“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 here doesn’t fly if the weather is bad,” retorted this ever spontaneous adventure addict wife perched in front of the computer screen.

Heli Adventure Rocky Mountains

“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.

What is a helicopter ride like?

No matter how many times we have driven by, hiked, climbed, skied and snowshoed in these mountains less than an hour from our home in Calgary, the thrill of hovering over snow covered peaks through the miracle of helicopter aviation, leaves one speechless. Or in my case unable to form words rather just shrieks of delight.

As we lifted off, veering more sideways than straight up, I imagined a giant’s hands guiding us skyward on our mountain heli-snowshoeing adventure. As the Kananaskis valley gave way to the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains I was determined to keep my squealing under control.

 

Helicopter tour Banff Jasper

Where can I do a helicopter tour in the Canadian Rockies?

Rockies Heli Canada  Lake Louise/Jasper heliport at the Icefields location provides an  off the beaten path experience.

Look for blue sign 372029
At the junction of Cline River and Hwy 11
Clearwater County, Alberta
Canada, T0M 2H0
Lat/Long: 52.183274, -116.47609

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?

Rockies Heli Tour

 When can I go on a helicopter adventure?

Winter heli-snowshoe adventures are available From November to April – based on snow pack. Summer helicopter tours can be booked from May to November.

View from inside a helicopter

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.

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.

The variety of other tours offered at both locations can be found here.

Can anyone really do a heli-snowshoe tour?

It’s not too often we can write about one of our adventures and be able to truthfully say anyone can do it. As long as you can walk on flat ground, heli-snowshoeing can be on your bucket list. The terrain on our trip was without any hills and the time spent snowshoeing was one hour. For those unable to walk Rockies Heli Canada offers other heli-sightseeing options.

There is no age restriction for the tour and snowshoes are available for children. If you are unsure if your child would like heli-snowshoeing just call Rockies Heli Canada to discuss.

Rockies Heli Canada does have a general weight restriction of 250 pounds per person but make every effort to accommodate all participants.

 What do I need to heli-snowshoe?

Be sure to bring a big grin which you may not be able to wipe off your face. Dress in layers of clothing. It can be much warmer or colder at the top of the mountain. Be prepared with boots, mittens and hats. Definitely bring a camera, or three. Sunglasses are a must. Although one can not predict the weather, our sunny day was blindingly beautiful with the rays dancing of the snow.

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.

Icefield helicopter Tours sign

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.

Helicopter Tour RockiesThanks 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. 🙂

Pinterest Helipter Tour