Embrace the great Canadian outdoors in the Rockies and on Vancouver Island.

There’s nothing quite like Canada’s south-west, with snow-capped mountains on the city skylines, rugged wilderness to explore all year round, top notch hiking, world-class surf breaks, whale migration routes, and that fresh, crisp British Columbia air. Experience the natural wonder of Canada’s west on this 20-day active adventure. Beginning in Vancouver, you’ll traverse weaving highways lined with alpine scenery, through Wells Gray Provincial Park and Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Glacier national parks. Cross the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island, and discover the culinary hub of Victoria and the beachy town of Tofino. The Canadian Rockies and Vancouver Island are nature at its absolute finest.


Start
Vancouver, Canada
Finish
Vancouver, Canada
Destination
Canada
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSBCC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get wild in Jasper National Park, where it’s possible to spot moose, elk, deer, bears and coyotes among the sea of evergreen pine and spruce trees.

  • Lakes, mountains, glaciers – the Rockies feature an array of striking landscapes that are remarkable no matter what time of year you visit.

  • Set out by canoe and camp overnight on the remote shore of Clearwater Lake, where you can fall asleep under a blanket of stars.

  • Compact Victoria is perfect for exploring on foot, and its younger population is reflected in the thriving bar and dining scene of the city.

  • Vancouver Island is an ideal viewing point on a whale migration route as they head north to Alaska for the summer or down to Mexico for the winter.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Less time spent in a vehicle; more time to explore each destination. This trip has been carefully designed to give you the best experience of a region by reducing the number of one-night-only stops, giving you extra time in the places that matter.

  • As Canada is a huge country, this trip covers a lot of ground. Please be prepared for some long days of driving. You'll be travelling in a van with a group, so conditions may feel a little cramped. We think this is all part of the adventure of road travel, and friendships form fast in tight quarters.

  • As we're travelling through the mountains, the weather can be unpredictable. We advise wearing layers in all seasons in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so make sure you have warm and comfortable clothing with you. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season. We really can’t stress this enough - even in the warmer months the temperature can be low in the mountains.

  • While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, for you to get the most out of the included and optional activities we recommend you are moderately fit. The hikes are a real highlight on this trip and give you access to some fantastic scenery as well as the chance to see native flora and fauna.

  • This trip involves either a partial or full camping experience, giving you access to more remote destinations at close proximity, and the joy of camping under the night skies and beside a campfire. This is a participatory trip – a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride, but you are part of a team! Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand, and everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!

  • That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately CAD 90 per week to cover the cost of meals. This means you don’t have to worry about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night or s’mores by the campfire! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out to purchase (and cook) your own food.

Itinerary

Welcome to Vancouver, Canada. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm at the hotel, where you can introduce yourself to your fellow travellers and tour leader. If you arrive early in Vancouver, why not take a walk around the Victorian buildings in the historic Gastown neighbourhood or wander through the behemoth urban forest that is Stanley Park. Captivated by Vancouver and worried you won’t have enough time to see what the city has to offer? Remember you’ll be back to bookend your journey.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It's important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details, an optional food kitty contribution and next of kin information at this time. See ‘Is this trip right for you’ for more information regarding the food kitty. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Today, leave Vancouver behind and travel to the outdoor mecca that is Whistler. Drive along the Sea to Sky Highway, widely considered one of the most scenic routes in the world, with a stop at Squamish along the way. If time permits, it may be possible to take a short hike to the massive granite monolith known as The Chief before continuing to Whistler. While there are no included activities planned for your time in Whistler, there are plenty of optional activities to take part in during your stay. Hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining and kayaking are just some of what’s on offer. Have a chat to your leader about how to go about booking and taking part in these activities. You’ll have time today on arrival to get your bearings before you settle into the campground for the night.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Rise and shine for a free day in this outdoor adventure hub. Remember that all activities in Whistler are optional and some may come at an additional cost. Zip-lining tours are an amazing way of getting an aerial view over Fitzsimmons Creek and, if you’re lucky, seeing some bears along the way. During the warmer months, hiking is a great (and inexpensive) way to get the lay of the land, just keep in mind that the rugged terrain can make for challenging trails. There are also some great cycle networks in Whistler, so you have the option of hiring a bike and riding to one of the nearby lakes. Don’t forget to spend some time exploring Whistler Village, a charming pedestrian-only town with plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Whistler - PEAK2PEAK Gondola - CAD64
  • Whistler – Standard Mountain Bike Rental (full day) - CAD90
  • Whistler - Zip Trek Tour (1.5 hrs) - CAD129
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Make sure you’ve got a book, a podcast or some sparkling conversation ready as you settle in for a long drive to Wells Gray Provincial Park (approximately 6–7 hours). You’ll arrive in time to set up camp for the evening on a rustic cowboy ranch. Enjoy a cold beverage in an authentic saloon and then relax with dinner by the campfire. Complete the classic North American campsite by crafting s’mores (marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers) and sharing stories over the crackle of the flames.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you’ll travel deeper into Wells Gray Provincial Park, disembarking at Clearwater Lake. Pack your camping equipment into a canoe and cruise into the water. On a sunny day the name of the lake is particularly apt, and if you work up a thirst while paddling you can drink the pristine water around you, no filter necessary. After some instruction from the canoeing guides, paddle about 2.5–4 hours to a secluded beach campsite. Set up camp for the night and spend some time swimming or exploring before cooking dinner. The campsite tonight is a little more basic than others on the trip. It has tables, fire-pits and tent sites, but only pit toilets and no showers. But trust us, the stunning location more than makes up for the rustic facilities.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Overnight Canoe Trip
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
No canoeing experience is needed as our guides are also instructors and will help you to perfect the Canadian technique, but you will need a basic level of fitness in order to enjoy the journey.
Wake up lakeside and choose whether to set out on a short, unguided hike from the campsite or enjoy a relaxing breakfast on the lakefront. Pack up your gear and hit the water again, alighting along the way at another beach for a picnic lunch. Back at the starting point, help unload and store the canoes and then drive to the ranch, checking out some amazing waterfalls along the way.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Hit the road bound for Jasper National Park, a journey which should take around five and a half hours in total. Along the way you'll see views of Mt Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. You'll arrive in the afternoon, giving you time to head out on an optional walk. Try and catch a glimpse of the area's wildlife such as moose, elk, deer, bears and coyotes. If you’re lucky enough to spot one or more of these beasts in their natural habitat, remember to keep your distance of at least 100 metres from predators (bears, coyotes) and 30 metres from all other animals. One optional activity that may be of interest if you arrive with a few hours of daylight to spare is the Jasper SkyTram. This tramway ascends to 2300 metres above sea level to a great vantage point in the Rocky Mountains with breathtaking views.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jasper National Park - Entrance Fee
Optional Activities
  • Jasper - SkyTram - CAD49
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you’ll make a visit to of Maligne Lake. Make sure you’ve got a charged phone or camera ready to capture shots of the jagged mountains and bright green pine forests that surround these glacial waters. Take a hike around the area and then choose whether you’d like to pay for an optional cruise around the lake, including a visit to Spirit Island. This tiny ‘tied’ island is one of the most photographed spots in the Canadian Rockies for a reason, so if you can afford it the optional cruise is worthwhile.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Visit to Maligne Lake
Optional Activities
  • Jasper - Bike rental - CAD30
  • Jasper - Cruise on Maligne Lake - CAD79
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take a scenic morning drive through mountain scenery on the famous Icefields Parkway, which connects Jasper and Banff National Parks (approximately 4 hours). There will be numerous opportunities to stop at viewpoints and waterfalls along the way. This includes visits to the ice fields of Athabasca Glacier, where you can choose to either admire from a distance or explore on an optional guided tour. On arrival at your campground in Banff, get your bearings with a brief walk. You'll be spending the next three nights here, so settle in and start planning what to do in your free time.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Banff National Park
Optional Activities
  • Icefields Parkway - Athabasca Glacier tour - CAD90
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Over the next two days you'll visit the pristine Lake Louise and stunning Moraine Lake with hiking opportunities at both locations. Banff is Canada's oldest national park, with valleys and mountain chains formed between 55 and 80 million years ago. You'll also have ample free time to explore Banff and take part in optional activities. As always, your leader is there to help, so pick their brain for advice on which (if any) you wish to participate in. Options include a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain, a dip in the natural hot springs or exploring the hoodoos and falls of Bow River valley by foot. There are many trails of different lengths, allowing you to hike for as long (or short) as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (2 nights)
Included Activities
  • Visit to Lake Louise
  • Visit to Moraine Lake
Optional Activities
  • Banff - Cable Car up Sulphur Mountain - CAD30
  • Banff - Hot springs - CAD8
  • Banff - Canoe Hire - CAD50
  • Banff National Park - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - CAD275
  • Banff - Cruiser bike hire (full day) - CAD38
  • Banff - Mountain bike hire (full day) - CAD45
  • Banff - Horse Riding (1 hour) - CAD60
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today drive for around two and a half hours to a place so beautiful its name comes from a Cree word that means awe and wonder – Yoho National Park. On arrival, take a walk down the Kicking Horse River and visit Takakkaw Falls (the second-highest falls in Canada at 384 metres). If time permits, you’ll also visit Emerald Lake, which (perhaps unsurprisingly) is an arresting shade of cyan. Your two nights in Yoho National Park give you ample time to explore the terrain and take part in optional activities. Thrillseekers might want to give whitewater rafting a go. Half- and full-day options are available for rafting, giving you the chance to get wet and wild on class III to class IV+ rapids. For those who prefer to approach nature in a calmer way there are plenty of great trails – ask your leader for a recommendation that matches your fitness level.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (2 nights)
Included Activities
  • Yoho National Park
Optional Activities
  • Yoho National Park - Kicking Horse rafting (half day) - CAD109
  • Yoho National Park - Kicking Horse rafting (full day) - CAD159
  • Yoho National Park - hiking - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, travel through the high mountain clearing of Rogers Pass to reach Glacier National Park. Stop at Rogers Pass Discovery Centre for a look around and (depending on time and conditions) take a short hike through an old-growth area of cedar and hemlock. As one of the world's most active avalanche areas, most of the rugged, mountainous area of Glacier National Park is inaccessible for day hikes. Drive through Mount Revelstoke National Park, which contains part of the world's only temperate inland rainforest, and (if time allows) explore the area on a short hike. The destination today is the town of Kamloops. Keep in mind that the drive today will take approximately 6–7 hours, so get those devices and reading materials ready.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Glacier National Park
  • Mt. Revelstoke National Park
  • Rogers Pass Discovery Centre
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Make the journey back to Vancouver (approximately 4-5 hours). The arrival time depends on a variety of factors such as weather, but you should expect to be back in the city before 3 pm. Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada and well worth the place to begin the second stage of your North American adventure. Please note that you may farewell some of your travellers today who aren’t making the journey to Vancouver Island. Meet up with your group at another briefing at 6 pm, where there may be some new adventurers joining you! Afterwards, why not head out in the Gastown neighbourhood or head to one of over 40 craft breweries in Vancouver – Mount Pleasant is a brewery hotspot.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary so please attend, and this is also a great chance to meet the new group. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
To start the Vancouver Island trip, you’ll have to get over to the Island! Take a ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Victoria BC (approximately 3.5 hours). With its landscaped gardens and preserved historical buildings, it is one of the most British-influenced cities in North America. However, with a recent injection of hip bars, shops, restaurants and young residents, the city is evolving into something more cosmopolitan. Wander through Victoria’s abundant parkland and make your way into town to kick back with the young locals in a bar or restaurant. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ferry to Vancouver Island
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Victoria is known for its outdoor activities so on your free day here, perhaps indulge in a spot of whale watching or take a tour of the famous Butchart Gardens. If that isn’t your thing, check out the excellent Royal BC Museum to learn about the natural and human history of the area. The city has also been hit by the craft beer revolution, and is home to Canada’s first brewpub, so why not meander your way to one to relax and experience the Canadian hospitality for yourself.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria BC - Butchart Gardens - CAD34
  • Victoria - Whale Watching - CAD115
  • Royal BC Museum - CAD28
  • Victoria - Parliament building - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
On your way out of Victoria, have a quick stop in the eastern port of Nanaimo before heading on to Cathedral Grove for a walk around the majestic Douglas fir trees, which are more than 800 years old and untouched by the modern world. A picnic lunch will be needed to admire this towering forest. You’ll continue on your drive to the relaxed seaside town of Tofino (total journey approximately 4.5 hours, not including stops). As well as being named the best surf town in North America, Tofino is also a perfect spot for storm watching and outdoor activities such as kayaking, whale watching and hiking.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free for you to explore Tofino and its surrounds, with many possible optional activities. Take a kayak out on Clayoquot Sound, relax on one of Tofino’s sandy beaches or take a stroll and go tide pooling. Alternatively, you have the option to sign up for a whale watching tour. Tofino lies along the route of the annual grey whale migration. Each year, up to 20,000 grey whales leave the waters of the Baja Peninsula and head north to the nutrient-rich feeding grounds of Alaska and the Bering Sea. This 20,000 kilometre round trip is thought to be the longest migration of any creature in the world. Whale-watching trips can often be combined with wildlife viewing and hot springs tours. A bear-watching trip by boat through the calm waters of Clayoquot Sound near Tofino is another popular option.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tofino - Zodiac whale watching adventure - CAD120
  • Tofino - Clayoquot Sound kayaking tour - CAD69
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
From Tofino, you’ll travel to a ferry port and cruise back to Vancouver. The total travel time from Tofino on this day is around 5.5 hours. There may be time for an activity with your group leader in the afternoon, however there is no included accommodation for the night.
Included Activities
  • Ferry from Vancouver Island
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you decide to fly out on this day, it's best not to book a flight for before 8 pm, as this will give you enough time to catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Ferry, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (15 nights), Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
  • Overnight Canoe Trip
  • Jasper National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Visit to Maligne Lake
  • Banff National Park
  • Visit to Lake Louise
  • Visit to Moraine Lake
  • Yoho National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Mt. Revelstoke National Park
  • Rogers Pass Discovery Centre
  • Ferry to Vancouver Island
  • Ferry from Vancouver Island

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival into Vancouver in the afternoon on day 20.

2. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 7 & 8 (Jasper National Park), nights 9, 10 & 11 (Banff National Park) and nights 16 & 17 (Victoria) where you will be in shared accommodation. This is due to the availability of campsites and campsite space in these locations where Canadian National Parks are very strict about the number of tents per site. Nights 16 & 17 is multishare hostel accomodation.
PLEASE NOTE: Single Supplement on nights 2 & 3 (Whistler) may be a separate campsite and a short walk from the group campsite depending availability of space at group campsite.

Essential trip information

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