Prairies to the Pacific: Calgary, Waterton Lakes, Osoyoos, Vancouver & More
- 11 Days
- 11 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,012
MODERATE | SELF-DRIVE: Explore the lesser-travelled roads of Canada’s west and discover prehistoric as well as contemporary wonders. Alberta’s dinosaur badlands, reveal a natural treasure unique to this area while the traditional ski destinations of British Columbia’s interior are transformed in summer to placid retreats of lakes, valleys, and outdoor recreation. Travelling along the southern roads of Alberta and British Columbia offers you a look at areas not featured on most itineraries.
This 11-day moderate self-drive trip includes dinosaurs, badlands, railways, history, hot springs, and beaches. You start in Calgary, head south, skirt the U.S.-Canada border, and end up on British Columbia’s west coast, experiencing outdoor adventure, wineries, lakes, a dinosaur museum and a rail museum beckoning along the way.
Start at Calgary’s International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel. Take some time to review your GoWay roadbook 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 190-metre high (626 feet) Calgary Tower observation deck for an unparalleled 360° view across the city, the sweeping prairie landscape, and the outset of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
After your overnight stay in Calgary, head toward Drumheller, Alberta, home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. Notice the changing landscape: Drumheller is known for its dramatic landscape of rock formations. The museum houses 13 exhibits with about 800 fossils on permanent display. The Cretaceous Alberta exhibit provides a glimpse of Alberta’s landscape over 69 million years ago, the world's largest marine reptile and Dinosaur Hall houses one of the world's largest displays of dinosaur remains.
Overnight in Brooks, then head out to Dinosaur Provincial Park where dinosaurs once roamed the striking badlands terrain. Learn more about the 44 species of dinosaurs who lived here some 75 million years ago on a guided hiking tour. Park access is only by reservation, so be sure to pre-book a guided interpretive program or tour.
Next it’s on to Waterton and Waterton Lakes Provincial Park. Kayak, hike, bike, or take a lake cruise. Spend the night in Waterton and take another day to explore the park and its many activities.
Day 5 takes you into British Columbia. Stop in the community of Crowsnest Pass to visit the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre and learn more about the tragic history of Canada's deadliest rockslide when about 110 million metric tonnes of rock fell from the top of Turtle Mountain. You can still see the debris of the 1903 slide that killed about 90 people.
After a night in Fernie, travel through the province’s interior. Stop in the small city of Cranbrook and visit the captivating Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, housing North America's largest collection of restored 1900’s rail cars. Or explore Fort Steele Heritage Town, a living history museum with costumed staff to help you visualise what life would have been like in 1887.
Continue to the small city of Nelson on Kootenay Lake for an overnight stay. With some 350 heritage buildings, stunning surroundings, and a talented arts community, Nelson offers a chance to unwind and wander around one of Canada’s prettiest historic towns.
Wind your way along the Canada/United States border. Gladstone Provincial Park or the beaches of Christina Lake make a relaxing break from driving. Continue on to lakeside Osoyoos and watch the scenery change to rolling hills, orchards, and scrubland. Top off the day by visiting one of the area's dozens of wineries and breweries.
On Day 8, head to the beach: Osoyoos Lake is Canada’s warmest lake. Or tour one of the many winery estates. Expect lush vineyards and plenty of outdoor dining options. Overnight in Osoyoos.
Break up the drive to the coast by stopping at the village of Harrison Hot Springs, a popular resort community since 1886, thanks to the natural mineral-enriched waters. After your break, continue west to the coastal metropolis of Vancouver to stay the night.
Spend your final day walking on Stanley Park’s oceanside promenade, visiting the lively Granville Island Public Market, or heading up to Grouse Mountain for awe-inspiring views of the stunning city, the ocean, and the islands beyond. Visit a gallery, take a guided bus tour, shop on tony Robson Street, or stroll character-rich Granville Street. End the night at one of downtown Vancouver’s reputed 700 restaurants!
On your final day, head to Vancouver International Airport for your flight home – or enjoy an extended stay on the coast.
- 11 Days
- 11 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,012
Arrive 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 Brooks (189 km / 177 miles)
A short drive just east of the city and the landscape is dramatically transformed. Drumheller is known world-wide for its massive fossil fields set amongst a dramatic landscape of wind-shaped rock formations. A visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum reveals the history of the area’s dinosaurs and the people that have spent their lives researching them.
Brooks to Waterton (283 km / 176 miles)
In the morning, you are treated to a visit to Dinosaur Provincial Park where these prehistoric creatures once roamed and flourished. Active dig sites continue to reveal new fossils every year, and the interpretative displays superbly depict this prehistoric world. Continue to Waterton set in the middle of Waterton Lakes Provincial Park, a spectacular park that features some of the best hiking in the country, as well as opportunities to canoe, kayak, bike, or cruises on the lake.
Today is yours to explore the magnificent park and enjoy a wide range of exhilarating views. Day trails offer easy to moderate routes that take you into incredible natural settings. Alternatively, you may independently book a cruise on the lake that follows the shoreline southward across the international border with the United States.
Waterton Lakes to Fernie/Cranbrook (173 km / 107 miles)
Head west today over the provincial border into British Columbia, perhaps stopping in the high-altitude community of Crowsnest Pass and visit the Frank Slide Interpretative Centre, depicting the massive landslide that buried part of the mining town 1903. Later, arriving in Fernie, take some time to explore this outdoor adventure hub, boasts hiking, biking, a summer farmers’ market, and outdoor art displays.
Fernie/Cranbrook to Nelson (326 km / 203 miles)
Today travel farther into the British Columbia interior and consider a stop in the small city of Cranbrook. The fascinating Canadian Rail Museum and the colonial period buildings of Fort Steele tell the remarkable story of the opening of the west. Continue to the small city of Nelson on the western arm of Kootenay Lake, where you might enjoy the outdoor bistros of the Victorian downtown serving up local delights set against a magnificent scenery.
Nelson to Osoyoos (261 km / 162 miles)
Today the road leads along the Canadian / United States border and the small towns dotted along the highway. Consider a stopover at Gladstone Provincial Park and spend some time on the beaches of Christina Lake, its clean, deep waters being one of the area’s best kept secrets. Continue your trip until you arrive in Osoyoos and relax for the evening in this pleasant lakefront community.
Beach-lovers rejoice, a day at the waterside under the sun on the shores of Osoyoos Lake rivals any oceanfront destination. Tour-friendly winery estates are set astride lush vineyards next to the arid landscapes, providing a dramatic contrast of ecologies.
Osoyoos to Vancouver (398 km / 247 miles)
Heading over your last mountain range en route to the coast, you should stop at popular Harrison Hot Springs. The public springs offer mineral enriched waters that soothe the muscles of weary travellers. Harrison Lake offers a pleasant place to relax or rent a paddle boat and do some exploring on the calm waters. Continuing westward until you arrive in the bustling metropolis of Vancouver.
This fabulous city on the shores of the Pacific effortlessly fuses British heritage with vibrant international flair, including Asian-influenced restaurants, spectacular urban parks, and near-endless local attractions Take the day and explore the city at your own pace, maybe neighborhoods such as Yaletown or Gastown, Grouse Mountain, world-renowned Stanley Park or follow the meandering pathways along the ocean, visit a gallery, or indulge in some shopping on Robson Street.
When it’s time, make your way to Vancouver International Airport for your flight home unless you plan to extend your stay.
Daily departures: May 1 - October 5, 2023
- 11 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Toyota Corolla or similar)
- Customized Self-Drive Roadbook (Digital version)
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Calgary
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Brooks
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Waterton
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Fernie
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Nelson
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Osoyoos
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Vancouver
- Admission to Royal Tyrell Museum
- Admission to Dinosaur Provincial Park
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- 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.
26 Sep 2023