Calgary - Vancouver Active TourCamping tour in western Canada for small groups with day hikes in the National Parks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, at Mount Robson, Wells Gray and Garibaldi Park near Whistler.
Tour G, 15 daysA two week hiking and camping tour from Calgary to Vancouver through the Rocky Mountain National Parks with the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper to Mount Robson. Then British Columbia with Wells Gray and Garibaldi Parks and the varied landscapes with tiny Native villages, modern world class cities and an abundance of land- and marine wildlife. You experience all this not just from the window of a car, but by camping and hiking your guide’s favourite trails.
What's Included:All transfers, 2 nights hotel accommodation, other nights in spacious tents (2 pers./ tent), welcome gift, all camping meals, cooking- and eating utensils, camping gear (except sleeping bag), hard-foam mattress, admission to the National Parks, camping fees, licensed guide who leads the group on the day hikes
Not included:Personal equipment, sleeping bag and Thermarest mattress, alcoholic beverages, dinner/breakfast in the hotels.
ExtrasMountain bike rental: $50.00 - 60.00/day
Whitewater rafting: $135.00/5 hrs.
1 hour jet boat safari: $95.00.
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.
Tour DetailsDay 1: CALGARY, Alberta, Canada
Transfer 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
You board the bus for a drive 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. Now it is time for the first hike along the shores of Minnewanka Lake or on one of the many mountain trails surrounding Banff. Hiking time 2 – 3 hours.
Day 3: BANFF NATIONAL PARK
On a full day hike you explore passes above the tree line and alpine meadows. For example 7.5 km with 725 m gain (4.6 mi, 2414 ft) to a small lake and possibly 2 km further into the pass at 2470 m (8225 ft). After the hike you might want to relax in the warm sulphur pool or along the busy streets of Banff with its many stores and visitors from around the world. Hiking time 5 – 7 hours.
Day 4: YOHO NATIONAL PARK / 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) near the alpine village of Lake Louise. Hiking time 3 – 5 hours.
Day 5: YOHO NATIONAL PARK / LAKE LOUISE
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. Of course hiking is always an alternative. Among the choice of trails the guide would like to show you is an 18 km (11 mi) circuit trough two flower decorated passes at 1830 m and 2180 m (6093 ft and 7250 ft) and spectacular views of Emerald Lake. The Natural Bridge, Takakkaw Falls, Spiral Tunnel are other attractions of Yoho Park. Hiking time 6 hours.
Day 6: 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. Saskatchewan Glacier is best viewed from far above after hiking 2.5 km to a windy ridge at 2260 m (7525 ft). Camp for the next two days is near the little holiday town of Jasper (showers). Hiking time 2 hours.
Day 7: 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
Mighty Athabasca Falls count among the attractions of this park. Trails near the Columbia Icefields start at tree line and are especially rewarding thanks to their magnificent views of the glaciers and surrounding ranges. One of your guide’s favourite hikes is the 8 km (5 mi) hike with 335 m (1155 ft) gain into a pass above tree line at 2375 m (7980 ft). Now back to Jasper and if time allows the guide suggests another hike or a photo safari in the evening light. Hiking time 2 – 3 hours.
Day 9: WELLS GRAY PARK
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. On the way you have the opportunity to go on an optional 1-hour jeep safari or a jet boat safari to see black bears, grizzlies and other wildlife from close up at the river’s edge. 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 GRAY PARK
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. If you don’t feel like pitching you tent today you can chose to sleep in a tipi, or a hut or even in a covered wagon (optional $45.00 to $85.00).
Day 12: WHISTLER
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 to Whistler, the renowned ski resort at the edge of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Some runs are still open in summer, but the alpine town stays vibrant all year round. On the menu is an easy hike under ancient trees to a lake surrounded by mountain giants. Hiking time 1 to 2 hours.
Day 13: WHISTLER
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: 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 with Canada Place, Chinatown, Gastown, a walk on busy Robson Street and then hotel for tonight.
Day 15: Transfer to the Vancouver airport.
Day 1: Acclaim Hotel Calgary Airport
day 14: Four Points Sheraton Vancouver Airport