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Full Tour Itinerary

Rocky Mountains & Pacific Magic

  • Days / nights18 / 17
  • PRICE (Starting at) CA$4999

Day 1

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

Overnight at the joining hotel

Included meals: none

Day 2

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. 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. Here we hop aboard motorized rafts for a guided trip down the Lower Thompson River, riding class 3 and 4 rapids back to Lytton. Tonight we set up our first camp, cooking our food together and enjoying the great outdoors along the Thompson River. Note: Early in the season we may substitute rafting on the Chilliwack River, instead of the Thompson.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

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 picturesque Shuswap Lake, the house-boating capital of Canada. It will likely be dotted with houseboats as we get closer to our destination. At Sicamous we board our home for tonight, the Remote Escape houseboat. We sail into either of Mara or Shuswap Lakes, relaxing and enjoying a casual cruise on these picturesque lakes. Activities include swimming, sun-tanning, simply relaxing—on the houseboat or along shore, or sitting in the on-board hot-tub. We may also gather around a campfire on shore. Shared cooking responsibilities for dinner.
Overnight: houseboat berths

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: sight-seeing, house-boating

Day 4

After a gentle night’s sleep on the water and a shared breakfast on board, we sail back to the marina 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 a Yoho Park campground or go all the way to Lake Louise.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: sight-seeing, park entrance
Additional suggested activity options at 3-Valley Gap (at additional cost); Helicopter tours or Pioneer ghost town tour

Day 5

We spend most of today at Lake Louise. Besides the incredible scenery the lake is known for, there are numerous hiking trails, from easy to challenging. Your tour guide will have filled you in on the great variety of options last night. If we didn’t have time yesterday we may also backtrack to take in Emerald Lake or Takakkaw Falls. 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: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: sight-seeing

Additional suggested activity options at Yoho/Lake Louise (at additional cost): Lake Louise gondola, horseback trail rides, canoe rental, guided hikes, mountain bike rental, tea at a tea house or rafting the Kicking Horse River

Day 6

Our day begins with a trip to Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. For many, this photogenic spot defines the Canadian Rockies. Then, after camp clean-up, we continue on to Banff, the centre of Canada’s first national park and 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, horseback riding, riding the Mt. Norquay chairlift, 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: breakfast

Included activities: hot springs admission

Day 7

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 limited 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: none

Included activities: sight-seeing side trips
Additional suggested activity options in Banff: (free) Johnson Canyon hike, several free museums
(at additional cost) trail rides, helicopter tour, paddle boat rentals, Lake Minnewanka cruise,
Banff gondola, Via Ferrata, Mt. Norquay chair lift, river rafting: Kicking Horse Classic

Day 8

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 line of peaks 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 glacier experience. Continuing on, we stop at Sunwapta and/or Athabasca Falls. We may also stop at Mt Edith Cavell before arriving in Jasper late in the day, setting up camp and having dinner together.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: Ice Explorer glacier experience and skywalk, sight-seeing stops, park entrance

Day 9

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. In Jasper National Park you will likely see elk and possibly bear, as well as many other wildlife.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: Mt Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake excursions
Additional suggested activity options in Jasper (at additional cost): Jasper Sky tram, bike rentals, Spirit Island cruise, trail rides (Jasper Riding Stables), canoe rentals

Day 10

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! Then, at Clearwater Lake we board canoes for a guided overnight wilderness canoe trip. Previous canoeing experience is not required. After several hours of canoeing, perhaps lazily under a hot summer sun—don’t forget your sunscreen–we reach our campsite and set up camp for the night. Options here 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: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: sight-seeing, guided canoe trip

Day 11

After breakfast, we clean up our wilderness camp and canoe leisurely back to the starting point, re-boarding our minibus for today’s journey. Our drive today is a little longer, but we’ll have a variety of landscapes to appreciate. We first cross over to Cariboo Country, an area of rolling hills, cattle ranches, lakes and resorts. Then we turn down toward Lillooet, enroute re-crossing the Fraser River along which we traveled on Day 2. We’ll enjoy several stops along the way to the resort community of Whistler, including the gorgeous scenery of the Duffy Lake Road. 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 next two nights.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: canoeing, sight-seeing stops

Day 12

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, 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: none
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, Spa service

Day 13

After breakfast, we’ll travel down the stunningly beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, perhaps stopping for some amazing photos enroute, or a quick hike to one of several waterfalls. After crossing to Vancouver Island, we make our way to Parksville. This afternoon we go to the magnificent Horne Lake Caves for an included one-hour exploration. Those who wish, may add on a second hour to explore the caves. Back at Parksville by late afternoon, we’re free to explore this coastal community, perhaps spending your time on Rathtrevor Beach.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: Ferry crossing, Horne Lake Caves exploration

Day 14

Today we make our way across Vancouver Island, with a stop along the way at Cathedral Grove, the aptly named giant forest preserve. We get to Tofino and the Pacific coast around noon. At Tofino, we camp for two nights. This afternoon we have several options: surf the waves of Long Beach, or simply relax on the beach, rent a kayak or canoe, join a guided First Nations canoe experience, 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: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: Cathedral Grove

Day 15

Today we take an included whale-watching excursion that brings us 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, porpoises and sea lions. At Hot Springs Cove, we’ll relax in the soothing hot mineral waters as ocean waves surge up to meet us. A true bucket list experience! We may also have a little time left to pick up more of the options we didn’t have time for yesterday.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: whale-watching tour & Hot Springs Cove

Day 16

Today we travel back across Vancouver Island, making a stop at Coombs Country Market along the way. Back on the east side of the Island, we turn towards Victoria, making several interesting stops along the way, such as visiting the Chemainus murals and the Duncan totem poles. If you haven’t yet indulged in the famous Nanaimo bar, make sure you treat yourself to that along the way, too. We’ll arrive in Victoria, a very British city, in the afternoon. On arrival, we’ll have an orientation tour of the City and plan our activities for tomorrow. Here we’ll spend the last two night of our trip in a comfortable hotel.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: Coombs Country Market, Victoria orientation tour

Day 17

We have a full day to explore the options in and around Victoria. There is an incredible variety to explore in this region. Visit the world renowned Butchart Gardens. Charter a fishing trip. Visit Craigdarroch Castle or Miniature World or the Royal British Columbia Museum or simply stroll the BC Parliament Buildings, Government House or the iconic Empress Hotel. Stroll the Inner Harbour or check out the Oak Bay marina. Rent a bicycle in this bicycle-friendly city, or hike along the Galloping Goose trail. Alternatively, if there is sufficient interest, your driver will take you to Port Renfrew’s Botanical Beach.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: none

Day 18

We depart Victoria for the ferry terminal that will take us across the Strait of Georgia and back to Vancouver. The scenery on the crossing is exceptional. We’ll say good-bye on our arrival back in Vancouver about noon. Depending on your onward plans, you may have time to catch an afternoon city excursion. If you’re flying out today, do not book flights leaving before 4 pm, to ensure you have time to get to the airport. Or if you have a few days before departure, we would be happy to arrange some tours for you to add on to your trip before you have to go home.

Included meals: none

Included activities: ferry crossing

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