Western Spirit, 20 Days. Itinerary.
- ARRIVAL IN VANCOUVER
Your adventure begins at Vancouver International Airport. Transfer independently to your downtown hotel. The Roadbook you received will have all the information needed for your journey. Take the rest of the day to create your own urban adventure amid the stores, parks, restaurants, theatres and other attractions in downtown Vancouver. Overnight in Vancouver.
You have the entire day at leisure to explore Vancouver and surroundings. You may want to visit Stanley Park, the MacMillan Planetarium, Chinatown, Gastown, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Granville Island and Grouse Mountain. Overnight in Vancouver.
- VANCOUVER TO VICTORIA (70 km)
The BC Ferries cruise across the Strait of Georgia will transport you to Vancouver Island, passing the rugged coastline and tranquil beaches of the Gulf Islands. Make your way to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, with its maritime heritage and colonial charm. You may end your day with a visit to the Empress Hotel for traditional High Tea. Overnight in Victoria.
- VICTORIA TO PARKSVILLE (149 km)
Back on the road, you’ll savour scenic ocean vistas as you explore the coast via gently winding Malahat Drive. The coastline is strewn with charming villages and offers breathtaking vistas and nature reserves with abundant wildlife. En route, you may detour to visit the murals of Chemainus, the Forest Museum, Cowichan Bay area and the quaint Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre in Duncan. Overnight in Parksville.
A glorious beach, three nearby provincial parks and excellent fishing opportunities have made Parksville a popular resort. You will enjoy angling for trout or salmon against the backdrop of fir forests, waterfalls and lush rainforests. The Parksville area resort tempts active visitors with tennis, volleyball, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking and hiking trails. Overnight in Parksville.
- PARKSVILLE TO WHISTLER (139 km)
The day begins with a scenic BC Ferries ride back through the Strait of Georgia to the mainland. From there, you’ll follow the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler Resort, located at the foot of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. En route, you will admire Shannon Falls and explore the dramatic canyons, ravines and lofty peaks of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Overnight in Whistler/.
Trade the freedom of the road for the adventure of the wilderness. Play a championship golf course in the shadow of towering mountain ranges, hike along endless trails and high alpine meadows, ride on horseback past spectacular glaciers or whitewater raft down one of the turbulent rivers. You may wish to just relax in the enchanting setting of the pedestrian village and enjoy the boutiques, restaurants and cafés. Overnight in Whistler.
- WHISTLER TO 100 MILE HOUSE (306 km)
"Smile, you’re in 100 Mile!" is the catchphrase welcoming visitors to this 1862 Gold Rush "truck stop". Located exactly 100 miles from Lillooet on the “Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail”, this small community has been welcoming travellers since the early pioneer days. A gateway to over 100 recreational and fishing lakes, the 100 Mile region is home to some of the best lake trout and kokanee salmon in North America . Overnight in 100 Mile House.
- 100 MILE HOUSE TO QUESNEL (205 km)
Following in the footsteps of pioneering adventure seekers, you’ll travel further down the "Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail" today. Passing through soaring mountain canyons, you’ll encounter innumerable logging villages and gold ghost towns on your way to the wilderness town of Quesnel. En route, don’t miss a visit to Barkerville, a restored 19th-century settlement. Overnight in Quesnel.
- QUESNEL TO MCBRIDE/VALEMOUNT (319 km)
Continuing your journey through history, you’ll visit the turn-of-the-century railway boom town of McBride. Situated on the fertile land around the Fraser River, this bustling market town offers visitors a rare glimpse of a true Canadian rustic lifestyle. If you have time, drive just 1.5 km outside McBride to Koeneman Regional Park. Named after an early homesteading family, this Park is home to Rainbow Falls and Dear Mountain which offer spectacular views of Robson Valley and the Cariboo Mountains. Overnight in McBride.
- MCBRIDE/VALEMOUNT TO LAKE LOUISE (395 km)
Today you’ll traverse the Rocky Mountains along the spectacular Icefields Parkway. Flanked by snow-covered mountain ridges, cascading waterfalls and sparkling glaciers you’ll see the spectacular Athabasca Glacier, where you can take an Ice Explorer ride. Overnight in Lake Louise.
- LAKE LOUISE TO BANFF (58 km)
The Trans-Canada Highway leads you to Banff, a year-round resort region that boasts true wilderness scenery, numerous outdoor activities and modern accommodation facilities. An internationally renowned national park, Banff offers a world of sightseeing opportunities. Prepare for a full day of spectacular scenery tomorrow. Overnight in Banff.
- BANFF NATIONAL PARK
The day is at leisure to explore Banff and its environs. You may want to go on a discovery tour of the famous resort town, visit the Cave and Basin and Bow Falls, and take a thrilling gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain. Overnight in Banff.
- BANFF TO INVERMERE / RADIUM HOT SPRINGS (171 km)
Today you will drive through Kootenay National Park, a landscape dominated by lofty peaks, glaciers, deep valleys and crystal-blue lakes. A visit to the park’s hot springs or the Radium Hot Springs Resort offers numerous activities and sights. Wildflowers decorate the alpine meadows, while grizzly bears, moose and mountain goats roam the park. Overnight in Invermere /Radium Hot Springs.
- NVERMERE / RADIUM HOT SPRINGS
Spend a full day in Invermere, a summer paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy a myriad of activities, such as hiking, fishing, bird watching, boating and windsurfing on Lake Windermere. You can also visit Invermere’s museum housing pioneer artifacts and local archives. The local hot springs offer a relaxing mineral bath, soothing the body and spirit alike. Overnight in Invermere / Radium Hot Springs.
- INVERMERE / RADIUM HOT SPRINGS TO ROSSLAND/CASTLEGAR (390 km)
Driving high above the valley today you’ll arrive at Rossland, one of Canada’s more unusual townships. Nestled within the crater of a long-extinct volcano, Rossland was the largest town in British Columbia at the height of the Gold Rush. Today, this charming alpine village is home to two Canadian Olympic Champion skiers, world-class mountain-biking facilities, two museums, scenic lakes and hiking trials that conveniently begin in the heart of the town. Overnight in Rossland/Castlegar.
- ROSSLAND/CASTLEGAR TO PENTICTON (283 km)
A leisurely drive down the mountain today will carry you to Penticton, situated between the Skaha and Okanagan lakes. A native word meaning "place to live forever", Penticton today is the thriving fruit capital of British Columbia. Every spring, the city blooms as thousands of fruit trees cast an unforgettable fragrance and wash of colour across the city limits. Overnight in Penticton.
You’ll have more time today to further explore this fertile farm region. Don’t miss the Okanagan River Channel - a man-made canal running between the Skaha and Okanagan lakes and a marvel of modern engineering. Another local highlight is the beached SS Sicamous, a 72 m Lake Sternwheeler that travels the waterways as it would have done over a century ago. Overnight in Penticton.
- PENTICTON TO VANCOUVER (418 km)
Today you traverse the very heart of British Columbia. At the half way point, you may enjoy a brief stop in Hope - its ruggedly spectacular scenery often attracting film crews from Hollywood and around the world. For outdoor enthusiasts, Manning Provincial Park is a favourite destination because of its deep valleys, Blackwall Peak alpine meadows, Cascade Lookout and azure-blue lakes. Continue through and down the mountains to arrive at the coastline and the welcome, modern metropolis of Vancouver. Overnight in Vancouver.
- END OF TOUR
Return to Vancouver International Airport in time for check-in for your return flight.