Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper, and YohoThree National Parks in One Magnificent Adventure

Alberta
Alberta
5+ Days
5+ Days
Intensity
5/10
33.8 miles
18+

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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.

From a mix of cabins and lodges, 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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Info
Level 5/10
Alberta
5+ Days
Planning

Here’s what you need

Bring

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].

Wear

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

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

Flights

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.

Weather

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.

Lodging

Each evening you will retire to our exclusive boutique-style hostel in the picturesque village of Field, B.C. Tucked away in the Kicking Horse Valley and surrounded by magnificent peaks, lakes and rivers, Field is the ideal launching point for this week-long adventure. Our exclusive access to the hostel ensures a comfortable experience with ample 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 wood burning stove, outdoor deck and grill, shared bathrooms with showers, full kitchen and dining room, a comfy lounge and individual storage lockers.

We will spend one night at a backcountry cabin, seven miles up the Yoho Valley by foot. The cabin, while rustic, is spacious and cozy and above all, situated in the middle of the Yoho wilderness and surrounded by massive mountains, glaciers and streams. Bedrooms here are also shared, with single beds as well as bunks. Bathrooms are outdoor composting toilets and there are no showers. Amenities include a wood burning stove, full kitchen with propane oven & range, and propane lights. Our water comes from a nearby stream.

Training

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.

Altitude

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 4,134 feet in Field and 6,742 feet at the Stanly Mitchell Cabin. Our highest point of the week is a mountain pass at an elevation of 10,062 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.

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