Prairies & Rockies Self Drive
Available from May - October 2017. Simply add flights which we can arrange from your local airport. Why not extend your stay pre or post tour. Call our specialists today!
Upon arrival at Calgary International Airport, pick up your rental (not included) car and proceed to downtown Calgary and your selected hotel.
Drumheller isthe gateway to the Canadian Badlands and Dinosaur Provincial Park. The city liesin the heart of the parched eroded Alberta Badlands that may be the world’s greatest repository of dinosaur fossils. The town of Drumheller is home to the world famous Royal Tyrrell Museum.
You may wish to take a journey to Dinosaur Provincial Park about 56km east of Drumheller. New species of dinosaur are discovered virtually every year in this 90km patch of the Alberta Badlands, making it one of the world’s richest fossil beds. The region was a prime dinosaur habitat 65 million years ago and ongoing erosion of the sandstone and mudstone landscape regularly exposes remains of the ancient creatures. The park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today’s journey takes you to Cypress Hills - the highest elevation in Canada between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador.
The park is home to a forest of lodge pole pines, rare wildflowers, wildlife including bobcat, elk and moose, as well as over 200 species of birds. Visit Fort Walsh National Historic Site, the original headquarters of Canada’s Mounted Police. Nearby, prehistoric Saskatchewan can be explored at the impressive T.rex Discovery Centre in Eastend. A visit to the region would not be complete without a trek through Grasslands National Park, where undisturbed prairie is preserved and protected, and Plains bison roam freely.
Moose Jaw is known far and wide as ‘the friendly city’. The crown jewel of the city’s attractions is Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort Hotel, featuring its naturally relaxing geothermal mineral water pool. Across the street is the 1920’s themed Casino Moose Jaw. While downtown, step back in time with a guided tour of the Tunnels of Moose Jaw and learn about Al Capone’s bootlegging operations, as well as the experiences of Chinese immigrants in the early 1900s (not included).
Saskatchewan’s capital city , Regina, is home to some of the best collections of provincial history. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum provides a look at the many layers of this history from dinosaurs that used to roam this area as well as how the Fi rst Nations lived thousands of years ago.Canada’s sole training academy for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is located in Regina – visit the RCMP Heritage Centre. Visit the historic Chapel or watch the cadets practicing drill in the Sergeant Major’s Parade.
Visit Manitou Springs Hotel & Mineral Spa (not included). This Europeanstyle mineral spa is legendary for its natural buoyancy, curative power, and a mineral content high in sodium, magnesium and potassium. Visitorsto Saskatoon are struck by the site of the mighty South Saskatchewan River winding its way through the city. Attractions along the riverbank include the Ukrainian Museum of Canada and the Mendel Art Gallery. For a glimpse into Saskatchewan’s past, head to the Western Development Museum.
A journey of discovery awaits you at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, just north of Saskatoon (not included). As far back as 6,000 years, people assembled at this site to hunt, gather food, and seek refuge from the winter winds. Wanuskewin pays tribute to the long, meaningful heritage and culture of Saskatchewan’s First Nations with an internationally renowned interpretive centre, traditional and interactive displays, dance exhibitions, themed hiking trails, and more. The cultures of six Northern Plains tribes are described in the Parks various attractions.
The city of North Battleford is a popular year-round vacation spot in the historic heart of Saskatchewan. Visit Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada – the original Northwest Mounted Police post has five buildings, four with period furnishings, reconstructed stockade/bastions and costumed guides. Visit the Western Development /Heritage Farm and Village with its various agricultural equipment on display, supplemented by demonstrations of 1920 farming techniques and a 1920 Saskatchewan town.
There is a lot to do today. Visit Fort Edmonton Park, a living history museum tracing the growth and development of Edmonton through four historical periods; The Fort, 1885 Street, 1905 Street and 1920 Street. Even the most jaded shopper will be impressed by the immensity of the West Edmonton Mall. Sprawling over an area big enough to accommodate 104 football fields, the complex claims to have one of the largest enclosed shopping centers and indoor amusement parks in the world.
You may want to visit Fort Saskatchewan, a small downtown park overlooking the North Saskatchewan River and the setting for the Fort Saskatchewan Museum and Historic Site. Amid it collection of restored 18th century homes, school, blacksmith shop, church, vintage cars, and farm equipment is Alberta’s first courthouse (1909).
Jasper, fascinating in beauty and history, isset amid some of the most rugged peaks in the Rockies. You may wish to take a tram ride up Whistlers Mountain or soak in the pools at Miette Hot Springs (among the Rockies warmest natural hot springs) (admissions not included).
Explore this charming mountain village close to many terrific scenic highlights. Visit Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed lakes in the world, and enjoy a 90-minute cruise heading toward the south end of this postcard setting (Maligne Lake cruise not included). You will marvel at the magnificent shoreline with dense forest and glacial peaks rising abruptly from the water’s edge. Stopping at Spirit Island, you will have the opportunity to take your own version of the world famous photograph of the lake.
This morning depart on the scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway that takes you through the spine of the Canadian Rockies. You view a neverending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and pristine emerald coloured lakes. Along the way see such sights as the Columbia Icefield and take an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier (included). Also watch for the Sarbach Glacier, Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, with the Bow Glacier providing the backdrop, and Crowfoot Glacier before your arrival into Lake Louise. (Please note: Mountain lakes in this region will be frozen through to mid-June).
Take the short drive from Lake Louise to Banff. Choose the Bow Valley Parkway, beside the Bow River with an option for you to take a stop at Johnston Canyon and walk along the paved footpath to either the lower or upper waterfalls before continuing to Banff. This afternoon explore Banff.
A full day to explore Banff and the surrounding area. In town you’ll find lots of excitement including shopping, cafés, nightlife and museums. Check out the Cave and Basin National Historic Site (not included), Banff Gondola (included) where you will see a panoramic view of the Bow Valley, and then take a dip in the hot mineral pools at the Upper Hot Springs.
Drive to Calgary today, along the 1A Highway. En-route, you may wish to stop at the historic Cochrane Ranch (not included) before dropping off your rental car at the Calgary International Airport or downtown location