This trip brings you the spectacular landscapes that define this special part of the world, but also exposes you to the history and culture that shaped it. 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. You’ll also get to take in a bit of the Calgary Stampede on June 30 & July 7 departures.
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: 6 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Included Activities: Hell’s Gate Canyon, River wildlife safari, excursions to Mt. Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake, Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls, Ice Explorer glacier tour, Skywalk tour, Sulphur Hot Springs soak, Three Valley Gap ghost town, houseboat adventure, all park fees
Is this trip right for you?
You want to get the full experience of the BC and Canadian Rocky Mountains tour, not just the “touristy” view-the-scenery-from-the-tinted-window-of-the-massive-motorcoach version. And you want more than the canned photo-ops. You appreciate getting into, and experiencing nature, and getting into the back-country. And you’re fit enough to enjoy that. But, camping is just a little beyond your comfort level; you’d like to have your own hotel bed every night. You want to appreciate the full diversity offered by a trip like this, like all the included activities, but also appreciate a style that gives you enough opportunity to choose your own options, and enough time for relaxation. Please see Our Style for more of what to expect on our trips.
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, with a stop at the wild Hell’s Gate Canyon, then on to the rolling hills of Cariboo Country. It’s a day of landscape contrasts, ending at 108 Resort, where you can enjoy an optional trail ride if you wish before enjoying an overnight at the resort.
Day 3: Today we cross over to Wells Gray Provincial Park, then on to Blue River. At Wells Gray, we take in some amazing scenery, including several magnificent waterfalls. Then, at Blue River we enjoy a river safari to view wildlife, including almost certain bear-spotting.
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 a 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: We have a second day to enjoy the many special opportunities of the Lake Louise area, including a trip Moraine Lake. Alternatively, the two departures during Stampede week will instead travel to Calgary to take in what’s known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” Entrance to the Stampede grounds is included; rodeo admission is extra.
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 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.
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 7,8,9 or 10, where you navigate class 3 and 4 rapids without the aid of a motor. On days 9 or 10, 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 travellers 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 $1700CAD.