Canadian Rockies Trail
Day 1 Vancouver
Arrive to our joining hotel at any time. Welcome meeting in the evening. If you are interested in exploring the city and its nearby attractions, it is recommended you book additional pre-trip accommodation nights. Vancouver is the city that has it all: natural beauty and cosmopolitan flair. Set between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains, it has a harmonious blend of nature and urban living. Gardens, parks, and beaches are as common here as heritage buildings, restaurants, and theaters. While maintaining the laid-back attitude of North America's West Coast, Vancouver has managed to build an international spirit. As the third largest city in Canada, it shares an ethnic diversity and multicultural flavor with the rest of the country. It's young, lively, and the jumping-off point for many spectacular outdoor activities.
Days 2 Victoria (1B)
Discover the Vancouver highlights of Stanley Park and Gastown before we board the scenic ferry to Victoria, where the afternoon is at your leisure. Option to visit museums or have high tea in an historic hotel. We then take the scenic ferry to the Capital City of British Columbia, Victoria. It has a well-earned reputation for its myriad of beautiful flower gardens, lush green shrubbery and wide variety of fantastic trees of every kind, size and shape. Canada’s ‘Garden City’ is surrounded by sparkling ocean and splendid mountain views and from May to September the downtown streets are brightened by the over-flowing baskets of flowers hanging from classic antique lampposts. Take a stroll around the city with your CEO to get familiar with your surroundings before you can enjoy the evening on your own. In the afternoon, you have time to visit one of the many museums of Victoria: the Royal BC Museum, the Royal London Wax Museum, and the Miniature Museum, or visit the famous National Historic Site of Canada of The Butchart Gardens with stunning floral show gardens. Day 2 Approximate Distance: 70 km Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (with stops, including ferry ride and orientation walk in Victoria)
Day 3-4 Whistler (2B)
This morning, take a whale and wildlife tour by Zodiac in search of killer whales, sea lions and birds. After, we take the ferry back to the mainland and drive on the Sea-to-Sky highway to the renowned village of Whistler. Home of the 2010 winter Olympics, Whistler and its surrounding provincial parks are places you must discover. It is also a great place to try one of the many optional mountain activities: from rafting to Zipline & Treetop Adventures, Whistler offers activities for everyone. Try the Peak to Peak Gondola for a scenic view of the surrounding mountains. Approximate Distance: 190 km Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs (with stops, includes ferry and an orientation walk in Whistler)
Days 5-6 Wells Gray Provincial Park (2B,2D)
Pass through coastal mountains into the Caribou Mountains, enjoy stops at the emerald coloured Joffre Lake and Marbel Canyon and at Spahats Creek to walk to the waterfall. Arrive at our cowboy guest ranch and enjoy a barbeque dinner under the stars. On Day 6, explore the park with a visit to world famous Helmcken Falls. Option for canoeing and horseback riding. Following this extraordinary route, once marked by the gold prospectors, we leave the Coastal Mountain Range and set foot into the arid and dry land of the Thompson Okanagan region. Aboriginal peoples led a semi-nomadic life moving between hunting and fishing grounds in the summer and settling into pit houses for the winter. Europeans came at first for fur trading and later on to establish cattle ranches, farms and mining operations. The scenery changes dramatically and could even make you feel as if you were in a western movie. Our destination today is a Ranch located in the Caribou Mountains. We make some stops on our way at Joffre Lakes, emerald and pristine lakes nested in the middle of the Coastal Mountains, and Marble Canyon, a limestone canyon popular for birders. On our arrival in Wells Gray Provincial Park, we take a short walk to Spahat Creek and falls for a quick view of this 75 metre waterfall crashing into a small creak. We then settle into our cowboy cabins, before heading to the saloon to meet-up with our cowboy friends. On Day 6, visit Wells Gray Provincial Park with a visit to Helmcken falls. Helmcken Falls is Canada's fourth highest waterfall, and one of its best-kept secrets. Plunging 141 meters in a straight drop, this waterfall is about three times higher than Niagara Falls! But while Niagara is plagued with gift shops and tourists, on a quiet day you might arrive at the modest viewing platform for Helmcken Falls and find nobody else there. We then make it to Baileys chute, a dramatic chute of water which becomes a peak attraction in early September, when Chinook Salmon make dramatic (but futile) leaps up-stream. This afternoon, you have the choice to participate in optional guided canoe trip on the pristine Clearwater Lake or a guided horseback riding excursion at the Ranch. Everyone will be back at the Ranch for a tasty BBQ dinner under the stars. Day 5 Approximate Distance: 440 km Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs (with stops in Joffre Lake, Marble Canyon and Spahats Creek)
Days 7-8 Jasper National Park (2B)
Head to Jasper National Park, stopping at Blue River where we enjoy a river safari tour through Grizzly Bear Valley and the world’s only inland temperate rainforest. Wildlife can include grizzly bears, moose and eagles. Cross the Rockies and view the highest peak - Mount Robson - with a stop at the visitor centre. Day 8 is at leisure with the option to hike at Maligne Canyon, take a boat cruise or go whitewater rafting. On Day 7 we travel east towards Alberta and the famous Rocky Mountains. We first stop in Blue River where we hop on a River Safari tour for an unforgettable one hour adventure through Grizzly Bear Valley, right in the heart of the world’s only inland temperate rainforest. On top of glimpsing grizzly bears in their natural habitat, we can observe moose, eagles, and many others wild animals. After the boat ride, we head out for Mount Robson, the Rockies’ highest peak. In fact early settlers, gold diggers and fur traders frenquently used these routes as well as those neighboring Yellowhead Mountain and Yellowhead Pass. We make a stop at the visitor center and if you are lucky and it’s a clear day, see the top of the Mount Robson. We push ahead to Jasper National Park and arrive in the early evening. Jasper's friendly mountain hospitality, peaceful atmosphere, and the promise of real adventure make any visit unforgettable. Option to walk along the Maligne Canyon, one of Jasper's most spectacular landmarks. Eroded by the fast-flowing Maligne River for thousands of years, it is only one meter (three feet) across in some places, but over 60 meters (200 feet) deep. Take a self-guided interpretive trail with several bridges, which follows the canyon as it courses towards the Athabasca River. Choose from a scenic cruise on Maligne Lake up to Spirit Island, or a rafting/float trip on the Athabasca River, a historic river used by explorers and fur traders. An exciting day ahead! Whatever you choose you know the scenery and excitement of these optional activities will make this day a perfect one to remember. Day 7 Approximate Distance: 390 km Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs (with stops including, Wildlife/Grizzly River Safari in Blue River and Mount Robson)
Days 9 Icefields Parkway/ Lake Louise (1B)
Considered one of the most scenic drives in the world, we travel the Icefields Parkway to Peyto Lake with a stop at the Columbia Icefield. Here we enjoy a glacier walk with an expert guide on the lower Athabasca Glacier to explore and understand the life of this active glacier. We will provide you with all the tools you need: ice axes, crampons and safety lines, making sure you are very safe as you walk. No previous experience is required, and you will receive a full briefing on using the equipment. Continue to Lake Louise to view its emerald blue waters and Victoria Glacier. Travel along the celebrated Icefield Parkway to Jasper. Along the 300 km ride, a spectacle unfolds before our eyes: lush coniferous forests, immense mountains, turquoise lakes, high-falling cascades and humbling glaciers. Numerous stops will be planned along the way for photos, observation and wildlife encounters. At the Columbia Icefields, we enjoy a glacier walk with an expert guide on the lower Athabasca Glacier to explore and understand the life of this active glacier. Walking on this glacially carved landscape is an experience you won’t soon forget. Our last stop of the day is in Lake Louise, where we take time to savour the emerald blue waters and breathtaking scenery of Victoria Glacier. Walk along the lake or take a tea at the famous Chateau Lake Louise Hotel. Day 9 Approximate Distance: 290 km Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs (including stops and Icefield Parkway)
Days 10 Banff National Park (1B)
Morning in Lake Louise with option to hike to the Tea House. Continue to Banff where we take an orientation walk in this historic mountain town. Banff is always home to a good time and there is something for everyone either in its museums, shops and bars, along one of the hiking trails, or by choosing one of the many activities this park has to offer. One of these is Sulphur Mountain, which you quickly ascend by aerial tram. At its summit, you find an unobstructed view of the whole range and the village below. If you prefer an adventurous activity, the Kicking Horse River is the ultimate white-water rafting destination in the Rocky Mountains, guaranteed to provide the thrill of a lifetime. Or rent a canoe and enjoy the scenery from a calm section of the Bow River.
Day 11 Calgary (1B)
Drive to Calgary for a short tour with the option to visit museums, cowboy bars and Olympic Park. Famed for its entrepreneurial spirit and youthful population, the Calgary prides itself on being the heart of the new west while honoring its cowboy heritage. Approximate Distance: 130 km Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (with stops)
Day 12 Calgary (1B)
Depart at any time.