Tackle the best outdoor adventures in Canada with a guided trip this summer. Here are three of the country's best guided summer getaways:
Chase Wolves in BanffEmbark on a five-day horseback ride through Banff National Park’s Cascade Valley with renowned local ecologist and wolf expert Melanie Percy and Warner Guiding & Outfitting. Few visitors to Canada’s most popular national park will ever see a wild wolf within it — but with Melanie at the helm, you’ll sleuth after Canis lupus like a pro. Track paw prints, spot wolf sign and become a veritable canine aficionado as Melanie expounds on the animals’ social behaviour, biology and breeding and the importance of the predator-prey relationship within Banff. You’ll also pick up tidbits on the history of wolves in the park — all this while touring scenic Stoney Creek, Flints Park and Mystic Valley. If you can’t find wolves — elk, black bears, grizzlies, cougars, lynx and even wolverine might show up instead (a safe distance away, of course). The price of admission ensures each day ends with comfortable canvas tents pre-setup and hearty camp fare cooking in the kitchen. Heck, Flints Park even has a hot shower.
Dates: September 7 to 11; $1,312. Warner Guiding & Outfitting
Kayak With WhalesJohnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound, near the northeastern tip of Vancouver Island, combine to create one of the most reliable regions on the Pacific Coast to spot orcas — get up-close-and-personal with these six-tonne behemoths during a four-day kayak tour with Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures. Their Orca Waters Base Camp Tour leads small groups on kayak excursions around the fertile waters of Hanson Island; each night is spent in raised platform tents following a seafood dinner and a perhaps stint in the beachside sauna. Daily, embark on guided paddles to areas rich with not only orcas, but humpback whales (pictured), stellar sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, porpoises, bald eagles and osprey — viewing all from a respectful distance and with misty evergreens as a backdrop.
Dates: Departures from June through September; $1,250. Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures
Paddle With Sam McGeeThere are strange things done in the midnight sun… see for yourself with a 20-day wilderness canoe expedition covering 700 km of waterway from Whitehorse to Dawson City with Ruby Range Adventures. Put in right near downtown ‘Horse and head north via the gentle current of the Yukon River. Stop at Lake Laberge — made famous in the poem The Cremation of Sam McGee — then paddle to historic sites such as Fort Selkirk, the former Yukon capital and its first army base, as well as the former Northern Tutchone First Nations settlement of Hootalinqua. Few places on Earth offer expansive wilderness like the North — 10 days will pass between sightings of civilization. Here, you’re a canoeist on the same route 50,000 prospectors paddled back in 1890 and that First Nations peoples have used for millennia. By the time you reach Five Finger Rapids, the trip’s only rough water, you’ll be skilled enough to tackle the technical section with ease. Dawson City is not far off; finish the trip with a Sourtoe Cocktail before heading back to Whitehorse via van.
Dates: Departures from June to September; $2,895. Ruby Range Outfitters