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Full Tour Itinerary
  • Days / nights29 / 28
  • PRICE (Starting at) CA$7149

Day 1

Meet your fellow adventurers and tour leader at 6 pm at the joining hotel in downtown Vancouver. Be sure to have your insurance documents and passports available for presentation to your tour leader. After your tour briefing, you may want to go out together for dinner at one of the many renowned Vancouver restaurants.

Overnight at the joining hotel.

Included meals: none

Day 2

This is the longest driving day of the trip, but we will enjoy a wide variety of landscapes and see a lot of the history that built this province. We depart relatively early from Vancouver and travel first through the verdant Fraser Valley that produces most of the British Columbia’s fruits, vegetables, dairy and egg products. We follow the Trans-Canada highway into the scenic Fraser Canyon. This is the gold rush trail, as well as the route of the railroad engineering feat that brought the country together. We follow the spectacular river canyon past Hell’s Gate, where the mighty Fraser River gushes through a very narrow gorge, then on to Cache Creek and into the rolling hills of Cariboo Country. Our goal today is Quesnel, the starting point for tomorrow’s adventure.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 3

Today we go back in time to explore historic Barkerville. In its time, when it was the end of the Gold Rush rainbow, it was the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Chicago. The restored town is now the largest such exhibit in North America. We’ll spend a full day here; it takes that long to fully explore this landmark and learn the history that created this province. After concluding our visit, we travel on to Prince George for the night.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: Barkerville entrance fees

Day 4

We leave relatively early and travel about three hours to the Mt. Robson Visitor Centre where we get a grand view of this giant massif, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. An hour later we reach Jasper National Park, the first of three contiguous parks that we will visit. This afternoon, your driver will take you on an optional excursion to Mt. Edith Cavell, a magnificent peak above an alpine lake that has glaciers calving directly into it. You may choose, rather, to begin your explorations of this park on foot or by bicycle. This is a cyclist’s paradise. There are numerous trails, numerous lakes, and abundant wildlife within close proximity to the town site of Jasper. You might choose to ride the Jasper Sky Tram to get the grand overlook of the valley or hike to Whistlers Mountain summit.

Overnight: cabins

Included meals: none

Included activities: Mt Edith Cavell excursion, park entrance

Day 5

A full day to spend in Jasper, picking up on the activities you didn’t get a chance to start yesterday. Your tour includes a trip to picturesque Maligne Lake, where you can add a boat trip to the famous Spirit Island, one of the most photographed scenes in North America, rent canoes or kayaks or simply go hiking. After a full day of adventure, we spend a second night in Jasper. In any of the national parks you may see a variety of wildlife such as elk, bighorn sheep, dear, moose or bear, and also a large variety of birds.

Overnight: cabins

Included meals: none

Included activities: Maligne Lake excursion

Day 6

This may be the most magical day of the trip as we travel down the Icefields Parkway, one of the great road trips of North America. Early on, we’ll stop at several striking waterfalls. Midpoint, we’ll stop at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre, where we board an Ice Explorer for an included glacier experience, then step onto the glass-floored deck of the Glacier Skywalk, suspended 918 ft. (280 m.) above the valley floor. On the second half of the trip we’ll stop at several gorgeous lakes, with jaw-dropping views, and take the short hike to iconic Peyto Lake. We’ll end the day at Lake Louise.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: Glacier Adventure, Skywalk, sightseeing stops, Peyto Lake hike

Day 7

Today is a full day to explore some of the attractions of Lake Louise. Besides the incredible scenery this lake setting is known for, there are numerous hiking trails, from easy to challenging. Other options include canoeing, rock-climbing, exploring the world-famous Lake Louise Lodge, cycling, horseback riding, relaxing in any of several tea houses, or simply drinking in the spectacular views. Your tour leaders will also take you on a side trip to the picturesque Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, either today or on Day 11. When we’ve concluded our activities for the day, we’ll travel about two hours to Calgary, the Stampede City.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: B

Included activities: Excursion to Moraine Lake

Day 8

Today is a full day to explore the attractions of Calgary. Our hotel is close to the downtown nightlife, for those who enjoy that kind of activity.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 9

Today we retrace our journey to Banff, the centre of Canada’s first national park. This is the true heart of the world famous Rocky Mountains, a region named by Lonely Planet as the world’s #1 most spectacular natural attraction. Today you are free to explore the town or participate in some of many available activities such as site-seeing, hiking, cycling, riding the Sulphur Mountain gondola, visiting museums or a buffalo paddock, or horseback riding. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a soak in the world-famous Sulphur Hot Springs. We’ll be in comfortable hotel accommodations in the Banff area for the next two nights.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: hot springs admission, park fees

Day 10

This is a full day to enjoy the many options around Banff. You may want to add such adrenaline rush activities as white-water paddle rafting or the Via Feratta to your “to do” list. Your leaders will suggest a variety of activities and will be available for a modest amount of side trips if there is sufficient group interest.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: sightseeing excursions

Day 11

Today we’ll leave Banff National Park, travel through Yoho National Park, with several idyllic site-seeing stops such as Takkakaw Falls, Canada’s second highest, Emerald Lake and Mount Burgess, Natural Bridge and Rogers Pass. If we didn’t have time for Moraine Lake on Day 7, we’ll visit it today. Our endpoint tonight is Three Valley Gap, a charming resort with a variety of attractions including a ghost town tour (included).

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included attractions: park fees, site-seeing stops, Rogers Pass Visitor Centre

Day 12

We spend a few hours this morning at Three Valley Gap, enjoying such activities as exploring the ghost town (if you didn’t have time last night), taking in the gardens, playing in the water or on the beach or, if you like, taking a helicopter flight to an upper mountain glacier. Today’s drive is less than an hour, to the Shuswap town of Sicamous. We head down to the marina for our boarding time on Remote Escape, a houseboat that will be our home for the next day. We’ll sail into Shuswap Lake, stopping at various sites. Activities include swimming, sun-tanning, riding a dinghy, simply relaxing on board, or sitting in the on-board hot-tub. Shared cooking responsibilities for dinner. Note: you may have to share beds on this night.

Overnight: houseboat berths

Included meals: D

Included activities: house-boating

Day 13

After a gentle night’s sleep on the water and a shared breakfast on board, we sail back to Sicamous and re-board our minibus for a day of sight-seeing as we drive alongside scenic Shuswap Lake, and on into the Thompson country of rolling hills. We’ll cross our path from Day 2 at Cache Creek and then travel the scenic Duffy Lake Road to the resort town of Whistler, site of the mountain sports of the 2010 Winter Olympics. This is the adrenaline capital of BC, if not all of Canada, with more options than one could exhaust in a week. Your tour leader will point you to the great variety of options. Here we’ll spend the next two nights of the tour.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: B

Included activities: house-boating

Day 14

Today is a free day for you to enjoy the many options available in Whistler. Go zip-lining or bungee jumping. Rent a bicycle, ride the chairlift to the top of Whistler, then enjoy some amazing hikes along the Singing Pass trails. Ride the world’s highest and longest gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. Or rent a mountain bike for some extreme downhill mountain-biking. Maybe you want to ride the bobsleigh, like a true Olympian; that’s also an option.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 15

After breakfast, we return to Vancouver, making our first trip down the Sea-to-Sky highway. This is one of the most beautiful drives you’ll ever find. Depending on traffic, we should arrive there by noon, at which time we may say good-bye to some of our fellow adventurers. There will be time for a variety of city tours in the afternoon. As it is likely that some new adventurers will be joining us, we will have another group meeting this evening at 6, after which we may want to get to know them better at one of Vancouver’s fantastic restaurants.

Overnight: hotel.

Included meals: none

Day 16

We depart Vancouver for the ferry terminal that will take us across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. The scenery on the crossing is exceptional. We arrive in Victoria about noon and have a day-and-a-half to explore this historic, very British city. From hiking sections of the Juan de Fuca trail to visiting the world-renowned Butchart Gardens, there is incredible variety to explore in this region. Charter a fishing trip. Visit Craigdarroch Castle or Miniature World or the Royal British Columbia Museum or stroll the BC Parliament Buildings, Government House or the iconic Empress Hotel. Amble along the Inner Harbour or check out the Oak Bay marina.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: ferry crossing

Day 17

Continue with the activities you started yesterday. Or do something totally different. Take a hike; there are a lot of hiking trails in the region. Today, your driver will give you the option of driving as far as Port Renfrew, the terminus of the Juan de Fuca Trail, where you’ll be able to appreciate the unique geologic and botanical features of the tidal pools at Botanical Beach. You’ll also have the option of hiking one or more sections of the trail, or relaxing on one of the beaches along the way.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

 

Day 18

We leave the Greater Victoria area this morning and make our way up the Island. We take in the breath-taking views of the Malahat Drive and stop at Duncan to see the Totem Poles, on our way to Chemainus. Here we’ll make a brief stop to wander around this artsy community. Then it’s on to Parksville. Here you can take a tour to explore the Horne Lake Caves, take a short hike to Little Qualicum Falls or explore Coombs Country Market, world famous for its goats grazing on the roof. You may want to check out the Errington animal Rescue Centre, or spend a lazy afternoon on Rathtrevor Beach

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 19

Today we cross the Island to the Pacific Coast, stopping along the way to see Cathedral Grove, the aptly named giant forest preserve. We’ll arrive at Long Beach and the Tofino area about noon. Here we have a great variety of activities associated with the Pacific Coast. Surf the waves of Long Beach, or simply relax on the beach; rent a kayak or canoe; hike in the rainforest. Explore the art galleries of Tofino, or simply grab your camera and capture the exquisite scenery of Clayoquot Sound and the Pacific Coast.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 20

Today we’ll take an included whale-watching excursion to Hot Springs Cove. More often than not, we’ll be treated not only to whales but also various other sea life such as harbour seals and porpoises. At Hot Springs Cove, we’ll relax in the soothing hot mineral waters while ocean waves surge up to meet us. A true bucket list experience!

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: whale watching tour

Day 21

We retrace our journey across the Island to Nanaimo, to board a ferry back to the BC Mainland. There, we’ll head up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Squamish, billed as the “outdoor adventure capital of Canada.” Kite surfing and rock climbing the face of the Stawamus Chief are some of the more extreme activities available here. Less challenging are the hikes up the Stawamus Chief or to Shannon Falls, the fourth highest in Canada. Or take the easier route up the Sea-to-Sky gondola for breathtaking views of Howe Sound. Or, if you’d prefer to do something more relaxing, take a tour of a local distillery. You’ll wish you had more time to take in all the options.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: ferry ride

Day 22

This morning we’ll make our final trip down the gorgeous Sea-to-Sky Highway. We’ll get back to Vancouver about noon, so you’ll have time to catch an afternoon city excursion. Because some may be joining this tour at this time, and others leaving, there will be another meeting with your tour leader tonight. Then enjoy another night in downtown Vancouver.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 23

We depart relatively early, travelling, as we did on Day 1 through the scenic Fraser Valley. But, instead of turning up the Fraser Canyon, we’ll continue on the Southern route, stopping to visit the Hope Slide, where a mountain came crashing down through the Nicolum Valley. More than fifty years later, the rubble still tells an amazing geologic story. By late morning we arrive at Manning Park where we’ll spend most of the day. There are numerous hiking options here for all fitness and adventure levels, as well as placid waters to relax beside. Your driver will take you to various trailheads. In the latter part of summer you’ll also get to appreciate the vivid colours of the alpine meadows. Before sundown we’ll travel the short distance to Princeton where we’ll get a chance to relax before night.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 24

Today is a short driving day to Osoyoos, the northern end of the Great Sonoran Desert and a summer playground for locals. Along the way we might stop at fresh fruit stands in Keremeos or at the remarkable Spotted Lake. There are lots of options at Osoyoos: go swimming or simply relax on the beach, rent a canoe or kayak or motorized boat, go waterskiing or jetboating, visit the Desert Model Railroad or the Nk’mip Desert Cultural Centre, or take a tour at the Desert Centre. Rent a bike to explore the area, or challenge your fitness on the steep hills outside town. Tonight we stay right near the beach, close to everything.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 25

Our drive today will take us up alongside the turquoise waters of the Okanagan Lakes and through the centre of the Okanagan wine region, a greatly under-appreciated region that is winning accolades around the world. We’ll stop at several wineries along the way. We may stop in Penticton for a float trip down the Penticton Channel, as well. This evening we arrive in Kelowna, where we’ll stay for two nights. This is a bustling city with loads of activities and lots of night-life.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: B

Day 26

Hike or cycle the famous Myra Canyon, including sixteen old or restored trestles from the Kettle Valley Railroad. Or rent a boat and spend the day on Okanagan Lake, home of the Ogopogo, Canada’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster. Go mini-golfing, lie on the beach, check out a few more wineries or farm tours featuring orchards, honey or vegetables. If you’re a golfer, you won’t find many better courses than those of this region. Maybe you want to take a tour in an exotic car (think Lambo or McLaren) or a custom sidecar. You’ll have a tough time making your decision!

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Day 27

We travel through the north end of the Okanagan Valley, passing the emerald waters of Kalamalka Lake (an obvious photo stop), then cross over into the Shuswap drainage basin. We may stop for a tour of the Armstrong cheese factory along the way and, on arrival in Sicamous about noon, may check out a farm tour and ice cream outlet for our lunch. Then we’ll head down to the marina and board the Remote Escape for another day/overnight on the waters of Shuswap and Mara Lakes. As on the first occasion, you will need to share cooking responsibilities and you may have to share beds on this night.

Overnight: houseboat berths

Included meals: B, D

Included activities: house-boating

Day 28

After making our way back to the marina, we’ll re-board our minibus for a trip through picturesque Shuswap country and into the Thompson region, for a short while retracing our journey of Day 13. After Kamloops, though, we ascend to the high country and eventually into the back-country where we’ll end up at an artistically and hand-built guest ranch for this, our final night. At the ranch, we get an included horseback trail ride before our final dinner. Spend the evening in the attached lounge; kick up your heels and enjoy your final night together.

Overnight: guest ranch hotel

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: trail ride

Day 29

After a hearty breakfast at the ranch, we make our way back to the main freeway and travel the scenic Coquihalla Highway back to the Fraser Valley and on to Vancouver. If you are flying out today, please don’t book flights leaving before 4 pm, to give you adequate time to get to the airport. If you are continuing on to another West Adventures tour, your tour leader will meet you at the joining hotel for a group meeting at 6 pm. In the meantime, enjoy another of the many optional downtown tours of Vancouver. And if you have a few extra days to spend in the area, we’ll be happy to help you arrange some tours or accommodations in Vancouver or Whistler.

Included meals: B