The blog of timeoutdoors' Travel Editor Tom Le Bas, featuring travel industry news, features, interviews and random travel-related musings.

National Parks of the Canadian Rockies Westbound

Watching surfers in Tofino, creating a postcard-perfect photo in Jasper, sipping lattes with the pretty people in Vancouver, feeling humble while gazing up at the mighty Rockies, getting a bird's-eye view of Banff from a gondola, sharing lunch with the goats at Coombs market.
Activity: Walking
Location: Calgary, Canada
Duration: 15 days
Price: From £1249 Meals included Accommodation included
Trip details
The Rockies are a great reason to explore the Canadian West, but why stop there? We asked that question, then answered it with this trip—a sprawling, nature-rich mini-epic that melds some of Canadas best national parks with time off the mist-shrouded shores of Vancouver Island. Loaded with diverse experiences—whale-watching, glacier hikes, hot springs and much, much more—and bookend nights in Calgary and Vancouver, youll stuff a lifetimes worth of adventure into the space of a single week.

What's Included

Entrance fees to all National and Provincial Parks with walking at hiking excursions. Gondola to Sulphur Mountain in Banff, The famous Icefield Parkway, Miette Hot Springs, full day canoe tour in Wells Gray PP, Ferry to and from Vancouver Island, full day zodiac tour including whale watching, bear watching and natural hot springs.
12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 9 Dinners (Allow $100-$125 for meals not included.)
Centrally located hotels (2nts), Participation camping (12nts)
Air conditioned private touring van, hiking, canoeing, ferry
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
Small group experience; Max 13, Avg 10

Day 1 Calgary
Welcome meeting in the evening.
Day 2 Calgary/Banff NP (L)
Drive to Banff National Park. Full day to discover the town and surrounding area with some wildlife viewing. Enjoy an afternoon gondola ride to Sulphur Mountain and soak in the view from the top. Free evening to explore the town.
Day 3 Banff NP (B, L, D)
Spend the morning in Banff then continue to Lake Louise, the ‘Hiking Capital of Canada.’ Hike to Agnes Lake Tea House. Continue hiking the six Glacier Trail. Return to Banff in the evening.
Day 4 Banff NP/Yoho NP (B, L, D)
Head to Yoho National Park and Takakkaw Falls. Optional activities in the afternoon: Raft one of Canada’s most famous rivers; visit Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, a top grizzly bear environments; or visit Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Center. Return to camp in the evening.
Day 5 Yoho NP/Jasper NP (B, L, D)
Travel the Icefield Parkway to Jasper. Visit Peyto Lake, stop at Columbia Icefield. Option for Ice Age adventure: Take the snow coach up the Icefield or take a flight over the area. Continue to Jasper and set up camp.
Day 6 Jasper NP (B, L, D)
Visit Maligne Canyon, one of Jasper's most spectacular landmarks. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the canyon. Hike Bald Hills in the afternoon, then relax in the evening at Miette Hot Springs.
Day 7 Jasper/Wells Gray (B, L. D)
Stop at Mount Robson Provincial Park. Continue to Wells Gray Provincial Park. Hike Trophy Mountain in the afternoon. End the day with BBQ at the Wells Gray Guest Ranch, our accommodation for the next two nights.
Day 8 Wells Gray (B, L, D)
Full-day canoeing in the Canadian wilderness. Enjoy a nice dinner around the campfire.
Day 9 Wells Gray/Whistler (B, L, D)
Relax at Green Lake. Swim the lake while a great picnic is prepared for you. In the afternoon, continue the drive to Whistler for two nights.
Day 10 Whistler (B, L)
Morning hike up the beautiful trails in the Whistler area. Explore fascinating Whistler on your own in the afternoon.
Day 11 Whistler/Tofino (B, D)
Drive to Vancouver in the morning. Take a ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island before lunch at Old Country Market in Coombs. Short drive to MacMillan Provincial Park, stroll the trails beneath ancient Douglas firs. Continue to drive to Tofino in the afternoon.
Day 12 Tofino (B, L, D)
Full-day Zodiac tour, then Hot Springs Cove, a natural hot spring located in Maquinna Provincial Park. Return to camp in the evening.
Day 13 Tofino/Victoria (B, L)
Head to the center of Duncan to observe First Nations art and culture. Continue to Victoria. Take a stroll around the city or relax and enjoy the evening on your own.
Day 14 Victoria/Vancouver (B)
Morning ferry back to Vancouver. Enjoy a city tour, then discover Vancouver on your own. Last group dinner.
Day 15 Vancouver
End of tour. Depart at any time.

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