Your 15-day Rockies Outdoor Adventure holiday gets underway with your flight from the UK to Vancouver. Spend the next two days exploring the town of Whistler, home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Whistler Blackcomb, and Olympic Park. Wells Gray Provincial Park is on the agenda for Days 4, 5 and 6; camp, swim, hike, and toast marshmallows on an open fire.
On Days 7 and 8, transfer to Jasper National Park to see the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies and marvel at the fascinating wildlife. Banff National Park on Day 9 will be one of the most picturesque parts of your journey; admire the beautiful waterfalls and spectacular ice fields. Check out Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on Days 10-11 for scenic hiking opportunities.
Experience the beauty of Yoho National Park & Golden on Days 12 and 13 and take a walk down the Kicking Horse River, visit Takakkaw Falls, and really get to know the stunning area. Day 14 is your final day for exploration, spend time at Glacier National Park & Kamloops to enjoy the world's most active avalanche areas and rugged mountainous scenery.
On Day 15 you will transfer back to Vancouver for your flight back to the UK.
|Day 1||UK - Vancouver|
|Day 4||Wells Gray Provincial Park|
|Day 5||Wells Gray Provincial Park|
|Day 6||Wells Gray Provincial Park|
|Day 7||Jasper National Park|
|Day 8||Jasper National Park|
|Day 9||Banff National Park|
|Day 10-11||Lake Louise & Banff National Park|
|Day 12||Yoho National Park & Golden|
|Day 13||Yoho National Park & Golden|
|Day 14||Glacier National Park & Kamloops|
|Day 15||Vancouver - UK|
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.
Today, leave Vancouver behind and drive along the breathtaking Sea to Sky highway to the outdoor mecca and ski-resort area of Whistler. Whistler is a fantastic place to explore on foot or bike with stunning mountain terrain. There are plenty of activities to take part in during your two days here, such as hiking, mountain biking, ziplining and kayaking. After getting to know the area on your first day here, settle in the campground for the night.
Today is free to explore and take part in optional activities. 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 and ride to one of the nearby lakes. Remember to save some time to explore the lively Whistler Village.
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 rustic cowboy ranch. Enjoy a cold beverage in an authentic Black Horse Saloon. Relax with dinner by the campfire, roast marshmallows and assemble delicious s'mores.
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.
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.
Drive to Jasper National Park today, 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. 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 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.
Enjoy a free day to explore one of the most photographed places in Canada. Jasper National Park is famous for its wildlife (such as elk, moose, deer, bears and mountain lions), Rocky Mountain scenery, turquoise-coloured lakes and glaciers. Perhaps join the group on a visit to Maligne Lake for some hiking or take a cruise on the lakes vibrant blue waters to Spirit Island and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
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.
Over the next two days you'll visit the pristine Lake Louise and Moraine Lake with hiking opportunities at these stunning locations. Banff is Canada's oldest national park, with its valleys and mountain chains being formed 75 million years ago. You'll also have ample free time to explore Banff and take part in optional activities. Take a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain, go for a dip in the 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. Alternatively, pack a picnic lunch and rent a bike to explore the Vermillion lakes.
Today take a drive for around two and a half hours through unspoiled mountainous terrain to Yoho National Park and finally onto the town of Golden. On arrival into the park, take a walk down the Kicking Horse River and visit Takakkaw Falls (the second highest falls in Canada at 384 metres high). If time permits we'll also visit the blue-green coloured Emerald Lake. Yoho National Park and the Kicking Horse River are a less-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.
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.
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 Park, 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.
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. Your Canadian Rockies adventure comes to an end as there are no more activities planned for today. If you decide to fly out this day please don't book a flight before 8 pm, which will give you enough time to catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure.
Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada and well worth some extra time to explore the city’s delights. Should you choose to stay longer in Vancouver we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).