Join us for a 5-day experiential learning adventure in the Canadian Rockies this August where we will explore four of Canada's most beautiful national park: Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Mount Robson.
Come on the adventure of a lifetime that will awaken your senses, make you look differently at mountains and be a catalyst for developing a stronger connection with nature.
On this journey in the Canadian Rockies, we will visit some of the most awe-inspiring places in Canada's national park system.
For 5 days, you will learn about the local ecology, develop your mindful awareness and learn about the ancient history of the Rocky Mountain range that stretches from New Mexico to the Yukon.
We will unplug from the busyness of the modern world and immerse ourselves in the healing forests where we will forge a deeper connection with the more-than-human world and the "felt presence" of your immediate experience.
Our philosophy is that meditation is not merely a practice or routine, it's a way of life spent living in presence and connection with the elements of nature that give us vitality: the earth, air, sun, and water.
We have the power to heal ourselves, repair communities and heal Planet Earth by expanding our ability to tune into the magic and mystery of the living spirit that is all around us.
On this experiential learning adventure in the Canadian Rockies, you'll discover a the forgotten language of nature, the healing plants and the medicinal mushrooms that grow in our midst.
Develop a fresh way of seeing of the wonder interconnectedness of nature. Experience the present moment with deeper embodiment by improving your ability to tune your full attention into your feelings and senses.
Starting from the Calgary airport, we will explore the majesty of Banff National Park and make a pilgrimage one of Canada's most legendary spots: Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.
Here is what adventures will include on our first day exploring on this Rocky Mountain Spirit Quest in the Canadian Rockies:
We'll start by taking the gondola up Sulphur Mountain for the spectacular view and then hiking the panoramic backside trail back down to the village while stopping at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site where the National Park was established.
For lunch we'll hike up from Lake Louise to the Lake Agnes Teahouse that is surrounded by fascinating geological formations called the Beehives. This is a good spot to sit and relax for lunch while enjoying panoramic views of the Lake Louise valley below.
No trip to Banff National Park would be incomplete without a pilgrimage to Moraine Lake, which is one of the most photographed places in the world. Rather than just experiencing it from the touristy spots, we'll climb up to the top of the Tower of Babel for a better view and learn about the mysterious ancient pictographs on the rocks.
From Moraine Lake we will spend a couple hours exploring the wild and wonderful Larch Valley with sweeping vistas of the Valley of the Ten Peaks and the surrounding peaks and glaciers of Banff National Park. We'll find a great spot to watch the sunset over the Continental Divide.
Crossing the continental divide that marks the border between Alberta and British Columbia we'll explore the emerald green lakes and towering waterfalls of Yoho National Park.
Here is what adventures will include on our second day exploring on this experiential learning adventure in the Canadian Rockies:
In the morning, we'll hike into spectacular Lake O'Hara and exploring the lookouts around the area. This is an excellent spot for learning about and encountering bears, moose, wolverines, and other large mammals that call the Rocky Mountains home.
Afterwards, we will stop for lunch and do some canoeing at Emerald Lake and learn about the Burgess Shale, world famous fossils from an ancient ocean that once submerged these mountains. Afterwards, we make a pilgrimage to the falling waters of Takkakaw Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada.
Later in the afternoon, will drive the jaw-droppingly beautiful Icefields Parkway that connects Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Along the way, we will visit the surreal blue waters of Bow Lake and Peyto Lake.
At the higher elevations of the Icefields Parkway we'll stop at the Valley of the Waterfalls to watch 30+ waterfalls pouring out of the glaciers in the sky above and other special nature spots along the way that few people on the tourist trail visit.
Heading north on the Icefields Parkway, we'll explore Jasper National Park and go looking for moose in the wetlands and meadows along Maligne Lake.
Here is what adventures will include on our third day exploring the awe-inspiring glaciers and lakes of the Canadian Rockies:
Learn about the natural history of the Columbia Icefields, a 325 km² area of glaciers that provides the glacial source of some of North America's greatest rivers, which flow in 3 different directions into the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Ocean.
Learn about geology and glacial history that formed the massive torrent of Athabasca Falls and the 1,231 km Athabasca River, which originates from the Columbia Glacier in the Columbia Icefields.
We will spend some more time exploring some of the best nature spots and trails along the Icefields Parkway. We will visit great spots for learning about the migration of wildlife through the wilderness migration corridors that have been preserved in vitally important Rocky Mountain ecosystem.
Later in the day we will visit the spectacular Maligne Lake and two magical spots: Medicine Lake and Spirit Island. We'll spend some time relaxing in the meadows and wetlands near Spirit Island, which is one of the best places in the national parks to encounter the sometimes elusive Rocky Mountain Moose.
For our last two days, we will make a spiritual pilgrimage along the Berg Lake Trail below Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadians Rockies.
Here is what adventures will include on our exploring Mount Robson National Park in the Canadian Rockies:
In the morning, we'll head to explore Mount Robson National Park. What’s remarkable about this mountain is how incredibly high it rises above the valley floor. The vertical rise is almost 3 km from the base to the summit. It is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
We will spend the last 2 days hiking the Berg Lake Trail, which is widely considered the most spectacular trail in the Canadian Rockies. It is considered the #1 hike in Canada by Explore Magazine and it's full of jaw-dropping vistas of mountains, glaciers and turquoise glacial lakes.
Along the trail, we will visit the Valley of a Thousands Falls and Emperor Falls. The falls stand about 150 feet high at 5300 feet above sea level. After dropping over the edge of the cliff the water strikes a ledge halfway down, causing the formation of a "roostertail" which produces a huge spray and an awe-inspiring rainbow effect.
In the late afternoon on our last day together, we will travel back down on the Icefields Parkways seeing the amazing Rocky Mountain scenery in reverse. We will return to the Calgary Airport where we started in the evening around 9 pm, transformed by the majestic and wonder of the Canadian Rockies on this spirit quest experience.
Start and ending in Calgary, Alberta from Saturday, August 17th - Wednesday, August 21th, 2020
Explore the Canadian Rockies National Park system and visiting 4 national parks: Banff, Yoho, Jasper and Mount Robson.
Early bird pricing is available until May 1st, 2020. Includes food, transportation, camping and backcountry permits.
Kyle Pearce is from Vancouver, British Columbia has been designing and leading experiential learning adventures, nature immersion retreats, and forest meditation workshops through Animist Ecology since 2015.
He has spent the last decade traveling the world in the winters studying ancient history, ecology and meditation with teachers from around the world.
He runs an online learning website called DIY Genius for the last 6 years, helping people develop their focus, creativity, and self-motivation through meditation and flow psychology.
You can learn more about his experiential learning philosophy in his free webinar on Rewilding, the Healing Power of Nature and Lost Ancient Wisdom.
All food, accommodation and the required National Park permits are provided for this adventure.
We will be camping outside for this 5-day adventure and enjoying bonfires together under the stars.
We will have a cook on this adventure cooking for the group at our camp sites and providing packed lunch for our daily adventures. We will also stop for food at teahouses and interesting restaurants.
We will do our best to accommodate any specific food requirements.
You should be in good physical fitness for this retreat as we will be covering a lot of ground. You must wear hiking boats and bring outdoor clothes for all potential weather situations.
We recommend that you bring your own tent and sleeping bag or we can arrange a solid trekking tent and sleeping bag for you.
If you have any questions about this Rocky Mountain Spirit Quest, please refer to the FAQ at the bottom or you can contact us here.
Learn about the interconnected ecology of the Rocky Mountains: lakes, rivers, glaciers, bears, moose, wildflowers, bees, mushrooms and trees.
Immerse yourself in a fascinating world of awe and wonder as we explore healing plants, medicinal mushrooms and our special relationship with the other living beings in the web of life.
Learn outside with a small group of ecologically-oriented changemakers that who love nature and want to create a better world.
Rather than learning passively through textbooks and lectures, our focus on all of our ecological learning adventures and nature retreats is experiential learning.
We will spend a lot of time in the forests of these four national parks learning about the plants, trees, mushrooms, and abundant wildlife.
At Animist Ecology, our teaching philosophy combines learning to label, study and understand nature with developing a deeper embodied connection to the land through animistic perception and sensory immersion meditation practices.
We believe in learning through a group conversation and ecological storytelling that connect participants the history, interconnected ecology and living presence of nature.
There are few better places in the world to learn through the power of awe and wonder than the Canadian Rockies.
Participate in this experiential learning adventure exploring the mountain wilderness of four National Parks in the Canadian Rockies.
Rocky Mountain Spirit Quest
Food, Transportation and Accomodations
National Park Backcountry Permits
100 Trees Planted On Your Behalf At Our Madagascar Rewilding Project
"My experience was a great introduction into a vast new world of connections. The learning was ideal for every level, as Kyle catered to the unique interests of all individuals that day. Kyle has a depth of knowledge that spans beyond pure mushroom ecology which creates a very dynamic experience. We were able to find many different species of mushrooms and identify them with Kyle's expertise. Kyle also provided a dense list of references and review from the session so there was no pressure to take notes and tons of resources to consult after the session! The forest meditation was an awesome experience and one that I have added to my meditation practices and can practice on my own. Kyle did a fantastic job making a connection with everyone and ensuring all questions were answered. He is so knowledgable on so many topics that he is able to add context to the geographic location, the ecology of the forest and even some anthropologic history. All around a fantastic experience that I would recommend to everyone regardless of their level of mushroom knowledge/interest."
"I enjoyed the retreat immensely and the knowledge gained/processed in a short time was enlightening and encouraging. There is much to learn about the amazing world we live in and our connection at the core to nature. We are nature! I mostly enjoyed the "gnosis" that happened while experiencing my learning together with all the other participants. Kyle was awesome at keeping the learning experiential and engaging and allowing everyone to contribute to the learning based on their journey of animism and personal connections with nature. I highly recommend this retreat to further your awareness of the forgotten knowledge of trees and mushrooms and leave feeling inspired that collectively we can form a deeper relationship with nature and others."
"I went on one of Kyle's meditation and foraging workshops in a local forest last fall and I was immediately hooked. Kyle not only chose a beautiful place to learn and meet like minded people, but has the education and charisma that left me more curious and has peaked my interest in mushrooms not only as a chef but for their amazing medicinal properties and their pivotal part in food sustainability. Kyle is engaged, entertaining and open minded. I could go on and on about going to this workshop I don't know what I expected but it was a great way to spend a Sunday morning and would recommend participating in anything Kyle has to offer because his passion about mushrooms is magnetic! "
We will be meeting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 17th at the Calgary Airport to board the bus and start the adventure. We will also end at the same Calgary Airport around 9-10 p.m. on the last day.
If you want to come please make the $100 deposit early as we have limited spots for this adventure. We will follow up to confirm your spot on the adventure as we have to secure permits and camping for each participant through Parks Canada. This deposit is non-refundable and secures your spot with the early bird pricing (full payment is due 30 days before the adventure).
Yes, we recommend you get breakfast on Saturday morning before we meet at 8 a.m. but meals are provided on this adventure.
We will do our best to accommodate to dietary restrictions, please let us know immediately when you register for this retreat.
18+ for all of our nature retreats in Canada. Most of our retreat participants are between the ages of 25 and 40.
Absolutely, the majority of our retreat participants come solo. It is a great opportunity to make new friends for your foraging adventures in the future.
Our group sizes vary, but we expect 10-15 participants for this retreat. This gives us the chance to really connect with one another and to make sure each individual has the best time possible.
All our adventures and nature retreats go rain or shine. We enjoy nature in all her moods. As this event is in August during the dry season that has the best weather of the year, it's unlikely to be a problem.