Highlights Vancouver | Clearwater| Wells Gray Provincial Park | Jasper NP | Icefields Parkway | Yoho National Park | Lake Louise | Banff NP | Glacier National Park | Revelstoke | Overnight canoe trip
Description of Canadian Rockies tourThis twelve day Canadian Rockies walking holiday starts in Calgary and ends in Vancouver, with a wealth of heavenly hiking terrain in between. A small group, fully guided tour, travelling during the summer months, this is the most magical time to see the great wildernesses that western Canada has to offer. Spending our time between some of Canada’s greatest national parks and camping along the way, our first stop is in Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest and most famous for its magnificent Rockies mountainscapes and also the turquoise waters of Lake Louise.
Yoho National Park is next and the fact that this aboriginal name translates as ‘awe’ says it all really, where magnificent waterfalls such as Takakkaw Falls plummet down through rugged mountains, where Emerald Lake glistens as its name suggests, and where the white water rafting on Kicking Horse River kicks the proverbial. The rafting is an optional trip but if you are going to treat yourself to one adrenalin filled adventure, this is ‘yoho-some’.
Hiking among some of the hundred or so glaciers of Glacier National Park makes for another gorgeous highlight on this trip, with some superb wildlife watching to be done here too. Jasper National Park is the mother of them all, however, the largest national park in the Rockies accessible via the Icefields Parkway which cuts through heart of Alberta’s Rockies , a journey that really gives you a sense of its greatness.
Our final leg on this walking holiday is in the lesser known but totally underrated Wells Gray Provincial Park, where we not only hike to the great Helmcken Falls but also take a night time canoe trip to totally immerse in this wilderness at its most tranquil and atmospheric. As with all the other great wildernesses on this holiday, we will be keeping an eye out for Canada’s stunning flora and fauna including moose, big-horn sheep and bears. Each day is certainly an adventure on this holiday.
Our top tip: Camping and wilderness call for a good headlamp. Source a solar powered one if you can. Trip type: Small group. Max. 13 people, min. age 18 (16 with legal guardian) Activity level: Easy/moderate. Accomm: 9 nights camping with equipment (except sleeping bag), 1 hotel night and 1 night rustic camping Included: Tent, equipment, transport, all meals when camping, overnight canoe trip, NP fees, hot springs visit, tour leader. Solos: Solo travellers welcome. Surcharge for own tent.
Your adventure begins in Calgary, a cosmopolitan Alberta city with skyscrapers and a booming oil industry. Calgary is famous for its historic 'Wild West' roots, but in recent years has become a dynamic city with a thriving economy. Its Western culture has earned it the nickname 'Cowtown' - evident in the Calgary Stampede. Wander around the bustling streets as you introduce yourself to this lively city. Meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions in the hotel lobby for a welcome meeting at 18:00 hrs.|
|Day 2-3:||Banff National Park
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park was established in 1885 and is Canada's oldest park. Its mountainous terrain encompasses coniferous forests, alpine meadows, icefields and glaciers. Take a ride up the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain or view all this scenic grandeur from a helicopter. Outstanding hikes are available and with an abundance of wildlife around, there's always a chance of seeing something - keep your camera at the ready! There are plenty of trails around Banff which are ideal for horseback riding, a fantastic way to explore the park from a new perspective. At the end of the day there's nothing better than an included soak in the Sulphur Mountain hot springs. You spend the next three nights at the same campsite.|
|Day 4:||Lake Louise
With its snow-capped peaks, ancient pine forests and aquamarine waters, Lake Louise is 'the gem of the Canadian Rockies'. A popular tourist destination, it's no surprise that it is one of the most photographed places in the Canadian Rockies! The vibrant glacial hue of Lake Louise will take your breath away - it almost doesn't look real. The area around the lake is revered by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts the world over and you'll discover a huge range of paths that will, quite literally, take you to new heights. Legendary trails, such as the Plain of Six Glaciers, are just as exciting as they sound and the chance to explore within the realm of Mount Lefroy and Mount Victoria is not to be missed.|
|Day 5-6:||Yoho National Park
'Yoho' is a native word that translates to 'awe', and this incredible national park won’t disappoint, with hiking opportunities through pristine alpine mountains, lakes and waterfalls. You'll certainly be left in awe with your first visit to the incredible Takakkaw Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada, where the water tumbles 1,000 ft. below. See the falls up close before driving down to Emerald Lake, nestled in the mountains and surrounded by lush green forest. The following day, you have the option to experience the raging Kicking Horse River with a half day white-water rafting excursion. This is Canada at its very best! You spend the next three nights under canvas at your campsite in Golden.|
|Day 7:||Glacier National Park of Canada
The pristine beauty of Glacier National Park is recognised along the many trails which meander through the park, and Glacier really is perfect for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. With a spider's web of trails criss-crossing more than 500 square miles of natural borders, you'll find a whole host of British Columbian backdrops with well over 100 glaciers dotted throughout the mountain peaks. Rivers, caves and plenty of wildlife make Glacier a sublime spot to visit.|
|Day 8-9:||Icefields Parkway
You travel on the Icefields Parkway, a scenic road which cuts through the heart of the Rockies. One of the world's most spectacular drives. Experience some of its beauty by walking along the brink of Sunwapta or Athabasca Falls. Explore the Toe of Athabasca Glacier on an optional hike and stand in awe high above the crystal-clear waters of Peyto Lake. The trail crosses the forefield of the glacier, the barren area exposed by glacial melt since the mid-1840s and a strange landscape of bare rock, boulders and moraines. Although conditions are extreme, some hardy alpine plants have gained a foothold and only adds to the wild beauty of the landscape. You end your day by continuing to Jasper National Park.Jasper National Park is the largest national park in Canada covering an area of 4,200 square miles. It's much less developed than other areas of Western Canada and offers a true wilderness feel. There are several options on offer in Jasper, so it is easy to fill a day here with amazing hikes to places such as Maligne Canyon, Mount Baldy, Angle Glacier, Mount Edith and Five Lakes - all of them defining the utter serenity of Jasper National Park. If you prefer to relax, take the cable car to Whistler Mountain for a bird's eye view of this splendid park. Whatever you choose, keep an eye out for the wildlife that calls the park home; Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats, White-Tailed Deer, moose, the rare Woodland Caribou, Grey Wolves, beaver, marmots, puma and Black and Grizzly Bears.|
|Day 10:||Wells Gray Provincial Park
Today you venture out into the wilderness of Wells Gray Provincial Park for a unique overnight canoeing trip (no experience necessary). This is a wonderful chance to escape the confines of modern civilisation and delve deeper into the Canadian wilderness where wildlife and nature live in perfect harmony. Fall asleep with nothing but good company and a blanket full of stars. This unique experience is bound to impress.|
|Day 11:||Wells Gray Provincial Park
Don't let the fact that Wells Gray is not a national park fool you, this place is stunning! Visit the famous Helmcken Falls, Canada's fourth highest waterfall, where you can witness the water cascading down from a height of over 450ft. It will come as no surprise to learn that this natural attraction on the Murtle River was one of the reasons that Wells Gray was originally created. You have the chance to walk the rim, stopping at various viewpoints to admire the lush valley below, home to beautiful meadows full of wild flowers and roaming bears.|
|Day 12:||Wells Gray Provincial Park
On the edge of the Canadian wilderness lies the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, where your tour ends upon arrival. With a population of over 2.3 million and surrounded by water, this is one of the most attractive cities in the world.Should you wish to extend your tour (recommended) you can make your own discoveries and further enjoy the delights of Stanley Park by hiring a bicycle. Other options include strolling around the shops in the popular Gastown area, visiting the excellent Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia to learn more about Native American culture or sampling the excellent dining options which this vibrant city offers.This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.|
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Responsible Travel