12 Day Best of Canada Vancouver Return - Geckos

Check out inland rainforests, a park full of glaciers and the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies, along with wildlife, maple-flavoured biscuits and a few Celine Dion sing-alongs on this incredible adventure through Canada’s beautiful West Coast.

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Highlights: 

  • 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. Your expert local leader can point you in the right direction!
  • If it’s lakes, mountains and glaciers you want, it’s lakes, mountains and glaciers you’ll get! The Canadian Rockies feature an array of striking landscapes that you won't see anywhere else in the world
  • Canadians are an incredibly friendly and welcoming people. Learn more about the area by connecting with the locals

Inclusions: 

  • All transportation private vehicle 
  • 11 nights accommodation 
  • Camping 10 nights, hotel 1 night 
  • Mt. Revelstoke National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Banff National Park
  • Visit to Lake Louise
  • Jasper National Park
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park

Day 1: Vancouver 

Welcome to Canada, home of ice-hockey, Drake and maple-flavoured everything. Perhaps pick up a donut from Tim Hortons, then head to the hotel for an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Look for a sign in the lobby. We’ll be collecting your insurance details and next of info, so make sure you’ve got all these details on hand to give to your leader. 

 

Day 2: Kelowna 

We’ve got a long drive ahead of us today (approximately seven hours) but it’s a scenic one. We’ll head through some pretty incredible landscapes so make sure your camera’s charged. Situated on Okanagan Lake and surrounded by parks, forests and wineries, Kelowna is equal parts relaxed country and bustling urban.

 

Day 3: Golden 

Visit Mt Revelstoke National Park, which contains one of the world’s only inland temperate rainforests. The park is home to a small herd of woodland caribou, grizzly bears and moose, along with a population of banana slugs. Then travel over Rogers Pass to Glacier National Park. Stop at the visitor centre and panoramic lookouts along the way for incredible views of the park’s many glaciers, valleys and lakes. Continue on to Golden, where we’ll spend the night. Today’s drive covers about 360 kilometres, and takes 5.5 hours.

 

Day 4: Banff National Park 

Drive through the stunning mountainous terrain of Yoho National Park, where we have the option to river raft on some of the best white water in Canada. The combination of wild water, amazing scenery and abundant wildlife makes rafting the Kicking Horse River an unforgettable, adrenalin-packed adventure. Your guide will point you in the direction of some great hiking trails if you’d prefer to stay on dry land; there’s also the option of kicking back on the river bank and watching the world float by. Afterwards, stop at Takkakaw Falls, then continue on to Banff. Established in 1885, it’s the oldest national park in the country, and contains over 1,600 kilometres of hiking trails. The drive today covers 130 kilometres; spend the night near Banff.

 

Day 5: Banff National Park 

Today's your chance to to explore Banff in your own time. Maybe go shopping on Banff Avenue or Bear Street, unwind in Banff Hot Springs’ steamy waters or feel the rush on a dog-sledding expedition. There’s tonnes of stuff to do so if it all feels overwhelming, just ask your local leader for some handy pointers.Your guide can also show you where some great walking trails are, along with scenic viewpoints and the best places to spot wildlife.

 

Day 6: Banff National Park 

Sitting between two blue mountains is lovely Lake Louise, a pristine patch of water that you can literally skate across once it freezes over in winter. If you're crazy for the outdoors, this place will be the love of your life. Spend today exploring the lake and the surrounding area.

 

Day 7: Jasper National Park 

Ready for some spectacular scenery? Today’s drive (just under 300 kilometres) takes us on the famous Icefields Parkway past the Rocky Mountains, and the views are breathtaking. We’ll stop at a few lookouts, lakes and waterfalls along the way, so there will be plenty of photo opportunities. Stop at Athabasca Glacier for a chilly stroll before continuing on to Jasper National Park.

 

Day 8: Jasper National Park 

The largest national park in the Canadian Rockies is famous for its wildlife, such as elk, moose, deer, bears and mountain lions. We’ll have plenty of time to explore on a free day – perhaps take an optional gondola ride to Whistler Mountain, go mountain biking in the Valley of Five Lakes, or enjoy the park’s many hiking trails.

 

Day 9: Wells Gray Provincial Park 

Travel to Mt Robson Provincial Park (around two hours, depending on how many stops we make, covering 125 kilometres). At 3,954 metres, Mt Robson is the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Continue through the beautiful Cariboo Mountains to Wells Gray Provincial Park (around four hours). In the afternoon, there’s time for a hike or optional canoe ride in the park.

 

Day 10: Whistler 

We’ve got a long day of driving ahead of us today, as we take the 400 kilometre drive to Whistler (around nine hours). Named after the unusual call of the equally unusual hoary marmot, which live in the area, Whistler is a mecca for lovers of all things outdoors.

 

Day 11: Whistler 

Enjoy a free day checking out the best Whistler has to offer. Your leader can help you find hiking trail or cosy cafe to chill out in.

 

Day 12: Vancouver 

Famous for its scenic coast-meets-mountains setting, Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada. After a short drive (around two hours), arrive in the city, which is bordered by a harbour, a wide river, and snow-capped mountain peaks. Your leader will take you on an orientation tour when we arrive into town, before your trip comes to an end.

Start: Vancouver, Canada

Finish: Vancouver, Canada

 

  • This trip covers a lot of ground, as Canada is a huge country. 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 is 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.

  • As this trip involves participatory camping, you'll be expected to help with shopping, cooking and cleaning, as well as setting up and packing down your tent. All of this adds to the authenticity and adventure of the trip.

  • While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, for your 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.

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