Archive for the ‘tour’ Category

Free upgrade to SilverLeaf & GoldLeaf Service

06 May

Rocky Mountain Holidays have just released a free rail upgrade promotion. For a limited time, book a qualifying Rocky Mountaineer holiday package of four nights or more and receive a free rail seat upgrade on select dates in 2013. Space is limited and availability changes daily.

The Rocky Mountaineer train departs from Banff and so can easily be integrated into your Banff National Park vacation plans. This spectacular 2-day rail journey will take you through to Vancouver (with an overnight in Kamloops). It is the only all-day sightseeing train which travels through the Canadian Rockies. There are 3 levels of onboard service available: RedLeaf, SilverLeaf and GoldLeaf.

For more information on this limited time free rail service upgrade promotion, be sure to check out the Rocky Mountaineer deals on This offer is expected to end by sometime next month (June 2013) and is subject to availability.

All aboard!


Rocky Mountaineer Record Departure

30 Sep

The Rocky Mountaineer train departing tomorrow from Vancouver, October 1st 2010, is the company’s largest departure in their history, and will set a record for the largest passenger rail train in North American history – a total of 1331 guests!

Rocky Mountaineer Record Departure

This will be one of the last Rocky Mountaineer train departures for 2010 but 2011 Rocky Mountaineer packages are now available for booking with early-bird savings of up to $1,400 per couple.


Banff Horseback Rides Spring 2010

15 Apr
Thanks to this beautiful Spring weather the 2 hour Sundance Loop Ride will open tomorrow, April 16th 2010.

Banff Horseback Tour
With weather and temperatures like this, the 3 hour Bow Valley Loop ride should open before the end of the month. Cookouts and day rides are scheduled to open May 15th and the Spray River Corrals located by the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel should be open for the 1 hour Spray River Ride on May 1st 2010.

This 2 hour Sundance Loop trail ride travels through the woodland, along the Bow River, climbs the backside of Sulphur Mountain over Windy Knoll and loops around the marsh.  This ride will depart at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm daily.

The cost for the 2 hour Sundance Loop trail ride is $72 per rider and payment can be made using your credit card.  Jeans and a close-toed shoe, like a sneaker or light-hiking boot, are best to wear while riding.

Reservations are recommended for this ride and guests can call 1-888-747-6259 (in North America), 0800-567-7542 (in U.K.) or  +1 403-609-0286 direct to speak with a Canadian Rockies based reservations agent or contact us here at Banff Blog.

Bow Falls Photos, Banff

07 Apr

The Bow Falls in Banff are a must for a photo stop. They are located just below the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and can be easily found when you drive up on Spray Avenue towards the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. You turn left on Rundle Avenue at the traffic lights. Most group tours include the Bow Falls in their sights, but if you are driving yourself, you may want to use the Gypsy Guide for guidance.

I like stopping at the Bow Falls in Banff as they look so different at different times of the year. Here are a few pictures below to give you a idea of what to expect!

This photo was taken November 28 2006. This was a particularly cold start to the winter season so they almost froze over completely.Bow Falls, Banff - November 2006

The photo below was taken in June 2007 when a sudden increase in temperature caused a large amount of snowmelt to drain into the Bow River.

Bow Falls, Banff - June 2007 Flood

The photo below was taken on June 26 2006 when there was a lot of meltwater from the glaciers and snowmelt.

June 2006

This photo was taken on June 15 2008 for comparison. At this time of year, the Bow Falls always have a good volume of water.

Bow Falls, Banff, June 2008

This photo below was taken on November 26 2006. This was a very cold day and you can see the “steam” rising from the cold waters of the Bow River.

Bow Falls in Winter - December 2006

This is a typical photo in the fall / autumn time. With the colder nights, the glaciers start to release less meltwater causing the Bow River levels to be low.

Bow Falls in the summer, Banff


Bear safety in Banff National Park

06 Apr

Banff is in the wild and beautiful Banff National Park and so there may be a chance that you are lucky enough to see a bear.

There are two types of bears here: the black bear and the grizzly (or brown) bear. Don’t let the names fool you, you may see a brown or cinnamon coloured “black bear” like the cub with her mother photographed below:

Black Bear, Brown Cub photo

Black Bear

A Black Bear in Banff National Park

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear in Banff National ParkThe grizzly bear can be identified by it’s distinctive hump on the back of it’s neck.

A grizzly bear is also larger than a black bear.

Each year, people get too close to wildlife especially bears. I personally have seen families stand in front of a bear cub on the side of the road to take pictures. This is not fair for the bear, especially the mother who is watching and may decide to protect her cub at anytime.

Please don’t put bears, or any other wildlife, in this position, it simply isn’t fair.

The bear safety information below has been sourced through Parks Canada:

What should I do if I see a BEAR?

If you are driving: stay in your car, and consider not stopping.

If you are not in a vehicle:

  • Stay calm. If a bear rears on its hind legs and waves its nose about, it is trying to identify you. Remain still and talk calmly so that it knows you are human and not a prey animal. Bears may also bluff charge: run toward you and turn away at the last moment. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack.
  • Pick up children, stay in a group.
  • Back away slowly, don’t run.
  • Leave the area. If this is impossible, wait until the bear leaves; make sure it has an escape route.

To reduce your risk of a surprise encounter:

  • Make noise. Clap, sing or yell to announce your presence, especially where a bear might not otherwise smell, hear or see you coming. (Bear bells are not very effective.)
  • Travel in groups, on established trails, and during daylight hours.
  • Minimize odours by proper storage of food, garbage and toiletries.
  • Leave the area if you see a bear or fresh tracks, droppings, diggings; or if you come across a large dead animal (a bear may be nearby).

If you surprise a bear and it defends itself:

Use bear spray if you have it. PLAY DEAD, let it know you are not a threat: lie on stomach with legs apart, cover back of head and neck with hands, keep pack on to protect your back.

If a bear stalks you and then attacks, or attacks at night:

Try to escape, use bear spray if you have it. FIGHT BACK, let it know that you are not easy prey. (This kind of predatory attack is very rare.)

After many on-foot bear encounters myself with both black and grizzly bears, the best form of defence is avoidance. If you make lots of noise by talking loudly to your hiking friends, you are very likely not going to see a bear. Be aware of bear presence (scat/faeces), damage to vegetation etc. and leave the area. If you are unable to leave the area, make lots of noise.

Guides are easily available so if you are not comfortable hiking in the wilderness then local experts can certainly take good care of you.

rocky-peak Holidays is a local company based in Canmore, just 5 minutes outside of Banff National Park and can help you find a suitable guide. There are also group hiking tours available.

Have you had a bear encounter you would like to share with us and our readers? Please post it below!


Banff Horseback Rides

01 Apr
The sun is out and the horses are back in town! Time to saddle up and head out for the Bow River Ride!

Banff Horseback Tour

Opening tomorrow! (April 2nd 2010)

This 1-hour trail ride travels through the woodland, along the Bow River and loops around the marsh.  This ride will depart hourly daily starting at 10am with the last one departing at 5pm.

Reservations are recommended for this ride and you can call +1-403-609-0286 (1-888-747-6259 North America / 0800-567-7542 U.K.) to speak with a local reservations agent.  The cost is $40 per rider and payment can be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Please check in at Warner Stables 10 minutes before your ride’s scheduled departure time.  The stables are located at the end of Sundance Road just off Cave Avenue. No shuttle service provided.  Gloves and hats are highly recommended for this time of year!

For more Banff Horseback Riding Tours, contact us at Banff Holidays.


Banff Ice Hockey Tours

01 Oct

You can now book and secure your Calgary Flames NHL ice hockey tickets including transportation from Banff and Canmore for the 2009-2010 winter season.

For those of you who have not been to an NHL ice hockey game, the atmosphere is incredible. The Calgary Flames scored 98 points last season and came 5th in North America’s West. In the West, San Jose Sharks came first last season, Chicago Blackhawks second, Vancouver Canucks third and Detroit Red Wings fourth. These will all be popular games when the Calgary Flames take them on again in the Saddledome.

The Calgary Flames have a good defence for this upcoming season so watch out!

Here is the 2009-2010 Calgary Flames home schedule:

Date Opponent Game Time
Thu Oct 1, 2009 VANCOUVER 8.00 PM
Tue Oct 6, 2009 MONTREAL 7:00 PM
Fri Oct 9, 2009 DALLAS 7:00 PM
Fri Oct 16, 2009 VANCOUVER 7:00 PM
Tue Oct 20, 2009 COLUMBUS 7.30 PM
Sat Oct 24, 2009 EDMONTON 8.00 PM
Wed Oct 28, 2009 COLORADO 7.30 PM
Sat Oct 31, 2009 DETROIT 8.00 PM
Sat Nov 7, 2009 NY RANGERS 8.00 PM
Tue Nov 17, 2009 COLORADO 7.30 PM
Thu Nov 19, 2009 CHICAGO 7.30 PM
Wed Nov 25, 2009 PHOENIX 7.30 PM
Wed Dec 9, 2009 ATLANTA 7.30 PM
Fri Dec 11, 2009 MINNESOTA 7:00 PM
Thu Dec 17, 2009 LOS ANGELES 7.30 PM
Sat Dec 19, 2009 NASHVILLE 2.00 PM
Wed Dec 23, 2009 ST LOUIS 7.30 PM
Sun Dec 27, 2009 VANCOUVER 6.00 PM
Wed Dec 30, 2009 LOS ANGELES 7.30 PM
Thu Dec 31, 2009 EDMONTON 7:00 PM
Sat Jan 2, 2010 TORONTO 5.00 PM
Fri Jan 8, 2010 COLUMBUS 7:00 PM
Mon Jan 11, 2010 COLORADO 8.00 PM
Wed Jan 13, 2010 PITTSBURGH 7.30 PM
Fri Jan 15, 2010 NASHVILLE 7:00 PM
Thu Jan 21, 2010 CHICAGO

7.30 PM
Mon Jan 25, 2010 ST LOUIS 7.30 PM
Sat Jan 30, 2010 EDMONTON 8.00 PM
Mon Feb 1, 2010 PHILADELPHIA 7.30 PM
Wed Feb 3, 2010 CAROLINA 7:00 PM
Thu Feb 11, 2010 DALLAS 7.30 PM
Sat Feb 13, 2010 ANAHEIM 8.00 PM
Wed Mar 3, 2010 MINNESOTA 8.00 PM
Fri Mar 5, 2010 NEW JERSEY 7:00 PM
Thu Mar 11, 2010 OTTAWA 7.30 PM
Mon Mar 15, 2010 DETROIT 7.30 PM
Fri Mar 19, 2010 SAN JOSE 7:00 PM
Tue Mar 23, 2010 ANAHEIM 7:00 PM
Wed Mar 31, 2010 PHOENIX 7.30 PM
Tue Apr 6, 2010 SAN JOSE 7.30 PM
Thu Apr 8, 2010 MINNESOTA 7.30 PM

To book Banff Ice Hockey, contact rocky-peak Holidays direct.



22 Oct

After being very impressed with a recent Heli-Hike in the Canadian Rockies, I wanted to write a bit about it and provide details on how you can go about booking it for yourself, as these tours need to be booked in advance.


I went out last Tuesday, October 14, which is getting quite late for Heli-Hiking. As you can see by the pictures, there was already some snow. Once the snow really accumulates, you can take advantage of a Heli-Snowshoe tours which can also be booked through rocky-peak Ski Holidays.

The drive to the Helicopter start point is spectacular in itself as you have to drive along the magnificent Icefields Parkway from either Jasper, Banff or Lake Louise. The location makes this tour a great addition to many itineraries in Western Canada as it is right en-route and so minimises travel time.

Once you arrive at the Icefields Heliport, just outside of Banff National Park, you will be safety briefed, geared up, and then you board the helicopter.


The helicopter takes you into the backcountry where you can start your hike with the certified guide. Martha, the guide, was very knowledgeable and has the qualifications to back this up!


The walk in itself was easy, however, if you are a stronger hiker, slightly more challenging heli-hikes can be arranged. The home-made gourmet lunch was delicious and really satisfying. After a couple of hours of hiking, the guide will radio the helicopter pilot and you will be picked up. It really is that easy!

Helicopter Landing

I hope you enjoy the photos and if you have any questions, please feel free to post here and I will do my best to answer them, or you can contact rocky-peak Holidays direct.

Do you like Yoga? Why not try a Heli-Yoga tour?!

Memorable hiking in the Canadian Rockies.

There are many photo opportunities!

The only things left behind: your footprints.

Nature surrounds you. Opportunites to see wildlife.

The guide knows the area better than anyone!

Scenic mountain streams.

Abraham Lake
Abraham Lake greets you on your return flight.


Banff Snowmobile Tours

18 Aug

You may think it is too early for us to post information about 2008-2009 Banff snowmobile tours while we are still experiencing temperatures in the mid-30s (in the 90s in Fahrenheit!), but we just wanted to let you know about the snowmobile tours out of Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise for this upcoming 2008-2009 winter season.

Banff snowmobile tours are a great way to experience the great Canadian Outdoors!

This year, there are even more snowmobile tours for you to choose from, from full day family tours to high powered adrenaline tours, you will not be disappointed! There is no wonder that snowmobile tours in the winter months are one of our top most popular tours booked.

In addition to the regular day snowmobile tours, there are also overnight ski and snowmobile packages as well as two-day snowmobile accommodation packages.

Snowmobiling does book up especially over the holiday periods, so pre-booking is definately recommended to avoid disappointment.

Combine any snowmobile tour with a ski package put together by rocky-peak Ski Holidays and receive 10% OFF when pre-booked before November 15 2008…..

….and YES! this offer CAN be combined with any of the many ski specials rocky-peak Ski Holidays currently have!

What are you waiting for? Wash off your sunscreen and get your Banff snowmobile tour booked today!!

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