This tour brings you from the spectacular landscapes of the Rocky Mountains to the interior of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. The trip includes a host of outdoor adventures to help you get beyond the beaten path and into the natural environment. It is a fast-paced trip, with plenty of driving. We travel the most scenic routes, take in the best adventures such as white-water rafting, canoeing, hiking, cycling, a glacier adventure, a spelunking experience, a whale-watching trip and a houseboat sailing trip. Yet there is still a little time built into the trip to relax and rejuvenate for the next adventure, and to choose options most suited to your interests. The trip is a compressed version of the Pacific Coast to Rocky Crest trip.
Duration: 18 days/17 nights
Departure City: Vancouver Ending City: Vancouver
Accommodations: camping (8 nights) hotels (8 nights) houseboat (1 night)
Transportation: minibus, ferry, houseboat, canoe, ocean cruiser
Leaders: Tour leader, Bus driver/ass’t leader
Included meals: 9 breakfasts, 9 dinners
Included Activities: whitewater rafting, houseboat adventure, Banff hot springs, excursions to Moraine Lake, Mt. Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake and Takakkaw Falls (in season), glacier tour, canoe trip, Horne Lake Caves, Coombs Country Market, Cathedral Grove, whale-watching tour, Hot Springs Cove, ferry rides, all park fees, all meals when camping and on houseboat
Is this trip right for you?
You will appreciate this trip if you love to be active in the outdoors. You don’t mind camping, and are happy to participate in camp set-up and tear-down. You’d rather hike to the far side of a lake or climb to an overlook than do the canned tourist photo-op. You definitely want to get your muscles working and your adrenaline pumping from time to time. You love a fast pace, and enjoy travelling. And you might rather cycle than drive when you’re at a destination. You’re active, relatively fit and ready to conquer the challenges of getting behind the façade of those iconic photos. But, you also appreciate the balance and rejuvenation offered by some down time, some nights in comfortable hotels, or a night on the town. 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 the area’s many restaurants.
Day 2: Enjoy your first day travel up the scenic Fraser Canyon to our afternoon adventure: motorized rafting on the turbulent Lower Thompson River. Afterwards we set up camp along the river, with shared responsibilities under the guidance of the tour leader.
Day 3: We travel today through low-lying hills and past luxuriant lakes, to the Shuswap, where we board the Remote Escape houseboat for our afternoon and overnight excursion. Tonight we sleep in the houseboat’s berths on the gentle waters of the lake.
Day 4: We re-board our minibus and journey through three mountain ranges draped with some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. We stop frequently for great photos, have an option to take a helicopter flight into the back-country, and eventually get to our campsite in the Rocky Mountains.
Day 5: We have a full day to explore the natural wonders of Lake Louise, including hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, rock climbing, chairlift rides to mountain peaks or simply relaxing in the tea houses or the opulent Lake Louise Lodge. And, of course, to load up the camera with amazing photos.
Day 6: Our day begins with a trip to Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, one of the most photographed scenes in Canada. Then we take the short trip to Banff, the true heart of the Canadian Rockies. Here we’ll have a day-and-a-half to enjoy the area with your choice of relaxing or adrenaline activities.
Day 7: We have a second day to complete the activities we were introduced to yesterday. The trip includes a soak in the hot springs.
Day 8: Today we travel the incomparable Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s great road trips. There are numerous stops amid stunning scenery and an exhilarating glacier expedition along the way. Tonight we camp in Jasper, the largest of the Rocky Mountain National Parks.
Day 9: Today is a full day to explore the Jasper area: hike, cycle, ride the Sky Tram or take a boat cruise to iconic Spirit Island. Along the way, we’re likely to see wildlife such as elk, moose, deer or even bear.
Day 10: We travel to Wells Grey Provincial Park, via Mt Robson, the highest massif in the Canadian Rockies. At Wells Grey we board canoes for an included overnight paddle across Clearwater Lake, where we’ll get deep into the BC wilderness.
Day 11: We re-board our minibus for the trip through the rolling hills of BC’s Cariboo Country and on down to Whistler, site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, again passing through superb and diverse scenery, with several photo stops.
Day 12: We have a full day to participate in some of the innumerable options available in Whistler, Canada’s adrenaline capital: Ziptrek, downhill mountain-biking, bungee jumping, Peak 2 Peak gondola, hiking, cycling, swimming, partying, and much more.
Day 13: We travel the stunningly beautiful sea-to-sky highway, then take the ferry across to Vancouver Island. This afternoon we’ll become spelunkers, exploring the Horne Lake Caves, followed by some free time that could include relaxing on Rathtrevor Beach.
Day 14: We travel across the Island to the Pacific coast, stopping at several sites along the way, such as Little Qualicum Falls and Cathedral Grove giant forest, arriving in the Tofino area mid-day. Time to plunge into some West coast activities.
Day 15: Today we take an included whale-watching excursion to Hot Springs Cove. We may see a wide variety of sea life along the way. At Hot Springs Cove, we relax in the soothing hot mineral waters as ocean waves surge up to meet us. A true bucket list experience!
Day 16: We make our way back across the Island and head to Victoria, with several scenic and cultural stops along the way, such as Coombs Country Market and the Duncan totem poles. Arriving in Victoria by late afternoon, we’ll have time left for an orientation tour of this very British City.
Day 17: A full day to explore Victoria, with many options, from historic mansions to the world famous Butchart Gardens. Or opt to hike a section of the Juan de Fuca Trail, concluding at Port Renfrew’s Botanical Beach with its unique geological and botanical tidal pools.
Day 18: Enjoy the incredible scenery of the Gulf Islands as we cross back to the Mainland, reaching Vancouver about mid-day.
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 after check out or any time before 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 4. On Day 6 or 7 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 12, 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 5, where you navigate class 3 and 4 rapids without the aid of a motor. On Day 7, 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 and tents. Single travellers will be paired up with others of the same gender for room assignments. Subject to availability, travellers may upgrade to single rooms and tents by adding a single supplement to their tour. The single supplement for this trip is CAD$958