13 days

Canadian Rockies, Wildlife & Vancouver Island - Reverse

Canadian Rockies, Wildlife & Vancouver Island - Reverse

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 - Vancouver - Victoria

    • Your trip starts with a group briefing at 7:30am at the Vancouver Hotel.
    • You'll then 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 2-3 - Tofino

    • You will drive west across Vancouver Island to the area of Tofino today through some beautiful scenic areas.
    • 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 4 - Port Hardy

    • Head north on Vancouver Island, stopping 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.
    • Next stop is Port Hardy. Named after Sir Thomas Hardy, former captain of H.M.S. Victory and shipmate of Lord Nelson at Trafalgar, Port Hardy is one of Canada's foremost gateways to the great outdoors. It is from here that you will access the famous Inside Passage.
    North Shore Inn or similar

    Day 5 - Inside Passage - Bella Coola

    • The Inside Passage is considered one of the most amazing ferry trips in the world, with everything from frozen fjords to forest-covered hillsides flanking the route. The scenery is simply spectacular: towering, forest-clad peaks surround the deep fjords. Those with keen eyes can often spot Bald eagles and bears. The Inside Passage also supports one of the world's richest marine environments and it may be possible to see Grey, Orca and occasionally Humpback whales. The remoteness of the Inside Passage is its most stunning feature; this area is largely inaccessible by road and the tiny communities spread along it rely on boats for transportation.
    • Please note you will use two ferries to cross the Inside Passage with a duration of 16.5 hours. Stay overnight in the small community of Bella Coola.
    Bella Coola Mountain Lodge or similar

    Day 6 - 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 7 - Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

    • 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.
    Eagle's Nest Resort or similar

    Day 8 - Williams Lake

    • Keeping your eyes peeled for moose, elk and even black bears is exactly what you'll be doing on the banks of Anahim Lake this morning and some optional fly fishing is a sublime way to pass the time.
    • Another optional activity to enjoy on the water is canoeing and if you fancy a paddle, prior to heading onwards to Williams Lake, then you're sure to see more than your fair share of lakeside visitors from a truly exceptional vantage point.
    Sandman Inn Kamloops or similar

    Day 9 - Mt Robson - Jasper National Park

    • As the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson is indeed a stunning sight and pausing to take in over 10,000 feet of snow-capped loveliness is exactly what you'll have come to expect as you continue on your journey to the far-reaching confines of Jasper National Park.
    • With optional wildlife safaris possible on foot and by boat you'll find the likes of Kinney Lake and Blue River both present an awesome array of animal potential with osprey, eagles, moose and bear all known to frequent the area.
    Pocahontas Cabins or similar

    Day 10 - 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 11 - Icefields Parkway - Banff National Park

    • Brace yourself as this morning we 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 will be able 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.
    Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge or similar

    Day 12 - 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 13 - Banff National Park - Calgary

    • Today's trip along Highway 1A will signal that your tour of the Canadian Rockies is drawing to a close. But as there's still plenty of chances to spot wildlife along the way, make sure you've got at least a little bit of camera memory left for the journey to Calgary.
    • If you fancy extending your stay to take in the sights and the heritage of this one-time Wild West town please make your accommodation reservations at the time of booking. For everyone else, it's time to say goodbye but you can rest-assured you'll be leaving with happy memories and maybe even a few well-pocketed sticky maple syrup sweets for the journey home.
    • 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).
    Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge or similar
  • 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 PNPWX
Group size 5 - 13
Start City: Vancouver, Bristish Columbia, Canada
End City: Calgary

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