Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour

Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour

Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour

Prices

From $1,275USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels

Start Your Booking

Highlights

Discover the beauty and unbeatable adventure in the Canadian Rocky Mountains during the winter

Visit charming mountain towns and explore the endless frozen wilderness of the national parks.

Ski downhill or cross country as much or as little as you like on this flexible itinerary.

Enjoy fewer crowds and breathtaking winter scenery as you explore Jasper, Banff, Yoho, and Kananaskis.

Discover the beauty of frozen waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and endless glaciers as you drive the famous Icefields Parkway.

The spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains attract visitors from around the world in the summer, but during the winter they become a beautiful snowy playground for skiers and adventurous travellers. The Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour is a relaxed self-driving itinerary that offers longer stays in each stop, so you can fill each day with your favourite winter activities.

This tour spends two nights each in Banff and Jasper so that you can ski, hike, and enjoy the atmosphere of these mountain villages. Then you’ll go for the drive of your life on the incredible Columbia Icefields Parkway. On your way to Yoho National Park, you can visit the incomparable Lake Louise and the unusual ice bubbles at Lake Abraham. On top of skiing and hiking, you’ll have to chance to have unique winter experiences like dog sledding, heli-snowshoeing, and trekking to icefalls. This unique road trip is the perfect way to combine exciting outdoor adventures with incredible sightseeing through the famous Rocky Mountain national parks.

Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Calgary

Today your tour begins, and you can pick up your rental vehicle from the Calgary Airport when your flight arrives. Get settled at your hotel and then head out to explore the city.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Calgary
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 2 Your Mountain Adventure Begins

In the morning, you’ll drive towards the mountains that have already been calling to you since you arrived in Alberta. Enjoy the beautiful winter scenery as you drive into Banff.

Spend the afternoon exploring the charming mountain village and take the cable car to the top of Sulfur Mountain for a spectacular panoramic view. End the day with a relaxing soak as you take in the views from the hot springs.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Banff
Distance
127km
Meals
None

Day 3 Skiing or Hiking in Banff

Ski enthusiasts are spoiled for choice in Banff and can spend the day on the slopes at Sunshine Village or Mount Norquay. You can also take an exciting guided excursion into Johnston Canyon and go for an ice walk to explore frozen waterfalls including the Johnston Canyon Upper Falls, known as the Cathedral of Ice during the winter months.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Banff
Distance
None
Meals
None

Day 4 Drive the Famous Icefields Parkway

Continue your journey through the mountains on the spectacular Columbia Icefields Parkway. You’ll want to stop often to take in the incredible mountain views of peaks, glaciers, and frozen waterfalls on your way to Jasper. Tonight, you’ll check in for the first of two nights in Jasper.

Please note, that Icefields Parkway route is not maintained during the winter, therefore in some cases the detour might be required.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Jasper
Distance
288km
Meals
None

Day 5 Snow and Stars in Jasper

Today you have a full day to explore the mountain town of Jasper. You can go hiking or skiing on the nearby hills or take the optional winter wildlife tour to learn how to spot local animals during the winter.

The Jasper sky is part of the Dark Sky Preserve and is an excellent place to try to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. You can visit the planetarium in the evening and observe the aurora borealis from their outdoor telescope for a night of stargazing you’ll never forget.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Jasper
Distance
None
Meals
None

Day 6 Frozen Lakes and Mountains Drive

You’ll find yourself back on the magnificent Icefields Parkway today as your drive to Field. Stop at Lake Abraham to see its strange and beautiful frozen bubbles. You can opt to take a helicopter snowshoeing tour to see the area from another spectacular vantage point.

Your next stop will be at Lake Louise, where you can stop for lunch in the village and enjoy the iconic view of the lake and the mountains beyond. Then it’s on to Yoho National Park where you’ll find your lodge in Field at Emerald Lake.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Field
Distance
263km
Meals
None

Day 7 Enjoy the Snow in Yoho National Park

The beauty of your surroundings may call you to stay at the lodge today to relax and enjoy the peaceful winter's day at the lake. However, whether you’re in the mood for downhill skiing, xc skiing, or snowshoeing, you’re sure to find that Yoho National Park has something wonderful in store for you today.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Field
Distance
None
Meals
None

Day 8 Discover the Kananaskis Valley

Drive through the snow-covered mountains to Kananaskis. On the way, you can make a final stop in Banff or visit the nearby mountain town of Canmore. When you arrive in Kananaskis, you can take a dog sledding excursion to explore the valley and look for wildlife. This is also a great ski area if you want to spend a final day on the slopes or the trails.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Kananaskis
Distance
131km
Meals
None

Day 9 Tour Ends in Calgary

Today your tour officially concludes when you return your rental vehicle to the Calgary Airport in time to catch your flight.

Overnight Location
None
Distance
117km
Meals
None

Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour Price and Dates

This self-guided winter tour of the Rockies is run as private tour for your group only, and the price per person depends on how many people are in your group.

Prices below are per person:

  • Self-Guided Groups of 2+: $1,275USD per person
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Accommodation on the Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour

This tour is based in hotels. Hotels on this trip are 3-star and offer modern conveniences and will welcome you with comfortable rooms.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travellers
Rooms are double occupancy. Single rooms, including those for solo travellers, are by request and may incur an additional fee.

Night 1

Hotel in Calgary

Calgary is a metropolitan city with tons of restaurants and attractions to see, so you may not be spending much time in your room here!

Night 2-3

Hotel in Banff

Revel in this iconic mountain town that has graced many magazine covers. Wander the charming streets and admire the peaks around you.

Night 4-5

Hotel in Jasper

Relax in a cozy 3-star standard hotel surrounded by immense mountains. Stroll the streets and take your pick of various top-notch restaurants and bars.

Night 6-7

Hotel in Field

Rest up in Field in your welcoming hotel, which keeps you close to all that this little town offers.

Night 8

Hotel in Kananaskis

Get a room in a comfortable 3-star standard hotel at the foothills of Kananaskis Country. Enjoy being surrounded by nature.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour?

Meals

There are no meals included in this tour.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 8 nights are included. Accommodations before and after the tour in Calgary are not included but can be added as a supplement.

Transportation during the Tour

This is a self-drive tour, so you’ll be provided with a rental vehicle for the duration of the itinerary.

Also Included

  • Standard vehicle rental, Category B
  • Canadian taxes
  • 24/7 access to helpline

Not included

  • Flights
  • Guide
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas if required
  • Entrance fees to national parks
  • Admission to attractions, including the Banff Hot Springs and planetarium in Jasper
  • Meals, drinks, or snacks not previously mentioned
  • Gratuities for tour guides or other staff if desired
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional activities
  • Ski and equipment rental
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Fuel

Optional Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single occupancy
  • Optional activities or excursions:
    • Sulfur Mountain cable car
    • Banff Upper Hot Springs entry
    • Ski/Snowboard equipment rental and lift tickets
    • Ice walk at Johnston Canyon
    • Entrance to the planetarium and telescope stargazing
    • Winter wildlife tour in Jasper
    • Helicopter and snowshoe tour at Abraham Lake
    • Dog sledding in Kananaskis

Frequenty Asked Questions about Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour

How hard is the Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour?

We rate this tour as a 2/5. This tour has a flexible itinerary that allows you to choose your hikes and ski activities so that you can tailor them to your fitness level. If you choose to ski, there are trails and runs appropriate for all skill levels, and the ski hills offer lessons that we recommend you book in advance.

Is my driver’s licence valid in Canada?

Most standard driver’s licences are valid in Canada; however, International Drivers Permit might be required, or some exemptions might apply. Please check this source about driving with foreign license in Canada.

Is the vehicle insurance included?

No, vehicle insurance is not included in the package. We strongly suggest having one for this tour to avoid liability in case there is damage caused to the vehicle. You can either book vehicle insurance during the booking process, or get one by yourself.

I’ve never been on a self-guided trip! How does it work?

Self-guided travelling is not difficult! For many, it is a preferred type of travel, since you are in charge of your own time and pace. You are provided with all the information you’ll need to follow the route each day and often have access to phone support or other kinds of assistance. However, self-guided travelling requires good navigation skills and those who don’t feel confident in unknown places should consider booking guided tours.

Do I need a visa to travel to Canada?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour?

There are no meals included in this tour.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip, and your insurance should cover all included activities. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Calgary to start this tour?

Fly into Calgary International Airport (YYC), and you will pick up your rental vehicle from the airport.

Is the Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour in English?

This is a self-guided tour, and the route guide, maps, and programs will be supplied in English.

Where does the Winter Rockies Self-Drive Tour end?

This tour ends at the Calgary International Airport (YYC), where you can drop off your rental vehicle.

Can I rent skis?

Yes, all of the ski hills on your route offer ski equipment rental. You will be able to rent downhill skis, cross-country skis, and snowboards as well as safety equipment.

Can I bring my own skis?

Yes. You are welcome to bring your own ski equipment, however, please be aware that your rental vehicle does not include ski racks and may not be able to easily accommodate your skis. Please discuss your options with us if you’d prefer to bring your equipment.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Canada?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Canada?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

When is the best time to travel to Canada for this tour?

The best time to travel to the Rocky Mountains for this tour is during the winter to enjoy the freshest snow and winter activities. This tour is available from December to March.

Reviews

All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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Prices

From $1,275USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels

Start Your Booking

What travellers say

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 2/5. This tour has a flexible itinerary that allows you to choose your hikes and ski activities so that you can tailor them to your fitness level. If you choose to ski, there are trails and runs appropriate for all skill levels, and the ski hills offer lessons that we recommend you book in advance.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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