Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, Canada
July 27 - August 1, 2019
(6 days, 5 nights; Sat - Thu)Alternate Tour Dates
Includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, leaders, trail maps and narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Calgary and Revelstoke prior to and following tour.
Not included: Airline service to Calgary International Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:00 am
“Extraordinary experience. Suzie is fun, nurturing and capable – Michael knows his stuff – Extraordinary!” Canada hiker
The History of Canada’s Glacier National Park is tied closely to the development of the transcontinental railroad. As the Canadian Pacific forged westward over and beyond the Rocky Mount barrier, the region’s breathtaking beauty provided a compelling incentive to pursue the economic potential that tourism would bring to the region. Lodges, hotels and other tourist facilities were built in this uncharted wilderness, which subsequently was protected as a national park in 1886. Despite the continued presence of the railroad and the Trans Canada Highway, the park remains an astonishingly pristine wilderness. Global warming and other factors are continuing to erode the glaciers, but there are still around 130 glaciers that cover approximately one-tenth of the park’s acreage. Winters in the park, although marked by substantial snowfall, are surprisingly moderate without harsh extremes and the park’s ecology supports a broad variety of wildlife. Unfortunately, the increasing presence of humans has contributed to the decline of the resident caribou herd, but many mountain goats still enjoy the area, as well as smaller mountain animals such as marmot, squirrels and the elusive wolverine.
To reach these national parks we must drive through some equally impressive park on the Trans Canada Highway. Our first day will include several hours of travel from the Calgary airport, through the towns of Banff and Lake Louise, passing through Banff National Park and Yoho National Park, then across the Columbia River Valley before reaching Glacier National Park. We continue up the Beaver Valley before veering off to climb over Rogers Pass, then descend into the Illecillewaet Valley and finally skirt the southern edge of Mt. Revelstoke National Park to reach the village of Revelstoke where we will spend our first 2 nights. We will have many opportunities along the way for some short, but spectacular hikes in addition to visitor centers and interpretive trails.
It is up early on Day 2 to travel the Meadows in the Sky Parkway up the side of Mt. Revelstoke. Upon reaching Balsam Lake we will leave the tourists behind (most of whom will still be in bed) and travel into the Mt. Revelstoke Wilderness for a high altitude hike towards Lakes Eva and Jade. If conditions are optimal, we can crest to the summit of Mt. Williams where the landscape of glaciers, snowy peaks and blue-green alpine lakes will spread out before us.
We have another evening to enjoy the village vibe in Revelstoke, a picturesque lakeside town with a laid back atmosphere and nightly music in the park. The next morning we start heading back east to explore Glacier National Park. Our hike on Day 3 is up Bostock Creek Trail, named in honour of Canadian senator Hewitt Bostock. The trail offers a moderate hike through the Interior Rainforest, and into the upper subalpine forest. We enjoy views of Mount Fidelity and Corbin Peak as we gain altitude to the pass, where much of the Columbia Mountains come into view. We continue our drive back over Rogers Pass to the secluded Heather Mountain Lodge for our next 3 nights lodging.
On Day 4 we start to explore the heights of the park with a hike to Hermit Meadows. The hike begins east of a large avalanche path and soon enters dense subalpine forest. The forest is a good place to watch and listen for birds, such as the White-winged Crossbill, Fox Sparrow, and Hermit Thrush. The first great mountain views are at about one mile where the trail comes out of the forest. The trail ends in the alpine Hermit Meadows, surrounding by wildflowers and at the base of glaciers and alpine lakes.
Day 5 is the penultimate hike in the Park – the Alsulkan Valley. This trail has it all – breathtaking mountain scenery, waterfalls, meadows and a spectacular view of the Alsulkan Glacier. We’ll hike to the toe of the glacier along a high ridge that offers an incredible 360-degree panorama, including the dramatic Hermit Range to the south. The name “Asulkan” was first used by William Spotswood Green, who climbed in the area in 1888. It reportedly means “wild goat” in the dialect of one of the First Nations of the region, and recognizes the abundance of mountain goats he saw at the end of this valley in Asulkan Pass.
After a final night at the lodge we have one more valley to explore – Beaver Valley. It is a collect passage for the many melting snow fields from above and numerous waterfalls cascade down to its level before they are carried down to the Columbia River and the long journey to the Pacific Ocean. As we make our way back across Yoho and Banff National Parks the call of the trails will be loud, but we must save those hikes for another visit, and continue on to Calgary for the conclusion of our tour.
|Day 1||Van shuttle from Calgary to Revelstoke, B.C. hike Mt. Hunter Lookout in Yoho National Park along the way||5|
|Day 2||Hike to Eva Lake and Mt. Williams in Mt. Revelstoke National Park||11|
|Day 3||Hike to Bostock Pass along Bostock Creek, overnight at Heather Lodge||9.7|
|Day 4||Hike to Hermit Meadows||5|
|Day 5||HIke to Asulkan Hut||9|
|Day 6||Hike to Bear Creek Falls, return to Calgary via Banff||3|