Between viewing the northern lights and skiing in the Rockies, you'll enjoy the best of western Canada on this 10-day winter adventure. Arrive in Whitehorse, where you'll go dogsledding by day and witness the aurora borealis by night. See mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and wolves at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, then head south to Banff and hit the slopes for four glorious days of world-class skiing. Finish your trip in Calgary with a luxurious meal atop Calgary Tower for sparkling night views of the city.


  • Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of the northern lights
  • See the native wildlife up close as you visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve
  • Explore the quaint town of Banff and its stunning surroundings
  • It's slopes-galore as you carve the trails of the three major ski resorts in the region

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Whitehorse,  Aurora Borealis Viewing Whitehorse
Day 2 Yukon Wildlife Preserve Tour, Aurora Borealis Viewing Whitehorse
Day 3 Half-Day Dog Sled Ride, Aurora Borealis Viewing Whitehorse
Day 4 Fly to Calgary, Transfer to Banff Banff
Days 5-8 Ski the Big Three, Explore the Columbia Icefield Banff
Day 9 Transfer to Calgary, Explore Calgary & Dine at Calgary Tower Calgary
Day 10 Depart Calgary  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Whitehorse, Aurora Borealis Viewing

Welcome to Whitehorse
The northern lights near Whitehorse

Welcome to the Yukon! Your adventure begins in Whitehorse. Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will take you to your hotel in the heart of the city. Visiting Whitehorse is like stepping into a dream. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Yukon Mountains, the town is a nature lover's paradise. As you stroll, learn about the local culture and explore the independent shops and restaurants that line the streets. There's something for everyone, from the adventurer looking for a thrilling outdoor experience to the history buff fascinated by the area's past. 

Whitehorse is also prime aurora borealis territory, and on clear winter nights you have a good chance of witnessing this unforgettable atmospheric phenomenon. As the sky turns a deep indigo, you'll begin to notice a mysterious and ethereal glow in the distance. Gradually, the light intensifies, adding vibrant colors such as electric blues, vivid greens, and soft purples. Aurora borealis viewing takes place outside the city in a heated, cozy cabin or wall tent, as you enjoy hot drinks and snacks in comfort. It's recommended to schedule multiple nights of viewings for the best chance of seeing this spectacular show of nature in its full glory.

Day 2: Yukon Wildlife Preserve Tour, Aurora Borealis Viewing

Yukon Wildlife Preserve tour
Be on the lookout for mountain goats

This morning, you'll be picked up at the hotel lobby and head 19 miles (30 km) northwest to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. This guided tour is an excellent opportunity to view and photograph wildlife in its natural habitat. You'll likely see Dall sheep, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, caribou, and moose, usually up close. The tour starts with a guided drive to the viewing area, located on the outskirts of Dawson City.

You'll also get a firsthand look at the wild wolf packs of the Yukon. Your guide will provide insight into the wolves' fascinating behavior and habits and answer any questions. During the tour, you can observe wolves and other wildlife through a spotting scope, allowing up-close viewing of these majestic creatures. When you return to Whitehorse, rest up because tonight, there will be another scheduled viewing of the aurora borealis. You'll leave the hotel at 10 pm and come back around 2:30 am, ready to dream about the fantastic show you just witnessed. 

Day 3: Half-Day Dog Sled Ride, Aurora Borealis Viewing

Half Day Dog sledding
Dogsledding in the Yukon

From the hotel, you'll transfer by van to a dog kennel outside of Whitehorse to experience the thrilling adventure of dogsledding in the Yukon. This tour will take you on a journey through the breathtakingly beautiful terrain of this rugged wilderness, where you can run your own dog team for two hours. Enjoy the snow-capped mountains, the vast expanses of untouched snow, and the captivatingly clear blue skies. Your guide will provide the necessary gear, supplies, and equipment for a safe and comfortable journey.

As your trusty canine companions pull you through the snow-covered trails, you can spot some local wildlife and take in the sweeping views. At the end of the ride, take the time to relax and enjoy a hot cup of tea or cocoa. After your trip out, reward yourself with a beer from the famous Yukon Brewery at one of several downtown restaurants. After dinner, set back out to see the northern lights again. 

Day 4: Fly to Calgary, Transfer to Banff

Drive from Calgary to Banff
Banff's main drag
Plan your trip to Canada
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

A driver will take you to the airport in Whitehorse this morning to catch a two-hour flight to Calgary. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by your driver and make the journey through the Canadian Rockies. As you head west toward Banff National Park, you'll have plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife like elk, brown and black bears, and mountain goats. Admire the waterfalls of the Bow River, and stop to climb Tunnel Mountain for incredible panoramic views from the summit. Your destination for the night is Banff, a charming town in the eponymous national park.

Banff provides year-round opportunities for wildlife watching, outdoor adventures, and cultural activities. Stroll the shop-lined streets, make your way to the Banff Park Museum for an introduction to the local wildlife, or take the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain to walk the boardwalk trail. After enjoying the mountain vistas, stay for dinner with a view at Sky Bistro or indulge in an evening dip in the hot mineral waters of the Upper Hot Springs Pool near the cable car's base. If you'd prefer to dine in town, wander along Banff Avenue, where you'll find excellent bars and restaurants. 

Days 5-8: Ski the Big Three, Explore the Columbia Icefield

Ski Big 3
Carve those slopes!

If you're in Banff during the winter, you've got to hit the slopes! During the next four days, enjoy the perfect powder and world-class runs of the Canadian Rockies. Three extraordinary resorts sit on your doorstep, with shuttles available from downtown Banff to get you into the mountains and their 357 runs. Choose between Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mount Norquay, or spend a day at each—where you'll find a wide variety of trails for all levels of skiers or snowboarders. After you carve up the ski runs, you can always head to Banff Upper Hot Springs near the top of Sulphur Mountain to ease those sore muscles.

During this time, you'll also have the option to explore the Columbia Icefield on foot. Ice Walks offers an interpretive, guided hike on the Athabasca Glacier, taking you to parts of the glacier that you would otherwise not be able to experience. Learn about different glacier formations and view the incredible ice-carved landscapes. "Icewalk in the Afternoon" is highly recommended among the three glacial tours available. Lasting three hours, you'll discover the lower area of Athabasca Glacier. You'll understand the concepts of active glaciation and the features of a glacially carved landscape.

Day 9: Transfer to Calgary, Explore Calgary & Dine at Calgary Tower

Pedestrian-friendly Stephen Avenue, Calgary
Calgary's Peace Bridge

It's time to say farewell to the slopes and make the beautiful two-hour drive back to Calgary. Your driver will follow the Trans-Canada Highway, which passes through captivating mountain scenery, including the Bow Valley and Kananaskis Country. Along the way, make stops in Canmore and Cochrane. Once you've checked in to your hotel, take some time to visit the city's vibrant downtown, and head to 8th Avenue for great shops and restaurants.

Take a walk on the Peace Bridge located in Calgary's downtown area. Visit the Calgary Zoo and explore its exotic wildlife. Or, learn about Calgary's history at the Calgary Heritage Park. Tonight, a dinner reservation awaits you at the Sky360 revolving restaurant in the Calgary Tower. Enjoy a delicious meal while you take in the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city. As you dine, the restaurant slowly rotates, giving you a different view of the city every few minutes. After dinner, stroll around the observation deck and enjoy the unique perspective of the city at night.

Day 10: Depart Calgary

Bye- Bye
Goodbye Canada!

You'll have time for one last walk around town this morning before transferring to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Western Canada Northern Lights & Ski Adventure: Whitehorse, Banff & Calgary - 10 Days
Map of Western Canada Northern Lights & Ski Adventure: Whitehorse, Banff & Calgary - 10 Days