This trip brings you the spectacular landscapes that define this special part of the world, but also exposes you to a lot of the history and culture that shaped its modern ethos. And, of course, you’ll have the opportunity to get active in this most spectacular natural area in the world (Lonely Planet). We’ll travel the scenic routes, but also get off the beaten path into the heart of the natural environment. You’ll have the opportunity to ascend grand mountain vistas, to enjoy such exhilarating activities as hiking, horseback riding, cycling, a glacier adventure, an overnight houseboat trip or an Olympic bobsleigh ride, but also to relax. In the middle, enjoy a stay in Calgary, the Stampede City.
Duration: 15 days/14 nights
Departure City: Vancouver. Ending City: Vancouver
Accommodations: hotels (13 nights) houseboat (1 night)
Transportation: minibus, houseboat
Leaders: Tour leader, Bus driver/ass’t leader
Included meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Included Activities: Barkerville historic city tour, excursions to Mt. Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake, Moraine Lake and Takakkaw Falls, Ice Explorer glacier tour, Skywalk tour, Sulphur Hot Springs soak, Three Valley Gap ghost town, houseboat adventure, all park fees
Day 1: Meet your tour leader and fellow adventurers at the joining hotel to get your tour orientation. Then enjoy dinner at one of Vancouver’s many renowned restaurants.
Day 2: Enjoy a scenic travel day up the raging Fraser Canyon, then the rolling hills of Cariboo Country. It’s a day of landscape contrasts, ending at Quesnel, from which we’ll begin our historic Barkerville tour tomorrow.
Day 3: Enjoy a trip back in time. We spend a full day exploring the restored Barkerville, in its day the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco, and now the largest such site in North America. Afterwards, we travel as far as Prince George.
Day 4: Today we travel to Jasper, the first of the three Rocky Mountain national parks we visit on this trip. We’ll view the giant Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. In Jasper Park, we’ll take an included excursion to splendid alpine region of Mount Edith Cavell and still have time to ride the Whistlers’ Sky Tram.
Day 5: We have full day to spend in Jasper. This is a cycling and hiking paradise, with numerous trails of all levels of challenge. Included in the package is an excursion to the picturesque Maligne Lake, with an option to take a boat trip to the much photographed Spirit Island.
Day 6: Today we take one of the world’s great road trips, the Icefields Parkway, with many scenic peaks, waterfalls and azure lakes. Midway, we’ll take an included Ice Explorer glacier tour and the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk. Our day ends in Lake Louise.
Day 7: We have a full day to enjoy the grandeur of the Lake Louise area, with options like hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, rock climbing or simply relaxing in the tea houses or the opulent Lake Louise Lodge. And, of course, load up your camera with amazing photos.
Day 8: Calgary, the foothills city, also known as the Stampede City, has numerous attractions and night-life. During the Stampede, your tour will include entrance to “the greatest show on earth.”
Day 9: We travel to Banff, the true heart of the Canadian Rockies. Here you’ll have nearly two full days to hike, walk, cycle, soak, paddle, ride, fly, stroll, visit museums, take photos, shop, or even dance the time away.
Day 10: Resume the activities you didn’t have time for yesterday, especially if your camera is still not full. Or enjoy the adrenaline rushes of the via Ferrata or river rafting.
Day 11: We cross the Great Divide through Kicking Horse Pass, stopping at such spectacular sites as Moraine Lake, The Spiral Tunnels, Takkakaw Falls, Emerald Lake and Rogers Pass, and end the day at Three Valley Gap.
Day 12: We start today by visiting the ghost town at the Gap, and have the option to take a helicopter flight over the alpine glacial highlands. Then we move on to the Shuswap, where we board the Remote Escape houseboat for our afternoon and overnight excursion.
Day 13: After returning to the marina, we re-board our minibus for our trip to Whistler, site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, again passing through some superb scenery.
Day 14: We have a full day to participate in some of the many options available in Whistler, Canada’s adrenaline capital: Ziptrek, downhill mountain-biking, bungee jumping, Peak 2 Peak gondola, hiking, cycling, swimming, partying. This is our last night together.
Day 15: We travel the stunningly beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway back to Vancouver, ending our experience about noon.
Tour Add-on Packages (Optional Excursion Add-ons)
How to add optional tour packages
Some of our tours have optional add-on packages which secure those activities for you in advance, and may be less expensive and less hassle than booking them individually while on your trip. You can add these packages on at check out.
Add-on 1: Close to Nature package:
This package includes a helicopter flight to the high mountain back-country glaciers of the Purcell range on Day 12. On Day 9 or 10 you will be whisked up to the Sunshine meadows high alpine hiking and scenic exploration (Lake Louise equivalent will be substituted on trips prior to July 1). On Day 14, you will enjoy the Whistler Hiking and Sightseeing package for mountain vistas, surreal landscapes and fantastic hiking, plus the Peak 2 Peak gondola ride. Price: $458CAD, incl. taxes.
Add-on 2: Adrenaline Package:
This package includes a white-water paddle rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River on Day 9 or 10, where you navigate class 3 and 4 rapids without the aid of a motor. On the other of those days, you’ll get the Ridgewalker Via Ferrata on Mount Norquay in Banff. Then, in Whistler you can choose either Mammoth Ziptrek that includes 10 ziplines and 8 treetop bridges or Extreme Downhill Mountain-biking, including bike rental and tickets to the mountain-bike park and lift passage. Price: $597CAD, incl. taxes.
Add-on 3: Single Supplement
Our trip prices are based on two people sharing rooms. Single travelers will be paired up with others of the same gender for room assignments. Subject to availability, travelers may upgrade to single rooms by adding a single supplement to their tour. The single supplement for this trip is $1189CAD.