Canadian Rocky Mountain Adventures
Experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, British Columbia's High Country and Coastal regions on this driving tour of Western Canada. You will enjoy a Voyageur canoe excursion in Jasper, a floatplane trip in the Coastal Mountain Range and grey whale watching in Tofino, as well as the spectacular scenery and atmosphere.
- Icefields Parkway
- Vancouver Island
- Wells Gray Provincial Park
- Lake Louise
Upon arrival in Calgary collect your rental car at the airport or transfer to your downtown hotel. Spend the evening in the city exploring and relaxing.
The two hour drive to Banff is beautiful as you leave the rolling foothills of the Canadian Prairies and face the spectacular Canadian Rockies.
You have the whole of today explore Banff, a small town surrounded by one of the most beautiful parks in the world. One of its greatest assets is the accessibility of its natural wonders - most highlights are located close to the road system. For the more adventurous there is an excellent system of hiking trails that lead to alpine lakes, along glacial valleys and to spectacular viewpoints where crowds are scarce and human impact has been minimal. Head to the mountaintop by the Sulphur Mountain Gondola for fantastic views of Banff townsite, Bow Valley, Cascade Mountain and Lake Minnewanka. There are many outdoor activities including canoeing, horseracing and hiking to be enjoyed here and you can always end your busy day with a long soak in the Hot Springs at Sulphur Mountain. When considering hiking in this region, always visit the Banff Visitor Centre at 224 Banff Avenue where staff can advise you on the condition of the trails and any closures.
Take a short drive to Lake Louise. The actual village is still quite small, with a shopping mall, a few hotels and a visitor centre. Chateau Lake Louise, situated on the lakes shore, is a tourist attraction in itself and is visited by the millions who come to photograph the lake with Mt Victoria in the background. Rent a canoe from the boathouse and glide through the lake - take care not too fall in as even in August the lake only reaches about 4C! Moraine Lake, though half the size of Lake Louise is just as spectacular.
For another fantastic view, take the Lake Louise Gondola on the 20 minute journey up the face of Mt Whitehorn to Whitehorn Lodge where you can see Bow Valley, Lake Louise and the Continental Divide. Also from Lake Louise, you can explore to the west of the Rockies into Glacier Park, Yoho Valley, Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake and the amazing Spiral Tunnels, built to keep the trains slow on their descent on the mountains.
Today you head towards Jasper you will be on the Icefields Parkway which is 143 miles long. This road takes about 4-5 hours to travel but try not to rush as it is one of the most scenic and inspiring mountain roads ever built. There are 13 viewpoints along the trail -you can collect an Icefields Parkway brochure from the park information centre in Lake Louise. Bow Summit is the highest point along the parkway at 2088m and offers great views of Peyto Lake. The most popular attractions along the parkway are the glaciersthat spill down from the Columbia Icefield. There is an Icefields centre here and you can go up onto the Athabasca glacier either on the Snocoach or on one of the icewalks which offer a 3 or 5 hour walk.
There are also other stunning places to visit including, Bow Lake, Sunwapta Falls, Peyto Lake, Crowfoot Glacier and the Athabasca Falls. Basically this journey is one worth starting early so you can be sure of seeing all that you want to. Remember though you can always take a short trip back down from Jasper when you stay there.
Jasper itself is located at the confluence of the Athabasca and Miette rivers and is surrounded by the peaks of Jasper National Park. Here you can take the Jasper Tramway up the Whistlers mountain for great views of the mountain and valley, visit Maligne Canyon and Lake, relax in Miette Hot Springs, drive out to Mount Edith Cavell - one of the highest peaks in the area or visit Patricia and Pyramid Lakes.
Leave Jasper early for your drive to Clearwater and Wells Gray Park. It is about 200 miles to drive today and some great views. As you leave the Jasper you will be heading through Mt Robson Park and will have some fantastic views of Mt Robson. Head south towards Valemount and onto Clearwater at the entrance to Wells Gray. Wells Gray Park is BC's third largest provincial park with an area of 520,000 hectares of wilderness with waterfalls, lakes and the mountain ranges of the Shushwap Highlands and the Cariboo Mountains.
Tyax Mountain Lake Resort is a first class Outdoor Adventure Resort located 5 hours north of Vancouver and 64 miles west of Lillooet. Stay in one of the spacious rooms or in a cozy lakeside log chalet. You can enjoy horseback riding on trail rides into the high country, excellent fishing, secluded hiking trails, gold panning, mountain biking, volleyball and tennis courts, recreation and fitness rooms, sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi. In their own floatplane you can experience the true untamed Canadian wilderness ranging from flightseeing trips over the vast Bridge River Glacier fields and untamed Canadian Wilderness as well as drop-offs at a remote alpine lake for hiking through the wildflower carpeted meadows and fishing for the hard fighting rainbow trout. Here, at the resort, there is a sandy beach with canoes, row and pedalboats, sailboats and motorboats. On warmer evenings, there might be a BBQ on the lakeshore with campfire and singing cowboy. It is all here, a real Canadian adventure, combined with fine dining and first class facilities.
Today you will drive along the scenic Duffey Lake Road to the resort of Whistler. Located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler is a world of tranquil forests, alpine trails, sparkling lakes, aqueous skies and shimmering mountain peaks. It is also one of the most popular ski resorts in the country and a year round playground with plenty to do here in the spring and summer including mountain biking or hiking the alpine trails, canoeing, rafting, horseriding etc. The resort's enchanting alpine village is alive with festive entertainment, intriguing shops and European style cafes. Here you can choose from a bounty of recreational activities with unlimited options.
Departing Whistler, drive south on the scenic "Sea to Sky Highway" to Horsehoe Bay and your ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The crossing takes approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes and there are four crossings per day. Nanaimo has many fine waterfront restaurants and is an ideal place to stop for lunch. Take a relaxing stroll around the town - there are marked historical walkways, take a harbour cruise or watch the windsurfers in Departure Bay. If you really want to remember Nanaimo, the town is home to the Bungy Jumping Park! (It's a great spectator sport even if you do not want to experience it yourself!) Head west towards Port Alberni. Stop in Coombs for a drink and watch the goats graze on the roof of the Old Country Market!. Continue through Pacific Rim National Park to Tofino located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Another adventure awaits you today, the possibility of viewing the majestic beauty of one of the world's largest mammals ~ the gray whale! The remainder of the day is at leisure to walk along famous Long Beach, take a nature cruise, visit Hot Springs Cove or just explore this spectacular rainforest region.
You will travel back south on the Island Highway to Victoria. Enroute we suggest a stop in Chemainus, famous for it's many murals painted around the town. Just start at the information centre and follow the yellow footprints around the town! Duncan is located just north of Victoria and is known as the city of totems as it display around sixty all over the town. It is also home to the Native Heritage Center and is a good place to buy Indian crafts.
Victoria is the provincial capital and stands at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The best way to explore the city is by foot as all the downtown attractions are within a short walk of each other. Visit the Inner Harbour, Beacon Hill Park, the Empress Hotel and the Royal B.C. Museum - admission included. The city has well preserved inner city streets lined with well reserved old buildings, trendy shops in restored historic areas and horse drawn carriages to get you around. One of the main attractions is Butchart Gardens - a must see if you are at all interested in gardening.
Depart from Schwartz Bay for the ferry to Tsawwassen. There are usually around 7-8 crossings per day and the crossing takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Downtown Vancouver is an intriguing mixture of steel, concrete, mirrored glass buildings, modern sculptures and old-fashioned fountains. There is so much to see and do in the city. You can rent a bike to ride around the Seawall in Stanley Park or try rollerblading if you are feeling adventurous! Dinner can be taken at the top of Grouse Mountain for a spectacular view of the city lit up at night and you can reach the summit by the Skyride Gondola. You could take the ferry across False Creek to the refurbished Granville Island - the place to be on a sunny day. Here you can shop in the Public Market, walk round the marina, browse in the gift shops or sample some of the local food.
A visit to Lynn Canyon and the suspension bridge is well worth it. Take along your bathing suit and you can have a dip in Lynn Creek after a short walk in the forest.
There will be plenty of time for shopping on Robson Street in its trendy shops and the Robson Public Market.Visit Chinatown - the second largest Chinese community in North America and home to the beautiful and peaceful Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden. No visit is complete without wandering through Gastown where Vancouver started. The brightly painted buildings date back to 1886 and old gas lamps and trees line the red cobblestone streets. There are many galleries, restaurants and gift shops here The Boathouse Restaurant is a great place for dinner, while watching the sunset over English Bay and people watching all the evening strollers. (Strolling in the evening is a local ritual!!)
- Return flights from London (Please ask for other departure airports)
- 15 nights accommodation and tax
- Rental car
- Exclusive documentation package including - maps and personalised itinerary
Daily Departures 19 May to 30 September.
We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties such as lodges and small inns.