Province/Territory: Alberta

Helicopter Tour explores the secret side of the Rockies

  • 55 minute helicopter tour to see 325 sq km icefield
  • 25 or more tours, packages and activites by helicopter
  • 100 km/hr over the Canadian Rockies

Hop into a helicopter and take off on an exhilarating ride through one of the world’s most pristine mountain landscapes. Strap on a daypack and experience a serene hike through the wilderness with an experienced hiking guide leading the way. At the top of the mountain, breathe in the clearest air imaginable.

Find peace and calm as your guide-cum-yoga instructor leads you in an-hour long hatha yoga session. Afterwards, hike to a bubbling creek and dine on a freshly prepared gourmet lunch. If yoga's not your thing, try fishing in mountain lakes only accessed by helicopters, horseback rides, heli-snowshoe tours, canyon walks or dogsled tours.

Why you should visit
  • See quiet lakes turn into powerful waterfalls falling from the lip of the precipice then visit follow the river through the valley, all from the comfortable seat in a helicopter.
  • Have the helicopter drop you off to experience the solitude of the great Canadian backcountry for picnics, yoga, trail runs, fishing trips and backwoods camping trips.
  • See wild animals in their natural habitat far away from the highways.
  • On the tours through the Kananaskis Valley learn how the nomadic Native Americans used the same route during seasonal migrations thousands of years ago.
  • Fly over the massive field of ancient ice of the Columbia Icefield Glacier, then explore it in an Ice Explorer on the Columbia Icefield Adventure.
  • Explore Banff and Jasper National Parks.

Weather

  • Summer days (June to August) are long with daytime temperatures reaching highs of Detail view 15°C and cooling in the evenings to 5°C. Less than 10 cm of rain is expected each month but it can be misty.
  • Fall (September to October) is a wonderful time to avoid the crowds and experience stunning colours and solitude on the trails. Day time average temperature is 10°C in September and 4°C in October. The unpredictability of the weather at this time of year could cause delays or cancelations of helicopter tours.
  • Helicopter tours are offered all year so bundle up or bring snowshoes to add to the adventure in winter (November through March) when you can expect lots of snow (up to 7 metres near the Columbia Icefields) and an average temperature of -10°C.
  • Spring (April to May) still has a large volume of snow falling but the daily temperature is warming up. April’s average daytime temperature is 4°C and May is 8°C.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Visitor information
  • Tours are offered all year long during daylight hours. Take a tour of the Columbia Icefield departing from Jasper or take tour of Kananaskis departing from Canmore.
  • Depending on tour, food may be provided.
  • On-site gift shop.
  • Audio guides are available in English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
When to go
  • Tours are offered all year long but some events are seasonal.
  • Summer tours include: hikes, picnics, fishing, yoga and horseback tours.
  • Winter tours include: dog sledding, snowshoeing, ski tours and canyon walks.
  • Reservations are strongly advised but drop-ins are welcome.
Need to know
  • Each tour has a set length of time for 20 minutes to all day. Plan to be at the heliport Detail view at least 30 minutes prior to departure.
  • The sightseeing tours are accessible for all ages. Adventure packages vary in skill levels.
  • Complimentary pick- ups can be arranged for the Kananaskis tours from Banff and Canmore.
  • Be prepared to take lots of pictures.
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks.
  • For sightseeing tours, wear seasonal appropriate clothing and sunglasses.
  • Summer adventure tours wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Don’t forget sunglasses and sun protection. At high altitudes the sun is intense. Winter tours need ample winter clothing as well as sunglasses and sun protection.
Getting Here
  • Two locations offering tours over vastly different ranges of mountains.
  • The Kananaskis Heli tours location is 35 minutes west of Calgary on the Transcanada Highway.
  • The Icefield Heli tours is located just east of the magnificent Icefield Parkway 2 hours from the town of Banff.
  • Your own transportation is need to get to either location. Hotel pickup in Banff and Canmore can be arranged for the Kananaskis location.
  • On-site parking for cars and RVs. Camping is available near both locations.