Canadian Rockies: Kananaskis and Banff

  1. 2018
    Tuesday, May 29, 2018 to Sunday, June 3, 2018
    Tour Duration: 
    6 days
    Tour Price:
     $1,750 CAD, $1,495 USD
    Single Supplement:
     $340 CAD, $290 USD
    Tour Starts/Ends: 
    Calgary, Alberta
    + 5% GST for Canadians, + 2.5% GST for non-Canadians, save $100/$175 on the Alberta Birds & Dinosaurs tour (double/single occupancy) if you combine these two tours.
    Number of Persons Limit: 
  • Spectacular Mountain Scenery in the Kananaskis region and Banff National Park
  • A morning at the Frank Lake Important Bird and Biodiversity Area for prairie wetland birds including White-faced Ibis, Western Grebe and Cinnamon Teal
  • Excellent bird and mammal watching across a range of elevations and habitats
  • We will visit our guides favourite out of the way birding locales along with some celebrated tourist hotspots

Join us as we explore the breathtaking mountains of Kananaskis Valley and Banff National Park. Situated a short drive west of Calgary Alberta, this stunning landscape is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. This region has a great combination of stunning mountain vistas, turquoise lakes, thundering waterfalls, fast moving rivers and some incredible birds like Harlequin Duck, Clark’s Nutcracker and Western Tanager. 

Breeding season will be in full swing and birding will be the focus each morning. The bulk of our days will be spent exploring the foothills and mountains of Kananaskis Valley and Banff National Park, along with stops to explore some wonderfully diverse prairie sloughs. In addition to birding we will have the opportunity to see lots of mammals including Elk, Bighorn Sheep and possibly even bears.

Combine this tour with our Alberta Birds & Dinosaurs tour.

Itinerary View Short Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Calgary 

Participants will be arriving in Calgary throughout the day. For those arriving early, there are opportunities for birding in and around Calgary. The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary along the Bow River is an excellent area for foothills and riverine species, and is easily accessible within the city of Calgary. Alternately, there are some great museums worth visiting in the city. We meet in the evening at our hotel for a get-together and a discussion of our upcoming Canadian Rockies birding tour. Night in Calgary. 

Day 2: Frank Lake IBA and the foothills southwest of Calgary 

We depart Calgary early and drive to the Frank Lake Important Bird and Biodiversity Area for prairie wetland birds including White-faced Ibis, Cinnamon Teal and Western Grebe. We then head west out of the prairies and into the foothills region visiting several great birding locations including Brown-Lowry Provincial Park and Elbow Falls where our targets will include American Three-toed Woodpecker, American Dipper and Harlequin Duck. Night in Bragg Creek. 

Day 3: Kananaskis Valley

Today we travel to the fantastically beautiful Kananaskis Valley, on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This area consists mainly of Lodgepole pine and spruce forest, with aspen and willow near water. Several large lakes and extensive wetlands dot the valley. The diverse habitats at the low elevations along the highway support a great variety of bird species. During the day we visit several locations where we look for Mountain Chickadees, Townsend’s Warbler, Bighorn Sheep and Barrow’s Goldeneye. We then head for our accommodations for two nights in the town of Banff.  

Day 4: Banff National Park 

On our first morning we will venture up to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Gondola to take in the awe-inspiring views of Banff National Park. Here we should find Clark's Nutcracker and will have a shot at other high elevation bird species like Fox Sparrow and perhaps even a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. After the Gondola we'll head out on the road to explore some of the many great birding sites, and mountain vistas of Banff National Park. Time permitting we'll aim to spend a bit of time exploring the Lake Louise area. Night in Banff

Day 5: Foothills

We check out of our hotel and explore some of the local birding hotspots that we didn't hit on Day 4 before heading back out to the foothills. We'll aim to stop for some wetland specialties in the Cochrane area including LeConte's Sparrow and depending on the spring water levels, Yellow Rail. Back at our hotel in Calgary in the evening for our wrap-up dinner.

Day 6: Departure

Our Canadian Rockies tour ends today, you can depart anytime today. 

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