Mountain Express: Calgary, Kamloops, Whistler, Vancouver & More
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,537
MODERATE | SELF-DRIVE: If time is at a premium, this itinerary is for you. Alberta highlights the Canadian Rockies with Banff and Jasper National Park, while British Columbia offers its wild interior, Mount Robson, and stunning Fraser Canyon. Calgary, where cowboy culture meets the modern city, is your starting point while fabulous Vancouver on the Pacific Coast, provides a superb finish. A great week of amazing views and experiences.
This eight-day compact itinerary takes in two of Canada’s western provinces, Alberta and British Columbia. A custom self-drive tour will take you from Calgary to Banff, through the Rockies, and down to British Columbia’s coast, and the mild climate of Vancouver, on the Pacific Ocean.
On day one, arrive at Calgary’s International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel. Take some time to review the GoWay roadbook you received, which has all the information needed for your self-drive trip.
After picking up your rental car, visit Heritage Park Historical Village, Canada’s largest living history museum, or travel up to the Calgary Tower observation deck for a spectacular 360° view across the city, the sweeping prairie landscape, and the onset of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Stand on the glass floor, if you dare, for a view way down – 190 metres or 626 feet – to the city streets below. Overnight in Calgary, where your dinner options are as varied as you could wish.
Leave Calgary and drive toward the magnificent Rocky Mountains, first travelling through the foothills and then entering the justly-famous Banff National Park. Keep an eye out for elk on the roadside. After arriving in the lively little town of Banff, the remainder of the day is yours to explore the many boutiques, shops, pubs, and restaurants. Overnight in Banff.
Take the next day to explore Banff and the beautiful, forested national park. In town, visit the Luxton Museum and lunch at one of the many excellent restaurants. Or explore the area’s many optional outdoor opportunities. Perhaps a thrilling river rafting trip on the Bow River or a boat cruise or a kayak rental on beautiful Lake Minnewanka? Take a stunning gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain and visit the new, state-of-the-art Above Banff interpretive centre and the multi-sensory Above Banff Theatre – or just admire the six stunning mountain ranges and the sweep of the Bow Valley laid out before you.
Drive to Jasper the next day via the spectacular Icefields Parkway, said to be one of the world’s most scenic routes. Stop at Lake Louise and Peyto Lake en route, and visit Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park, if time permits. Return to the road for the final stretch to the famous resort town of Jasper, where you will overnight.
Leave early for a full day of exploring on your way to Sun Peaks. Take the historic Yellowhead Highway where Mount Terry Fox and Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies, are prominently in view. Explore a bit of Wells Gray Provincial Park wilderness area: spring and early summer are the best times for wildlife viewing. Continue to Sun Peaks, a year-round resort offering biking, hiking ,alpine sightseeing, and lots of village dining choices.
Head out toward Vancouver and the coast on Day 6 of your journey. Near Kamloops, the landscape changes to distinctive sagebrush and scrub-covered lands along the South Thompson River, home to cattle and cowboys.
Stop for lunch in Kamloops, then wind your way along the magnificent Fraser Canyon, stopping to look at the churning whitewater rapids of the Fraser River. If you have time, a gondola ride over this part of the canyon is recommended.
Drive through the Fraser Valley into the Lower Mainland of British Columbia as you approach the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. Overnight in a city known for its excellent culinary scene: your dining options here are so stellar you might find it hard to choose just one.
Explore Vancouver’s neighbourhoods on your next day, stroll along the walkways around Stanley Park and English Bay, visit the Vancouver Art Gallery, or shop on Robson or Granville Streets. The Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain are two popular attractions. In fact, the Grouse Mountain Skyride rises 2,800 feet to views of spectacular mountain ranges and the shining lights of the city below, and is an experience in itself.
On your final day in British Columbia, make your way to Vancouver International Airport for your flight home, or enjoy an extended stay at your leisure.
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,537
Itinerary View Trip Map
Arrival in Calgary
Arrive at Calgary’s International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel. The Roadbook you received has all the information needed for your trip. Depending on your time of arrival, you might visit Heritage Park Historical Village, Canada’s largest living history museum or go up the Calgary Tower’s observation deck which offers a spectacular 360° view across the bustling city, the majestic Rocky Mountains, rolling foothills, and expansive prairie landscape. Alternatively, you can always browse the boutique shops and other attractions of the downtown area.
Calgary to Banff (127 km / 79 miles)
Leaving Calgary behind, the magnificent Rocky Mountains soon come into view. Feel the majesty of these mountains as you first travel through the foothills and then enter Banff National Park where the craggy peaks loom larger the closer you get. After arriving in the bustling town of Banff, the remainder of the day is free to explore its charms, including the sight of an elk strolling down main street as you are checking out the boutiques, shops, and restaurants.
Banff National Park
The entire day is free to tour Banff and the surrounding area. If you prefer to stay in town, we suggest a visit to the Luxton Museum. You should, however, consider the wonderful outdoor opportunities such as a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain, river rafting on the Bow River or a boat tour on beautiful Lake Minnewanka.
Banff to Jasper (288 km / 179 miles)
Drive to Jasper via the spectacular Icefields Parkway, said to be one of the most scenic routes in all the world. We suggest stops at Lake Louise and Peyto Lake en route. A visit to Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park offers more riveting views if time permits. Return to the road for the final stretch to the famous resort town of Jasper.
Jasper to Sun Peaks (430 km / 267 miles)
The Yellowhead Highway takes you on a route first explored by trappers and traders. Mount Terry Fox as well as Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies, are prominently in view as you enjoy your drive. If time permits, we suggest exploring Wells Gray Provincial Park, a nature reserve priding itself on the untamed and pristine state of its wilderness. Continue to Sun Peaks, a year-round resort catering to families as well as sports enthusiasts.
Overnight Sun Peaks
Sun Peaks to Vancouver (411 km / 255 miles)
Driving past Kamloops, you traverse the stunning, sagebrush-covered ranch lands along the South Thompson River. This is still the land of vast herds of cattle and cowboys on horseback. Entering between the towering rock walls of the Fraser Canyon, the whitewater rapids of the Fraser River gushing far below are an amazing sight. Over 750,000 litres of water surge through the 34-metre Hell’s Gate gorge every minute and a gondola ride over this part of the canyon is awe-inspiring. Further downstream, the lush Fraser Valley opens into the maritime basin characteristic of the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia as you approach Vancouver, Canada’s Gateway to the Pacific.
Depending on your time available today, you can enjoy exploring neighborhoods such as Yaletown, Gastown, Granville Island and Stanley Park, or venture along the meandering pathways along the ocean, visit a gallery, or indulge in a little shopping on Robson Street. Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain are two attractions close by that are well worth a visit.
When it’s time, make your way to Vancouver International Airport for your flight home or return to your hotel if you plan to extend your stay.
Daily departures: May 1 - October 25, 2024
- 8 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Toyota Corolla or similar)
- Customized Self-Drive Roadbook (Digital version)
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Calgary
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Banff
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Jasper
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Sun Peaks
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Vancouver
- Shared Vancouver - Hop-on / Hop-off Trolley Tour
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- National Park Fees - All visitors to Banff and/or Jasper National Parks are required to obtain a National Park Visitor’s Pass. The pass can be obtained either at the airport or at the information centers in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. If arriving by car the passengers may obtain the pass at the park entrance gate.
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Road tolls
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request. Additional terms and conditions apply for car rental - please inquire.
11 Oct 2024