Banff Winter Adventure Weekend
All 2023 Banff Winter Trips are confirmed! Let’s Go!
Enjoy a quick and active weekend trip to Canada on this multi-sport trip. We’ve jammed all of your favorite winter activities into one epic weekend! Dog sled, snowshoe, cross-country ski and more! Along with our small group of other adventurous women, disconnect for for a few days. Explore the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park, and Yoho National Park while experiencing the definition of a winter wonderland.
Dog Sledding in the Bow Valley
Mush! Kick off your active winter weekend driving a dog sled with the snowy back drop of the Canadian Rockies! Get hands-on experience assisting the guides in harnessing the dogs and setting up your team. Each sled is shared with equal opportunities to drive the sleds. You’ll warm up next to a campfire with hot beverages and baked goodies while learning more about the role of dog sleds in the Bow Valley.
Cross Country Skiing in the Canadian Rockies
Next up on our winter activities list is traversing the snowy Canadian Rocky landscapes on cross country skis. We’ll start our full day adventure with a lesson learning how to maneuver ourselves with long planks attached to our feet. Once we have the hang of it, we’ll venture out into the wilderness to enjoy the solitude of the trail. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone that you’ll be in one of the most idyllic and undiscovered locations in the Canadian Rockies.
Snowshoeing in Yoho National Park
On our third day together, we pack up and don snowshoes to make our way to the Elizabeth Parker backcountry hut in Yoho National Park. Of course, we don’t just hike there. You’re darn skippy, you’ll be staying the night in this idyllic hut situated in an alpine meadow not far from the shores of Lake O’Hara. Just imagine yourself holding a steaming cup of hot cocoa surrounded by snowy mountains. Yes! Relish in the pristine mountain environment and tranquility. Take a night to disconnect and reboot high in the backcountry where there is no Wi-Fi, cell reception, or electricity. The next day is spent trekking back out from our hut and making our way to Calgary.
Phew! What a weekend! Don’t worry, we’ve also worked in some free time for you to explore the town of Banff or relax in the the hot tubs at our Downtown Banff Hotel.
- Experience two of Canada’s most popular National Parks in the winter: Banff and Yoho.
- Drive a dog sled surrounded by snowy rock mountain peaks.
- Traverse the trails enjoying the quiet serenity of a snowy landscape on Cross Country Skis.
- Snowshoe to a backcountry hut in Yoho National Park surrounded by enchanting landscape.
- Disconnect and reboot in the backcountry where there is no Wi-Fi, cell reception, or electricity.
- Simply show up to a fully-planned weekend trip with a backpack, sleeping bag, cross country skis, ski boots, snowshoes, poles, and all other safety gear provided.
- Relax with a comprehensive itinerary that makes the logistics, transportation, navigation, meal planning, lodging, and everything between easy.
- Private Explorer Chick, small group, women only tour. Embark on your adventure with an encouraging and supportive group of bold women!
Day 1: Dog Sledding and Hot Springs
Welcome to Calgary! Your adventure begins on Day 1 at 7:30 am at our Rendezvous Hotel located in Calgary. Be sure to eat a hearty breakfast before meeting up with the group. You’ll be greeted by your Explorer Chick Leader in the morning with an official orientation to follow. We’ll then hop into our Explorer Chick Private Transport for our 1.5 hour drive to meet our dog sled team in the stunning Kananaskis Country. After introductions and instruction, you’ll be paired up with another Explorer Chick and will take turns driving your 2-person sled for the next hour amidst vast mountain ranges, streams, rivers, glaciers, lakes, ponds and towering forests. Mush!
We’ll say so long to our sled dog team and we’ll drive to snow globe town of Banff to check into our hotel. After we’re settled in and we’ve changed into our best winter beanies, we’ll head out for a mountaintop dinner overlooking Banff. You will ride a gondola to the 7500’ summit of Banff’s Sulphur Mountain where you’ll enjoy a fabulous dinner of regionally-sourced ingredients all while taking in the panoramic views.
Meals: L, D (Note – Breakfast is not included on Day 1
Day 2: Cross Country Skiing in Kananaskis Country
We’ll enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at our hotel before loading up our daypacks and heading out for a day on the snowy trails! Our first stop is to the gear shop and get everyone fitted with Cross-Country Ski Equipment. Then we make our way to the Lake Louise region of Banff National Park. You’ll receive an introduction to your skis and instruction – so don’t worry if you are new to the sport! Just show up with a positive attitude and a keester padded for a few falls. We’ll be skiing in the Pipestone Cross Country area, with some of the best snow and trail conditions in the area and a variety of trail difficulties. Trust us when we say that this is one of the most idyllic locations in the Canadian Rockies.
We’ll return to Banff for the evening and head out in town for another tasty, hearty meal together. Bring your swimsuits, there’s a hot tub at our hotel!
Accommodation: Downtown Banff Hotel
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Snowshoe to Backcountry Hut in Yoho National Park*
It’s one more morning at our cozy downtown Banff Hotel where you’ll fuel up on breakfast. Then it’s off to get fitted and geared up for our overnight snowshoe in Yoho National Park. You’ll borrow a 70L backpack and sleeping bag for the next two days. You’ll want to pack light because you’ll need to carry everything in on your back plus shared gear and food. Hey, it’s an adventure, baby! Then, we’ll load up our van to drive to the Lake O’Hara trailhead.
It’s a straightforward snowshoe to our log cabin hut styled to blend in with it’s natural setting. The hut is surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the Canadian Rockies. And you get to soak it all in! Just wait for the sun to set with all the glittering stars overhead in the crisp night. Perhaps the best part is that there is no Wi-Fi at the hut. Yes, time to disconnect and enjoy the company of other adventure minded women. Alas, real conversations!
Time: 5+ hours
Distance: 7.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft
Accommodation: Alpine Hut
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Snowshoe out and Return to Calgary
It’s back to reality today, as we return the same way on our snowshoes. Of course, not without one more deep breath taking it all in. We’ll reverse our route from the day before snowshoeing out and dropping off gear. Then, we will return to our Rendezvous Hotel in Calgary. You can expect to return around 4pm.
Time: 3-5 hours
Distance: 7.5 miles
Meals: B, L
- 2 nights downtown Banff Hotel accommodation with mountain views, 2 outdoor hot tubs, steam room, sauna, outdoor fireplace, Wi-Fi, hot breakfast, and within walking distance to local shops and restaurants. Shared 2 per room.
- 1 night backcountry alpine hut in Yoho National Park
- Backcountry huts sleep up to 20 guests in bunk style accommodation. Bunks are in one room, mixed gender. There will be other outdoor folks sharing the hut with us.
- No electricity. Composting toilet outhouse. No Wi-Fi. Remote and Rugged!
- Helping with meals and clean up is expected and part of the mountaineering experience.
- All meals as indicated in itinerary: B-3, L-4, D-3
- All tips for included meals and local guides
- Dog Sledding shared 2 per sled taking turns driving
- Cross country ski lesson and tour with all gear included
- 70L backpack
- Sleeping bag
- Cross country skis
- Ski boots
- Group safety gear
- Guided hiking throughout with a local expert(s) and your Explorer Chick leader
- All National and Provincial Park entry fees
- One to two local backcountry guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides with extensive winter travel experience
- A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt
- Private Explorer Chick land-transportation throughout itinerary
- A detailed Travel Guide with everything you need to know for your trip
- One experienced Explorer Chick Leader ensuring your trip is seamless and unforgettable!
- The freedom to enjoy your vacation and mindlessly wander!
- Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 11 women
*Packages do NOT include your rendezvous hotel, departure hotel, airfare, airport transportation, alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, Explorer Chick Guide tips, meals exclusive of itinerary, or costs for additional activities.
*Does NOT include your Explorer Chick Guide’s Tips – Tipping your Explorer Chick Guide is optional, but customary. If you wish to recognize your Explorer Chick Guide for exceptional service, we recommend you tip them 10-25% of your trip costs.
You will receive a travel guide attached to your booking confirmation with the Rendezvous hotel and all of the information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip.
Your adventure begins and ends in Calgary, Canada.
Day 1: Group Rendezvous at 7:30am in the hotel lobby. Rendezvous hotel information will be provided in your Travel Guide. You are responsible for booking your arrival hotel and airport transportation.
Day 4: Return to our Rendezvous Hotel in Calgary. You can fly out of Calgary anytime after 7pm. However, it is recommended to fly out the following day in case there are road delays or issues on the trail. You are responsible for booking your departure hotel and airport transportation.
We require a minimum of 5 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm your trip is guaranteed before booking airfare.
Just as you would a marathon, you must train prior to your adventure. On the final 2 days of your adventure, your pack will weigh approximately 25 lbs. You will be responsible for carrying your own gear plus shared gear on your trip. You will be snowshoeing in alpine environments. You’ll be snowshoeing UP 7.5 miles to our alpine hut nestled in the mountains. The terrain will be gradually uphill for the majority of the hike.
All of our days will be spent entirely outdoors playing in the snow. If cold is not your thing, then this adventure is not for you.
You should be training with a pack gradually adding weight to it to allow your body to adapt. You can easily add weight using gallons of water, wrapped cat litter, bags of charcoal, or weights.
You should be training on rough and rugged terrain – not perfectly paved sidewalks. Train how you play! Also, find steps, a hill, or the Stairmaster and get to climbing! Your quads, booty, and calves will thank you. Train in all the weather – This even means rain! Please consider the physical demands carefully as it is for the safety and enjoyment of the group.
Train your tootsies! Do not show up with brand new hiking boots or trail shoes. You should be spending hours upon hours in your boots leading up to your adventure to break them in. Better to suffer blisters at home than to miss out on a hike due to painful hot spots on your feet. This is our number one injury. Do not let it happen to you!
All Explorer Chicks will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Physical Demands as part of their waiver upon booking.
Still not convinced that THIS is the adventure for you?
We’ve rounded up some of our most popular blog posts, so you can get to know us a bit better and learn what really goes down on your Explorer Chick Adventure.
- Remember How it Feels to Play
- You are NOT Alone
- The Power of Explorer Chick
- What Does an Explorer Chick Look Like?
- We are ALL IN
- We Do Dumb Stuff
- The Explorer Chick Purpose
- The Traveler vs. the Tourist
- 6 Benefits to Booking with a Tour Company
You can always reach us by email with more questions! Info@ExplorerChick.com
To protect your travel investment and your hide, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive an no-hassle, online quote in less than 2 minutes.
Save $200 with our Early Bird Discounts!
Just book at least 6 Months in Advance! Discount is automatically applied.
Non-Refundable Deposit: $300 due at booking to secure your spot
Payment Plans are Available!
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org after booking to set up an automatic monthly payment plan.
- OR make your own custom payments in your Explorer Chick account (Created after booking).