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Skiing Vacation Banff & Beyond: Cross-Country Skiing the Canadian Rockies​

Activity Level: Easy / Moderate  |  Daily Mileage: 6 - 16 mi  |  Daily Skiing: 2 - 4 hr
Pre-trip Extension:
Calgary · 1 night $145

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Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1 - Transfer to Kananaskis/Meet Trip Leaders/Warm-up ski/Welcome reception

All guests will meet in the main lobby of the Delta Bow Valley hotel. Airport shuttles are available from Calgary International Airport (YYC) to the Delta Bow Valley hotel. Shuttles depart from the airport every 30 minutes. Please visit the Allied Shuttle counter on the arrivals level near gate "C" between 8 am and midnight 7 days per week. Outside of counter hours you may go directly to bus bay #8. Please note: If you are unable to contact the shuttle vehicle in bay #8 outside of the counter hours please contact (403) 299-9555 to confirm pick up time. The shuttle fare is $15 CAD per person. The trip is about 11 miles and will take 20-40 minutes depending on traffic and stops en-route. A taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost approximately $44 CAD.  Parking is available in the “Parkade” facility adjacent to the hotel.  The maximum daily rate is $28CAD.  This is a public facility and vehicles may be left for the duration of the tour.

At 10:00 a.m. the VBT coach (look for the driver holding the VBT sign) will depart for Kananaskis (about 63 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes). Heading west from Calgary, we will pass from flat plains and into the region called Kananaskis Country, a charming and historic outdoor recreation area in the Canadian Rockies. Kananaskis Country is a located west and southwest of Calgary, bordering the town of Canmore and Banff National Park. It includes five provincial parks, four wildland provincial parks, one ecological reserve and several provincial recreation areas. It also encompasses the Canmore Nordic Centre, a world-class cross-country ski facility built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

If you miss our scheduled transfer from the Delta Bow Valley hotel to Kananaskis, shuttle buses are available from the Calgary Airport three times daily from $54 CAD + tax per person. Contact Brewster Airport Express – 1-877-625-4372 for more info. Click here for more info

After lunch on your own, you will meet your VBT Leaders at our hotel in Kananaskis, the Delta Lodge. From here we walk next door to the ski shop in Kananaskis, and get outfitted with our equipment for an afternoon warm-up ski. Advanced skiers will head out onto the trails with recommendations from the leaders, while beginner skiers have the opportunity for a lesson from the leaders and/or the local instructors.

Later this afternoon we meet back at the hotel with time to unpack and settle in. The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis is an exclusive year-round mountain resort renowned for its unparalleled hospitality. At the Delta Lodge you'll enjoy picturesque scenery in a spectacular setting with all the service and amenities that make it a world class destination resort. This evening we will gather for a welcome cocktail reception in the hotel's bar, followed by dinner in the hotel's restaurant.

Day 2 - Ski at Peter Lougheed Trails/Picnic lunch/Optional Ice Skating

Wake up and enjoy breakfast at the hotel followed by a review of the day's schedule.

The majesty of the Rockies unfolds as we ride to the nearby trails at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Here we enjoy a morning ski in the classic technique, gliding in a winter wonderland of towering mountains, frozen lakes, evergreen valleys and glacial streams. There are more than 50 miles of perfectly groomed trails to choose from.

Around noon we break for a picnic lunch, and then we can continue skiing and return to the Delta Lodge to relax in the late afternoon. You might enjoy a facial or massage at the spa, take a dip in the heated indoor saltwater pool, or just curl up in front of the roaring fire in the lounge.

This evening dinner is on your own. There are several restaurant choices right in the hotel, from Italian to casual Rocky Mountain fare. For those wanting some fresh air and exercise after eating, head to the hotel's lit skating rink for a few spins around the ice. Skates can be rented next door from Kananaskis Outfitters. Close the evening with a glass of wine with other skiers in the hotel's sports lounge or cozy pub.

Day 3 - Ski Olympic and World Cup trails in Canmore/Transfer to Banff

After breakfast at the hotel we load our bags and depart by bus for the Canmore Nordic Center (1 hour).

The Canmore Nordic Center was originally constructed for the 1988 Winter Olympics, which hosted the biathlon and cross-country ski events. The center was re-developed for the 2005 Cross-Country World Cup and future international events. The Nordic Center hosts national training camps for Canada's biathlon and cross-country ski teams, in addition to providing winter and summer recreational facilities to the general public. It boasts 37 miles (60 km) of world-class cross-country and biathlon trail systems, designed to meet international Nordic competitive standards. The trails are groomed and tracked to accommodate both classic and skating techniques on the same trail.

We will enjoy our ski along the gentle and scenic Bow Valley Trail, stopping for a snack, and to perhaps watch biathletes work on their target practice, or Olympic athletes training in their backyards.

After skiing we will take the shuttle to the town of Canmore for lunch on your own, followed by a free afternoon for independent discovery and exploration. The old downtown area is on an island in the Bow River. Pleasant, pedestrian-friendly blocks are lined with shops, brewpubs, restaurants and boutiques. The Canmore Museum tells the story of the community from its days as a coal-mining camp to its pinnacle as Olympic host. These days, more than 20 Olympians call Canmore home including 2002 Gold Medalist Becky Scott. You can walk anywhere in town without having to use a city street – the trails give the town a feeling of being connected with the natural beauty that surrounds it. And the views from within the town are about as good as they get: Canmore is surrounded by Grotto Mountain, Mount Lady Macdonald, Mount Lawrence Grassi and most famously, the Three Sisters.

After lunch and strolling the streets, we will depart for Banff (30 minutes) to settle in at the Caribou Lodge. The Caribou Lodge is nestled in the outdoor wonderland of Banff, and offers luxurious spa services and facilities as well as decorative and comfortable accommodations. The lobby is dominated by a massive fieldstone fireplace and displays hand-hewn timbers, ranch-style furnishings and original alpine-scene artwork. Here you can relax for the afternoon or head out for a 10-minute walk to explore the beautiful town of Banff.

Banff dazzles – not just with its chic cafes and luxury shops, but also with its astounding mountain splendor. The park region is among the most rugged and wild in the world with its jagged, snow-covered peaks. Skiing here is world-class. The resorts of Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and the jewel of the parks, Lake Louise, are among the largest ski areas on the planet, and site of many World Cup alpine races.

Dinner tonight will be with the group at the Caribou Lodge, in their well-known steakhouse, Keg Grill.

Day 4 - Exploration of local trails/Enjoy Banff Hot Springs

After breakfast we take the public ski bus to the Banff Springs Hotel, where we will walk to the Spray River ski trail. The classic ski trail winds through a pine forest and offers spectacular views of the Rockies.

After skiing, stop in at the Banff Springs Hotel for lunch on your own or grab a bite in town on your way back to our hotel, the Caribou Lodge. The afternoon is free for you to relax or explore in town. Before dinner tonight, we transfer together to the famous Banff Hot Springs for a relaxing dip in the outdoor facility. Banff Upper Hot Springs offers visitors the opportunity to soak outdoors in soothing hot, 100% natural spring water, surrounded by magnificent mountain views. The Banff Upper Hot Springs is one of Banff's most famous attractions. Discovered in 1884, the hot springs were the centerpiece of Banff National Park, the first National Park in Canada.

Dinner tonight will be on your own.

Day 5 - Ski Lake Louise

This morning we will enjoy breakfast in the hotel and then transfer through rugged terrain from Banff to Lake Louise (about 38 miles, or 1 hour).  We will arrive in Lake Louise and ski from town to our hotel on the Tramline Trail. We will arrive in time for a group lunch at our hotel, the Deer Lodge, followed by time to ski or explore the surroundings on your own. The ski trails await just outside our hotel.

Lake Louise is known as “Canada's Diamond in the Wilderness,” beloved for its tremendous diversity of recreational and sightseeing opportunities. The region abounds with spectacular scenery, from glaciers to waterfalls, and is also home to one of North America's finest downhill ski areas.

Following your afternoon ski, perhaps you'll enjoy the sauna, or soak in the rooftop hot tub with fabulous views of the Victoria Glacier.

Enjoy dinner on your own tonight.

Day 6 - Ski Lake Louise/Local exploration

Following our breakfast and trail review at the hotel, we enjoy a relaxed morning ski on the Lake Louise trails. Afterwards, you can grab lunch at a restaurant in Lake Louise or enjoy a bite at our hotel. The afternoon is free to spend more time exploring the area. Perhaps you'll choose to rent alpine ski equipment for a run down the famous Lake Louise World Cup Downhill trails, or opt for a more relaxed afternoon at the hotel spa.

We'll meet back at the hotel in the late afternoon for a stroll to the Lake Louise Stables for a twilight sleigh ride. Marvel at the spectacular scenery we enjoy from the ski trails while letting the horses do the work.

After our sleigh ride, we'll enjoy a special farewell dinner at our hotel.

Day 7 - Transfer to Calgary

Our tour ends today in Calgary. Following a group breakfast at the Deer Lodge, you will say goodbye to your Trip Leaders and board the coach for a 9 a.m. transfer from Lake Louise back to Calgary (about 128 miles, or 2-21/2 hours). You'll arrive at the Calgary Airport (YYC) around noon. Guests who drove to the Delta Bow Valley Hotel will be transferred to our first hotel, arriving around 1:00 p.m.

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