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Full Tour Itinerary

BC & Rocky Mountains Spectacular

  • Days / nights15 / 14
  • PRICE (Starting at) CA$2809

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 restaurants nearby.

Overnight at the joining hotel

Included meals: none

Day 2

We will 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. At Hope, we turn off the freeway, following the Trans-Canada Highway into the scenic Fraser Canyon. This is the Gold Rush Trail, as well as the route of the railroad project 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 Lytton, arriving at the rafting resort about noon. This afternoon we hop aboard motorized rafts for a guided trip down the Lower Thompson River, riding class 3 and 4 rapids back down to Lytton. Tonight we set up camp at one of the numerous campgrounds in the area, cooking our food together and enjoying the great outdoors along the Thompson River.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: D (shared responsibilities)

Included activities: sight-seeing, river rafting

Day 3

After breakfast and camp clean-up, we travel through arid areas and past scenic lakes through Kamloops and Salmon Arm and eventually on to Sicamous. We’ll be travelling for a good part of the way alongside the incredibly picturesque Shuswap Lake, known as the house-boating capital of Canada. It will likely be dotted with houseboats as we get closer to our destination. After a quick lunch, we head down to the marina for our boarding time on Remote Escape, the houseboat that will be our home for the next 21 hours. We’ll sail into beautiful Shuswap Lake, stopping at various sites. Activities include swimming, sun-tanning, simply relaxing—on the houseboat or along shore, 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: B, D

Included activities: house-boating

Day 4

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 through the grandeur of the Purcell and Monashee Mountain ranges. We’ll stop frequently for jaw-dropping photos. At Rogers Pass, we’ll view the extensive glaciers of the region. After Golden, we travel up what was once known as the treacherous “ten-mile hill.” Then we enter Yoho National Park, one of four contiguous Rocky Mountain national parks. Anywhere in the parks there is a chance we will spot wildlife such as sheep, deer, moose, elk, maybe even bear. If we have time, we may take a side trip to the emerald waters of Emerald Lake (what else?). At Field we turn off the Trans-Canada Highway and make our way into the Yoho Valley to view Takkakaw Falls, Canada’s second highest. We’ll spend the night at one of the area’s campgrounds or, on some trips, go all the way to Lake Louise.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: B, D

Included activities: sight-seeing, park entrance
Additional suggested activity options at Rogers Pass (at additional cost) Scenic helicopter tours & Pioneer ghost town tour

Day 5

After breakfast and clean-up, we travel the short distance to Lake Louise. If we didn’t have time yesterday, we may first stop at Emerald Lake or the Spiral Tunnels viewpoint to admire the engineering marvel that allowed the Canadian National Railway to descend from the Kicking Horse Pass down to the valley below. At Lake Louise we will set up camp for the next two nights. Besides the incredible scenery this lake is known for, there are numerous hiking trails, from easy to challenging. Your tour guide will fill you in on the great variety of options. Other activities 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 views.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: B, D

Included activities: sight-seeing stops, park entrance
Additional suggested activity options at Yoho/Lake Louise, Moraine Lake
Hiking and sight-seeing: free
(at additional cost)Lake Louise gondola, Horseback trail rides, Canoe rental, Guided hikes, Mountain bike rental,
Tea at a Tea house or River rafting: Kicking Horse Classic

Day 6

Enjoy more of the spectacular activities you started exploring yesterday. On either Day 5 or Day 6, your tour leaders will take you on a side trip to Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. For many, this photogenic spot defines the Canadian Rockies. Here there are also numerous hiking trails, canoe rentals, and inspiring vistas.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: B, D

Included activities: sight-seeing trips

Day 7

After camp clean-up we continue on 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. This afternoon you are free to explore the town or participate in some of the many available activities such as sight-seeing, hiking, cycling, waterfall chasing, riding the Sulphur Mtn. gondola, visiting museums or a buffalo paddock, horseback riding, taking the chairlift up Mt. Norquay, or signing up for the via Ferrata. 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: B

Included activities: hot springs admission

Day 8

This is a full day to enjoy the many options around Banff. Your driver and tour leader will suggest a variety of activities and will be available for a modest amount of side trips if there is sufficient group interest. You may also want to do a second rafting trip, this time paddle rafting on the Kicking Horse River. There is also considerable night-life in the town of Banff, for those who enjoy that kind of activity on a Saturday night.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: B

Included activities: sight-seeing side trips
Additional suggested activity options in Banff
Hiking and sight-seeing: free, Johnson Canyon hike: free, several free museums
(at additional cost)Trail rides, Helicopter tour, Paddle boat rentals, Motor boat rentals, Lake Minnewanka cruise,
Banff gondola, Via Ferrata, Mt. Norquay chair lift, River Rafting: Kicking Horse Classic

Day 9

We will rise relatively early to travel up the incomparable Icefields Parkway. This is one of the most scenic road trips anywhere on the planet, with spectacular lakes to our left under the backdrop of rugged peaks and glaciers. To our right, another impressive mountain range keeps us wondering which window to look out of. We stop at several viewpoints along the way, and do the short hike to the picturesque viewpoint overlooking Peyto Lake. Shortly after crossing into Jasper National Park, Canada’s largest, we arrive at Columbia Icefield. Here we’ll enjoy an included ride on the glacier in the Ice Explorer designed specifically for glacier travel, then stroll over a glass decked Glacier Skywalk above a 918-ft. (280 m.) vertical drop to the valley below. Continuing on, we stop at Sunwapta and/or Athabasca Falls. Likely, we’ll also stop at Mt Edith Cavell before arriving in Jasper fairly late in the day, setting up camp and having dinner together.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: B, D

Included activities: Ice Explorer tour, Glacier Skywalk, sight-seeing stops, park entrance

Day 10

This is a free day to explore the many options around Jasper. Like Banff and Lake Louise, Jasper has a great variety of short hikes for all skill levels and is a very popular cycling area. Your tour includes a trip to Maligne Lake, where you can add a boat trip to the famous Spirit Island landmark, rent canoes or kayaks or hike. If we didn’t get to Mt Edith Cavell yesterday, we may add that to today’s agenda, as well. Another option is to ride the gondola up Whistler Mountain. In Jasper National Park you will likely see elk and possibly bear, as well as many other wildlife.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: B, D

Included activities: Mt Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake excursions
Additional suggested activity options in Jasper
Hiking and sight-seeing: free
(at additional cost) Jasper Sky tram, Bike rentals, Spirit Island cruise, Trail Rides(Jasper Riding Stables),
Canoe/kayak rentals(Maligne Lake)

Day 11

After breaking camp, we head west through the Yellowhead Pass, shortly stopping to view Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Then we turn southward toward Clearwater and Wells Grey Provincial Park. Entering the park, we have the option of seeing several more amazing waterfalls! At Clearwater Lake we board canoes for an overnight guided wilderness canoe trip. Previous canoeing experience is not required. After several hours of canoeing, perhaps lazily under a warm sun—don’t forget your sunscreen–we reach our campsite and set up camp for the night. Options include more canoeing, sight-seeing, exploring the wilderness or simply relaxing. While this is wilderness camping, it will not be a Survivor-like experience. In case of extreme weather (unlikely in summer), an alternative will be arranged, as your safety is our highest concern.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: B, D

Included activities: sight-seeing, canoe rental

Day 12

After breakfast, we’ll clean up our wilderness camp and canoe back to the starting point, re-boarding our minibus for a relatively short drive across to Cariboo Country. This is an area of rolling hills, cattle ranches, lakes and resorts. At our destination in the heart of the Cariboo we’ll first enjoy an included horseback trail ride. Then, at the resort, we have a variety of activities to choose from: more horseback riding, spa treatments, hiking and more. Tonight we stay in the resort accommodations.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: B

Included activities: canoeing, horseback trail ride
Additional trail rides: $22/hr

Day 13

Today we travel first down the Cariboo Highway, then turn off toward Lillooet, enroute re-crossing the Fraser River along which we traveled on Day 2. We’ll stop for a First Nations interpretive experience that includes a barbecue salmon meal. Then we’ll travel on to the resort community of Whistler, enjoying the gorgeous scenery of the Duffy Lake Road along the way. Whistler, the site of the mountain sports of the 2010 Winter Olympics is the adrenaline capital of BC, if not all of Canada, with more options than one could exhaust in a week. Your tour guide will point you to the great variety of options. Here we’ll spend the final two nights of the tour.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: B, L

Included activities: First Nations interpretive tour

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 same amazing hikes along the Singing Pass trails. Ride the Peak 2 Peak gondola, the world’s highest and longest gondola, between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. Or rent a mountain bike for some extreme downhill mountain-biking. Or take a ride in a bobsleigh, just like an Olympian!

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: B
Additional suggested optional activities in Whistler
(at additional cost)Peak 2 Peak Gondola, Ziptrek, Bobsleigh(advance booking required),
Downhill mountain biking, River rafting, Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Whistler Museum,
Escape Rooms, ATV tours, Via Ferrata, Spa service

Day 15

After breakfast, we’ll leave for the last leg of our trip back to Vancouver, down the stunningly beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway. Depending on traffic, we should arrive there by about noon, at which time we’ll say good-bye to our fellow travellers. If you are flying out today, please do not book flights earlier than 4 pm. If you are continuing on to another West Adventures tour, you will have a group meeting this evening at 6 pm. If not, you may want to consider adding a day or two in Vancouver before flying home, or a few extra days in Whistler. We can help you arrange accommodations and tours for an extended stay in either Vancouver or Whistler.