Family adventuring in the Canadian Rockies

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of October 8-14, 1998
Family adventuring in the Canadian Rockies
A fall visit to Moab
Exploring Florida’s wilderness

Family adventuring in the Canadian Rockies

By Amy Marr

Question: I’ve heard that there are some great package trips in the Canadian Rockies that include a wide variety of activities, like riding, rafting, biking, and hiking, with nights at a mountain lodge. Any suggestions on which would be best for a family with two active sons (ages 9 and 13) for next summer?

Bill Somervil
Baltimore, Maryland

Banff and Lake Louise are not-to-miss destinations for your Rockies trip
Adventure Adviser: Encompassing both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, the Whistler Resort is a fine choice for adventure-seeking families. In addition to typical activities, the resort has some fairly out-there offerings as well. How about heli-hiking in the Coast Mountains or paragliding? Glacier touring, heli-picnicking, and summertime skiing and snowboarding on Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier are other options. For less adrenaline-focused thrills, there’s also windsurfing, inline skating, and mountain biking along an obstacle course. Call 604-932-3434 for more information.

For a kid-friendly vacation where the emphasis is on learning, check out Strathcona Park Lodge in Campbell River, British Columbia (250-286-3122). Strathcona offers a Family Week for those after some high-quality wilderness instruction. Activities covered include kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, orienteering, and canoeing. Resort accommodations are rustic but picturesque — you’ll sleep lakeside, encircled by old-growth forests and snow-topped peaks. Meals are served family-style, with plenty of veggies for growing bodies. Strathcona offers four or five adventure weeks each summer, and the $473/per adult and $303/per child price tag includes meals, accommodations and all instruction.

Another fun and cost-effective option for your horde is to embark on an outfitted group vacation. Backroads, out of Berkeley, California, has perfected the family trip model. Their six-day Canadian Rockies biking trip includes visits to Banff, Lake Louise, the Columbia Icefield, and a rafting trip on the Athabasca River. Though you’ll be staying in tents rather than mountain lodges, the multi-talented leaders will help set up your tent, schlep your luggage, and ensure that you dine on gourmet delights every meal. The all-inclusive trip costs $478-$638 per kid, depending on age, and $798 for each adult. Call 1-800-GO-ACTIVE to order a catalog and book a trip.

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