Embrace the great outdoors on this Canadian Rockies adventure

Western Canada offers stunning landscapes of towering peaks, serene turquoise lakes, thick forests, gushing rivers and rugged surf coast. Walk the streets of Vancouver, hike the trails of Jasper and Banff, bask in the seaside paradise of Tofino and soak up the superb alpine scenery. Spot native moose and bears, and maybe whales, and unleash your inner daredevil with a bevy of adventure activities - mountain biking or river rafting, anyone? Jump in feet first and be completely immersed in this awesome outdoor Canadian experience.

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Terms & Conditions

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

Why we love this trip

  • This trip is packed full of optional outdoor activities, providing the perfect opportunity to explore nature at ground level. Hike through forests, cycle in a remote part of the Rocky Mountains and canoe across a picturesque lake

  • With lakes, mountains and glaciers dotted throughout huge national parks, the Rockies features an array of striking landscapes that you won't see anywhere else in the world

  • Canoe to an overnight campsite in the remote wilderness. This is the type of experience that's synonymous with the Rocky Mountains

  • Canadians are an incredibly friendly and welcoming people. Learn more about the area by connecting with the locals

  • Best surf town, best beach town of 2016… the list goes on for Tofino. Spend two nights here and discover why this is one of North America’s most talked about coastal destinations

  • Whale-watchers find themselves in heaven. Vancouver Island is a great viewing point on whales’ migration route as they head north to Alaska for the summer, and down to Mexico for the winter. Sometimes they’re even seen from the ferry to and from Vancouver

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip covers a lot of ground, as Canada is a huge country. Please be prepared for some long days of driving. You'll be spending a lot of time in a van with other travellers. Free space can be limited, especially if the group is full, so conditions can feel a little cramped. This is all part of the adventure though, and you might even make some long-term friends.

  • As we're travelling through the mountains, the weather can be unpredictable. We advise wearing layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so make sure you have warm clothing with you. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season. 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 partake in all of the activities we recommend you are at least moderately fit. If you're not able to participate in all of the hikes, you'll miss out on some fantastic scenery, as well as the chance to see native flora and fauna.

  • This is a participatory trip. That’s a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride – you’re part of a team! You know the phrase ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Well that’s extra true on this trip. 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 – 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 CA$90 per week, run to cover the cost of meals. This kitty saves you worrying 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! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out and purchase (and cook) your own food.

Itinerary

Welcome to Vancouver, Canada. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please ask the hostel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the reception as soon as possible. Your leader will be collecting your insurance details, food kitty contribution and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details ready to provide. If you arrive early into Vancouver, take a walk around the city's historic Gastown site or wander through Stanley Park.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, leave Vancouver behind and drive for around three and a half hours to the ski-resort area of Whistler. Once there, Whistler is a fantastic place to explore on foot with stunning mountain terrain. There are plenty of activities to take part in during your two days here, so if your trip falls in the summer months then try a spot of kayaking. After getting to know the area on your first day here, settle down in the campgrounds for the night.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free to explore and take part in optional activities. Skiing and snowboarding are always readily available, as the Rocky Mountains are the world's premier mountain playground. Zip lining tours are an amazing way of getting an aerial view over Fitzsimmons Creek - hopefully seeing some bears along the way. Spot wildlife on summer hikes or just relax in your surroundings. There are also some great cycle networks in Whistler, so perhaps hire a bike, ride around area and head to one of the nearby lakes.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Whistler - PEAK2PEAK Gondola - CAD50
  • Whistler - Mountain Bike Rental - CAD99
  • Whistler - Zip Trek Tour - USD119
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take the long drive to Wells Gray Provincial Park (approximately 6-7 hours), arriving in time to set up camp for the evening at a cowboy ranch. Relax with dinner by the campfire, roast marshmallows and assemble delicious s'mores.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning we'll travel by road as far as we can into Wells Gray Provincial Park, ending at Clearwater Lake. Here we will pack our camping equipment into canoes and launch them into the aptly-named lake. On a sunny day you can see how clear the water is, and also drink the water straight out of the lake! After some instruction from our canoeing guides, we will paddle about 2.5 to 4 hours to our beach campsite. Here we will set up camp for the night and spend some time swimming or exploring before cooking dinner. Our campsite tonight is a little more basic, with tables, fire-pits and tent sites, but only pit toilets and no showers. The stunning location more than makes up for the lack of 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 the canoe guides are also instructors and will help you to perfect the Canadian canoeing technique, but you will need a basic level of fitness.
This morning you will wake up lakeside and perhaps do a short hike from the campsite or chill by the lake while you eat breakfast. We will then paddle back to the starting point together stopping at another beach along the way to have a picnic lunch. Once you arrive back you will help unload and store the canoes and head back 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.
Drive to Jasper National Park today, which should take around five and a half hours in total. As you'll arrive in the early/late afternoon, maybe go for a walk to spot the area's wildlife such as moose, elk, deer, bears and coyotes. If you have time in the afternoon, take the Jasper SkyTram that elevates 2,300 metres to a great vantage point in the Rocky Mountains. In the evening head out for dinner, as there are a variety of restaurants to choose from.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jasper National Park
Optional Activities
  • Jasper - Bike rental - CAD30
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free to do as you wish. This area provides you with the option of hiking up Whistlers Mountain, biking in the Valley of Five Lakes or taking a cruise on Maligne Lake. If you're looking to take it a bit easier, head down to relax in the Miette Hot Springs and soak in the views of Fiddle River Valley. This will be your last night in Jasper National Park.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Jasper - Jasper Tramway - CAD40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, take a scenic drive through mountain scenery on the famous Icefields Parkway, which connects Jasper and Banff National Parks (approximately four hours). As the journey is so picturesque, there will numerous opportunities to stop at viewpoints and waterfalls along the way. This includes visits to the ice fields of Athabasca Glacier and the emerald waters of Lake Louise. On arrival to your campgrounds in Banff, get your bearings with a brief walk as you'll be spending the next three nights here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Banff National Park
Optional Activities
  • Icefields Parkway - Athabasca Glacier tour - CAD52
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The next two days are free to explore Banff. Banff is Canada's oldest national park, with its valleys and mountain chains being formed 75 million years ago. Today its a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain for a dip in its natural hot springs or explore the hoodoos and falls of Bow River valley by foot. There are many trails of different lengths, allowing you to hike for as long as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Banff - Cable Car up Sulphur Mountain - CAD30
  • Banff - Hot springs - USD8
  • Banff - Canoe Hire - USD50
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take a drive for around two and a half hours through unspoiled mountainous terrain, to the town of Golden and finally to Yoho National Park. On arrival into the park, take a walk down the Kicking Horse River and maybe visit Takakkaw Falls (the second highest falls in Canada at 384 metres high). Yoho National Park and the Kicking Horse River are a lesser-known paradise in the Canadian Rockies, so use your time wisely and really get to know the area. You'll spend two nights here, which is a good amount of time to explore and take part in optional activities.

Take to the river for some of the best whitewater rafting in Canada. The combination of wild whitewater, spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife makes rafting the Kicking Horse River a thrilling adventure. There's a range of rafting activities on offer including a full day, half day and a full river challenge. There's also an option to relax by the shore of this beautiful river setting.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yoho National Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, perhaps take to the river for some of the best whitewater rafting in Canada. The combination of wild whitewater, spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife makes rafting the Kicking Horse River thrilling for its adventure and views. There's a range of rafting activities on offer, including a full day, half day and a full river challenge. If rafting isn't your thing, there's also the option of relaxing by the river with the ideal viewpoint. Maybe spend your last night in Yoho National Park by having dinner with the group.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Yoho National Park - Kicking Horse rafting (half day) - CAD84
  • Yoho National Park - Kicking Horse rafting (full day) - CAD129
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 possibly take a short hike through a 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 onto Mount Revelstoke National, which contains part of the world's only temperate inland rainforest. You'll drive straight through the rainforest and, if time allows, you'll also go for a short hike. The final destination of this drive is the town of Kamloops. Meaning 'meeting of the waters', the town is situated at the junction of the two branches of the Thompson River. Today's total driving time will take around 6-7 hours.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Glacier National Park
  • Mt. Revelstoke National Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, you'll make the journey back to Vancouver (approximately four to five hours). The arrival time depends on each group, but you should expect a 3 pm arrival. The rest of the day is free. Perhaps head in to the Gastown area for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (approximately 2 hours). Make your own discoveries this afternoon in free time. Perhaps stroll the harbourfront walkway and Old City Quarter, learn what a Nanaimo bar is (it's delicious – and there's even a trail you can take so you can taste multiple variations), take a hike or hire a kayak in Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park or learn about the Island's culture at the Nanaimo Museum.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive across the centre of Vancouver Island to Tofino (approximately 2–3 hours, not including stops). Stop at Cathedral Grove for a walk in one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas fir trees, majestic pillars untouched by the modern world, some of them more than 800 years old. Continue onto Tofino. Tofino was named the best surf town in North America in Outside Magazine's 2010 Editors' Choice awards. It's also a great spot for storm watching and for outdoor adventure activities such as kayaking, whale watching and hiking.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
With a free day, there are many optional activities. Perhaps join a First Nations guide to learn about aboriginal history and way of life, take a kayak out on Clayoquot Sound, relax on the beach or take a stroll and go tide pooling. Alternatively, 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; bear watching trips by boat in 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
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia (approximately 4 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. The afternoon is free for you to explore Victoria. Perhaps rent a kayak at the harbour, indulge in a spot of whale watching, take a tour out to Butchart Gardens, or check out the excellent Royal BC Museum to learn about the natural and human history of the area. In the evening, kick back with the young locals in a bar or restaurant in town.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria BC - Butchart Gardens - CAD34
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
In the afternoon, board the ferry and cruise back to Vancouver (approximately 1.5 hours). The trip finishes upon arrival at your hotel. There are no further activities planned for today. If you decide to fly out this day, it's best not to book a flight for before 8 pm; this will give you enough time to catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

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 (1 night), Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
  • Overnight Canoe Trip
  • Jasper National Park
  • Banff National Park
  • Yoho National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Dates & availability

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Important notes

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

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.