13 days

Canadian Rockies, Wildlife & Vancouver Island

Canadian Rockies, Wildlife & Vancouver Island

Banff National Park

Yoho National Park

Jasper National Park

Vancouver

Caribou Country

Trip rating
  • The Canadian Rockies are a kaleidoscope of mountains, lakes, glaciers and awe-inspiring beauty. Walking and rafting at Yoho National Park is the way to experience a park whose name is actually the native word for ‘awe’. The old saying 'a picture tells a thousand tales' is never more apt than when faced with the view at iconic Lake Louise. At Banff we canoe, bike and search for wildlife, whilst at scenic Athabasca Glacier we join a guided glacier hike. We pay homage to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, before returning to city life with a stay in cosmopolitan and vibrant Vancouver.

    Why we love it

    • The Canadian Rockies are a kaleidoscope of mountains, lakes, glaciers and awe-inspiring beauty.
    • Walking and rafting at Yoho National Park is the way to experience a park whose name is actually the native word for ‘awe’.
    • The old saying 'a picture tells a thousand tales' is never more apt than when faced with the view at iconic Lake Louise.
    • At Banff you can canoe, bike and search for wildlife, whilst at scenic Athabasca Glacier we join a guided glacier hike.
    • Pay homage to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, before returning to city life with a stay in cosmopolitan and vibrant Vancouver.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Calgary - Banff

    • Calgary has historically been famous for its Wild West roots but in recent years it has become a dynamic city with a booming economy. This morning you will leave the big city behind and transfer to the Canadian Rockies town of Banff, Canada’s first national park and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Banff town can easily be explored on foot and with loads of optional activities there is enough to fill your time. Visit the iconic Banff Springs Hotel where tourism in the Rockies first began, take a short trail to the tumbling Bow Falls, or visit some of the many souvenir shops in town. You can also take a gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for the rewarding panoramic views of the Rockies or simply relax in the heated, natural pools of the Banff Hot Springs. You will stay overnight in nearby Canmore.
    Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge or similar

    Day 2 - Banff National Park

    • Banff National Park in Alberta is one of the highlights of any visit to western Canada, with its magnificent mountains, lakes and forests. Today you will drive to Moraine Lake located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, the highest of which is Deltaform Mountain (3424m). You may then take a walk on one of the many trails at nearby Lake Louise.
    • Both of these lakes are famous for their striking blue glacial colour, caused by rock flour carried into the lakes by melt-water from the surrounding glaciers. Today you will travel along Highway 1A, a different route to the norm but with increased chances of spotting wildlife.
    Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge or similar

    Day 3 - Icefields Parkway - Jasper

    • Brace yourself as this morning you will hit one of the most famous, and beautiful drives in the world; the Icefields Parkway where this spectacular road traverses the Rockies, running parallel to the Continental Divide. Mountain passes, glaciers and high peaks are some of the many scenic highlights and there are opportunities to see elk, caribou, bears, bighorn sheep and goats, which often graze on the vegetation found in roadside verges.
    • You can stop at all of the 'must see' sights, including Bow Summit and Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and the Crowfoot Glacier. There is also the option of a guided glacier ice-walk along the way. Your overnight location will be in Jasper National Park, around 40 minutes out of town.
    Pocahontas Cabins or similar

    Day 4 - Jasper National Park

    • Jasper is much quieter and less developed than Banff, which means it is easy to escape the crowds here and we spend the day getting to know Jasper National Park and its surroundings. One option is to take the Jasper Tram and walk to the summit, which provides fantastic views over the Canadian Rockies.
    • Alternatively there are various hikes at Mt Edith Cavell, including a short trek in the alpine meadows which will provide us with spectacular views of the Angel Wing Hanging Glacier and chances to view caribou. Included is a visit to Miette Hot Springs as this road offers regular sightings of big horned sheep and elk. Maligne Lake Rd is rife with wildlife (primarily big horned sheep, bears and elk) and you'll stop at the picnic area next to the river to see a colony of golden mantle ground squirrels.
    Pocahontas Cabins or similar

    Day 5 - Mount Robson - Williams Lake

    • Today you will leave the province of Alberta and enter British Columbia as we travel west. En route you will visit Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; at 3954m this is one of the most impressive sights in western Canada and its peak usually capped with snow. There is an optional hike at Kinney Lake, located in the Mount Robson Provincial Park, or, depending on the groups wishes, it is possible to join a wildlife river safari instead, with the chance of seeing bear, moose, eagle and osprey from Blue River. You will drive to the historic gold rush city of Williams Lake today where you'll stay overnight.
    Sandman Inn Williams Lake or similar

    Day 6 - Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

    • You'll drive through authentic Canadian wilderness as you head completely off the beaten track towards Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. With fewer visitors here your chances to see wildlife are increased, and the remoteness is refreshing. Your overnight location is close to the shore of Anahim Lake, a popular lake for fly fishing that supports plenty of wildlife who come to drink.
    • There's an optional canoeing excursion on the lake in the afternoon, in the evening we recommend relaxing by the fireplace! Please note this area has very basic facilities but is extremely beautiful and off the tourist trail.
    Eagle's Nest Resort or similar

    Day 7 - Tweedsmuir Provincial Park - Bella Coola

    • Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is completely off the radar of most tour groups, despite it being named as British Columbia's most beautiful. Your visit to this total wilderness area requires some advanced planning as your group should be completely self-sufficient. You'll spend time in the southern area of the park this morning, joining a hiking trail through an area of the thick forest.
    • A healthy population of grizzly and black bears exists throughout the park, as well as elk, deer, moose and coyote; it is possible to see any of these whilst visiting Tweedsmuir. Wildlife aside, the colours of the mountains, combined with the solitude and flora will ensure that Tweedsmuir is a park that you'll remember.
    • After your hike you'll drive over 'the Hill' with views towards Bella Coola.
    Bella Coola Mountain Lodge or similar

    Day 8 - Bella Coola

    • Bella Coola is located at the point where the Bella Coola River joins with the salt water of the Pacific Ocean. Here amongst the lush valley bottoms and snow-capped peaks reside some of the largest grizzly bears in the world and this little community is gaining a reputation as one of the best places to spot them in BC.
    • The best time of year to view grizzly bears is from the middle of August to the end of September as this is when they descend from the mountains to catch salmon in the rivers. In season, it's possible to join an optional excursion in search of grizzly bears. Outside of the bear season there is a selection of excellent hikes on offer and plenty of optional activities.
    • Please note that the tour leader will leave you in the capable hands of the lodge owner who will be able to arrange hiking trails to spot Grizzlies, or the option to join a guided hike from the lodge. You will spend the night in Bella Coola whilst the leader brings the van back to Vancouver to pick you up at the airport the following day.
    Bella Coola Mountain Lodge or similar

    Day 9 - Nanaimo

    • Today you will have free time in the morning before boarding your flight from Bella Coola to Port Hardy. Your tour leader will meet you upon arrival and drive you to the launching site for your ferry to Vancouver Island. Your overnight stop will be Nanaimo on the eastern side of the island.
    North Shore Inn or similar

    Day 10 - Tofino

    • You will drive from northern Vancouver Island to the area of Tofino today through some beautiful scenic areas. You'll stop at Cathedral Grove, one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees in the province. There are many trails which meander through the Douglas-fir, Western Hemlock, Grand fir and Western Red Cedar trees.
    Canadian Princess Resort or similar

    Day 11 - Tofino

    • Tofino is one of British Columbia's most popular destinations. Located on the border of Clayquot Sound, the region surrounding Tofino retains one of the largest areas of temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island.
    • This morning you will enjoy an included bear viewing boat tour where on previous trips whales have also been spotted. The afternoon will be free for optional activities such as hiking, whale watching, sea kayaking and relaxing in the hot springs.
    Canadian Princess Resort or similar

    Day 12 - Victoria

    • You'll travel to Victoria, Vancouver Island's main town and the capital of British Columbia. It's a remarkable mix of English Edwardian, First Nations and even some Chinese building styles and was home to the first Chinatown in Canada.
    • After around a four hour journey to reach Victoria, you will take a tour of the city's highlights. The rest of the day will be free to relax. You may want to visit the Provincial Museum, which gives an introduction to the First Nations people and the natural history of the region. Alternatively there are plenty of optional excursions that you can organise locally.
    Howard Johnson or similar

    Day 13 - Vancouver

    • In the morning you will board a ferry across the Strait of Georgia, admiring the small islands and breath-taking panorama of the city of Vancouver as it comes into view. This cosmopolitan and diverse metropolis is in stark contrast to the rest of British Columbia, but always proves to be a highlight.
    • Upon arrival you'll enjoy a scenic drive through Stanley Park, a 4,000-hectare green wonderland. See the authentic totem poles erected in the 1920s and buy some moreish maple sugar candies. Stop by Prospect Point, a scenic lookout where you gaze out at spectacular views of Lion's Gate Bridge, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.
    • The tour finishes back at the hotel at 5pm where your tour ends upon arrival. If you wish to extend your stay please reserve additional accommodation at the time of booking. If you are flying tonight please do not book a flight before 9pm (21:00).
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of a professional tour leader.
    • Sightseeing and entrance fee to national parks.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport transfers
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Any optional tours and activities
    • Tips and items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PNPWV
Group size 5 - 13
Start City: Calgary
End City: Vancouver, Bristish Columbia, Canada

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