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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
O Canada! Home of ice hockey and Drake, and source of your soon-to-be fondest travel memories. It all begins in Vancouver. Make sure you’re at the hotel for 6 pm so that you can attend the welcome meeting, where you can greet your tour guide and fellow travellers. If you arrive with time to spare maybe pick up a donut and a 'double-double' (that’s coffee with two cream and two sugars) from Tim Hortons.

Day 2 Kelowna
You've got a long drive ahead today (approximately 7 hours) but you’ll also get your first glimpses of Canada’s incredible scenery along the way. Head past some incredible forests, parks and vineyard-covered hills in the Okanagan Valley. You'll want to make sure your camera or phone is charged for this drive. Arrive in Kelowna in time for dinner and settle into camp. Situated on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is equal parts relaxed country and bustling urban city.

Day 3 Golden
Rise and shine for your first real taste of Canada’s great outdoors. Visit Mt Revelstoke National Park, home of the world’s only inland temperate rainforests. What’s that mean? Evergreen woodland with ancient trees and moss-covered ground, just like the forests in fairy tales. The park is home to a small herd of woodland caribous plus grizzly bears and moose, along with a population of banana slugs. Get your fill of bush and beasties and then travel over Rogers Pass to Glacier National Park. Stop at the visitor centre and take in the panoramic views from lookouts along the way. Continue to Golden, where you’ll spend the night. Today’s drive covers about 360 kilometres (225 miles) and takes about 5.5 hours.

Day 4 Yoho National Park/Banff National Park
Drive through the stunning mountainous landscape of Yoho National Park. There are a couple of ways to explore the terrain. If you’d like to break in your boots your leader can point you in the direction of the best trails to tackle. Another option (not for the faint of heart) is to battle the wild waters of the aptly-named Kicking Horse River on a guided rafting tour. Please note, this is an optional activity booked through an outside company that will incur an extra cost. Floored by the scenery? You could always lie back on the riverbank and watch the world float by. Later, reconvene with the group and head to Takkakaw Falls, stop for a photo op and then continue to Banff National Park. The drive today covers 130 kilometres (80 miles), and you’ll spend the night near Banff so you can get stuck into the park tomorrow.

Day 5 Banff National Park
Today's your chance to explore Banff at your own pace, as there are no formal activities planned. Established in 1885, Banff is the oldest national park in the country, and contains over 1600 kilometres (995 miles) of hiking trails. Chat to your leader about the optional activities on offer today, which – depending on your enthusiasm and budget – can range from shopping on Banff Avenue or Bear Street to unwinding in Banff Hot Springs’ steamy waters or renting a bike to explore the Vermillion Lakes. Don’t forget that some of the best walking in the country can be done in Banff, so ask your leader about what’s right for you.

Day 6 Lake Louise / Banff National Park
Today you’ll visit two of the west coast’s most picturesque glacier-fed lakes. First is lovely Lake Louise. Nestled between two blue mountains, the lake is beautiful no matter the season. Next up is Moraine Lake where depending on the time of year the water ranges from clear to aquamarine. Located in a rocky valley and rimmed by verdant spruce trees, Moraine Lake is sure to knock you off your feet. Spend time exploring both lakes and their surrounding areas, then return to camp.

Day 7 Jasper National Park
Ready for even more spectacular scenery? Today’s drive takes us along the famous Icefields Parkway past the Rocky Mountains. 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 to Jasper National Park. Today’s drive is just under 300 kilometres (186 miles), which will ideally mean about 4 hours on the road. Because we travel with a small group in a private vehicle, we can make detours and stop along the way according to the group’s interests. Driving times are also affected by weather and other conditions, so make sure to pack a good book or download some podcasts just in case.

Day 8 Jasper National Park
Today is as clear as the air in the Canadian Rockies. Choose how you’d like to pass the time in one of the most photographed places in Canada. Your leader will be taking whoever is willing to Lake Maligne (optional but free), where you can hike and explore on arrival. If you like, you can pay extra for an optional cruise on the lake and check out the famous Spirit Island. If you’d prefer to strike out on your own, you may wish to stay behind and head out on one of the many trails in the area. Jasper National Park is famous for its wildlife such as elk, moose, deer, bears and mountain lions, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot some of these wild animals. Just remember to admire them from afar.

Day 9 Wells Gray Provincial Park
Another long day of travel ahead, though broken up with some stops to sightsee. Travel under the watchful eye of Mt Robson (3954 m/12,970 ft), the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in Wells Gray Provincial Park after around 2 hours. As always, driving time will depend on how many stops are made, and will cover 125 kilometres (77 miles). Mt Robson is the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Continue through the beautiful Cariboo Mountains to Wells Gray Provincial Park (around 4 hours). In the afternoon, there’s time for a hike or optional canoe ride in the park.

Day 10 Whistler
Whistler awaits as the perfect place to stretch your legs after a day on the road (about 9 hours). Named after the unusual call of the equally unusual hoary marmots, which live in the area, Whistler is a mecca for lovers of all things outdoors. While there won’t be much time to explore today, you might want to gather a group and hit Whistler Village. You can find awesome restaurants and bars in the pedestrian-only village. Just remember that getting up early tomorrow is a good idea if you want to make the most of your time here, and plan your cocktails accordingly.

Day 11 Whistler
Enjoy a free day checking out the best Whistler has to offer. There are plenty of optional activities available, so chat to your leader to decide what you’d prefer. During the warmer months, hiking is a great (and inexpensive) way to get the lay of the land, just keep in mind that the rugged terrain can make for challenging trails. Zip-lining tours are an amazing opportunity to get an aerial view of Fitzsimmons Creek and, if you’re lucky, see some bears along the way. There are also some great cycle networks in Whistler, so you have the option of paying for bike hire and riding to one of the nearby lakes. Don’t forget to spend some time exploring Whistler Village, a charming pedestrian-only town with plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants.

Day 12 Vancouver
Famous for its coast-meets-mountains setting, Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada. After a short drive (around 2 hours), arrive back in the city and set out on a quick orientation tour with your leader. After the walk, bid farewell to your leader and your fellow travellers, as your tour has come to an end.
Map
All This Included
Ready to take a hike? You’ve come to the right place. Canada is home to some of the finest trails in North America. This tour will have you tackling paths that coil around mountains and snake through inland rainforests, plus enjoying views of massive glaciers and snow-covered peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Combine active adventures with spotting wildlife, munching maple-flavoured everything (cookies, donuts, bacon – you name it) and stargazing with your new friends. This 12-day adventure is the perfect introduction to Canada’s beautiful west coast.
  • Transport - Private vehicle
  • Mt. Revelstoke National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Rogers Pass Discovery Centre
  • Yoho National Park
  • Banff National Park
  • Visit to Lake Louise
  • Visit to Moraine Lake
  • Jasper National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Visit to Maligne Lake
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
  • Vancouver orientation tour
Highlights
  • Keep your eyes peeled for moose and woodland caribous among towering cedar trees in the fairytale forest of Mt Revelstoke National Park.
  • The spectacular scenery of the Canadian Rockies makes for the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner Nat Geo photographer. It’s really hard to take a bad picture here.
  • From rafting trips to glacier treks, this trip is packed full of optional outdoor activities, giving you the perfect chance to get your hands and boots dirty.
  • Spend a few days seeing what all the fuss is about in Whistler, North America’s premier outdoor adventure hotspot (and a very quaint village to boot).
  • As a small group travelling in a private vehicle, we can be flexible depending on your preferences. Want to make a detour? If the group agrees, go for it!
Accommodations
Camping (with facilities) (10 nights)
Hotel (1 night)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 18
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 13
  • Canada is a huge country and you want to see as much as possible on this tour. Be prepared for some long days of driving with your fellow travellers in a private vehicle. This is all part of the adventure though, and tight spaces can form firm friendships, but free space can be limited.
  • As we're travelling through the glorious mountains, weather can be unpredictable. We advise wearing layers 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, though if you pack right, you’ll be comfortable.
  • This trip is an authentic, participatory adventure. You'll be expected to help with shopping, cooking and cleaning, as well as setting up and packing down your tent.
  • While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, we recommend you are at least moderately fit in order to enjoy the included and optional activities. If you're not able to participate in all the hikes, you'll miss out on some fantastic scenery as well as the chance to see native flora and fauna.
  • A single supplement is available on this trip.
  • 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.