Prof. Richard D. Little invites you to join our



Moraine Lake

AUGUST 7 - 21, 2011  <>   Cost:  only  $2300 [estimated]  plus air, pp/do

 BANFF & JASPER NATIONAL PARKS plus Tyrrell Dino Museum, and SUPERIOR lakefront LODGINGS!  


A b o u t    t h e     t o u r. . . . .

It’s our 30th year leading geology-oriented, small group tours to North America’s greatest landscapes.  

 No experience is needed to learn the amazing stories preserved in stone!  Our trips of 10 – 18 people get rave reviews and folks keep coming back for more (90% of our customers are “repeats”).   We have superior lodgings in just the right places!  You will be able to walk, hike, canoe, explore, shop and sightsee.  There’s lots of flexibility to do what you want plus be part of our very interesting small group.  There will opportunities for many short or longer “nature walks” and hikes depending on your interests and abilities.  The trails are excellent in these national parks.  And you get a professionally edited video of the trip.

     You’ve got to see the Canadian Rockies!  No place in North America can rival the accessibility and diversity of the Canadian Rockies fantastic landscapes.  From the Great Plans, faulted and folded sedimentary layers, results of compressional forces of colliding tectonic plates, rise to heights of over 14,000 feet.  Preserved in the rock are fossils of early Paleozoic life:  trilobites, brachiopods, and other sea life.  The mountains are the homeland for glaciers, and, except for Alaska, this is the best place to witness the workings of these incredible geologic agents of change.  We will explore the birthplace of mountain glaciers -- their sublime, snow-basin cirques -- and follow their erosional paths viewing U-valleys, hanging valleys with waterfalls, abundant glacial lakes with incredible turquoise colors, and distinctive depositional piles of till known as moraines.  We’ll also tour the world-famous Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum and the badlands east of Calgary.

     Our small group of 10 to 18 will travel in 4 or 5 mini-vans or full size cars with 2-way radios for keeping in touch.  Members of the tour will volunteer to be drivers.  This works very well in terms of economy, comfort, and versatility of itineraries.  For example, some folks may want to do photography at sunrise, or shop rather than hike for the afternoon.  These competing interests can usually be accommodated.  

     We will be staying 2 or 3 nights at each lodging, so the tour pace is leisurely.  There are no long drives between locations, so you spend the maximum time enjoying, not stuck in a vehicle.  Our accommodations are superior, including historic Deer Lodge on the moraine dam at Lake Louise, Moraine Lake Lodge – the spectacular and only place in this incredible location, Icefield Chalet at the Athabasca Glacier (your rooms will have the best view in Canada!), and finally, log cabins on the Bow River in Jasper.  

     As we travel and explore, I will discuss the geologic story behind the scenery, and after our two weeks together, you will be a certified “geo-traveler” -- able to read the record in the rocks and landscape (or at least make up a convincing story)!


 TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE                                                   Send $500 per person deposit to


Please contact RICHARD D. LITTLE for more information.  Our web site has the full itinerary plus comments from previous participants, which I can also send by mail.

phone: 413.527.8536      Email:


Tours usually fill so, reserve your space now.  All deposits fully refundable until January 15, 2011.  



Day 1 (Sunday, 8/07)  Arrive Calgary.  Hotel to be arranged.

Day 2 (Monday, 8/08)   Travel on the Canadian Great Plains to Drumheller and the Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum.  Visit badlands in Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, plus the strange erosional hoodoos.  Return to Calgary.

Day 3 ( Tuesday, 8/09)  Depart for the scenic drive into the Front Range of the Canadian Rockies, picnic along the way.  Arrive Banff  with lodging near the scenic river park & town center.  Wildlife search at dusk.

Day 4 (Wednesday, 8/10)  Short hikes around Banff, including the tram ride into the alpine zone at Sulphur Mt.  Time to explore the townsite.  Wildlife exploration at dusk.  River raft trip option in afternoon.

Day 5 ( Thursday, 8/11)  Moraine Lake.  Just when you thought the landscape could not possibly get more scenic, we arrive at Moraine Lake.  Even though its called “moraine”, it's not.  Hmm...we will solve this dam mystery on site!  Plus, the color….! This breath-taking spot was, for many decades, printed on the Canadian $20.  Moraine Lake Lodge is the only development on this gorgeous lake, nestled amongst ten glacially sculpted peaks.  Breath-taking!  

Ask me for the best mountain reflection locations for spectacular pictures!

Day 6 (Friday, 8/12)  Itineries TBA:  many long or short walks and hikes are possible, free canoeing, maybe a swim ?

Day 7 (Saturday, 8/13)  It's not far to Lake Louise with lodging at historic Deer Lodge for the next two nights.  Time to explore the incredible beauty of the Lake Louise shoreline rimmed by snowcapped peaks and have a gourmet dinner at the Lodge.  Deer Lodge, along with its big and famous neighbor, the Chateau Lake Louise, are the only two lodgings that sit on the end moraine dam, the pile of rocky rubble (till) that holds in the Lake.  Sit on a scenic shoreline glacial boulder (an “erratic”) and absorb the incredible beauty that changes with each shifting cloud and sunbeam angle.

Day 8  (Sunday, 814)  Itineraries TBA…take a day hike to one of the Tea Houses, on mountain trails above Lake Louise and view a glacier and many glacial features along the way.  Many shorter hikes and strolls may beckon you.  Or canoe the lake.  Or find a seat and absorb the sublime landscape….

Day 9  (Monday, 8/15)  Today we explore one of the most famous mountain highways in the world:  The Icefield Parkway.  We will visit many scenic landmarks that document the mountain building process that built the Rockies, plus witness the erosional sculpting of rivers and glaciers.  We will see anticlines, synclines, U-valleys, cirques, and moraine dammed lakes.  You will be amazed at the color of Peyto Lake!  And our final destination is the Athabasca Glacier, an outlet glacier from the Columbia Icefield that looms above.  This is a glacier you can drive to and walk along (although not on without the right equipment)! Lodging at the Icefield Chalet (now rebuilt as the “Icefield Center”), with an incredible view of the glacier and surrounding peaks, close enough to touch….!

We will be at the “Chalet” for the next 3 nights, surrounded by mountains and many miles from the next habitation.  

Day 10 & 11 (Tuesday and Wednesday, 8/16 – 17)  Many amazing adventures: a Snowcoach ride to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier, the hike and view from Parker Ridge, and other walks and hikes of various lengths and heights – you choose!  A glacial hike is an option with an expert guide and equipment. There are lots of erosional and depositional glacial and meltwater phenomena to be observed and investigated: cirques, arêtes, roches moutonnees, various moraines, ice tunnels, crevasses, an ice-marginal lake with deltas.  Don’t be intimidated by the terminology!  Once you see it, you will understand it!

Day 12 (Thursday, 8/18)  Today we will again follow the Icefield Parkway north to Jasper Townsite.  Along the way we’ll investigate one of the most beautiful cirques complete with two small glaciers at Mt. Edith Cavell.  The next three overnights will be in log cabins on the banks of the Bow River, adjacent to Jasper town.

Day 13 & 14 (Friday & Saturday, 8/ 19-20)  Many options: explore Jasper Town, get to the top of Whistler Mountain via the tram with a hike in the Alpine zone (oh, those tiny flowers!), raft down the Bow River, swim in a kettle pond, explore the adjacent valley of the Maligne River that has cut a deep, narrow gorge in limestone bedrock.  And further down the Maligne canyon road is one very unusual lake set in the limestone, with another beyond.  A boat trip to one of the Canadian Rockies premiere photo locations will be scheduled.

Day 15 (Sunday, 8/21  Depart for Edmonton and flight home.      Or you may extend your journey on your own!

NB:  it is a 3.5 hour (220 mi) trip from Jasper to Edmonton.



Details:  Tour price includes hotels and rental cars, tour guide, pre and post-trip meetings, guidebook, and video record of trip.  You will have to sign a liability waiver.  Not included are:  Airfares, food, entrance fees, parking fees, vehicle gas.  PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL ARRIVE IN CALGARY BUT RETURN FROM EDMONTON, unless you wish to make alternate arrangements.  If you are a vehicle driver, this is easily done.  Please consult with me for further clarification.

Your Tour Leader:  Prof. Richard Little began leading geology-oriented vacation-field trips in 1981 after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, as a way to have small groups see and appreciate the great wonders of our Earth.  Over the past 30 years he and his wife, Suzanne, have planned and guided “Fantastic Landscape Tours” from Alaska and Hawaii to Yellowstone and the Caribbean.  Dick has BA and MA degrees from Clark and the Univ. of So. California in Los Angeles, and has taught geology and oceanography at Greenfield Community College since 1969.  He is the author of two books and two videos about Connecticut Valley geology.   Suzanne is a retired social worker and former educator, with a love of landscapes and alpine flowers.