This trip combines the diversity of the Pacific Coast with that of the majestic Rocky Mountains, covering most of the highlights that draw people to Western Canada. The trip rewards your senses, your spirit of wanderlust and your thirst for adventure. Get close to nature, see the incredible water and mountain landscapes the area is known for, and get off the beaten path to the soul of the natural environment. Then fill your adventure quota with plenty of adrenaline-inducing options.
Note: This trip is a combination of the BC and Rocky Mountains Spectacular and the Vancouver Island Explorer trips. You may have different travel companions on each segment. The combination may be in either order.
Duration: 22 days/21 nights
Departure City: Vancouver Ending City: Vancouver
Accommodations: hotels (10 nights), camping (10 nights), houseboat (1 night)
Transportation: minibus, ferry, ocean cruiser, houseboat, canoe
Leaders: Tour leader, Bus driver/ass’t leader
Note: One leader serves both roles on the Vancouver Island segment.
Included meals: 12 breakfast, 1 lunch, 11 dinners
Included Activities: Ferry rides, excursion to Port Renfrew, Coombs Country Market, Cathedral Grove, whale-watching tour, Hot Springs Cove, Horne Lake Caves, white-water rafting, houseboat adventure, hot springs soak, excursions to Moraine Lake, Mt. Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake and Takakkaw Falls, Glacier experience, canoe trip, horseback trail ride, First Nations experience, all park fees, all meals when camping and on houseboat
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 the incredible scenery of the Gulf Islands as we cross to Vancouver Island, reaching Victoria about mid-day. You have the option to visit; the world-famous Butchart Gardens, a castle, a miniature world display, BC government headquarters or roam the harbour to get a feel for this city.
Day 3: Today we have an included excursion to Port Renfrew’s Botanical Beach with its unique geological and botanical tidal pools and to hike portions of the scenic Juan de Fuca coastal trail along the way.
Day 4: We travel up the Island to Parksville, then across to the Pacific coast, stopping at numerous sites along the way, including Duncan totem poles, the artsy community of Chemainus, Coombs Country Market, Little Qualicum Falls and Cathedral Grove giant forest, arriving in the Tofino area late in the afternoon.
Day 5: Today we’ll take an included whale-watching excursion that culminates in 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 6: There are many options to enjoy today in Tofino, including sea kayaking and canoeing, hiking coastal or forest trails, visiting galleries, surfing or stand up paddle boarding on Long Beach, or simply filling your camera with post-card perfect photos.
Day 7: We journey back across the Island to Parksville. This afternoon we’ll become spelunkers, enjoying the delights of the Horne Lake Caves, followed by some free time that could include relaxing on Rathtrevor Beach.
Day 8: We take the ferry to cross back to the British Columbia mainland, enjoying a tour of world famous Stanley Park on our arrival back in Vancouver. Enjoy the afternoon in Vancouver, then reconnect with your group for an orientation into the second half of the tour.
Day 9: We travel east from Vancouver then turn up the scenic Fraser Canyon to our afternoon adventure: a motorized rafting on the turbulent Lower Thompson River. Afterwards we’ll set up camp for the night along the River, with shared cooking responsibilities.
Day 10: In the morning we travel through low-lying hills, past luxuriant lakes to the Shuswap, where we’ll 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 11: After returning to the marina, we journey through three mountain ranges draped with some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. We’ll stop frequently for great photos, have a chance to take a helicopter flight into the back-country, and eventually get to our campsite in the Rocky Mountains.
Day 12+13: Two full days to explore the natural wonders of Yoho National Park and 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, load up your camera with amazing photos.
Day 13: Our tour includes an excursion to Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, one of the most photographed scenes in Canada, with plenty of hiking or trail-riding opportunities, or canoeing.
Day 14+15: We’ll take the short trip to Banff, the true heart of the Canadian Rockies. Here you’ll have two days to hike, walk, cycle, soak, paddle, ride, fly, stroll, visit museums, take photos, shop, or even dance the time away. Plus a Via Ferrata or paddle rafting adrenaline rush.
Day 16: Today we travel the incomparable Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s great road trips. We’ll have numerous stops amid stunning scenery and an exhilarating glacier expedition along the way. Tonight we end up in Jasper, the largest of the Rocky Mountain National Parks.
Day 11: 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 18: 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 trip across Clearwater Lake, where we’ll get deep into the BC wilderness.
Day 19: We re-board our minibus for the trip across to the rolling hills of BC’s Cariboo Country. Here we’ll participate in an included horseback trail ride, then relax in a private resort lodge.
Day 20: Today we travel down to Whistler, site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, again passing through some superb scenery. We’ll also stop along the way for an interpretive First Nations’ cultural experience.
Day 21: 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 are just a few of the options. This is our last night together. 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 are just a few of the options. This is our last night together.
Day 22: We travel via the 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 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 11. On Day 14 or 15 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 21, 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 12, 13 or 14, where you navigate class 3 and 4 rapids without the aid of a motor. On Day 14 or 15, 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 that includes 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 $1245CAD.