Winter Games Stay

Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

The Alberta Hostelling Assn. is accepting reservations for low-cost lodging during the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Because the Olympic events will be centered in Calgary, Canmore and Kananaskis Country, four of Alberta's youth hostels are participating in the special pre-Olympic reservation programs.

The Ribbon Creek Hostel, (403) 591-7333, is in Kananaskis Country Provincial Park, about 55 miles from Calgary and one mile from Mt. Allan, a site for the 1988 Winter Olympics. The hostel can provide dormitory accommodations for 40 visitors.

The Calgary International Hostel, (403) 269-8239, at 520 7th Ave. S.E., Calgary, will be able to provide lodgings for 114 people per night. If you head through Calgary during the summer months, remember that the city's major annual event is the Calgary Stampede. This year it will be held July 3-12.

The Banff International Hostel, (403) 762-4122, can accommodate up to 130 visitors per night. It's located 80 miles from Calgary on the Tunnel Mountain Road, about one mile from the Banff Park information center.

Castle Mountain Hostel, (403) 283-5551, is located in Banff National Park, about 16 miles north of the town of Banff. It can accommodate about 36 people.

Must Pay in Advance

If you wish to make a reservation at one of these hostels during the Winter Olympics (Feb. 1-15, 1988) you will be required to pay all accommodations charges in advance to confirm your reservation.

For additional information contact the Southern Alberta Hostelling Assn., Suite 203, 1414 Kensington Road N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 3P9, phone (403) 283-5551.

The Alberta Hostelling Assn. also has made arrangements with a local tour operator to offer a variety of interesting, economical group tours and "do-it-yourself" programs this summer. The trips include hiking, cycling, trail riding, canoeing, river rafting, self-drive and "do-it-yourself" city sightseeing packages.

For example, if you don't want to travel with a group, for $295 (about $226 U.S.) per person, you can have six nights of youth hostel lodging in the Rocky Mountains, plus a mid-size, air-conditioned car with unlimited mileage and passes to four attractions. That price is based on two persons sharing.

There are four- and 11-night cycling programs operated by Ride the Rockies Bicycle Touring Co. A four-night, escorted, 170-mile cycling tour along the scenic Icefield Parkway from Jasper to Banff costs $385 (about $296 U.S.). That fee includes hostel accommodation, a support vehicle to carry luggage, most meals and a night's accommodation before or after the tour. Helmets are supplied free and bikes are available for $65 ($50 U.S.).

For more details or brochures describing all the programs contact David Thompson Tours, Box 96, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada T4N 5E7, phone (403) 346-0910.

New Tour Guide

Cyclists planning on touring in Canada this summer will find that a new guide to tour routes throughout the country is available this month: "The Complete Guide to Bicycling in Canada" by Elliott Katz (Doubleday Canada Ltd.: $12.95).

The first section covers tips for planning your trip, including buying a bicycle, safe cycling, what to take with and how to transport your bike on public carriers.

The second section deals with the author's choice of the best bicycle tours in Canada.

In each area of the country you'll find a selection of trips ranging from one to 10 days, including the tour length, where to start, how to get to the start by bike, car, train, bus or ferry and information on parks and accommodations, including camping. You'll also find reference maps and details on who to contact for further tourist information.

Each chapter of the book also includes an across-the-province tour route that can be linked-up with other provincial routes for those who want to plan a trip across the country.

Copies of the guide can also be ordered for $10.95 U.S. (no extra postage charge) from Great North Books, P.O. Box 507, Station Z, Toronto, Ontario M5N 2Z6.

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