9 Day Canadian Rockies

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart the USA 
Depart the USA on your international flight to Calgary, Alberta’s major city and gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Transfer to your hotel in this sophisticated city that grew out of the Canadian West, balancing modern and traditional with a pioneer charm. Tonight, a welcome cocktail and briefing by your tour manager introduces you to the exciting tour of Western Canada that awaits you
Overnight: Calgary

DAY 2, Sunday - Waterton Lakes National Park
Journey south this morning to Waterton Lakes National Park, where the "prairies meet the mountains." Travel along the scenic high ridge, observing meadows and boggy areas that are an ideal habitat for moose. Later, we’re surrounded by lakes, as the Canadian Rockies fill the horizon. The area is also a haven for elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and both grizzly and black bears can be found in the park. Compared to its counterparts, Waterton is a tiny park measuring only 203 square miles. However, the park has great historical significance as historians believe, based on archaeological finds, that Aborigines first populated the area over 11,000 years ago. Stop to enjoy Upper Waterton Lake running north to south with its spectacular mountain ranges towering over the lake on either side. Enjoy the optional boat cruise that traverses the lake, offering relaxation and serenity in this lovely surrounding. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travellers
Optional: Shoreline Cruise on Waterton Lakes (PM)
Overnight: Waterton
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3, Monday - Waterton, Glacier National Park
Today, an extraordinary excursion to Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana, where the American and Canadian Rockies meet. In 1932 the U.S. and Canada joined these two national parks as a symbol of their longtime peace and friendship. In recognition of this historic agreement, the parks were officially designated as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and declared a World Heritage Site. Travel on the "Going-to-the-Sun" Road into Glacier National Park along Saint Mary Lake to Sun Point. Lunch at leisure at Saint Mary and continue along Lake Shelburne to the historical Many Glacier hotel built on the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake. Return to Waterton to spend the evening in the charming village of Waterton with its world-class restaurants featuring traditional English fare
Overnight: Waterton
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Tuesday - Banff Gondola Ride
We travel northwest through the beautiful Kananaskis Valley to explore wondrous Banff National Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its unparalleled mountain scenery. Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Canadian Rockies, the snow-capped vistas, glistening glaciers and sweeping panoramas are just one part of the incredible allure of Banff. Here, we ascend on the Banff Gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, enjoying the dazzling view of six mountain ranges. Once on top, you can walk along the boardwalk to the observation decks and even stop for refreshments and gifts. Afterwards, continue to the hotel in Banff with time for rest and relaxation. Tonight, perhaps explore the vibrant village of Banff with its very trendy boutiques, western saloons, English pubs and choice of international restaurants
Overnight: Banff
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Wednesday - Bow River Falls
Morning drive along the shores of Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka ("Water of the Spirits") a gorgeous glacier lake in the eastern area of Banff. Aboriginal people long inhabited areas around Lake Minnewanka, as early as 10,000 years ago, according to stone tools discovered by archaeologists. Look out for wandering Big Horn sheep in this lake area. Return to Banff and stop at the cascading Bow River Falls, continue to end this great morning at the colorful Cascade Gardens. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in the village, indulge yourself at one of the local spas. There’s so much to see, and so much to do in this stunning alpine setting
Optional: Float Tour on Bow River
Overnight: Banff
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Thursday - Icefields parkway & Jasper National Park
A day filled with unmatched beauty! We begin at crystal clear Moraine Lake with its indigo blue waters, surrounded by the Valley of the Ten Peaks beneath the third highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, known to rival Lake Louise with its scenic grandeur. This glacially-fed lake reflects the remarkable beauty of one of the most photographed spots in all of Canada. Then, we continue to extraordinary Lake Louise, symbolic of the quintessentially Canadian mountain scene. Known for its sparkling blue waters, and nestled at the base of impressive glacier-clad peaks, this area is one of the most astonishingly picturesque areas of Banff National Park. Listen to the history and fascinating geology of this area before driving along the iconic Icefield Parkway north to Jasper. Drive amidst stunning vistas of deep green forests, snow covered mountains and towering peaks to glorious Jasper National Park. The beauty of this area will leave you breathless! Tonight, after dinner at the hotel stroll the quaint streets of the town of Jasper
Overnight: Jasper
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Friday - Jasper National Park, Maligne Lake & Canyon
Explore a section of Jasper National Park today known for its abundant wildlife. Firstly, drive up the valley to the "disappearing" Medicine Lake with its amazing geological features, this causes the lake to completely drain each year. Keep on the lookout for bears, moose, elk, sheep and eagles as we continue up the valley to the majestic fjord-like Maligne Lake set amid blue glacial waters. Then, continue to the Maligne Canyon to learn about the unique features of the underground river system. Walk along the canyon’s trails with its spectacular views of waterfalls and unusual rock formations. Return to Jasper for an afternoon at leisure
Overnight: Jasper
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8, Saturday - Columbia Ice Explorer
Travel south on the Icefields Parkway -- a highlight of the day. Pass more than 100 visible glaciers, ice fields and a cornucopia of mountains with astonishing views of rocky peaks, waterfalls and snowfields at every turn. Arrive at the remarkable Columbia Icefield where we travel on the specially designed Ice Explorer to the center of the massive Athabasca Glacier. On the journey, hear about the formation of glaciers and the interesting geological features of the area. You’ll be able to step-out onto the surface of the powerful ancient ice, formed from snow falling as long as 200 years ago -- an extraordinary experience for all. Stop at glacier-fed Peyto Lake for your last and unforgettable photo opportunity before arriving in Calgary for our last night in Canada. Tonight, at the festive farewell dinner we share memories together of our astonishing tour through magnificent Western Canada
Overnight: Calgary
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9, Sunday - Return to the USA 
Bon Voyage! Transfer to the Calgary Airport for the departure flight to the USA
Meals: Breakfast


Hampton Inn by Hilton Calgary Airport North


(1)    Free hot breakfast, where you can choose from our breakfast buffet, offering everything from light continental favorites to hot items. Enjoy free tea and coffee in the modern lobby, 24-hours a day and ask our friendly staff for advice on what to see and do during your stay.

(2)    Print boarding passes in the free 24-hour business center

(3)    Work out in our free fitness center, swim in the heated indoor pool with hot tub and enjoy access to the putting green and outdoor patio from the atrium-style, indoor pool area.

(4)    24-hour airport shuttle service

(5)    The hotel is about a ten minute ride away from the CrossIron Mills shopping center and the Calgary Aero Space Museum. Downtown Calgary, Stampede Park, Calgary Tower and the Glenbow Museum are about a twenty minute ride away from the hotel.



Day 6-7

Tonquin Inn

100 Juniper Street : Jasper, AB T0E 1E0 : CANADA



Annick-Sabrina R. <tourdirectorasr@yahoo.fr>

photo-album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/10492391@N05/sets/72157645042942210/

group picture   with Ella O'Colman & Eoin O'Colman, dinner in Jasper    my pic   Winnie pic album:  Google+  Picasa

Ravens are mainly scavengers and traditionally inhabited mountainous and wild hill country and seacoasts in both forested and un-forested regions, although they have expanded into many human-made environments in recent decades. The common raven (C. corax), a fierce and crafty bird, is found in both the Old and New Worlds. It is the only raven native to Canada and is widely distributed, breeding from the high arctic islands (Prince Patrick Island, southern Ellesmere Island) across to Newfoundland. It now occurs in much of central Alberta, southwestern Manitoba, and central and southern Saskatchewan, where it used to be absent.
The only other North American raven, the chihuahuan raven (C. cryptoleucus), is restricted to the southwestern US and Mexico.  src

(1) Common Raven - birdsofalberta.com
(2) Black-billed Magpie - birdsofalberta.com
(3) Clark's Nutcracker- birdsofalberta.com - inhabits the high montane regions of the western United States and Canada, preferring coniferous forest dominated by one or more species of large-seeded pines. Its year-round diet consists primarily of fresh and stored pine seeds. Nestlings and juveniles are fed seeds from stores as well. The morphology, behavior, and annual cycle of the nutcracker is closely tied to this specialized diet. Conversely, several pines that depend on nutcrackers for seed dispersal show specialized cone and seed traits for this interaction: whitebark (Pinus albicaulis), limber (P. flexilis), Colorado piñon (P. edulis), single-leaf piñon (P. monophylla), and southwestern white (P. strobiformis). Seed dispersal by Clark’s Nutcracker has resulted in a commonly occurring tree cluster growth form in 3 of these pines and has altered their genetic population structure in comparison to wind-dispersed pines. Notable features of Clark’s Nutcracker include a sublingual pouch, used to transport seeds to cache sites; a long, sharp bill, used to open conifer cones, extract seeds, and place seeds in caches; and an incubation patch in the male as well as the female, allowing the male to incubate eggs while the female retrieves seeds from her caches. In addition, a remarkable spatial memory enables this species to relocate thousands of seed caches within a year of storing them. The annual cycle of Clark’s Nutcracker is based on the availability of fresh and stored pine seeds. As early as July, this species begins to eat unripe seeds from the new cone crop, usually at upper montane or subalpine elevations. Storage of ripe seeds begins by early September; a few weeks later many birds switch to new seed sources, often by migrating to lower elevations. The nutcracker may continue making seed stores through December, if the seed supply is adequate. During winter, it harvests the few seeds remaining in cones and uses the more accessible seed stores. Nesting begins as early as January or February at montane elevations, despite harsh winter weather. Nestlings and fledglings are fed shelled pine seeds retrieved from stores. In late spring, individuals and families migrate to higher elevations; there, parents and non-breeders retrieve seed stores made available by snowmelt and take other foods opportunistically. Cached seeds from the previous fall are fed to young. Almost all juveniles become independent by the time the new seed crop is ripe, making their own caches.