Banff – Helicopter Flight and Bow River Float

On the spur of the moment, we decided to do a 30 minute helicopter flight this morning to Mount Assiniboine Glacier, which was absolutely fantastic!  The weather was perfect and we were collected from our hotel and taken for a 20 minute drive to Canmore to the helicopter base.  After the mandatory 3 minute safety video, we boarded the helicopter.  Richard insisted that Sandy have the front seat next to the pilot and Richard had the entire back section (4 seats) all to himself!

The flight took us past the Three Sisters, the Goat Range, over Spray Lake, the Spray Mountains, Brewster Glacier, the Sundance Range, the Assiniboine Pass, Lake Magog, Mount Assiniboine Glacier, Gloria Lake, Marvel Lake and Owl Lake.

We had spectacular close-up views of just how rugged and dramatic the Canadian Rocky Mountains are.  At times it felt like we could reach out and touch the cliff faces and mountaintops.

We were delivered back to the hotel with 30 minutes to spare before our planned afternoon activity.

This has definitely been our highlight so far.

This afternoon, we went on a Bow River Float trip, which commenced at the base of the Bow River Falls, not far from the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course.  We travelled approximately 8 kilometres down the Bow River and were able to take some fantastic photos of the river and the Fairmont Banff Springs where we are staying.  We were able to see Buffalo Mountain, Rundle Mountain and Tunnel Mountain and also some unusual rock formations, called the hoodoos, which are formed from wind and rain.

We enjoyed this gentle float down the river on an inflatable raft, which had elevated timber flooring so that our feet didn’t even get wet!  We sat up on the sides with our feet on the timber floor.

Inge and our bus driver, Steve, met us downriver and delivered us back to the hotel.  We decided to go for a walk downtown and saw some squirrels in the park on the way.  We wandered around the shops for a while before walking back up to the hotel, approximately 20 minute walk.

We completed our wonderful day with canapés in the lounge on our floor (one of the advantages of our gold upgrade), followed by room service light dinner, sitting at our window looking out at the Bow River and the mountains in the background.

We have enjoyed our two days at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada’s Castle in the Rockies!  We went exploring one of the wings this morning that has been left very much like a Scottish Castle and we were amazed at how big the hotel is.  It not only has the standard type of hotel accommodation and restaurants, bars, lounges, ballrooms etc, it has a separate conference centre building, 6 tennis courts, a 27 hole golf course, a spa centre and several shops including its own bakery/deli and is celebrating its 125 year anniversary this year.

2 Responses to “Banff – Helicopter Flight and Bow River Float”

  1. Maria says:

    Yes I agree the helicopter is the best thing you have done so far, but many more exciting adventures still to go 🙂 lots of love xx

  2. Katharine says:

    This brings back memories of my time at the fairmont hotels when I was there in 2006. We played tennis one afternoon and I seem to remember going for a walk to check out Bow Falls?? (I could be completely wrong about the walking bit!)
    Glad you’re having a great time. We’ll have to compare photos when you get back.
    Lots of love

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