Alberta Vacations & Adventure Tours

alberta vacation adventure

Alberta vacations and adventure tours bring you to the heart of the Canadian Rockies to hike scenic trails and icy glaciers under a big, blue sky.

Spend your days trekking among the most beautiful scenery in the world, where you and your fellow travelers are the only living souls in sight (except for the occasional flock of bighorn sheep). On our Alberta vacations and adventure tours, you can expect to hike the stunning Athabasca Glacier, tackle the Class III and IV rapids of Kicking Horse River, and set off on daily hikes amid the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

After all that adrenaline-pumping fun, we promise plenty of relaxation, too. Delicious food and luxurious accommodations await, perfect for unwinding over good conversation, a soak, or perhaps reading a book by a warm fire. Also, we promise not to let you leave before you check out the internationally acclaimed shops and galleries of Banff.

Alberta Vacation Packages

North America

Banff & Jasper Adventure

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

The Rocky Mountains are yours to discover through off-the-beaten-track trails, unbeatable white water rafting and glacier hiking on our 6-day Jasper and Banff National Parks Hiking Adventure Tour.

Trip Start: Calgary, Alberta Canada Trip End: Calgary, Alberta Canada

North America

Banff & Jasper Family Vacation

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

Trip Start: Calgary, Alberta Canada Trip End: Calgary, Alberta Canada
bc vacations 2

When is the best time to visit Alberta?

Alberta enjoys four distinct seasons from snowy winters to mild summers. With the highest number of sunny days in all of Canada (more than 2,300 hours of sunshine each year), Alberta is the perfect place to explore. Alberta adventure vacations can be taken any time of year, but our top pick for the best time to visit Alberta is the summer months from June to August.

Spring (March to May)

You’ll find that the beginning of spring (March and early April) is still quite snowy, and the temperatures will stay on the cooler side (10-25 degrees Fahrenheit). This is the perfect time to take advantage of “spring skiing” and other snow sports, when the weather is warmer than mid-winter, but the snow is still powdery and fresh. Late April and early May will warm up day by day until you see late spring temperatures in the 60s. You’ll still need that jacket for cool evenings.

Summer (June – August)

Most of our Alberta adventures take place during the summer months and this seems to be when the weather is at its finest. You’ll see upper-60s to mid-70s for high temperatures, which is just perfect for scoping out wildlife, taking on the Class II to IV rapids of the Kicking Horse River or taking on a full day hike over Sentinel Pass. Even in mid-summer, you’ll likely run into plenty of snow in the high country and will even get to experience walking on a glacier – it doesn’t get much cooler than that!

Autumn (September – November)

Alberta in the fall is a real treat as the tourist season winds down, the aspens turn a dazzling shade of gold, and sunshine-filled days continue to hold throughout October. This is the perfect time to hike in the high country as most of the snow has melted with constant exposure to summer sunshine and the winter storms haven’t hit yet. Expect highs in the upper 40s to 60-degree range.

Winter (December – February)

Albertans spend half of their year in the snow, so they’ve found lots of ways to enjoy the cold winter! Spending a wintry vacation in Alberta means you’ll likely be downhill or cross-country skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or engaging in the ultimate snowball fight. While temperatures will be chilly (below 0 to 20 degrees F), you can wage a war on the cold by throwing on the layers when playing outside during the day.

BC vacations

How to plan for your Alberta Vacation

If you’re planning an Alberta vacation, you may be wondering what the experts know that you should, too. Below are a few tips to get you started from our seasoned team:

1. Training will make your active Alberta vacation that much easier

On your Alberta vacation, you will take advantage of all kinds of activities: hiking, biking, glacier trekking, rafting, and more! You’ll find that these activities will probably be more enjoyable for you if you practice being active before you ever step foot in Alberta. Many of the hikes and bike rides are hilly (you are in the Canadian Rockies after all!) and probably at a higher elevation than what you’re used to at home. Walking, running, cycling, swimming, and taking fitness classes are all great ways to prepare your body for an active vacation. Find an exercise you enjoy and stick with it three to five times per week to get yourself ready.

2. Pack layers – and your raincoat!

You’re headed to the Rockies which means the weather can be unpredictable. You’ll want to check the weather forecast before you pack so you know what to prepare for. One thing we can tell you to pack with certainty is layers of clothing. Often it will be cool in the morning and warm up to shorts and t-shirt weather later in the day. You’ll want to have your lighter under-layers packed, but you’ll also want some light pants and mid-weight pullovers or jackets as well. Don’t forget to bring a quality raincoat – afternoon thunderstorms are common in the Rockies and you can enjoy so much more when you’re comfortable!

3. Research the host city for things to do

If you’re headed to Alberta, you’ll likely fly into Calgary, a dynamic city situated on the banks of the Bow River. There are tons of things to see and do, whether you want to visit a zoo, take the kids to an amusement park, walk around a museum, sip on local beers at a brewery, shop downtown, or eat at one of the delicious eateries scattered around the city. It also seems that there is a different festival going on every week and you can find an up-to-date list of events on the VisitCalgary.com website.

Travel Tips for Visiting Alberta

A trip to Alberta should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The snow-capped Canadian Rockies, turquoise blue mountain lakes, and abundant wildlife promise an unforgettable adventure in Alberta’s high country.

We’ve compiled a few Alberta travel tips from our team to make your travels easy and enjoyable:

1. Keep an eye out for Alberta’s “Big Five”

On your Alberta vacation, you’ll have the opportunity to spot Alberta’s “Big Five” – grizzly and black bears, big horn sheep, elk, moose, and mountain goats. Keep your eyes peeled while you’re hiking the trails, cycling the bike paths, or just riding in the van down the Bow Valley Parkway. You never know what you’ll see!

2. Passport requirements

Unless you’re native to Canada, you’ll need a passport for entry, but if you’re coming from the United States, you won’t need a visa. If you reside in a different country, you’ll want to check out the Government of Canada’s website to see if you need to apply for a visitor visa prior to entering Canada.

3. Prepare for unpredictable weather

In the Canadian Rockies, you should count on a wide range of weather. First, prepare yourself mentally to enjoy your vacation, regardless of the type of weather! It could be sunny, windy, rainy, or snowy at any time of year (especially in the higher elevations). With a positive attitude and good gear, you’re likely to enjoy your vacation in any type of weather. You always want to have a light hat and gloves (even in the height of summer) and lots of layers to pile on or shed off, depending on the conditions.

FAQs About Alberta Adventures

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Austin Adventures traveler, it’s highly recommended you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of travel delays, missed connections, medical expenses or injury, or lost baggage for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Protection page for more in-depth information and our recommended insurance provider.

What's included on your North America trips?

Accommodation

We've spent years finding places to stay that are quaint, perfectly-located, and comfortable when we take you to the most amazing parts of North America. We offer a wide variety of accommodations on our trips ranging from locally run inns and first-class hotels to resorts, dude ranches and historic national park cabins. Accommodations are selected for their location, unique charm and history, and offer a true feel for the region. We strongly believe in the value of a good night's sleep and our accommodation reflects this. We also like to have somewhere comfortable to relax after the day's activities.

Transport

We're really focused on ensuring that we spend as little time as possible sitting in vehicles, and that we optimise your vacation for adventuring in the great outdoors. Our average driving time is just over two hours a day, and we make plenty of stops for bathroom breaks and sightseeing along the way. We use modern, comfortable 15-passenger vans for all of our transfers and a second van is added to most departures to provide more flexibility and more room to spread out while seeing the sights! Make no mistake - our trips are not typical bus tour vacation packages! Picture more of a road trip with family complete with good music, tasty snacks, and plenty of guide-supplied fun facts along the way to keep you entertained!

Meals

Just about all your meals are included when you travel with Austin Adventures in North America. We provide a wide variety of cuisine - breakfasts are typically eaten at your hotel on your own time in the morning before meeting up with the group. Lunches feature everything from elaborate picnics to roadside cafes to sandwiches trailside. Dinners are usually eaten at our hotel's dining room or a local restaurant with plenty of options to choose from. We easily cater to vegetarians, picky kids, and people with particular dietary needs. All our guides have food safety certificates and are well-practiced in the art of food prep and serving while on-the-move. You'll find the meals are a real highlight of your trip!

All Guiding Services

Each trip features two or three incredible guides and our average guest to guide ratio is 6:1. Our guests are often drawn to North America by the beautiful scenic landscapes, promise of wilderness and clean air - and there's no doubt you'll find all that, though what you may not be expecting is to forge real, genuine friendships with your fellow tripmates, including our wonderful guides. They're hands-down the BEST guides you'll ever come across.

Activities

Any activity described in our itinerary, such as hiking, rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and biking, are included in your trip cost. Our itineraries are pretty jam-packed to maximize our time spent exploring in these amazing places, and your guides will make it clear if there are additional activities available (at your expense).

How many people are there on each of our North America trips?

We get a real variety of people on our trips and they all seem to have one thing in common – a love of the outdoors! Our trips can accommodate up to 22 guests, depending on each departure. Our adult-only departures require a minimum age of 16 years and generally feature a mix of singles, couples and friends, and our family departures require a minimum age of 6 years to join (7 years on our Alaska Family Adventure) and are a great way to meet other like-minded families who like to get outside.
Please note child rates apply to children 12 years and under.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We regularly accommodate single guests on our group trips and there’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.
PLEASE NOTE: If you book within 90 days and you’re a Forced single, you’ll be required to pay for your own room.

If I book a trip with my children, will I be sharing a room with them?

Active Adventures & Austin Adventures family vacations are naturally about spending time with family and as such, most families opt to share rooms on our trips. At time of booking, families consisting of four guests with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at the guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

What if I need a special diet?

We’re accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • pescatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • no pork (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)
  • picky kids (send us a list of what your child will eat and we'll make sure to have it!)
You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in your travel wallet. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online travel wallet.

 

How much luggage can I bring on the North America trips?

You'll need one piece of luggage, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be a soft sided duffel or a suitcase with wheels, and you'll need a good quality 18-24 liter daypack to carry with you throughout the days on the trails.

As far as extra luggage goes, if there's not too much (such as one small extra bag per person) then it shouldn't be a problem to fit it in our luggage trailer during the trip. If you've got more than that, then all major airports have luggage facilities available on a weekly basis, or if you are staying at a pre-trip hotel they may be able to store it for you until you return too.

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get cash?

You'll be able to find a reliable ATM once you arrive to start your trip, within the township or at the airport you land in, as national park ATM locations are sparse at best. Aside from tips for your guides, you could bring $200 and go home with change though some people like to bring some cash to cover a round of drinks, a few souvenirs, and dinner on "night on your own", although you could just as easily use a credit card for these purchases too.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size) and we recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

Is there a number to call in an emergency? How can my family, friends or colleagues contact me

Please contact our office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of business hours), dial the extension for the emergency line. If no one immediately responds, please leave a message so we can pick it up and return your call as soon as we can.
Free phone 1 800 661 9073
Email: service@austinadventures.com

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Active Adventure Assurance

Secure Your Spot Now, Pay the Rest Later

As members of the Active Adventures family, Austin Adventures offers booking assurance that allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.  

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Alberta Adventure Blogs

Why Travel With US

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”