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Full Tour Itinerary

The Ultimate Road Trip

  • Days / nights36 / 35
  • PRICE (Starting at) CA$9699

Day 1

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

Overnight at the joining hotel.

Included meals: none

Day 2

We will 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 engineering feat 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 our rafting resort about noon. This afternoon we hop aboard motorized rafts for a guided trip down the Lower Thompson River, riding class 3 and 4 rapids down to Lytton. Tonight we set up camp at one of the campgrounds in the area, cooking our food together and enjoying the great outdoors along the Thompson River.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: sight-seeing, river rafting

Day 3

After cooking our breakfast and cleaning up our camp, we travel through arid areas and past scenic lakes through Kamloops and Salmon Arm and eventually to our Shuswap connection at Sicamous. We’ll be travelling for a good part of the way alongside the incredibly picturesque Shuswap Lake, the houseboat capital of Canada; it will likely be dotted with houseboats as we get closer to our destination. After a quick lunch, we head down to the marina for our boarding time on Remote Escape, the houseboat that will be our home for the next 21 hours. We’ll sail into Shuswap Lake, stopping at various sites. Activities include swimming, sun-tanning, simply relaxing on the houseboat or along shore, or sitting in the on-board hot-tub. Shared cooking responsibilities for dinner. Note: you may have to share beds on this night.

Overnight: houseboat berths

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: house-boating

Day 4

After a gentle night’s sleep on the water and a shared breakfast on board, we sail back to Sicamous 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 photo ops. 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, and 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 Yoho National Park to view Takkakaw Falls, Canada’s second highest. We’ll spend the night at one of the area’s campgrounds or, on some trips, go all the way to Lake Louise.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: sight-seeing, park entrance

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 stops, park entrance
Additional suggested activity options at Yoho/Lake Louise:
(free) Hiking and sight-seeing
(at additional cost)Lake Louise gondola, Horseback trail rides, Canoe rental, Guided hikes, Mountain bike rental, Tea at a Tea house or River rafting: Kicking Horse Classic

 

Day 6

Enjoy more of the spectacular activities you started exploring yesterday. On either Day 5 or Day 6, your tour leaders will take you on a side trip to Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, for many, the photogenic spot that defines the Canadian Rockies. Here there are also numerous hiking trails, canoe rentals, and inspiring vistas.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: sight-seeing trips

Day 7

After breakfast and clean-up we continue on to Banff, the centre of Canada’s first national park. This is 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 many available activities such as sight-seeing, hiking, cycling, waterfall chasing,  riding the Sulphur Mtn. gondola, visiting museums or a buffalo paddock, horseback riding, taking the chairlift up Mt. Norquay, 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 Banff for the next two nights.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: hot springs admission

Day 8

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 modest 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.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: sight-seeing side trips

Day 9

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 mountain range 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. Likely, we’ll also stop at Mt Edith Cavell before arriving in Jasper fairly late in the day, setting up camp and having dinner together.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: Glacier Experience, sight-seeing stops, park entrance

 

Day 10

This is a free day to explore the many options around Jasper. Like Banff and Lake Louise, Jasper has a variety of short hikes for all skill levels and is a very popular cycling area. Your tour includes an excursion to Maligne Lake, where you can add a boat trip to the famous Spirit Island, 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. Another option is to ride the gondola up Whistler Mountain. 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

Day 11

After breakfast and camp clean-up, 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 amazing waterfalls! At Clearwater Lake we board canoes for an overnight guided wilderness canoe trip. Previous canoeing experience is not required. After several hours of canoeing, perhaps lazily under a warm sun—don’t forget your sunscreen–we reach our campsite and set up for the night. Options 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, canoe rental

Day 12

After breakfast, we’ll clean up our wilderness camp and canoe leisurely back to the starting point, re-boarding our minibus for a relatively short drive across to Cariboo Country. This is an area of rolling hills, cattle ranches, lakes and resorts. At our destination in the heart of the Cariboo we’ll enjoy an included horseback trail ride either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Then, at the resort, we have a variety of activities to choose from: more horseback riding, spa treatments, hiking and more. Tonight we stay in the resort accommodations.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: canoeing, horseback trail ride
Additional trail rides: $22/hr

 

Day 13

Today we travel first down the Cariboo Highway, then turn off 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, enjoying 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 final two nights of the tour.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: none

 

Day 14

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 world’s highest and longest gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. Or rent a mountain bike for some extreme downhill mountain-biking. Or try a bobsleigh, like a true Olympian.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Day 15

After breakfast, we’ll leave for the final leg of our trip back to Vancouver, down the stunningly beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway. Depending on traffic, we should arrive there by noon, at which time we’ll say good-bye to some of our fellow travelers. You’ll have time to enjoy one of many optional excursions around Vancouver in the afternoon. Because there will likely be new people joining us here, we will have another group meeting tonight. After your tour briefing, you may want to go out together for dinner to one of Vancouver’s many nearby restaurants.

Overnight: hotel.

Included meals: none

Day 16

We depart relatively early and start by retracing the journey of Day 2 until Hope. But then, instead of turning up the Fraser Canyon, we continue on to BC’s South Okanagan region, stopping along the way to see such sites as Hope Slide, Manning Park, Spotted Lake and the fruit-stand capital of Keremeos. We’ll arrive mid-afternoon in Osoyoos, BC’s summer playground. Options for the rest of the afternoon include beach activities, visiting BC’s only desert, visiting a winery (or two), visiting the model train museum, and much more.

Overnight: hotel.

Included meals: none

Day 17

This will be a long travelling day, but it is through gorgeous scenery, and there will be plenty of stops. Travelling across Southern BC, we’ll eventually cross the Rocky Mountains through Crowsnest Pass, and into the neighbouring province of Alberta. Waterton National Park lies at the boundary of the Great Canadian Plains and the Rocky Mountains and along the United States border. We arrive in time to set up camp and enjoy a sumptuous campsite dinner, then a relaxing evening.

Overnight: camping;

Included meals: dinner

Included Activities: park fees

Day 18

We have a full day to explore Waterton National Park. There are numerous scenic hikes for all levels of fitness and challenge; it will be hard to choose which one. Maybe you just want to explore the geology around Red Rock Canyon. Or enjoy your time relaxing in the village or around picturesque Waterton Lake, site-seeing at a relaxed pace.

Overnight: camping;

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Included Activities: park fees

Day 19

Today we cross the border into the United States and travel along the foothills of the Rocky Mountain chain to Yellowstone National Park, arriving there mid-afternoon. Yellowstone is the world’s first National Park, established to protect the great volcanic caldera and the geothermal hot spot that creates geysers, hot springs and fumaroles. The park has also become known for the wide variety of wildlife, and we’ll be almost sure to spot some amazing animals. Entering the park, we’ll visit Mammoth Hot Springs and various sites on our way to our campsite for the night.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included Activities: park fees

 

Day 20

We have a full day to explore Yellowstone. Your tour driver will take you on a circuit of the park, stopping at numerous sites along the way, including the Yellowstone Lodge and at least one stop at the Old Faithful geyser.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included Activities: park fees

Day 21

We travel to Salt Lake City, on the edge of the great Sonoran desert, and beside the lake that shares its name. This is also the headquarters of the Mormon Church. We’ll visit the headquarters of this unique American religious group and learn about their tortured history. We also have the option of visiting the ancestry museumAfter four nights of camping, we’ll be glad for the comfort of a hotel tonight.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: Mormon headquarters tour & Ancestry museum

Day 22

Today we’ll leave early, so that we can get to Zion National Park by about noon. In the afternoon we’ll tour the amazing sandstone formations of Zion Park, with time to explore on foot and some time for hiking. You’ll want to spend at least some time hiking the gorge of the Virgin River. We’ll camp just outside the park this night.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: park fees, canyon tour

Day 23

After cleaning up camp, we travel to Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping to explore a completely different set of amazing sandstone formations. Each of the Utah national parks is different, but all are worth a significant stop for exploring and photos. We’ll continue on for another 1-2 hours to our campsite for the night.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: park fees, canyon tour

Day 24

Today we have a relatively short travel day to Moab, Utah. We’ll be here for a day-and-a-half. This is the outdoor activity capital of this region of the United States. Options include hiking, cycling, and numerous other activities. We include a visit to Arches National park and you also have the option to take a tour to Canyonlands National park. From Moab there are also many adventure activities you may like to try. The minibus will be available for these excursions.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: park fees

Day 25

Another day to explore the parks and participate in the activities you started enjoying yesterday. On either Day 10 or day 11 we’ll travel to the iconic Delicate Arch, one of the most photographed scenes in the entire United States. If you’re more into adrenaline-pumping activities, options include zip-lining, river rafting, horseback riding, canyoneering, rock climbing, Jeep and Hummer safaris, mountain-biking and stand up paddle. Or do a night tour of the unpolluted skies guided by a renowned astronomer.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: park tour

Day 26

Today will include two travel segments and two included activities. First we travel to Mesa Verde (Colorado) to view the ancient home of the first peoples of North America, who lived in caves carved out of the sandstone canyon walls. Then we travel on to the famous Monument Valley, where numerous Western movies have been filmed. At Monument Valley we’ll take a guided sunset tour of the famous formations, as well as participate in a cultural experience that includes dinner.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: Mesa Verde, Monument Valley

Day 27

Today we make our way to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Need we say more? We’ll arrive at Grand Canyon Village on the south rim at about noon. We’ll spend about 24 hours at the Grand Canyon, with the opportunity to view the canyon at both sunset and sunrise. This night we camp near the canyon.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: Park entrance fees, Grand Canyon viewing.

Day 28

After spending a few more hours at the Grand Canyon, we’ll travel on toward Las Vegas. Along the way we’ll travel one of the last segments of historic Route 66, the original highway from Chicago to Los Angeles, then stop at the Hoover Dam. A tour of the dam is included. We’ll arrive at Las Vegas for a late dinner.

Overnight: casino hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: Hoover Dam tour

Day 29

A free day for you to explore Las Vegas on your own. Take in a show or two. Do with your time what you want in the city that never sleeps. And, of course, what happens in Vegas, they say, stays in Vegas. Enjoy the city as you wish; just remember that you’ll want to get enough rest to enjoy tomorrow’s fantastic national park expereince.

Overnight: casino hotel

Included meals: none

Day 30

Today we explore Death Valley, the lowest, and hottest, spot in the US. We’ll leave Las Vegas relatively early (by Las Vegas standards) and get to Death Valley. At Death Valley we’ll stop at such places as Badwater, Dante’s View, The Devil’s Golf Course, the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, Stovepipe Wells, and perhaps other unique places. Then we’ll travel on to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, setting up camp near Big Pine.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: park fees, Death Valley tours

Day 31

We travel today through the spectacular Tioga pass and on to Yosemite National Park. We’ll stop several times along the way for amazing viewpoints. At Yosemite, we’ll tour the various waterfalls, view El Capitan and Half Dome, and have the opportunity to participate in some short hikes, as well as explore the village. Sorry, no extreme mountain-climbing on this trip; you’ll have to come back another time for that. This night we’ll camp in the park area.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: park fees

 

Day 32

We leave our campsite and make our way to San Francisco. This afternoon you’ll have a choice of many activities: visit Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of Alcatraz, ride a cable car, visit the waterfront market, or ride down curvey Lombard Street.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included Activities: none

Day 33

A full day for you to explore San Francisco. Make sure to visit the downtown on one of the two days, and enjoy the fine dining San Francisco is known for. Your driver will also offer a tour that includes crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included Activities: none

Day 34

Today is a relatively long day of travel. We’ll start with a tour through Napa Valley, one of North America’s paramount wine regions, then travel up through northern California and into Oregon. Our destination tonight is Crater Lake, the deepest and one of the prettiest, cobalt-blue lakes in the country. Tonight we camp near the lake.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: wine tour, park fees.

Day 35

Today’s scenery is of a totally different variety as we travel up through the interior plateau of Oregon and Washington states, crossing the mighty Columbia River about mid-day. Here we’ll examine the geological foundations of the region. We eventually arrive at the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. One of the biggest summer attractions here is a nightly, live, outdoor presentation of “The Sound of Music.” We’ll have a few hours to explore this unique town.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included Activities: none

Day 36

We leave relatively early on this, our final day, to reach our Vancouver destination at about noon. If you are flying out today, please do not book flights earlier than 5 pm as border lineups can be unpredictable. If you would like to stay over in Vancouver for several days, we can book city tours or hotels, or an extension to Whistler or Victoria. If you are continuing on to one of our other tours, you will have the afternoon off, or perhaps for a short city tour, then meet your new tour leader and fellow adventurers at the 6 pm orientation meeting

Included meals: none

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