Rocky Mountains wildlife holiday in Canada
Typically trips are expertly guided by a leading specialist with a good knowledge of the area to be visited. Inevitably, birds, plants and mammals are the main focus of attention however, the aim will be to incorporate all other aspects of the natural world in an attempt to be as broad-minded as possible. A local guide may often accompany trips.
How Rocky Mountains wildlife holiday in Canada makes a difference
As experienced Canadian guides, we are familiar with the area’s natural history, wildlife and environmental issues. In the Rocky Mountains, the central issue is balancing wildlife preservation with commercialisation and public access to the parks.
The Rocky Mountains, including Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Kootenay National Park, and Yoho National Park, are home to several endangered and threatened species. To this end the company supports the wildlife conservation efforts of the Valhalla Wilderness Society and donates $50 for every seat sold. Our education about Canada’s park system ranges from Canada oldest park, Banff (established in 1885) to BC’s Nahatlatch Provincial Park (established in 1999). This latter park is a wonderful representative sample of an undisturbed Coast Mountain drainage and offers habitat for species that are dependent on old growth ecosystems and a high degree of wilderness.
Our other environmental practices include:
- Adhering to ‘bear aware’ practices on all camping trips.
- Discouraging plastic water bottles and encouraging our guests to bring their own travel mugs and drink from a central water container in the van.
- Practicing ‘no trace touring’ wherever we hike or camp.
- Soliciting and acting upon client comments as how to improve our sustainable tourism practices.
We stay in local properties that have environmental practices and educate and adhere to no trace camping on our camping tours. We encourage travellers to drink from fresh water carried on tour and not to purchase disposable plastic water bottles. Travellers are not permitted to ‘bushwack’ – going off designated trails due to safety and environmental impact concerns. As well, we educate travellers on pertinent environmental issues in the areas we travel, such as those affecting salmon runs, how to reduce forest fire hazards and reducing consumption of packaged goods while on tour (eg providing healthy snacks for travellers to carry with them instead of buying junk food at local stores). As well we solicit and act upon client comments as how to improve our sustainable tourism practices.
We use recycled tissue and environmentally friendly cleaning products. Our office staff are provided with a secure place to store their bicycles and encouraged to car pool. Inter-office documents are printed on the blank side of previously used paper. Light bulbs are all low energy.
We support the following environmental charities in Canada: The Land Conservancy, the Alpine Club of Canada and the BC Wilderness Tourism Association.
Parks are the principle destination for our tours. We educate our travelers about each park’s natural history, wildlife and current issues impacting its use. We hold annual permits for all national and provincial parks we explore and has excellent relations with park authorities in Alaska, Yukon Territories, the Rocky Mountains and Vancouver Island.
Our pre-departure information is tailored to the specific destinations we travel to. Each document contains information on travelling responsibly and social and environmental issues in the particular area.
Our small group adventures utilize local outfitters, stay in small scale, locally owned accommodation and frequent local shops for meals, supplies and crafts. These practices facilitate a high degree of contact with locals and ensure that the economic development our business brings goes directly to local businesses and communities. Our itineraries are reasonably flexible and, with the permission of the group, we often detour to attend local events and festivals.
As well, travelling in small groups of up to 8 people enables us to minimize our impact on the environment and allows our travelers to explore without ‘invading’ local economies that do not have the infrastructure to accommodate large groups. In many ways we view this as ‘no trace touring’.
Our overnight canoe adventure in Wells Gray Provincial Park utilizes a local company. This company conducts its operations according to strict Provincial Park regulations including employing certified canoe guides, guest to guide paddling ratios and no trace camping etiquette.
We have strict rules that travellers do not leave the vehicle they are in, whether it be a boat or tour van, if they see wildlife. This rule ensures that our guide is always in control of people / wildlife boundaries. During our hikes we practice ‘bear aware’ – ensuring that travellers know what to do if they see a bear or cougar. Our practices include checking with parks to see if bears are present in the areas we hike, practising ‘no trace camping’, hiking in groups with a minimum of four people and ensuring that travellers do not store food or toiletries in their tents.
Rocky Mountains wildlife holiday in Canada