depart anytime for home. But Calgary is also an interesting town in its own right and you might want to spend time visiting it before heading home.
  • Price: $2375 (click here for discounts) $300 deposit. You can check out our cancellation policies here. Single rooms are only available the first and last nights for an additional $200.

    Trip Includes

    • Experienced hiking guides
    • Eight nights lodging in hostels and hotels
    • All meals from dinner Saturday through breakfast the following Sunday with the exception of two lunches. We will go out to restaurants for a few meals and cook in the hostels for most other meals.
    • Round-trip transportation from Calgary to the Parks
    • Park entry fees

    Not included: Travel to and from Calgary, two lunches, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities and travel insurance


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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Being surrounded by stunning mountain scenery that is jaw droppingly beautiful
  • Hiking well marked trails to glaciers, over passes, past waterfalls, and through forests of spruce, fir, and larch
  • Walking in alpine meadows carpeted in an array of brightly colored wildflowers
  • Visiting the town of Banff home of the Lake Louise Chateau
  • Enjoying the camaraderie that staying in hostels makes possible

Register for this trip today

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