CVF Convention 2020

June 10-23, 2020 • 14 Days • Approx $3650-$3850

A Volkssport Tour offering walks in Northwest Territories, Alberta, British Columbia, and Washington State

Join walkers from around North America to celebrate walking and volkssport at the 2020 Convention in Yellowknife, hosted by the Canadian Volkssport Federation!

Now accepting Early Bird deposits on this 2020 tour! An Early Bird is a $50 deposit that holds your spot during the planning stages of a trip, when we don’t have a set itinerary or dates. Early Birds are always refundable!

This travel program is designed specifically with avid volkswalkers in mind. All convention walks are YRE offered by local clubs.  After the convention, we are offering a plethora of additional walks through Canada and into the Pacific Northwest.  We start our Adventures at the CVF Convention in Yellowknife, NWT and finish in Seattle, Washington, enjoying a total of 8 convention and 14 post-convention walks as we make our way south and west through the diverse landscapes of Northwest Territories, Alberta, British Columbia and Washington state!

A few other differences between this special volkssport program and the typical WAI walking adventure include the fact that we are accepting up to 40 walkers for this tour, and that we have put together this itinerary without our usual preliminary planning trip, relying instead on our knowledge of this area from past tours. Your guide will be Scott Isom, who has been guiding tours for many years on all 7 continents, and has led trips through the Canadian provinces and the Pacific Northwest many times.

This is a draft itinerary. An updated itinerary with finalized dates and pricing will be made available shortly!

Including:

  • All land travel as outlined
  • Hotel to airport shuttle on last day
  • Tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • 14 meals: all breakfasts and 1 dinner (BD)
  • 21 walks sanctioned by the Canadian Volkssport Federation and one walk in Seattle sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association
  • Registration for walks at Canadian Volkssport Federation Convention in Yellowknife*
  • Fees for walking credit
  • Transportation to CVF walks when necessary
  • Transportation for optional afternoon and evening excursions during the CVF Convention
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • Tips for the coach driver and for group dinner
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement.

Activities & Visits to:

  • Lady Evelyn Falls Territorial Park (NWT)
  • Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park (NWT)
  • 60th Parallel (NWT/Alberta)
  • Fort Dunvegan (Alberta)
  • Jasper National Park (Alberta)
  • Athabasca Falls along the Icefields Parkway (Alberta)
  • Athabasca Glacier Snocoach ride (Alberta)
  • Banff National Park (Alberta)
  • BC Ferry through the Canadian Gulf Islands to Vancouver Island (British Columbia)
  • Scenic ferry ride on the Victoria Clipper through Puget Sound from Victoria, BC to Seattle, Washington
  • More fun stops than we can list!

Optional Excursions:

  • Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (Yellowknife, NWT)
  • Afternoon Tea at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel (Victoria, BC)
  • World famous vistas at The Butchart Gardens (Victoria, BC)
  • Royal BC Museum (Victoria, BC)

*Tour price includes the convention registration and walks only.  At the time of publication, a limited number of tickets are available for two evening social events hosted by the CVF Convention. Walkers interested in these events should contact our office for instructions on how to pursue these tickets. Optional WAI dinner events will be available to travelers as alternate activities on these nights.

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

Important Info

Group Size

35-40 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Tourist Class hotels or better

Meals

14 Meals: All breakfasts and 1 dinner

Airfare

Not included. Travelers will fly into Yellowknife, NWT and fly home from Seattle, WA

Transportation

Included. We use motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 40+ seats.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guides

Scott Isom Walking Adventures GuideScott Isom has had a passion for the outdoors ever since his childhood days spent exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River Gorge with his family. Scott has led tours on all 7 continents and is one of WAI’s busiest guides and on-site Adventure planners. Scott will be guiding the CVF Convention 2020 tour along with an assistant from WAI.

Itinerary

This is a draft itinerary. An updated itinerary with finalized dates and pricing will be made available shortly!

Click on each day to reveal more details. (BD) refers to meals included – Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 1-June 10: Arrive Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Travelers arrive today into the far North city of Yellowknife, capital of (and only city in) Canada’s Northwest Territories, and venue for the 2020 Canadian Volkssport Federation (CVF) Convention!

The human history of this far northern enclave is a short one. Yellowknives of the First Nations Dene group have had a limited presence in the area with a small settlement near the current city that bears their name. Gold was discovered in 1898 by a prospector bound for the big Klondike goldrush, but the remoteness of the area discouraged further development. Subsequent gold finds eventually enticed more prospectors in the 1930s and sparked growth of the simple settlement of Yellowknife to a population of 1,000 by 1940. Gold continued to fuel growth through the middle part of the 20th century, and diamond finds north of the city carried the momentum when the gold stores were exhausted.

Today, Yellowknife is city of about 20,000; in addition to its civic functions as capital of Northwest Territories and its support for regional mining activities, it has developed into a tourism hotspot. Adventure seekers value it for its location on the Great Slave Lake, deepest in North America and second largest in the Northwest Territories, and the access it provides to outdoor activities and northern lights watching in the fall and winter.

We have three days to become familiar with Yellowknife and the surrounding area.  Because travelers are arriving throughout the day, an evening welcome orientation is today’s only group activity.

Day 2-4: June 11-13: Activities in Yellowknife (B)

Walks of the Canadian Volkssport Federation Convention take place over the next three days with guided groups leaving on morning walks all three days and afternoon walks on two of the days. Yellowknife’s perpetual twilight throughout the night during June will be celebrated with midnight walks on two of the days! Schedules are still firming but the following walks are currently planned between June 11th and 13th:

  • Frame Lake/Niven Lake Trails: 5 km (1A), 5 km (2B), 6 km (2C), 10 km (2C)
  • New Town Heritage: 5 km (1A), 10 km (2B)
  • Old Town Heritage: 6 km (1A), 10 km (2B)
  • Yellowknife Permanent Walk: 6 km (1A), 10 km (2B)
  • Tin Can Hill: 5 km (2B), 11 km (2C)
  • Range Lake: 5 km (2C), 11 km (2C)
  • President’s Walk
  • Midnight Sun walks are available on two nights!

WAI will have our own coach and will provide optional afternoon and evening activities, such as a visit to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, as time allows. Once the Convention schedule is finalized, travelers will be advised of the options available.

Day 5-June 14: Yellowknife – Fort Providence, NWT (B)

Final Convention Walk
Walk #8: Bonus Walk – Fort Providence, NWT – 5 km

Our final Convention walk this morning is followed by the official closing of this year’s Convention. From Yellowknife, we chart a course west around the Great Slave Lake to Fort Providence, population 770. Traffic along highway 3 (single digits are sufficient for highway numbering this far north!) is not likely to be a problem but bison jams have been reported, and those who participate in this evening’s bonus walk in Fort Providence are likely to see them rooming freely in town.

Fort Providence is situated on the north bank of the mighty MacKenzie River, the longest river system in Canada! In days gone by, the river was forded in the winter by a combination of ferry and ice bridge.  Fortunately for us the addition of a bridge in 2012 provides year-round passage across a 1+ kilometer section of the river.

Day 6-June 15: Fort Providence – High Level, Alberta (B)

Walk #9: Twin Falls Gorge, NWT Walk – 6 km
Walk #10: Bonus walk – High Level, AB – 5/10 km

Waterfalls is the theme for the day! Heading south, our first stop is at Lady Evelyn Falls where the Kakisa River forms a giant curtain of water falling 50 feet over a limestone escarpment. Continuing towards the Alberta border, our walk of the day is a permanent trail (YRE) that follows the rim of Twin Falls Gorge and links a pair of stunning falls fed by the Hay River! At just over 100 feet, lovely Alexander Falls is the third tallest in the NWT. Three kilometers further, Louise Falls, second of the “twin falls”, descends another 50 feet in a series of three captivating cascades. Stair climbers are welcome to use a spiral staircase to explore the base of Louise Falls. A short stop at the 60th Parallel Visitor Information Centre is a fun way to mark our passage into the province of Alberta and back into the balmy latitude climes of the 50s! Our first stop in Alberta is the town of High Level, population 3,159. High Level was established in the 1940s because of its location on a transportation route, but the discovery of oil nearby cemented its regional importance in the 1960s. It also claims the northernmost grain elevator in the world, and serves an area of about 350,000 acres of farm land. A bonus walk provided by the CVF is available from our hotel.

Day 7-June 16: High Level – Grand Prairie, Alberta (B)

Walk #11: Peace River, Alberta Walk – 5 km
Walk #12: Dunvegan Historic Area, Alberta Walk – 5 km
Walk #13: Bonus walk – Grande Prairie, AB – 5/10 km

Peace River is situated at the confluence of Peace River, Smoky River, Heart River, and Pat’s Creek. Peace River itself achieved its passivist label when two warring tribes, the Cree and the Beaver, declared a truce in the mid-18th century using the Unchagah (Peace River) as the boundary between their hunting grounds. With a population of nearly 7,000, it’s the largest town we’ve experienced since Yellowknife. Farming and government services play a large role in the local economy, but Peace River is also situated next to the Peace River Oil Sands, Alberta’s 3rd largest oil sands deposit.

A 5 km walk here introduces us to the town. Further south along the Peace River, Dunvegan was a gathering place for indigenous peoples for eons before Sir Alexander Mackenzie (as in Mackenzie River) passed through in 1793. Mackenzie, a Scottish explorer who became the first to cross the continent north of Mexico from east to west, twelve years before Lewis and Clark, noted the natural wealth (“an exuberant verdure”) of the area in his journals. Early in the 19th century, the fur trading companies arrived — first the North West Company, then rival Hudson’s Bay Company, and established Fort Dunvegan, one of Alberta’s earliest fur trade posts.

Those who prefer to opt out of today’s walk along the Peace River are welcome to join a guided tour of the historic buildings for a small fee.  From Dunvegan, we cross the Peace River over Alberta’s only suspension bridge and finish our day in Grande Prairie, Alberta’s 7th largest city (over 60,000 population), and the largest town north of the provincial capital of Edmonton. Its prominence came relatively late – starting with the arrival of the railroad in 1916 and the development of major oil discoveries in the region in the 1940s. A bonus walk is available this evening from our hotel.

Day 8-June 17: Grand Prairie – Jasper, Alberta (B)

Walk #14: Beauvert Lake Walk – 4 km, rated 1B
Walk #15: Maligne Canyon Walk – 4 km, rated 2C

Intriguing geology of Canada and Alberta is one of the subthemes of this journey of discovery and today we leave the Alberta Basin we’ve been traveling through, entering the stunning panoramas of the Canadian Rockies. The bulk of the afternoon is devoted to exploring Jasper National Park, one of Canada’s most scenic treasure troves. Our first walk descends along the dramatic edge of Maligne Canyon, one of the Canadian Rockies’ most beguiling gorges. Laced with waterfalls, jaw-dropping bridge crossings, and underground streams emerging from nowhere, this afternoon stroll will leave you hungry for more of Alberta’s myriad wonders. The fun continues a short bus ride away as our second walk takes us past rustic but elegant Jasper Park Lodge on a stunning loop around Beauvert Lake, where magnificent mountain vistas abound and elk sightings are common. Following check-in at our Jasper hotel, the remainder of the evening is free to enjoy dinner on your own.

Day 9-June 18: Jasper – Golden, British Columbia (B)

Walk #16: Lake Louise, Alberta Walk – 5 km, rated 1A

Bidding farewell to Jasper this morning, we travel by coach along one of the planet’s most breathtaking mountain drives—the Icefields Parkway. First stop on this scenic sojourn is a fantastic photo stop at thunderous Athabasca Falls. Continuing south to the mighty Columbia Icefields, we board a snocoach and enjoy a rare opportunity to walk directly on Athabasca Glacier! Mid-afternoon motoring brings us to the idyllic shores of Lake Louise where we walk along the banks of this shimmering blue mountain gem, soaking up picture-postcard views of Victoria Glacier and iconic Chateau Lake Louise. Following this dazzling day of sensory overload, we cross the continental divide through the Rockies into British Columbia for our first night in Canada’s westernmost province in the optimistically named town of Golden, population 3,701.

Day 10-June 19: Golden – Kamloops, British Columbia (B)

Walk #17: Golden, British Columbia Walk – 5 km, rated 1B
Walk #18: Revelstoke, British Columbia Walk – 5 km, rated 1A
Walk #19: Bonus walk – Kamloops – 5 km, rated 1B

After several days of early mornings and long drives, you are in control of today’s morning! A walk through delightful Golden, perched at the junction of the Columbia River and Kicking Horse River, is available from our hotel, or you can opt to start your day a bit slower and enjoy a late breakfast and checkout.  Mid-morning, our bus carries us west through panoramas of the Columbia Mountains and Glacier National Park to Revelstoke, founded in the 1880s to serve the Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada’s first transcontinental railway. A 5 km walk here winds through this town situated on the banks of the Columbia River (the same water that later forms the border of Oregon and Washington). From Revelstoke, we continue west through British Columbia’s interior past a series of lovely lakes to Kamloops. Sprawled along two rivers, Kamloops is an outdoor lover’s paradise and the Tournament Capital of Canada having hosted national and world competition in skating, fly fishing, bike racing, junior hockey, and the uniquely Canadian winter sport of curling. Another bonus walk is available this evening in Kamloops.

Day 11-June 20: Kamloops – Victoria, British Columbia (B)

Walk #20: Hope, British Columbia Walk – 5 km, rated 1B

Walks in places like “Golden” and “Hope” portend a successful journey of discovery! Hope is a small town at the east end of the Fraser Valley and southern end of Fraser Canyon that serves as a playground for recreation enthusiasts. It also claims fame as the site for 1980s filming Rambo: First Blood. More relevant to us, Hope is renowned for its chainsaw carvings which we see around town on our walk. Our destination today is Victoria, capitol of British Columbia, situated at the extreme south end of Vancouver Island. We reach the island on a scenic cruise through the Canadian Gulf Islands on a BC ferry. With a reputation of being “more English than England,” Victoria combines wonderful European charm with outstanding scenery and one of the oldest Chinatowns in North America. We look forward to a two-night stay in the Inner Harbour of lovely Victoria.

Day 12-June 21: Activities in Victoria (BD)

Walk #21: Victoria, BC Walk – 11 or 5 km; rated 1B

This morning provides a chance to explore this multi-faceted city on foot, with numerous highlights including the picturesque Inner Harbour, fascinating alleys of Chinatown, regal Empress Hotel, architecturally stunning Parliament, vibrant hues of Fisherman’s Wharf, endless Olympic Mountain views across Juan de Fuca Strait, and nicely manicured grounds of Beacon Hill Park.

The afternoon is free to explore the environs of Victoria and the harbor near our well-placed hotel. However, a trio of optional activities are also offered for your consideration.

Optional activity – High Tea: For those who would like to fully immerse themselves in the English tradition of afternoon tea, Victoria’s most recognizable landmark, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, offers the grandest of many afternoon teas available in town. This British tradition takes place in the hotel’s famous Tea Lobby, overlooking the city’s picturesque Inner Harbour. While formal attire is not necessary for this optional experience, smart-casual dress is recommended. We sample from the hotel’s exclusive tea menu, including fresh fruit cocktail or berries with whipped cream, and an assortment of tea sandwiches, fresh scones, tea cakes, and pastries (Don’t eat lunch beforehand—the food served is plentiful!). Price TBA

Optional activity – Butchart Gardens: A short bus ride north brings us to the gates of world famous Butchart Gardens, a fanciful floral fun-house! The Butchart family ran a cement manufacturing business here and began converting their empty quarry to gardens in 1907. The gardens were named a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004 and are now run by the 4th generation of Butcharts. Over 900 plants are on display in the summer – the most colorful time of year in the gardens. Price TBA

Optional activity – Royal BC Museum: Situated in Victoria not far from our hotel, the Royal BC Museum was founded in 1896 and portrays the natural and human history of the province of British Columbia. One of North America’s must-see collections, the Royal BC Museum is consistently ranked as one of the top 3 things to do in Victoria. Price TBA

Later this evening, we rendezvous to share highlights of the day, and the trip, at a farewell dinner.

Day 13-June 22: Victoria – Seattle, Washington (B)

Walk #22: Seattle, Washington Walk – 5 km, rated 2A

After a relaxing breakfast, we wheel our luggage for a couple of blocks through the Inner Harbour of Victoria to board a ferry bound for Seattle. Scenic sailing through the Puget Sound takes us to Elliott Bay in Seattle, where we stow luggage while exploring the waterfront area of Seattle including Pike Place Market, the first Starbucks, and other Puget Sound fixtures of the Emerald City. Late this afternoon, we rendezvous with our luggage and bus for a ride to our nearby hotel. The evening is free to relax, pack for tomorrow’s departure, or enjoy a meal with walking pals.

Day 14: June 23: Depart from Seattle (B)

Our adventure draws to a close with breakfast at our hotel. We’ve covered three provinces (starting at 62.45° North), and one state, spanning two the world’s largest countries. Thanks for sharing this wide-ranging journey of discovery with us!

More Details

Click on each heading for more details.

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

Call or mail in your refundable Early Bird ($50) to save your spot! A maximum of 40 travelers will be accepted on this Adventure.

Early Bird deposits are refundable $50 deposits which serve to hold your spot on a tour until dates and pricing have been confirmed. Once all details on a tour have been finalized, travelers can then register with an additional $450 deposit to bring their total on a tour up to $500.

Traveler Rewards Program

There are no discounts available for this tour.

CVF Convention Activities

Your registration for this tour includes your convention registration and the convention walks.

The CVF convention will be hosting two social events that are not included in the tour price.  At the time of this publication, tickets for these two events were very limited.  For those who are interested in attending these events, WAI will provide information on how to sign up.

We chose the Explorer Hotel for accommodations during the convention. The Explorer Hotel is a 4-5 minute walk from the Chateau Nova Yellowknife, the official center of the CVF Convention. The WAI motorcoach will also be available during Convention to enhance our ability to shuttle WAI travelers to any optional offsite meals or activities we decide to offer after we see the final Convention schedule.

How Is Airfare Arranged?

The official start point for this adventure is Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada (airport code YZF).  The finish point is Seattle, Washington (airport code SEA). Complimentary shuttles to the airport at the end of the tour are offered by our Seattle hotel.  We recommend that you contact Laura Pfahler, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flight arrangements. More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided after this tour has been finalized.

Optional Excursions

The focus of this trip is WALKING, and that will consume most of our schedule each day. Several optional activities or meals, however, will be offered during the trip. Information on these offerings will be communicated for your consideration between now and departure day.

What about the walks?

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.

The walks on this tour are walks offered by local clubs and are therefore traditional volkssport walks with distances of approximately 7 miles (11 kilometers) although shorter walk routes are often available. Walks may be enjoyed independently; maps and directions will be provided. Your WAI Guide will be walking most of the walks and is happy to be the navigator for any who wish to have a guide.

CVF offers a trail/route rating system as follows:

INCLINE

1. Very little hill or stair climbing.
2. Some moderate hill or stair climbing.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing.
4. A good deal of significant hill or stair climbing.
5. Many steep hills or high altitude trails.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky/rooted paths or soft sand.)
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

What happens next?

We are currently developing the itinerary for this Adventure. Once the itinerary is released, we will accept registration deposits ($500) to save space.

If you have Early Birded with a refundable $50 deposit, your spot on the tour will be held for 2 weeks after the itinerary is published while you make a decision on whether or not you’d like to register with an additional $450 deposit, bringing your total on the tour up to $500. If you decide not to join us for this tour, your Early Bird can be refunded or transferred to another tour.