The Classic Calgary to Vancouver Road TripCamping-and adventure tour in western Canada for small groups of active people, with hiking in the National Parks of the Canadian Rockies, at Mount Robson, Wells Gray and Garibaldi Park near Whistler, British Columbia.
Active outdoor adventure in the spectacular nature of Western Canada, 15 daysA two week hiking and camping road trip from Calgary in Alberta to Vancouver, BC, for small groups of active adventurers. You travel through the Rocky Mountain National Parks on the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. Then in British Columbia you hike the trails in Mount Robson, Wells Gray and Garibaldi Parks, setting up camps in the different landscapes of western Canada from snow capped mountains to the giant trees of the west coast rain forests.
What's Included:2 nights hotel accommodation with breakfasts, other nights in spacious tents (2 pers./ tent), welcome gift, cooking- and eating utensils, camping gear (except sleeping bag), hard-foam mattress, admission to the National Parks, camping fees, admission to Miette Hot Springs in Jasper, licensed guide who leads the group on the day hikes
Not included:Personal equipment, meals (calculate $200.00f for the food kitty), sleeping bag and Thermarest mattress.
ExtrasMountain bike rental about: $50.00 - 60.00/day
Whitewater rafting about: $185.00/5 hrs.
Demands:Moderate hikes with light day pack, always accompanied by the guide. Campgrounds are accessible by the bus, you never have to carry your luggage very far.
Tours are guaranteed to go
Tour DetailsDay 1: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Transfer with the hotel-owned bus from the Calgary airport to your hotel. You meet your guide and fellow travelers in your small group for pre trip information in the hotel.
Day 2: Banff National Park, first hike in the Rockies
You board the bus for a drive from Calgary through foothills and ranch country into the eastern range of the Rocky Mountains. On the campground (showers) in the forests of Banff National Park you pitch your tent for the next two days. After lunch it is time for the first hike, a round trip of 8 km (5 mi) starting in the forest of spruce, pine and Douglas fir, climbing 550 m (1800 ft) to the site of an abandoned cabin, a lookout over the wide Bow River valley with towering mountain ranges behind. Dinner by the fire on the campground. Hiking time 3 – 4 hours.
Day 3: Banff National Park, day hike
On a full day hike you explore passes above the tree line and alpine meadows. For example a 6 km gentle climb through a wide-open valley, a riot of wildflowers in the early season, culminating in a steep ascent into a pass at 2330 m (7644 ft) with nothing blocking the view of the surrounding landscape. All the way to the pass it is a round trip of 18.4 km (11.4 mi) with 655 m (2150 ft) gain. After the hike you might want to relax in the warm sulphur pool of the Banff Hot Springs or browse along the busy streets of Banff with its many stores and visitors from around the world. Hiking time 5 – 6 hours.
Day 4: Yoho National Park hike in the high alpine of Lake Louise
You would not want to miss the picture postcard scenery surrounding Lake Louise. The guide suggests the 3.5 km (2 mi) path with 400 m gain (1325 ft) to the historic tea house by an alpine lake. Here a network of easy to demanding trails is tempting you to go further and higher. For example the 15 km (9.3 mi) circuit into the Plain of Six Glaciers or a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) climb with 515 m (1705 ft) gain to a summit with exceptional views of nearby peaks and distant landscapes. Camp for today and tomorrow (showers) is in Yoho National Park on the western side of the Rockies. Emerald Lake, the Natural Bridge, Takakkaw Falls, Spiral Tunnel are among the attractions of Yoho Park. Hiking time 3 – 5 hours.
Day 5: Yoho National Park, day hike or whitewater rafting
There is an opportunity for a great white water rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River. It involves a side trip to Golden in B.C., headquarters for many outdoor adventures. Alternative is a day of exploring the Iceline Trail, a network of loops and trails around lakes and past glaciers high above the tree line, up to 22 km (13.6 mi) with 585 m (1920 ft) gain. Hiking time 6 hours.
Day 6: the Icefields Parkway into Jasper National Park
Frequent stops and short excursions along the Icefields Parkway on your way into the heart of the Rockies. Famous names like Peyto Lake and Bow Summit. At the Columbia Icefields huge glaciers spawn rivers, which eventually reach three different oceans. Trails here start at tree line and are especially rewarding thanks to their magnificent views. One of your guide’s favourite hikes is the 8 km (5 mi) hike with 335 m (1155 ft) gain into a pass at 2375 m (7980 ft). Mighty Athabasca Falls count among the attractions of this park. Camp for the next two days is near the little holiday town of Jasper (showers). Hiking time 2 hours.
Day 7: activities in Jasper National Park
So many possibilities, swimming and a picnic at Pyramid Lake, mountain biking, trail rides, canoeing and more. Or take advantage of the trail system near Maligne Lake, for example a 8 km (5 mile) loop hike with 460 m gain (1532 ft) into the hills above tree line at 2150 m (7160 ft) elevation and possibly all the way to a 2790 m (9290 ft) peak overlooking this picturesque lake. Hiking time 2 – 6 hours.
Day 8: Jasper National Park, ridge hike near Miette Hot Springs
Todays highlight is the peak experience of Sulphur Skyline in the eastern ranges of the Rocky Mountains. A side trip into a remote valley ends at the parking lot of warm outdoor pool of a natural hot spring. From here you climb 4 km (2.5 mi) with 700 m (2296 ft) gain to the 2070 m (6791 ft) summit and then along the ridge with panorama views. The reward, on the way back, is the warm, relaxing water of the Miette Hot Springs (included). Hiking time 3 - 4 hrs.
Day 9: Wells Gray Park, British Columbia
At Mount Robson, highest peak of the Canadian Rockies with 3954 m (12964 ft), You hike the 4.5 km (2.8 mi) trail under huge cedars and hemlock trees to Kinney Lake. Leaving the western ranges Rockies behind you cross the Columbia Ranges and reach Wells Gray Provincial Park in the Cariboo Mountains. A beautiful lakeside campground (showers) for tonight and tomorrow where you can rent a boat and fishing gear and try to catch your dinner.
Day 10: Wells Gary Park attractions
Relax by the lake or join the guide on a side trip into Wells Gray Park, famous for its spectacular water falls. Today’s easy hike actually takes you behind one of the falls. You also can go on a trail ride western style or rent a canoe on Clearwater Lake. Hiking time 2 hours.
Day 11: Cache Creek
Following the North Thompson River you are soon in the warm and dry interior plateau of British Columbia with Kamloops the only larger town. Time to browse and to shop for supplies and groceries. Your campground (showers) is by the historic Hat Creek Ranch, once an important “road house”, a place to rest and stock up supplies during the gold rush of 150 years ago.
Day 12: Whistler / Squamish, the Coast Mountains
The Gold Rush Trail cuts through the land of the Salish First Nations. It came into existence during the 1850 Frazer River gold rush and linked the coast with the northern interior before the automobile. You visit the small historic town of Lillooet which celebrates those wild gold rush years. Now you make your way down the western slopes of the steep and rugged Coast Mountains of western Canada to Whistler, the renowned ski resort at the edge of Garibaldi Provincial Park. On the menu is a visit of the lively town with its attractions and an easy hike under ancient trees to a lake surrounded by mountain giants. Home for the next two nights is a park with four clear lakes for swimming and several inviting hiking trails. Not far is the much quieter little town on Squamish, which reminds of a simpler time when Whistler was an undiscovered place for hippies and dreamers. Hiking time 1 to 2 hours.
Day 13: Whistler / Squamish, hiking in Garibaldi Park
Mount Garibaldi with 2678 m (8786 ft) is the highest peak of the park which contains a multitude of plant and animal species and 90 km (56 mi) of hiking trails from easy walks to extreme trekking. Black Tusk, in the heart of the park, offers amazing natural spectacles like Panorama Ridge, Helm Glacier, or the Sphinx. A day hike takes you to the shore of a Lake with trails for further exploring. Hiking time 4 – 6 hours.
Day 14: the Sea to Sky Highway to Vancouver
South along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway with towering rock faces that plunge to the sea and rivers cascading in bubbly plumes off sheer cliffs. The intense blue colours of Howe Sound clash with brilliant white glacier ice and jagged black peaks against an azure sky. It winds through mountain communities that started as logging, mining, ranching and farming outposts and ends just north of Vancouver. Short city tour of downtown Vancouver with Canada Place, Chinatown, Gastown, a walk on busy Robson Street. Your road trip ends with the downtown hotel for tonight.
Day 15: Transfer to the airport on own, return flight back home or connecting program.
Day 1: Acclaim Hotel Calgary Airport
day 14: Hotel in downtown Vancouver