Great Canadian Trails vs Gondwana Tours & Safaris - Tour Companies Compared
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Loved the experience of a self-guided trip!5.0 December 2018
Loved the experience of a self-guided trip! We generally do cycling trips on our own but decided to choose a company to do the Petit Train du Nord with our 3 kids. Very happy we did, it was so much easier with the baggage transferred every day and the nice accommodations pre-booked for our family.Read more
Tour Great Canadian Trails Company Reviews
|Tours||17 Trips||0 Trip|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 288||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Local Specialist||Local Specialist|
|Headquarters||Ottawa, Canada||Maun, Botswana|
|Solo Friendly||Good for singles||N/A|
What Makes Great Canadian Trails Stand Out?
They are an active travel specialist in Canada, offering hiking and cycling trip throughout the country on Canada's iconic and lesser-known trails.
Travelers can hike with small groups (typically 10 or less) of like minded individuals led by expert guides from the region, or choose to travel on a self guided trip on which all the logistics are taken care of: accommodation, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, emergency line, bicycle rental, etc.
If you’re feeling daunted about planning your own epic outdoor experience in the great Canadian wilderness, they’re here to provide all the support you need so that you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Great Canadian Trails?
If your idea of a perfect travel experience involves being in the great outdoors, led by expert, professional, and knowledgeable guides, then these trips are for you. It also doesn’t hurt if you enjoy a physical challenge, are open to the rustic nature of outdoor travel, and are excited to meet fellow hiking and outdoor travel enthusiasts.
While this might sound hardcore, Great Canadian Trails also knows you’re on vacation. They help you explore Canada’s landscapes without the burden of a heavy pack or luggage. Trips are offered in a number of different grades, so you can be as hardcore or as “relaxed” as you want.
They offer a multitude of outdoor activities to enjoy, and a sense of adventure is key, even for the easier trips. Depending on the trip level, a basic level of physical fitness is required, though they have travelers from many age groups - the average age is between 35 and 65, with a mixture of solo travelers, group of friends, couples, and families.
Canada offers a wealth of outdoor activity, and fantastic scenery, which you will enjoy daily when you travel with Great Canadian Trails.
Guided trips are on iconic multi-day hikes such as the West Coast Trail, Chilkoot Trail, Fundy Footpath and Long Range Traverse and within breathtaking parks like Gros Morne in Newfoundland and the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies.
Self guided trip options take travelers to discover the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland, the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, the Confederation Trail and Gulf Shore Ways on Prince Edward Island, the amazing cycling paths of Quebec, the Niagara wine region, and much more.
Great Canadian Trails Travel Style
Though their name would suggest an emphasis on hiking, with Great Canadian Trails, you can choose from a wide variety of trip themes. If you’re less a fan of hard core hiking, perhaps a cycling tour or even a culinary outing would be more up your aisle.
Great Canadian Trails trips can focus on any of these areas: Cycling (self guided and guided), Hiking (self guided and guided), Winter Sports, “Paddling” which includes Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rafting, Culinary, Mountaineering, and even Small Ship Cruising.
Trips are carefully classified by physical level, so you can choose the best one for your abilities as well as enjoyment!
1. Discovery & Cruising - these trips are the lightest in terms of physical activity. Walks will involve extremely mild elevation changes. Typically you will be no higher than 2500m. Additionally these trips don’t usually involve camping, though facilities will be basic in some areas. Accommodations will be in basic, comfortable hotels. Travelers should be able to walk on various terrains for a few hours a day.
2. Adventure Touring - Camping and basic lodging, sometimes at high elevations. You should be fit and able to participate in up to 5 hours of physical activity. Terrain can be rough and rocky. If you have a moderately active lifestyle already, this physical grade should be plenty manageable for you.
3. Introductory - Far from being an intro level, these trips are basically an introduction to hardcore outdoor adventure travel, and require a high level of physical fitness, as well as some base knowledge in outdoor travel. Trips will involve trekking or walking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking.
Expect to be active between 5-6 hours a day, and keeping a steady pace. Trips will not travel above 4000m. If you’re looking for a slightly more challenging venture, Great Canadian Trails also offers trips that fall into an “Introductory to Moderate” bucket.
4. Moderate - These trips involve traveling at a steady pace for between 6-7 hours a day. Most Moderate trips involve carrying a day pack or a heavier backpack depending on the trip. There is also a “Moderate to Challenging” grade if you’re after a trip with some more challenging aspects. Activities include trekking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking.
5. Challenging - Head out into remote wilderness areas for trekking, cycling or rafting come rain or shine. On these trips you can expect to be active for between 8-10 hours a day at high altitude. A very high level of physical fitness is required, and you must be willing and able to carry a pack weighing up to 8kg (roughly 17lbs).
6. Entry Level Mountaineering / exploratory treks - Looking to improve your mountaineering skills and learn from the best? These trips are ideal for first time moutnaineers eager to stretch their outdoor adventure travel wings. This is true adventure, in remote locations and sometimes extreme weather conditions. Prior mountaineering knowledge will be helpful but is not required. Intermediate level is also offered, and could be a good trip type for those who have some mountaineering experience under their belt.
7. Advanced Mountain Expedition - For travelers well equipped to go hardcore and who have some experience, these trips are at an advanced level. Participants should be prepared to share in the responsibility of setting up and breaking down camps, and prior mountaineering experience is required.
Why Choose a Tour With Great Canadian Trails?
They work with local communities to ensure that travelers have authentic experiences in every destination: learn about local customs, taste regional dishes and explore beyond the tourist trails. Their trips are powered by human energy; by bike or by foot. All group departures are fully-supported with an expertly trained local group leader and support staff.
Because the physical nature of the itineraries varies greatly amongst trips, they have developed a grading system to help travelers choose the trip that would best meet their expectations and abilities.
Great Canadian Trails is the operator that will allow active travellers to explore Canada hassle-free. Whether they are looking to hike an iconic trail without carrying a full pack, or to hike or cycle between communities without the worry of how to get there and around or how to find the perfect accommodation for a truly immersive experience.