Best of Canadian Rockies - Sneakers OK?

My wife and I are doing the Best of The Canadian Rockies tour the first week of August. Are sneakers OK for the trip or do we need heavier walking/hiking shoes?

Comments

  • Totally okay... whether you are walking around Moraine Lake with the Tauck naturalist, or walking around Lake Louise (even up to the Tea House), sneakers will serve you well.
  • It depends on what you want to do. If you choose to do the "Wildlife Discovery Tour" in Jasper, you'll probably want boots or at least high top shoes. On our walk we went "off trail" and some people who wore sneakers had a little problem (some wore sandals and had to stay behind!). The on-tour hikes are all level and on easy trails. However. if you want to do a little more hiking on your own (as we did), boots would be helpful. We walked to top of the mountain above the cable car in Jasper and were glad to have boots. Steep trail and loose gravel on that walk. We also walked to the tea house above Lake Louise. Steep trail and we got rained on, so we were glad to have waterproof shoes.
  • It depends on what you want to do. If you choose to do the "Wildlife Discovery Tour" in Jasper, you'll probably want boots or at least high top shoes. On our walk we went "off trail" and some people who wore sneakers had a little problem (some wore sandals and had to stay behind!). The on-tour hikes are all level and on easy trails. However. if you want to do a little more hiking on your own (as we did), boots would be helpful. We walked to top of the mountain above the cable car in Jasper and were glad to have boots. Steep trail and loose gravel on that walk. We also walked to the tea house above Lake Louise. Steep trail and we got rained on, so we were glad to have waterproof shoes.
    When did you sign up for the Wildlife Discovery Tour?

    Iauck says: see your tour guide upon arrival.

    If we are coming one evening earlier at the Westin Calgary... Will the tour guide be there??? Or do we see him on the bus the start of the tour next day?

    Help

    Ray
  • I think that it is unlikely that you will see your tour director at the hotel. We didn't arrive early, so we met him at the airport. However, the TD we had lived fairly near by, so I don't think he would have stayed in Calgary just for the early arrivals. Of course, things might have changed if they have a new TD. If you have a problem with the hotel, you can ask the front desk if the TD is in the hotel. Otherwise call Tauck to get a resolution (extremely unlikely you will need to do this).

    As I recall, we chose our activity when we got to Jasper. By the way, if you do the wildlife hike, it take place in the evening, so you can do one of the other activities during the day. You will have to book through the hotel concierge and pay for it. You won't be with Tauck people. We did the gondola ride on our own and did the wildlife hike through Tauck.

    Also, the helicopter ride is definitely worth doing. We had a number of nervous folks who opted out on our tour. They really missed it. A short flight (about 15 minutes) and very smooth and comfortable. The operator has first class equipment and pilots and is very experienced. highly recommended.
  • Our TD had come from out-of-town, and was at the Westin before our tour departed.
    There are also times when multiple tours will be running at the same time. Our director told us she preferred trips departing from Calgary on the weekend as opposed to week days (due to tourist volumes during the week) - so just be aware you will see other Tauck tour buses along your journey (look twice to make sure you are getting on the right bus).
    Our TD also made herself available to all the travelers in the lobby of the various hotels every morning and evening, so I guess it just depends on the TD as to how much he/she makes themselves available to the tour members.
    And in contrast to Ken, all of our activities were chosen before we arrived at our destinations (as well as our dining arrangements). Again, this could be a variable dependent on the TD. And in Jasper, several couples on our tour did multiple activities. One is included with your tour, anything additional is at additional cost to you. However, our TD volunteered to make all the arrangements for us, and there was no need to deal with the hotel concierge (I think the price was a little better too). When you get to Lake Louise, you will receive a discount card which gives you a price break at all the Fairmont properties you will visit. Canoeing at Lake Louise is terribly expensive (my memory is $105 CAD for an hour). The discount card gives you 50% off the listed price. In contrast, we went canoeing on Lac Beauvert at Jasper Park for $20 USD with the discount.
    And in contrast to Ken's experience, our helicopter ride was quite bumpy (I've been in a helicopter a few dozen times). You are flying thru a pass and around a mountain where a little turbulence should be expected (especially with the dynamic weather in a mountainous region). Despite the bumps, I too would highly recommend the ride (our turbulence wasn't bad enough to make the ride anything other than a fantastic ride). You are in for a great trip!
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