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Canadian Rockies & Vancouver Island

Vancouver, Canada

Canadian Rockies & Vancouver Island

Hiking
·
Start: Vancouver
·
End: Vancouver

Embrace the great outdoors on this Canadian Rockies adventure

Activity
Hiking
LocationVancouver, Canada
Duration20 days
Start / EndVancouver / Vancouver
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Vancouver, Canada

Canadian Rockies & Vancouver Island

Hiking·
20 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Vancouver
·
End: Vancouver

Description

Western Canada offers stunning landscapes of towering peaks, serene turquoise lakes, thick forests, gushing rivers and rugged surf coast. Walk the streets of Vancouver, hike the trails of Jasper and Banff, bask in the seaside paradise of Tofino and soak up the superb alpine scenery. Spot native moose and bears, and maybe whales, and unleash your inner daredevil with a bevy of adventure activiti...

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Itinerary

Day 1Vancouver
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.
Day 2Whistler
Today, leave Vancouver behind and drive for around three and a half hours to the ski-resort area of Whistler. Once there, Whistler is a fantastic place to explore on foot with stunning mountain terrain. There are plenty of activities to take part in during your two days here, such as hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. After getting to know the area on your first day here, settle down in the campgrounds for the night.
Day 3Whistler
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, ride around area and head to one of the nearby lakes.
Day 4Wells Gray Provincial Park
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.
Day 5Wells Gray Provincial Park
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.
Day 6Wells Gray Provincial Park
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.
Day 7Jasper National Park
Drive to Jasper National Park today, which should take around five and a half hours in total. 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 in the afternoon, 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.
Day 8Jasper National Park
Today is free to do as you wish. This area provides you with the option of hiking up Whistlers Mountain, biking in the Valley of Five Lakes or taking a cruise on Maligne Lake. If you're looking to take it a bit easier, head down to relax in the Miette Hot Springs and soak in the views of Fiddle River Valley. This will be your last night in Jasper National Park.
Day 9Banff National Park
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.
Day 10Banff National Park
The next two days are free to explore Banff. Banff is Canada's oldest national park, with its valleys and mountain chains being formed 75 million years ago. Today its a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain for a dip in its 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.
Day 12Yoho National Park/Golden
Today take a drive for around two and a half hours through unspoiled mountainous terrain, to the town of Golden and finally to Yoho National Park. On arrival into the park, take a walk down the Kicking Horse River and maybe visit Takakkaw Falls (the second highest falls in Canada at 384 metres high). 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. 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 a thrilling adventure. There's a range of rafting activities on offer including a full day, half day and a full river challenge. There's also an option to relax by the shore of this beautiful river setting.
Day 13Yoho National Park/Golden
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.
Day 14Glacier National Park/Kamloops
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, 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.
Day 15Vancouver
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. The rest of the day is free. Perhaps head in to the Gastown area for dinner.
Day 16Nanaimo
Ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (approximately 2 hours). Make your own discoveries this afternoon in free time. Perhaps stroll the harbourfront walkway and Old City Quarter, learn what a Nanaimo bar is (it's delicious – and there's even a trail you can take so you can taste multiple variations), take a hike or hire a kayak in Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park or learn about the Island's culture at the Nanaimo Museum.
Day 17Tofino
Drive across the centre of Vancouver Island to Tofino (approximately 2–3 hours, not including stops). Stop at Cathedral Grove for a walk in one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas fir trees, majestic pillars untouched by the modern world, some of them more than 800 years old. Continue onto Tofino. Tofino was named the best surf town in North America in Outside Magazine's 2010 Editors' Choice awards. It's also a great spot for storm watching and for outdoor adventure activities such as kayaking, whale watching and hiking.
Day 18Tofino
With a free day, there are many optional activities. Perhaps join a First Nations guide to learn about aboriginal history and way of life, take a kayak out on Clayoquot Sound, relax on the beach or take a stroll and go tide pooling. Alternatively, sign up for a whale watching tour. Tofino lies along the route of the annual grey whale migration. Each year up to 20,000 grey whales leave the waters of the Baja Peninsula and head north to the nutrient-rich feeding grounds of Alaska and the Bering Sea. This 20,000 kilometre round trip is thought to be the longest migration of any creature in the world. Whale-watching trips can often be combined with wildlife viewing and hot springs tours; bear watching trips by boat in the calm waters of Clayoquot Sound near Tofino is another popular option.
Day 19Victoria
Drive to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia (approximately 4 hours). With its landscaped gardens and preserved historical buildings, it is one of the most British-influenced cities in North America. However, with a recent injection of hip bars, shops, restaurants and young residents, the city is evolving into something more cosmopolitan. The afternoon is free for you to explore Victoria. Perhaps rent a kayak at the harbour, indulge in a spot of whale watching, take a tour out to Butchart Gardens, or check out the excellent Royal BC Museum to learn about the natural and human history of the area. In the evening, kick back with the young locals in a bar or restaurant in town.
Day 20Vancouver
In the afternoon, board the ferry and cruise back to Vancouver (approximately 1.5 hours). The trip finishes upon arrival at your hotel. There are no further activities planned for today. If you decide to fly out this day, it's best not to book a flight for before 8 pm; this will give you enough time to catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure.

More info

Trip title

Canadian Rockies & Vancouver Island

Trip code

SSBCC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Western Canada offers stunning landscapes of towering peaks, serene turquoise lakes, thick forests, gushing rivers and rugged surf coast. Walk the streets of Vancouver, hike the trails of Jasper and Banff, bask in the seaside paradise of Tofino and soak up the superb alpine scenery. Spot native moose and bears, and maybe whales, and unleash your inner daredevil with a bevy of adventure activities ... Read more

Style

Basix

Themes

Explorer

Transport

Ferry,Private vehicle

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

Many of the North American national parks that we visit have hiking opportunities where walks up to 4 hours can be an option for you. There are often easier options too.

Joining point

Accent Inn Vancouver Airport

Finish point

Accent Inn Vancouver Airport

Important information

1. This trip finishes on arrival into Vancouver in the afternoon on day 20. 2. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 7 & 8 (Jasper National Park) and nights 9, 10 & 11 (Banff National Park) where you will be in shared accommodation. This is due to the availability of campsites and campsite space in these locations where Canad... Read more

Group leader

Your Intrepid group leader’s role involves organising the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics and camp responsibilities. They will work to make the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid's North American trips are built around the co-operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. On ... Read more

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more

Communications

WIFI Some campgrounds have WiFi access, as do most of our hotels, although you may occasionally need to pay extra for it. CHARGING BATTERIES North American electrical outlets operate at a lower voltage than much of the rest of the world. This means that your devices may take longer to charge than you are used to, or may say that they are not charging, even though they are. You may also notice tha... Read more

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more

Why we love it

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

Is this trip right for you

This trip covers a lot of ground, as Canada is a huge country. Please 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 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 th... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price.... Read more

Money matters

It can be difficult to exchange money while on the road so we suggest that you bring some cash in US dollars/Canadian dollars, or exchange/withdraw money at the airport when you arrive, or at least before you start the trip. Your individual budget will depend on your personal plans. Think about how much you want to spend on souvenirs, shopping, entertainment, food, drinks, excursions and attracti... Read more

What to take

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS: All luggage is carried in trailers or inside the vehicle so please don't bring more than one medium sized bag, backpack or suitcase (20kg maximum) per person, plus a sleeping bag. Your suitcase/rucksack may get some rough handling, so make sure it's a tough one. A small daypack and camera may also be carried inside the vehicle.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The campsites that we use are selected for either their scenic beauty, their convenient location to places of interest and/or the facilities available. We aim to offer you a selection of different types of campsites. If you've never camped before - no problem! We provide a complete set of camping and cooking equipment. This includes roomy easy-to-pitch tents, which are shared by only two people ... Read more

Transport notes

FLEET Our large fleet of vans are fully equipped with dual air-conditioning system, V8 engines and any camping or cooking equipment needed for your trip. Most have cloth-upholstered seats and carpeted interior with radio/tape or CD players. Your baggage is transported in a trailer which is towed behind the van. The vans are regularly serviced in our own maintenance facility and continuously check... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt),Camping (with facilities) (15 nts),Hostel (1 nt),Hotel (2 nts)
20days
€3,195per person
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May 18
Vancouver
Jun 6
Vancouver
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Vancouver
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Vancouver
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Vancouver
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Vancouver
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Vancouver
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Vancouver
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