Western Canada Rocky Mountain Experience
- 17 Days
- 17 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,387
MODERATE | SELF-DRIVE: From Vancouver’s azure Pacific coastline to Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park, this trip is a showcase for the stunning variation of landscapes, climates and cultures of British Columbia and Alberta. Vancouver and Whistler are your starting points, followed by the gorgeous Sun Peaks area and Wells Gray Provincial Park. Crossing into Alberta, Banff and Jasper are two obvious iconic stops, but taking the less travelled southern highways the quiet majesty of Waterton Lakes National Park is equally breathtaking.
WESTERN CANADA ROCKY MOUNTAIN EXPERIENCE
From the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver to the rugged mountains of Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, this is a breathtaking, 17-day trip that also includes Banff and Jasper.
Following your arrival in Vancouver, take a long walk around Stanley Park, one of the world’s best urban parks. Check out the palm trees in English Bay, then find a great spot for dinner in Yaletown or Gastown.
While In Vancouver, check out the shops and market on Granville Island and the wonderful Vancouver Art Gallery. Don’t miss a walk along the sea wall in Coal Harbour.
From Vancouver it’s on to the world-famous, four-season resort of Whistler via the scenic, Sea-to-Sky Highway. Whistler offers outstanding dining and a wide array of boutiques, shops, museums, galleries, and luscious spas.
The next day check out the hiking trails or try the sky-high Whistler-Blackcomb gondola, called the Peak to Peak. The views are astonishing. Wander the pedestrian village and find a place for an alfresco lunch or dinner.
From Whistler you head inland. Don’t miss a chance to witness the fury of the Fraser River as it rushes through the tall, narrow canyon known as Hell’s Gate. Continue along the Thompson River to Sun Peaks.
Sun Peaks is a year-round community encircled by three mountains. It’s also Canada’s second largest ski area, and has great golf courses. You can join a local guide for a cross-country bike tour or head up the Sunburst Chairlift (in season) for panoramic views.
The next day’s journey takes you through cowboy country and into the gorges of the North Thompson River. Helmcken Falls is an awesome sight within Wells Gray Provincial Park.
From Wells Gray you’ll track the Yellowhead Highway as it descends the eastern face of the Rockies into the fertile valleys of the Jasper region, which is famous for its aquamarine, glacier-fed lakes and emerald valleys.
Departing Jasper, the highway takes you past incredible mountains weathered by millions of years of sun, rain, ice, wind and snow. As you head to Banff, stop at Peyto Lake for amazing views, as well as iconic Lake Louise.
The next day is yours to enjoy the Banff area. Try a gentle hike to admire alpine lakes at Sunshine Meadows, or take a thrilling river rafting trip on the Bow River.
From Banff its on southern Alberta. Grab a burger at the Chuckwagon Café in Turner Valley and take the Cowboy Trail south to reach stunning Waterton Lakes National Park.
Enjoy the many treasures of Waterton Lakes on the next day of your trip. A hike up the trail at Bear’s Hump reveals astonishing lake and mountain views. Try a boat ride on the lake, or take a
scenic drive along the Akamina Parkway.
Driving west the next day you’ll pass through the charming B.C. town of Fernie. Travel through the rugged interior of the Rocky Mountains until you arrive in Rossland, where you can enjoy outdoor activities or dine at one of many outdoor patios.
The next day you’ll follow the Crowsnest Highway west. Bonanza Pass offers a magnificent photo opportunity. Look for lush vineyards as you head into Osoyoos.
Osoyoos is there for you to enjoy on the last full day of your trip. In partnership with the NK’MIP First Nations people native to the region, the Spirit Ridge Vineyard has blossomed into a world class winery.
As you head to Vancouver, you’ll pass through mountainous terrain and small cities such as Hope and Chilliwack. Stroll around Gastown or check out the relaxed vibe in Kitsilano.
- 17 Days
- 17 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,387
Arrival in Vancouver
Following your arrival at Vancouver International Airport, transfer independently to your downtown hotel. The Roadbook you received has all the information needed for your holiday/trip/journey. Enjoy the rest of your day exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife in neighborhoods such as Yaletown or Gastown, venture along the meandering pathways along the ocean, visit a gallery, or indulge in some shopping on Robson Street. Overnight Vancouver
A full day is barely enough to tour Vancouver and the surrounding area. Among the city’s highlights are the MacMillan Planetarium, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island, Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain. For a quite unique experience you might visit Klahowya Village in Stanley Park where you travel through the forest on the Spirit Catcher miniature train, watch cultural performances, and shop the Artisan Marketplace. Overnight Vancouver
Vancouver to Whistler (125 km / 78 miles)
Today you depart on your journey to the fabulous, world-famous, four-season resort of Whistler. Travelling along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway, you traverse five distinct climatic zones from rainforest to semi-arid alpine forest. The road also crosses the historic Pemberton Trail and Gold Rush Trail, used by prospectors in the 18th century. Travelling through small towns such as Squamish and skirting the shores of Daisy Lake, you arrive in picturesque Whistler Village set at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Whistler village is in many ways down-to-earth but offers everything from outstanding dining to a wide array of boutiques, shops, museums, galleries, and entertainment galore. Overnight Whistler
A day to discover the many charms of Whistler. The cafes, restaurants, and shops of the village, together with pedestrian walkways and town squares are perfect for leisurely walks of discovery. Woodland trails surround the village, as does a well-developed network of biking and hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities. Overnight Whistler
Whistler to Sun Peaks (356 km / 221 miles)
Today you weave your way through the mountains of British Columbia and pass by the long shores of Lillooet Lake and the small community that has grown up around it. Passing between the towering rock walls of the Fraser Canyon, you’ll be amazed at the white-water rapids of the Fraser River gushing far below Over 750,000 liters of water surge through the 34-metre Hell’s Gate gorge every minute. Following the winding waters of the South Thompson River area, you then enter a land home to vast herds of cattle and cowboys on horseback. Continuing to Kamloops and then Sun Peaks, you will have seen a wonderful cross-section of the many environments and landscapes of the Rockies. Overnight Sun Peaks
Sun Peaks is a year-round mountain community, and you have a full day to enjoy its many attractions. Encircled by three mountains, Sun Peaks is Canada’s second largest ski area and tempts golfers with British Columbia’s highest elevation 18-hole golf course. You can join a local guide for a cross country bike Tour, take a serene paddle on a nearby lake in a rented canoe or kayak or head up the Sunburst Chairlift (mid-June-to early Sept) to hike through the lush alpine wildflowers. The panoramic views are breathtaking. Overnight Sun Peaks
Sun Peaks to Clearwater / Wells Gray Provincial Park (131 km / 81 miles)
After passing through the surrounding rural woodlands, you begin today’s journey along the Yellowhead Highway. Follow the Thompson River as your journey takes you through windswept cowboy country and into the gorges of the North Thompson River before opening into Clearwater Lake. Beyond the town of Clearwater are the pristine parklands of Wells Gray Provincial Park. Helmcken Falls, a spectacular 141m waterfall, is an awesome sight on the Murtle River within the park. Overnight Wells Gray Provincial Park
Clearwater / Wells Gray Provincial Park to Jasper (318 km / 198 miles)
Taking your leave of beautiful Clearwater, you continue the Yellowhead Highway as it descends the eastern face of the Rockies into the fertile valleys of the Jasper region. Here the mountains part to reveal the aquamarine, glacier-fed lakes perched above the emerald valleys and grazing elk of Jasper National Park, one of Canada’s premiere wildlife and environmental refuges. Overnight Jasper
Jasper to Banff (380 km / 236 miles)
Today you have the rare experience of driving through two of Canada’s first and most prestigious national parks. Departing Jasper, the highway takes you past beautiful Lake Louise, reflecting the Columbia Glacier in the distance between mountain peaks. World-famous Banff is the perfect, charming mountain village with its quaint restaurants, boutique retailers and lush forest surroundings. The Elk population nearly surpasses the human as they casually meander up and down the town streets. Overnight Banff
Banff National Park
The entire day is free to tour Banff and the surrounding area. We suggest a visit to the Luxton Museum, a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain or a stroll through town admiring the many shops. You may also try river rafting on the Bow River or take a boat tour on beautiful Lake Minnewanka. Overnight Banff
Banff to Waterton Lakes National Park (361 km / 224 miles)
Leaving behind the quiet forests of Banff, you drive southwest today on your journey to the southern reaches of Alberta. After passing through the urban hub of Calgary, today’s route takes you near the historic Fort Macleod, one of the first operational posts of the famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Approaching the United States border, the protected, pristine beauty of Waterton Lakes National Park dominates the horizon with its stark and captivating beauty. Overnight Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park (138 km / 86 miles)
Today you can explore the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. A relatively unknown park in the national park system, it is the hidden gem of Alberta, a spellbinding area of plateaus, forests, high alpine rivers, and lakes surrounded by lush carpets of wildflowers on its mountain slopes. Many marked scenic drives such as the Akamina Parkway and Chief Mountain Highway allow visitors to see the interior of the park without requiring long overland hikes. Overnight Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park to Rossland/Castlegar (494 km / 307 miles)
Driving west today, through the British Columbia interior, you pass the mountain village of Fernie, known to skiers all over the world for its superb alpine skiing with some of the heaviest snowfalls and most dependable powder conditions. Next is Cranbrook a small community that grew up around the development of the Crowsnest Railway line at the end of the 19th century. Keeping just north of the United States border, you travel farther west across the rugged interior of the Rocky Mountains until you arrive in Rossland, home to a myriad of outdoor activities as well as outdoor dining patios around town with spectacular views. Overnight Rossland/Castlegar area
Rossland/Castlegar to Osoyoos (221 km / 137 miles)
Depart Rossland and follow the Crowsnest Highway as it cuts though the heights of the Monashee Mountains. One of the most dramatic intersections is the Bonanza Pass, offering a magnificent photo opportunity as you leave the Kootenays for the Western Boundary regions. Driving into the Osoyoos region, you may glimpse the developing vineyards as they flourish in the warm, temperate climate. In partnership with the NK’MIP First Nations people native to the region, the Spirit Ridge Vineyard has blossomed into a world class winery, offering fine dining and tastings. Overnight Osoyoos
Today is your day of leisure in the Okanagan Valley and a chance to further explore Osoyoos, right by Lake Osoyoos and, intriguingly, surrounded by desert, vineyards, and mountains. We suggest spending part of the day walking along the 19kms of sandy beaches of Osoyoos Lake. You may also wish to visit the unique Haynes Point Provincial Park where the park access road takes you out on to a narrow spit in the middle of the lake. Alternatively, there is nothing wrong spending the afternoon at one of the pubs or wine bistros that line the shoreline near the middle of town. Overnight Osoyoos
Osoyoos to Vancouver (398 km / 242 miles)
Today you head westward for the coast and back to Vancouver. Travelling along the northern edge of North Cascades National Park, the terrain quickly becomes more mountainous as you pass through small towns such as Merritt, Hope and Chilliwack. Depending on your time of arrival, you can opt for a last stroll around one of the city’s great neighborhoods, do some last browsing around the shops or enjoy or take advantage of the thriving restaurant scene. Overnight Vancouver
Today your tour comes to an end as you proceed to Vancouver International Airport for your return flight or continue your stay if you plan to extend your trip.
Daily departures: May 1 – September 27, 2023
- 17 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Toyota Corolla or similar)
- Customized Self-Drive Roadbook (Digital version)
- 2 night’s moderate accommodations in Vancouver
- 2 night’s moderate accommodations in Whistler
- 2 night’s moderate accommodations in Sun Peaks
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Clearwater
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Jasper
- 2 night’s moderate accommodations in Banff
- 2 night’s moderate class accommodations near Waterton Lakes Park
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Rossland
- 2 night’s moderate accommodations in Osoyoos
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Vancouver
- Shared 5-hour Vancouver city tour and Capilano Suspension Bridge
- 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.
1 Sep 2023