“Are you sure you want to get into a helicopter to celebrate our anniversary? Don’t you suppose your motion sickness might be an issue?” asked the ever sensible, long suffering husband.
It didn’t sound overly romantic when framed that way I had to admit.
“Well I am reading that Rockies Heli Canada doesn’t fly if the weather is bad,” retorted this ever spontaneous adventure addict wife perched in front of the computer screen.
“Besides look at these astonishing mountain views from the helicopter! We can go for a hike in the midst of the Icefields. Do you know we would have to hike a day to get to that exact same spot?”
I believe a deep sigh was heard from said long suffering one.
“I can take some anti nausea medication if needed,” rolling my computer chair around the corner batting my eyes at Dave as if we had been married 3 months rather than 32 years.
Falling asleep from such medication is just slightly more romantic on one’s anniversary that being nauseated.
Where can I do a helicopter tour in the Canadian Rockies?
Rockies Heli Canada has two locations.The Kananaskis Base, located between Calgary and Canmore, offers helicopter tours with astounding views of the Rocky Mountains and easy access to Banff National Park. Lake Louise/Jasper heliport at the Icefields location provides a more off the beaten path experience. Maps to each location can be found here.
Soaring over glaciers and the peaks of Canada’s Rocky Mountains and a landing allows for a short hike which would usually take a day to walk to. Oh did I mention that already?
When can I go on a helicopter adventure?
The Kananaskis Base near Canmore and Banff is open all year and offers tours like Heli-Snowshoeing and Heli-dogsledding. The Icefield Base is closed in winter and opens between May 1st and October 15th.
Long suffering husband loves to snowshoe. Maybe he can race the dogs this winter.
Can anyone do a helicopter tour?
Guests in wheelchairs are welcome and staff will do their best to assist. Be sure to let the staff know when booking if you have any mobility challenges. The helipad is accessed from a flat gravel road however at the time of writing the reception building is not wheelchair accessible.
Rockies Heli Canada does have a weight restriction of 250 pounds per person or 425 per couple. We were weighed prior to getting on the helicopter.
What kinds of heli-tours are available?
From heli-fishing to yoga to getting married there is a tour to suit most everyone. We did the Six Glacier Tour and Twin Falls Hike tour.
Our guide hiked the easy mountain terrain with us. His knowledge of the various peaks, glaciers and history of exploration added to the amazing experience. I was pleased to see the bear spray in his hand which apparently he has never had to use. I am delighted to report we were not the first. I do like all those safety details covered.
Does riding in a helicopter make you nauseated?
Certainly there is the potential for one to feel queasy on a helicopter if you suffer from motion sickness. Our flight was very smooth and I had no issues whatsoever. Nor did I fall asleep. Just saying.
I smiled at the preparedness of Rockies Heli Canada should someone feel a bit off on their ride. (Click on the photo to enlarge to read the kind message on the air sickness bag)
Here is a short video where you can see for yourself how smooth a helicopter ride it is and a glimpse of the spectacular scenery as we head back toward the base after our hike.
Special tips for your tour
If choosing the Icefields Base the drive is 3 hours from Calgary, 70 minutes from the Columbia Icefields, 1.5 hours from Lake Louise, and 2.5 hours from Jasper. Watch for the sign that says Icefield Helicopter Tours.
Leave extra time as you will want to stop along the way to take photos of the jaw dropping scenery. Drive carefully as there can be a great deal of wildlife along the way.
We had an extraordinary time celebrating our anniversary in the wilderness. No need of air sickness bags, no falling asleep, just astounding scenery and exploration with my love of over three decades. I am grateful for his unending patience and willingness to explore the world together.
Thanks to our pilot and guide Andrew and Rockies Heli Canada for hosting us. All opinions shared are my own.
Are you on Pinterest? I have a Canadian Rocky Mountain souvenir for you. 🙂