When: June 30, 2017 - July 08, 2017 (iCal)
“Excellent learning experience, filled with humor, good companionship, beautiful sites and just plain fun!”
Join us for this active journey through the sweeping mountain vistas of the Canadian Rockies. In Kananaskis, we will explore the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, meet local ranchers at Boundary Ranch, and navigate the Athabasca Glacier via an Ice Explorer. We will journey down the Athabasca River and revel in the dancing stars at Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve. On our drive to Banff, we will view the Athabasca Falls, glacier-fed Peyto Lake, and the picturesque Bow River Valley. We will experience the beauty of Banff’s Moraine Lake, later explore Lake Louise on an interpretive walk, and enjoy breathtaking views during a gondola ride. During our included excursions, we will benefit from insightful information from our local guides.
Activity Level: Active
Featuring Faculty Host
Professor James Rice
Price From: $3,845
Price From: $3,595 (if booked by December 14, 2016)
Includes land only; per person, based on double occupancy.
Itinerary and price are tentative and subject to change.
To avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!
Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-5323.
Day 1: Depart gateway city/Calgary, Canada/Kananaskis
Depart your gateway city for Calgary, Canada. Arrive at Calgary International Airport and transfer to Kananaskis to check in to the Delta Lodge. There is free time this afternoon to explore amenities at the lodge, including an indoor pool, tennis courts, restaurants, and other recreational facilities, or venture out to explore Kananaskis. Tonight we will meet for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Day 2: Kananaskis
Today features an excursion to Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. In addition to learning about wolf and dog crosses, we’ll have the opportunity to interact with these abandoned wolfdogs. Founded in 2011 by Georgina De Caigny, the sanctuary focuses on teaching the public why wolfdogs are important to the environment and the ecosystem. A sanctuary guardian will answer our questions, and we may meet Kuna, the alpha female of the group, along with her companions Kaya, Zeus, and Nikki. Lunch is a barbecue at Boundary Ranch, surrounded by the beauty of the Kananaskis Valley. We will also interact with local ranchers and learn about their horses and cows and the land they manage.
Day 3: Kananaskis/Jasper
Following breakfast, we head to Jasper. En route to Jasper is our visit to the Saskatchewan River Crossing. Lying at the confluence of the North Saskatchewan River and Mistaya River, “The Crossing” was named by the fur traders, drifters, and nomads who used this location to cross the river on their way toward British Columbia. Next we continue to the Columbia Icefield, an Ice-Age sheet that once stretched across most of Western Canada’s mountains. Today, the ice covers just a small portion of a wide plateau. Aboard an Ice Explorer, a specially designed glacier vehicle driven by an expert guide, we will adventure on a glacial highway to learn about how the glacier was formed. After stopping for lunch near Sunwapta Falls, we continue to Jasper and check in to the Sawridge Inn Jasper.
Day 4: Jasper
Our journey today is to Maligne Lake, Canada’s largest glacial lake, surrounded by broad valleys, snow-capped mountains, and sub-alpine forests. On our cruise of the lake, we’ll learn about its history and how Henry MacLeod, a surveyor looking for a route for the Canadian Pacific Railway, stumbled upon the lake. Perhaps we will also see some of the region’s wildlife, including elk, bear, moose, and deer. A stop at the lake’s popular Spirit Island provides a photo opportunity. In an optional excursion (available at an additional cost), we can board the Jasper SkyTram, the longest and highest aerial tramway in the Canadian Rockies, for a ride up Whistler’s Mountain. On a clear day, pristine scenery and six different mountain ranges, including Mount Robson in the distance, can be seen from the top. There will be time for lunch.
Day 5: Jasper
Established in the early 19th century, Jasper was originally used as an outpost for the fur trade. The morning is at leisure for independent exploration in this mountain town before we board a specially designed raft and take an easy ride down the Athabasca River, Alberta’s longest river. A licensed guide will enhance our leisurely cruise with stories about the region’s history. In Wood Cree, Athabasca means “there are plants one after another,” and diverse flora surrounds the river. Dinner is in Jasper before we discover the Dark Sky Preserve of Jasper, an area where residents make a special commitment to protect and preserve the night sky and where no artificial lighting is visible at night. Our visit begins at the Jasper planetarium, where we’ll learn about the stars, planets, moons, and galaxies hovering above Jasper. From comfortable chairs, we’ll embark on an interactive adventure of the universe, learn about Jasper’s cosmic heritage, discover the “Canadian” constellations of the aboriginal First Nations such as the Great Bear or the Seven Bird Hunters, and experience a meteor shower and the Northern Lights. Afterward, we take an intimate stargazing journey above the world’s largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve. We will view nebulas, star clusters, planets, and galaxies through the largest telescope in the Rocky Mountains. Guided by a planetarium astronomer, we’ll also use DSLR cameras to take photos of the night sky.
Day 6: Jasper/Banff
After breakfast, we depart from Jasper for Banff. En route, we’ll stop to see Athabasca Falls, the most powerful waterfall in the Canadian Rockies. The full width of the Athabasca River is funneled into a small canyon, and the fall is a visual spectacle. Next we continue into the heart of Alpine country in Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, we’ll see Peyto Lake, which sits high above sea level. During summer, large amounts of glacial rock flour flow into the lake, giving Peyto its magical blue color. Lunch is at a lodge on the shores of Bow Lake. Upon arrival in Banff, we check in to the Moose Hotel & Suites, and the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure or for independent exploration.
Day 7: Banff
Today is replete with moving views of the Canadian Rockies’ alpine vistas, flower-strewn meadows, and rugged terrain. We’ll see Bow Falls before driving around Surprise Corner for a stunning view of the historic Banff Springs Hotel set among the snow-capped mountains and winding Bow River. Up the Tunnel Mountain Drive, we’ll see the sentinel Hoodoos, interesting formations of sedimentary rock that have been carved by wind and water. Continuing our drive along the Lake Minnewanka Loop, we will also see Two Jack Lake, Johnson Lake, Lake Minnewanka (Banff’s largest lake, also called “Minn-waki,” or “Lake of the Spirits”), and the town of Bankhead. Now a ghost town, Bankhead once supplied coal for locomotives of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Lunch is during the excursion. A retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will share with us the history of the RCMP before our excursion to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Originally discovered by three Canadian Pacific Railway employees, these natural hot springs were recognized as Canada’s first national park. Our guided excursion around the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, which celebrates the growth of Canada’s national parks, will also bring us to the original cave where the hot mineral springs are located and the nearby bathhouse.
Day 8: Banff
This morning, we will visit two of Canada’s renowned lakes, Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. We will begin with a visit to glacial-fed Moraine Lake, located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Next stop is Lake Louise, surrounded by the lofty peaks of Mount Lefroy and Mount Fairview. Often called the “Jewel of the Canadian Rockies,” this alpine lake is a symbol of the raw and rugged Canadian landscape. Our guided walk near the lake will explore its sites, followed by a climb aboard either a ski-lift chair or an enclosed gondola for a gentle ride up to a higher elevation. During our ride, we expect to see local wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, and elk. At the top, we’ll pause on a viewing platform to take in views of the neighboring mountains and rolling fields. Our lunch today is at a local establishment, and this evening we will meet for a Farewell Dinner.
Day 9: Depart for gateway city
After breakfast, we depart for Calgary International Airport for return flights home.
NOTE: Itinerary schedule may change due to local conditions. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.
*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change