Our tour starts with a little bit of history about the city of Calgary. Among the things we will show you in Calgary is Canada Olympic Park where the 1988 World Olympics were held and is still being used today to train athletes participating in other Olympics around the world. We cross the Bow River (Calgary's drinking water supply) many times along our scenic route (one hour) to the Rockies. The Bow River is run-off water from the Bow Glacier, which is still active today. In the winter it is frozen over and in the spring and summer and fall it is a raging little river of clear and fresh water.
In Banff Town site we go to Bow Falls where Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum starred in the movie "The River of no Return". It is a great site and we get to within 50 feet of the falls.
Scenic Bow Falls
Before we get into Banff National Park we stop for coffee or tea and donuts in the picturesque town of Canmore. Canmore is famous for the "Three Sisters Mountains". The older "sister" can be clearly seen facing to heaven and crying over her lost lover. The other two "sisters" are directly behind her begging for forgiveness but she refuses. They stole her lover away. (It is the Indian legend)
Three Sisters in Canmore
After we leave Canmore we are really into the Rocky Mountains. These mountains are around 11,000 feet above sea level and the hiway winds its way through them as we travel. The glistening snow on the peaks and in the valleys is very spectacular. It is a photographer's paradise.
Black Bear Cubs
Banff National Park is visited by over 6 million people per year and is one of the most popular wilderness destinations in the world. Banff National Park is Canada's first National Park and the third in the world. As we travel along the Trans Canada Hiway we turn off onto Hiway 1A (which was built by hand by prisoners of World War 1 (very sad but they sure did a beautiful job)
This 1A Hwy is deep in the real wilderness and often we come across wild animals such as Elk and Mountain Sheep with their long curly horns. Bears too, in summer. The scenery along this route is breath taking as it is totally surrounded by lush pine trees and majestic mountains.
Majestic Mountain Views
This road takes us into the Lake Louise area. "Ski Louise" is one of the most popular ski retreats in the world and the fabulous ski area can be seen as we enter into Lake Louise. We now climb (by van or coach of course) to the famous "Chateau Lake Louise" which is on the shores of Lake Louise. This famous hotel is surrounded by mountains and has a crystal clear lake (Lake Louise) on its doorstep. At the end of the lake is Mount Victoria capped by the Victoria Glacier. The combination of these three sites makes Lake Louise the most photographed lake in the world. More than 4 million visitors a year.
The Chateau is one of Canada's landmarks. You will want to explore this hotel a bit to walk where Kings and Queens have tread. One hour at the Chateau is just for a taste because a person could spend many hours (or days) sipping the beauty of this pristine wilderness paradise. After our brief visit to Lake Louise we re-enter the Trans Canada Hiway and travel to the Town site of Banff. (just a bit of trivia) the Trans Canada Hiway is the longest highway in the world. (over 7280 kilometers long)
Bow Valley Parkway
We visit Bow Falls, Upper Hot Springs Pool, the Castle in the Rockies-Banff Springs Hotel, and take a very scenic drive along Tunnel Mountain. As Banff is such a popular tourist destination you can imagine that there are a lot (and we mean a lot) of tourist type stores selling souvenirs. It is almost a 'must' to take home a Canadian souvenir to show your friends that you have indeed visited the most beautiful park in the world. Adequate time is allowed for shopping. We now return to Calgary.
Grizzly Bear and Cubs
When you see the town of Banff you will be reminded of a fairytale town as it is totally surrounded by mountains on all sides and the buildings are mostly of hewn stone from the mountains.
Town of Banff
We could go on and on about our incredibly beautiful park but when you see it you will understand that there is sooooo much beauty that it is impossible to describe it all. Be sure to bring along a camera. (or two) Also.... it can be cool in the mountains so a warm coat or jacket is a must. Oh yeah...one last bit of trivia. Banff National Park is attached to Jasper National Park and Yoho National Park. These parks are almost EXACTLY the same size as England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales put together.
World Famous Chateau Lake Louise
(not included in tour) is in the town of Banff at approximately 1PM
Departing Downtown in front of Calgary Tower
Hotel Pickup/drop-off can be arranged ($10.00 each way)