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Real Canada

12 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget
Restricted to Ages 18-29

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Vancouver
Welcome to Canada, home of ice hockey, Drake and maple-flavoured everything. Perhaps pick up a donut and 'double-double' from Tim Hortons, then head to the hotel for an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you'll meet your tour guide and fellow travellers. Look for a sign in the lobby or ask reception where this meeting will take place.

Day 2 Kelowna
You've got a long drive ahead today (approximately seven hours) but it’s a scenic one. Head through some pretty incredible landscapes of forests, parks and vineyard-covered hills of the Okanagan Valley. You'll want to make sure your camera's charged for this drive. Arrive in Kelowna in time for dinner. Situated on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is equal parts relaxed country and bustling urban city.

Day 3 Golden
Visit Mt Revelstoke National Park, which contains one of the world’s only inland temperate rainforests. The park is home to a small herd of woodland caribou, grizzly bears and moose, along with a population of banana slugs. Then travel over Rogers Pass to Glacier National Park. Stop at the visitor centre and panoramic lookouts along the way for incredible views of the park’s many glaciers, valleys and lakes. Continue on to Golden, where we’ll spend the night. Today’s drive covers about 360 kilometres (225 miles), and takes about 5.5 hours.

Day 4 Banff National Park
Drive through the stunning mountainous terrain of Yoho National Park, where we have the option to raft on some of the best waters in Canada. The combination of wild water, amazing scenery and abundant wildlife makes rafting the Kicking Horse River an unforgettable, adrenaline-packed adventure. Your guide will point you in the direction of some great hiking trails if you’d prefer to stay on dry land. There’s also the option of kicking back on the river bank and watching the world float by. Afterwards, stop at Takkakaw Falls, then continue on to Banff. Established in 1885, it’s the oldest national park in the country, and contains over 1600 kilometres (995 miles) of hiking trails. The drive today covers 130 kilometres (80 miles); spend the night near Banff.

Day 5 Banff National Park
Today's your chance to to explore Banff in your own time. Maybe go shopping on Banff Avenue or Bear Street, unwind in Banff Hot Springs’ steamy waters or feel the rush on a dog-sledding expedition. There’s tonnes of stuff to do so if it all feels overwhelming, just ask your local leader for some handy pointers.Your guide can also show you where some great walking trails are, along with scenic viewpoints and the best places to spot wildlife.

Day 6 Banff National Park
Nestled between two blue mountains sits lovely Lake Louise, a pristine pool of water that you can literally skate across once it freezes over in winter. If you're crazy for the outdoors, this place will be the love of your life. Spend today exploring the lake and the surrounding area.

Day 7 Jasper National Park
Ready for some spectacular scenery? Today’s drive (just under 300 kilometres/186 miles) takes us on the famous Icefields Parkway past the Rocky Mountains - and the views are breathtaking. We’ll stop at a few lookouts, lakes and waterfalls along the way, so there will be plenty of opportunities to take the perfect photo. Stop at Athabasca Glacier for a chilly stroll before continuing on to Jasper National Park.

Day 8 Jasper National Park
Enjoy a free day to explore one of the most photographed places in Canada. Jasper National Park is famous for its wildlife (such as elk, moose, deer, bears and mountain lions), Rocky Mountain scenery, turquoise-coloured lakes and glaciers. There are plenty of ways to get active amidst this spectacular scenery – go mountain biking in the Valley of Five Lakes, explore the park’s many hiking trails or take an optional gondola ride to Whistler Mountain.

Day 9 Wells Gray Provincial Park
Travel to Mt Robson Provincial Park (around two hours, depending on how many stops we make, covering 125 kilometres/77 miles). At 3954 metres (12,970 feet), Mt Robson is the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Continue through the beautiful Cariboo Mountains to Wells Gray Provincial Park (around four hours). In the afternoon, there’s time for a hike or optional canoe ride in the park.

Day 10 Whistler
Get ready for another long day of driving today - it's about a nine hour drive to Whistler. Named after the unusual call of the equally unusual hoary marmot, which live in the area, Whistler is a mecca for lovers of all things outdoors.

Day 11 Whistler
Enjoy a free day checking out the best Whistler has to offer. Hike along lush forest trails, hire a bike and take a ride to one of the nearby lakes, zip-line through the trees, take a scenic gondola ride or just relax in your surroundings. Your tour leader can help you find a hiking trail or cosy cafe to chill out in.

Day 12 Vancouver
Famous for its scenic coast-meets-mountains setting, Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada. After a short drive (around two hours), arrive in the city, which is bordered by a harbour, a wide river, and snow-capped mountain peaks. Your leader will take you on an orientation tour when we arrive into town, before your trip comes to an end.
Map
All This Included
Ready to take a hike? Of course you are – after all, Canada’s home to some of the best hiking trails, nature and mountain scenery around. Check out inland rainforests, a park full of massive glaciers and the majestic snow-covered peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Along with awesome Canadian wildlife, maple-flavoured everything (cookies, donuts, bacon – you name it) and a few Celine Dion sing-alongs thrown in for good measure, this 12-day adventure is the perfect introduction to Canada’s beautiful west coast.
  • Transport - Private vehicle
  • Mt. Revelstoke National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Banff National Park
  • Visit to Lake Louise
  • Jasper National Park
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
Highlights
  • From rafting trips to glacier treks, this trip is packed full of optional outdoor activities, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore nature at ground level.
  • Pristine lakes, massive glaciers and soaring peaks – the Canadian Rockies feature an array of striking landscapes that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.
  • Hike through forests, mountain bike in the Rockies and canoe across a picturesque lake. Whatever floats your boat, your expert local leader can point you in the right direction.
Accommodations
Camping (with facilities) (10 nights)
Hotel (1 night)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 18; Max 29.
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 13
  • This trip covers a lot of ground, as Canada is a huge country. 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 is 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 the mountains, the weather can be unpredictable. We advise wearing layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so make sure you have warm clothing with you. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season. Even in the warmer months the temperature can be low in the mountains.
  • As this trip involves participatory camping, you'll be expected to help with shopping, cooking and cleaning, as well as setting up and packing down your tent. All of this adds to the authenticity and adventure of the trip.
  • While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, for your to partake in all of the activities we recommend you are at least moderately fit. If you're not able to participate in all of the hikes, you'll miss out on some fantastic scenery, as well as the chance to see native flora and fauna.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.