Frequently asked questions
From hiking and helicopters to alpine safety and more, find answers to your questions right here. Don’t see your question? Get in touch – we’re happy to help.
When is the summer season?
We run our summer trips from late June to late August. Specific dates very each summer, so take a look at our Trip Planner to secure your vacation
What's a typical day like in summer?
Morning: Join the 7:30am warm-up class or sleep a little longer. Breakfast is served at 8:00am and the first helicopter leaves at 9:00am.
Each group, with its own guide, spends the day roaming and hiking in the mountains. Over the course of the day, the helicopter may move each group to three or four different areas giving you a chance to experience a variety of settings. Just as our groups vary, our mileage varies from approximately one kilometre (1/2 mile) to 15 kilometres (9 miles) - guests hike as much or as little as they desire.
Lunch: Enjoyed picnic-style with food that you pack from a great selection set out at the lodge each morning.
Afternoon: Continue to explore, hike, or climb with your guide.
Late Afternoon: Fly back to the lodge for apres-hike snacks and relaxation prior to a spectacular dinner and an evening of story-swapping.
What's included in my trip? What should I pack?
All summer trips include accommodation at one of three spectacular lodges, food and non-premium non-alcoholic beverages, certified guides and helicopter pilots, safety training and the use of hiking equipment (boots, jackets, daypacks, rain pants, walking poles, and water bottles). For further information on what's included, visit the page of the trip.
What is the minumum age for children?
Children must be a minimum of 6 years old to participate in hiking programs. Parents must hike with their children, and the pace set by the slowest member of the group.
There's a lot of people in our family - Can you accommodate all of us?
Absolutely - we can accommodate up to 44 guests on any one trip.
What's the weather like?
Due to the high mountain environment, you can expect various conditions. While the weather can be sunny and warm, you should also be prepared for cooler temperatures, rain, wind and possibly snow.
Mountain weather can change with very little warning. Temperatures range from highs of 10 to 35 degrees C (50 - 95F) to lows of -1 to 15 degrees C (30 - 50F).
What is the hiking terrain like? Do I get dropped off at the top of a mountain and then hike down?
There’s a variety of terrain to explore - you might get dropped off:
- In an alpine meadow and hike up to a summit
- On a glacier to explore and hike on and around
- On a mountain ridge and hike down to alpine meadows
Your group will hike based on fitness level and ability preferences, which will determine your hiking options. Compare hiking styles
Learn more about Heli-Hiking by watching our recent live event
The trip I want to book is sold out! What are my options?
You have chosen a popular trip! We recommend looking at availability for our other lodges for the same date, or contact our Sales team at 1-800-661-0252 to look at other options!
I'm not a hiker - will I be able to keep up with the group?
Whether it’s a hike, walk or amble, each heli-hiking day is tailored to all levels of fitness, experience and age. We split the group as necessary so everyone can stay within their comfort level. The only requirement is a thirst for adventure.
I'm an avid hiker - will I be challenged?
Absolutely! Our guides share a passion for exploring all the mountains have to offer. If you’re seeking a challenge, they’ll deliver a great workout.
Will we encounter wildlife?
We strive to avoid any contact with wildlife. However, our guides are trained in safely dealing with wildlife encounters, should one occur.
How many helicopter trips will I get to take?
In addition to your heli flights to and from the lodge, each day offers the chance to heli to new adventures – with unprecedented access. On average, you can expect two or three helicopter lifts per day, depending on your group and weather conditions.
What happens when nature calls and we’re on the trail?
We hike and explore remote areas where there are no conventional washrooms. Mother Nature provides trees and rocks for privacy. We recommend bringing toilet paper and a ziplock bag. Paper used in the field can be carried in your bag and disposed of back at the lodge.
Are gratuities included?
The CMH team is committed to ensuring that you enjoy the trip of a lifetime. While gratuities are not included in your trip fees – nor are they mandatory – they are gratefully accepted on a voluntary basis. Gratuities are divided among all of the lodge staff and your pilot.
Are all your guides certified?
Most CMH guides have made a lifelong career of their passion. They are dedicated professionals, trained in the European guiding tradition, which emphasizes both respect for the mountains and concern for the well-being of guests. Our guides are fully trained and regularly re-trained in first aid, wilderness rescue, emergency procedures and prevention. Many of our hiking guides are fully certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) - on average, a 10 year process. The rest are Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) - certified, also with rigorous standards. Each one of our guides is an experienced and knowledgeable interpreter of our mountains’ flora, fauna, geology and natural history, ensuring that your hiking experience is both safe and enriching.
I have a history of health issues - What medical supplies do you have on site?
You should be prepared and bring your own medications, although we do have some basic medicine that can be purchased in our retail shop. Extensive first aid kits and resuscitation kits are part of the lodge emergency supplies. Once you have booked, please make sure to discuss any health concerns or issues with our Guest Services team before arriving to the lodge to ensure that we can prepare for your trip.
Does CMH have an allergy policy?
CMH does everything possible to accommodate guests with allergies; however, as our lodges are open to the public, we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment.
To confirm your reservation, we require a deposit of 20% of the trip cost per person at time of booking. Your final payment is due 90 days before your trip departure date.
Are there any other fees that I need to pay?
All prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy, and include a contribution to the HeliCat Canada Wildlife & Environmental Research Fund
. Not included are the applicable local, provincial and federal taxes. Please note all prices and taxes are subject to change.
What is my contribution to Helicat Canada?
Included in your trip price is a $5 per day, per person contribution, with 100% of the proceeds supporting the HeliCat Canada Wildlife & Environmental Research Fund. More information on the fund can be found on the HeliCat Canada website.
What methods of payment do you accept?
Payment may be wire transfers, personal cheques or credit card: MasterCard, Visa or Amex. Wires and personal cheques must be in Canadian or US Dollars. Be sure that transfer instructions and/or cheques include your name and trip details. Please note we do not hold your credit card information on file from previous transactions without your permission. If we have tokenized your credit card information, we will not charge it unless we have your written or verbal consent to do so. USD cheques and wires are converted to Canadian Dollars at the current daily exchange rate on the date of receipt. All prices are quoted and charged in Canadian Dollars and are subject to change.
Do I need travel insurance for this trip?
For your peace of mind and to avoid any financial hardship that an unexpected cancellation, interruption or medical emergency could cause, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Contact Uniglobe Specialty Travel to receive trip insurance details and a quote.
What happens if I need to change or cancel my trip?
If you are not able to travel, you can reschedule your trip and use your funds towards any CMH trip in the existing summer or winter season, or the following winter or summer season. Funds must be scheduled before the end of the calendar year of your original travel dates. You are eligible to reschedule your trip once. All monies become non-refundable once you have changed your trip dates. In the unfortunate circumstance that you are not able to travel, a notice of cancellation must be received by telephone at the CMH office (1-800-661-0252) and confirmed in writing.
Do I have to pay a single supplement if I am traveling alone?
Single rooms are available by request, depending on availability, the lodge and the number of nights of your stay. As a solo traveler you may book on a twin-share basis and we will attempt to match you with a same-gender roommate. If we are unable to do so, you will not be charged the upgrade to single occupancy.
Will I have to sign a waiver?
Yes, everyone who attends a CMH Summer Adventure must sign a liability agreement prior to trip departure. All waivers for minors (18 years and under) require two parental signatures.
Is there WiFi/cell service at the lodge? Do you have phones at the lodges?
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout all of our lodges, as well as a computer area that you can use for internet browsing. Phones can be found in the computer area. Our three remote summer lodges do not have cell service.
What room types are available at the lodge?
Our lodges have Twin/Double rooms and a small number of Single rooms available. To guarantee a Single room, there is a supplement charge. Single rooms are available by request, depending on availability, the lodge and the number of nights of your stay.
What currency is used at CMH lodges?
CMH lodges use the Canadian Dollar. US Dollars are also accepted at established exchange rates. CMH accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
What is your smoking policy?
All CMH lodges are non-smoking indoors. There are designated smoking areas outdoors; please take extra care when smoking, as our lodges are located in remote, wooded areas.
What plug-ins are used at the lodge?
In Canada and at all CMH lodges, we use 110-volt electrical outlets (same as the US).
What is a Via Ferrata?
It's a series of iron rungs and wire cables that are affixed to a mountainside, providing a secure, climbable route through otherwise impassable terrain. You are affixed to the route with a climbing harness. Read our blog post for more information.
Do I need to reserve the Via Ferrata ahead of time? What if I change my mind?
The Via Ferrata is an optional activity included in your trip. We recommend that you register your interest in doing the Via Ferrata at time of booking as space may be limited.
If you change your mind at the lodge and decide you don’t want to do the Via Ferrata, there is no problem with cancelling.
Is the Via Ferrata guaranteed?
We endeavor to do everything we can to get you out on the Via Ferrata, but it is not guaranteed. Because it is more technical than a hike, it is entirely weather dependent. The day's conditions will help the guides determine if the Via Ferrata is available.
Your participation in the Via Ferrata is also at the discretion of your guide. If you're unsure if you would enjoy the experience, chat with your guide about it during your first day out hiking!
What is the minimum age to do a Via Ferrata?
The minimum age to participate in a Via Ferrata is 12 years old. Based on the safety guidelines of our equipment used on the Via Ferrata, the minimum weight limit is 100 lbs. and the maximum weight limit is 250 lbs.
A parent must participate in the Via Ferrata with a child. Participation in the Via Ferrata is at the discretion of the Area Management team.
Do I need to have climbing experience to do a Via Ferrata?
No, climbing experience is not required to do a Via Ferrata.
Which destinations have Via Ferrata?
We have Via Ferrata options at all of our destinations! The Bobbie Burns Lodge is home to the Mt. Nimbus Via Ferrata and the Conrad Glacier Via Ferrata. From the Bugaboo Lodge you can access the Skyladder Via Ferrata. The Cariboo Lodge offers you the experience of our new Zillmer Canyon Via Ferrata.
Do you have deals for groups?
We are always open to discuss options for large groups in our lodges - give us a call at 1-800-661-0252.
Can I buy an entire lodge exclusively for my group?
Yes, you certainly can! Please contact our Sales team for more information.
I am looking for a hotel before or after my trip with CMH - Can you help me with that?
Yes, absolutely! We have preferred rates with many hotel partners in Banff, Lake Louise, Golden and Jasper. We can also organize airport transfers and give suggestions for activities and tours outside of your trip with us. Contact our vacation planning team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!