Visit some of the most extraordinary sights in nature on this tour of the Rockies.

The grandeur of the Rockies and the geological wonders of Yellowstone and the Craters of the Moon combine in a tour of dramatic and endlessly fascinating scenery. Vancouver and Seattle, two cosmopolitan cities, mark the start and end of this tour.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Vancouver, Canada
Finish
Seattle, United States
Countries
Canada, United States
Style
Original
Theme
Astronomy
Code
EXCR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 14
Group size
Min 10, Max 50

Why we love this trip

  • Total Solar Eclipse

  • Vancouver

  • The Majestic Rocky Mountains

  • The Geysers of Yellowstone

  • Mount St Helens

Is this trip right for you?

  • Road tripping is the ultimate way to see the USA and on this trip there will be some long drive days. So on this trip you'll be spending a fair amount of time in a van with other travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This is all part of the adventure, however, and you might even make some lifetime friends.

  • Traffic in and out of the larger cities can be hectic, especially during holiday periods. There may be delays, so be prepared to take part in car games to keep you entertained. Many of the cities on this trip are best explored on foot. To get the most out of these, plus also the hikes within the national parks, it is best if you have a reasonable level of physical fitness and are able to walk moderate-to-long distances.

  • This trip only allows for limited time at some destinations, so you may have to move quickly, and may not be able to see everything on your to-do list

Itinerary

Welcome to Vancouver, Canada! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Your guide will welcome you to Vancouver and brief you on the next few days ahead. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We’ll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you’re going to be late, please inform hotel reception.
For those of you on the group flight, you will be met by our local representative at arrivals. They will be holding a sign with Intrepid on it. If for any reason you have any difficulty locating the driver/group please contact our local office on the number in the notes section below.
If you arrive early into Vancouver, visit its historic Gastown, Chinatown or the popular Stanley Park. The city’s coastal setting is beautiful, bordering an ocean pprox to the north and a river to the south. The majestic Rockies, often snow capped, provide the eastern horizon.
Accommodation
  • Best Western Plus Chateau Granville Hotel & Suites (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
We enjoy a short orientation tour of the city that takes us to the thriving Chinatown as well as Stanley Park. Vancouver is one of the most attractive cities in the world, surrounded by water on many sides. Native American culture is very much alive here as evident by totem poles in the famous Stanley Park.
Return to your hotel and enjoy some free time.
Accommodation
  • BW Chateau Granville (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we drive to Kelowna (pprox.. 4.5hours). Situated on idyllic Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is in the heart of British Columbia’s wine region. Its name is derived from a native term for ‘grizzly bear’.
We arrive late afternoon to enjoy the natural scenery along the lake or from a town café.
Accommodation
  • Best Western Plus Kelwona Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we drive to Jasper National Park (note today is a long drive day pprox.. 7.5 hours). As you’ll arrive in the late afternoon, there are opportunities to go for a walk to stretch your legs and spot the area’s wildlife such as moose, elk, deer, bears and coyotes before heading out for dinner.
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in Canada, covering an area of 18,878 square kilometers (4200 square miles). It is much less developed than other areas of western Canada and offers a true wilderness feel. We can start by taking the cable car to Whistler Mountain for a bird’s eye view of this splendid park. Also various hiking options.
Accommodation
  • Maligne Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day to explore Jasper. Options available include moderate walks, a cruise on Maligne Lake, soak in Miette Hot Springs in the afternoon or take the Jasper SkyTram that elevates 2,300 metres to a great vantage point in the Rocky Mountains.
Accommodation
  • Maligne Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We travel on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), a scenic road that cuts through the heart of the Rockies and offers surely one of the world's most spectacular drives. It links Banff National Park with Jasper National Park.
Enroute we'll stop at Lake Louise, originally name Emerald Lake. With its crystal blue waters it is no surprise that it is the most photographed destination in the Canadian Rockies!
We end our day at Banff National Park for a two night stay.
Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park. From Banff’s humble beginnings as a 26 square kilometer hot springs reserve, Banff National Park now consists of 6,641 square kilometres of unparalleled mountain scenery nestled in the heart of the magnificent Canadian Rockies.
Each year, millions of visitors come to Banff to marvel at the emerald waters of Lake Louise, walk amongst the flower-filled heavens at Sunshine Meadows, and drive beneath the towering jagged peaks lining the Icefields Parkway.
Accommodation
  • High Country Inn (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With its snow-capped peaks and ancient pine forests, Banff provides a spectacular setting for a day of leisure.
Please note that today is unguided, but there are plenty of activities on offer – such as hikes, light walks, hotsprings and a gondola that will whisk you to stunning views! Your tour leader can help to facilitate any of these for you.
Accommodation
  • High Country Inn (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a long drive day but scenic so relax and enjoy the beautiful views (approx. 5.5 hours). We travel into the USA and arrive at the small town of Whitefish, Montana. Glacier National Park - the 'Crown of the Continent Ecosystem'.
Late afternoon and evening is free to explore the charming town of Whitefish.
Accommodation
  • Best Western Rocky Mountain (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This national park crosses two mountain ranges and one international border. It is spread over one million acres, contains 130 lakes and is home to abundant wildlife including the world renowned grizzly bear. With surrounding towering glacial peaks, this park is sure to leave most visitors speechless!
After breakfast we will be transferred from the hotel to Apgar Visitor Center, where you can independently explore the interpretive center, enjoy light walks from the VC, and board the free GTSR shuttle or join the optional paid tour. In the late afternoon, we are transferred back to the hotel. The evening is free.
Please note: As the National Park Service restricts the number and size of vehicles, our motor coach is not permitted– so we will have the opportunity to use the free NPS shuttle service or purchase a seat on the NPS supplier tour bus. Those using the free shuttle may have to stagger times, depending on available seating--free shuttles depart every 15-30 minutes. Seats on the 3.5 hour tour are $42 per person (subject to confirmation of 2017 rates) and based on availability. You tour leader will advise you in advance on the various options and can help to facilitate any bookings.
Accommodation
  • Best Western Rocky Mountain (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Our next destination, Yellowstone National Park, is the world's first national park and home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bear, wolf, bison and elk. This park is so large that its boundaries cross into three states. Most of it is in Wyoming, but parts of the reserve extend into Idaho and Montana. Yellowstone has one of the highest concentrations of geothermal activity on the planet. Herds of bison roam amongst the erupting geysers and steam rises from the various rivers running through the park. A fire in the 1980s ravaged much of the park, but it has recovered to the extent that it is now a living testament to nature's power of regeneration. We have a full day to enjoy Yellowstone National Park's majestic wilderness and witness its extraordinary geysers.
Accommodation
  • Gray Wolf Inn (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Full day to explore Yellowstone's geologic features, wildlife, and majestic scenery. Group will transfer from hotel to Yellowstone with stops at Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pot's hydrothermal features, and other sites as time permits. Lunch in the park on own--various options available for picnic or restaurant within park.
Accommodation
  • Gray Wolf Inn (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continuing our journey in Wyoming, we travel past Grand Teton National Park and visit Jackson to enjoy a truly friendly and authentic western town experience. Once home to trappers and a hideout for outlaws and rustlers, Jackson is now the base for hikers to take on some lovely hiking trails as well as a town renowned for its cafes and western style saloons! With a permanent population of around 8,600 people and a far greater transient tourist population, it attracts many of the rich and famous and is a great base for exploring the Teton Mountains.
This evening enjoy a lecture with Dr. John Mason at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Before and after the lecture there will be time to peruse the world class wildlife art exhibits.
Accommodation
  • Lexington Inn (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
ECLIPSE VIEWING DAY! We will depart early (approximately 8am) for our exclusive viewing site at a Jackson area ranch. We will be able to spend the morning and early afternoon at the ranch, including a catered BBQ lunch.
Please note that all guests will be provided with eclipse viewing glasses.

Totality begins approximately 11:35am local time.
Return to Jackson midafternoon for some free time.
Accommodation
  • Lexington Inn (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today is another long drive day (approx. 8 hours). We travel into the state of Idaho and visit the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. This volcanic area is one of the best preserved basalt lava fields in USA. NASA's Apollo astronauts used to do some of their training in this area because of a perceived resemblance to the surface of the moon. After CofM visit, continue on to Twin Falls for the night.
Accommodation
  • Shilo Inn Suites Twin Falls (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We'll have several views of the Snake River on today's drive to eastern Washington state. Snake River is a major waterway that stretches for 1735 kilometres (1078 miles). It is the main tributary of the Columbia River, which is in turn the largest river in North America that flows into the Pacific Ocean. In the mid 19th century, pioneers headed out west in droves, following a route that became known as the Oregon Trail. Much of this trail followed the course of Snake River, which became a trail in its own rights as steamboats were used to transport goods along the river. Continue to Yakima, heart of Washington's agriculture, including award winning wines.
Accommodation
  • Days Inn Yakima (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We continue on to the stunning snow-covered peak of Mount Rainier, still in the State of Washington. At 4392 metres (14,411 ft) this iconic volcano looms large in the Pacific Northwest. Draped in snow, Mount Rainer has the greatest single peak glacial system in the United States, covering over 57 square kilometres (36 square miles) of the mountain with sheer ice! We'll have a brief stop at Mount Rainer NP to stretch our legs and capture photos.
Accommodation
  • Seasons Motel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to Seattle with an introductory tour of city. Free afternoon to explore sites of Seattle on own, including optional visit Space Needle, Pike's Peak Market, or a scenic cruise on Seattle Harbor.
Accommodation
  • Quality Inn Seattle Center (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Departure day today, so no activities are planned. There is free time for sightseeing (unguided) before transferred to the airport for 1600.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Private Coach

Accommodation

Hotels

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Total eclipses are rare events that occur along a narrow track at a precisely calculated time. People who follow eclipses want to be at the location with the best chance of clear skies so we operate a range of tours that converge of the selected eclipse site for the days around the eclipse.

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.