Sky to Sea / Open Spaces of the Canadian West

From AUD 2,790.00
Trip Length 20 Trip Code NA - RR - 9
Tour Group 6 - 12 Age Range Open

Sky to Sea / Open Spaces of the Canadian West: Tour Information

Camping tour in British Columbia and Alberta, Highlights during this 3-week journey are the famous parks of the Canadian Rockies, the Coast Mountains and Pacific Rim National Park. You travel through some very remote regions of north west Canada, experience the variety and vastness of the country from huge cattle ranches to tiny fishing outposts. You take the Discovery Coast Ferry to Vancouver Island and here, at the westernmost edge of Canada, you find yourself in an ancient forest which borders the endless sandy stretch of Long Beach. In sleepy Tofino you can go on a whale or bear watching cruise. Finally the cities of Victoria and Vancouver.

Day 1: Calgary Arrive in Calgary, transfer from the airport to the hotel. “Welcome to the West” dinner and pre trip information with your guide.

Day 2: Banff/Lake Louise Short city tour of Calgary and 170 km (105 mi) drive into Banff National Park.

Day 3: Banff National Park you might want to relax in the warm pools and browse the many stores and boutiques of the little town.

Day 4: Lake Louise / Yoho National Park Countless photo opportunities along the Bow River and in the high alpine of Lake Louise.

Day 5: Yoho National Park This park boasts the most outstanding trails in mountain wilderness with glaciers and waterfalls.

Day 6: Shuswap Lakes Glacier Park is reached through the Rogers Pass. A 5 km (3 mi) hike to 2290 m (7633 ft) is rewarded with an almost 360 degree view of the surrounding peaks. The Transcanada Highway takes you into the warm and dry plateau of British Columbia.

Day 7: Shuswap Lakes This area is a favourite holiday playground for many Canadians. Vast clear lakes for fishing, swimming and water sports, mountain solitude, lots of space and fresh air.

Day 8 and 9: Williams Lake, Rafting down the canyons and sun burnt hills of the Chilko River makes for a close-up wilderness experience.

Day 10 and 11: Tweedsmuir Park, The trail into the Rainbow range leads into one of the most spectacular sights.

Day 12: Bella Coola, Life is quiet in this friendly, remote fishing village, nestled between the mountains and the sea. This a wonderful chance to go salmon fishing, find the historic native rock paintings or explore.

Day 13: Discovery Coast Passage, For the next 24 hours you cruise past forested shores, many islands and the Hakai Marine Park.

Day 14: Strathcona Park, This is BC’s oldest park with the 6 highest mountains of the island and with Comox Glacier.

Day 15 - 17: Tofino, Another dramatic change of scenery as you cut through the centre of the island to the far western coast. The road is winding between swift rivers, lakes, mountains, through forests of giant cedars and finally down to the Pacific Ocean. A 7-hour boat excursion (optional) features a stop at natural hot springs, Sea kayaking is another safe and fun activity and either this or whale watching are highly recommended options.

Day 18: Victoria, Along the picturesque coastal highway past the beaches of Parksville, Chemanius with it’s colourful downtown murals, Duncan, the city of totems, to the capital city of British Columbia.

Day 19: Vancouver You catch the ferry back to the mainland. Early afternoon you arrive at the hotel in downtown Vancouver. Rest of the day is free in what many call the most beautiful city in North America.

Day 20: Vancouver Transfer to the airport for the flight home.

(As the trip is done in expedition fashion changes in travel itinerary are a possibility and are left up to the discretion of the guide.)

Sky to Sea | Open Spaces of the Canadian West

Day 1: Calgary Arrive in Calgary, transfer from the airport to the hotel. "Welcome to the West" dinner and pre trip information with your guide.

Day 2: Banff/Lake Louise Short city tour of Calgary and 170 km (105 mi) drive into Banff National Park. In the forested campground you pitch your tent for the next two nights. This afternoon your guide takes you on for a warm-up hike on one of the many trails near Banff.

Day 3: Banff National Park A longer hike on one of the many trails near Banff is on the menu for today. Your guide knows the best destinations for the times of the season, even the lesser known ones, for example passes at 2300 m (7590 ft) and hidden lakes. Later you might want to relax in the warm sulphur pool and browse the many stores and boutiques of the little town.

Day 4: Lake Louise / Yoho National Park Countless photo opportunities along the Bow River and in the high alpine of Lake Louise. Here you can rent a canoe, hike to a romantic tea house and even further up the trails, or just sit and admire. The tents are set up in Yoho Park at the western flank of the Rockies.

Day 5: Yoho National Park This park boasts the most outstanding trails in mountain wilderness with glaciers and waterfalls. Planned for today is a 6 hour loop through 2 passes at 2180 m (7195 ft).

Day 6: Shuswap Lakes Glacier Park is reached through the Rogers Pass. Snow avalanches have scarred the slopes of the steep valleys. A 5 km (3 mi) hike to 2290 m (7633 ft) is rewarded with an almost 360 degree view of the surrounding peaks. The Transcanada Highway takes you into the warm and dry plateau of British Columbia. Camping by one of the many lakes, time for a swim.

Day 7: Shuswap Lakes This area is a favourite holiday playground for many Canadians. Vast clear lakes for fishing, swimming and water sports, mountain solitude, lots of space and fresh air. Unless you wish to take it easy on the beach you can join the guide for another hike. One suggestion is the Silver Star ski area where a ski lift saves you the long ascent.

Day 8 and 9: Williams Lake Near 100 Mile House you reach the Cariboo Trail. During the 1870 gold rush this was the route from Vancouver to the Cariboo Mountain gold fields. Today the high plateau is ranch country, professional cowboys still patrol the scattered cattle herds. The thousands of square miles west of the town of Williams Lake are almost unpopulated. Rafting down the canyons and sun burnt hills of the Chilko River makes for a close-up wilderness experience. This 5-hour excursion is part of the program as well as the steak barbeque at the rivers edge.

Day 10 and 11: Tweedsmuir Park Stretches of the road leading west into the remote Chilcotin Plateau are not paved. Heckman Pass at 1525 m (5000 ft) is entrance to the province's largest and probably most scenic park (9810 sq km, 3787 sq mi). It is first of all a wilderness park, access is limited. The trail into the Rainbow range leads into one of the most spectacular sights. Glacier crowned mountain tops are best reached by bush planes which are an important means of transportation for this region.

Day 12: Bella Coola The winding road down from the Coast Mountains ends at the head of a long fjord. Life is quiet in this friendly, remote fishing village, nestled between the mountains and the sea. This a wonderful chance to visit and meet local Canadians, go salmon fishing, find the historic native rock paintings or explore one more mountain trail before leaving the mainland.

Day 13: Discovery Coast Passage For the next 24 hours you cruise past forested shores, many islands and the Hakai Marine Park. Eagles and sea birds are easy to spot, sea lions rest on the rocks, safe from the orca whales. It is a working ferry, not necessarily designed for tourists. In the relaxed, easygoing atmosphere on board it is easy to make new friends. Meals on the ferry's restaurant on own.

Day 14: Strathcona Park Arrival early morning in Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Your bus takes you along the eastern shore to Campbell River and 50 km (32 mi) inland into Strathcona Provincial Park. This is BC's oldest park with the 6 highest mountains of the island and with Comox Glacier. There is enough time today for a ridge hike to Arnica Lake, 6 km (3.7 mi) one-way with many switchbacks and 800 m (2640 ft) gain, 2 to 3 hours walking time. Kayak Trip at Pacific Rim National Park

Day 15 - 17: Tofino Another dramatic change of scenery as you cut through the centre of the island to the far western coast. The road is winding between swift rivers, lakes, mountains, through forests of giant cedars and finally down to the Pacific Ocean. We set up camp for the next 3 nights under ancient Douglas fir and hemlock trees in PACIFIC RIM NATIONAL PARK. It is a magical place to relax or to explore, dig clams in the tidal flats at low tide, watch tremendous waves rolling in all the way from Asia, hike mysterious trails in a fairy tale forest of ferns and mosses and thousand year old trees. There is more: many artists have made the charming villages of Ucluelet and Tofino their home, small shops offer and unique and special souvenirs. A 7-hour boat excursion (optional) features a stop at natural hot springs, along the way you have best chances to see bald eagles and black bears looking for fish. Sea kayaking is another safe and fun activity and either this or whale watching are highly recommended options.

Day 18: Victoria Along the picturesque coastal highway past the beaches of Parksville, Chemanius with it's colourful downtown murals, Duncan, the city of totems, to the capital city of British Columbia. Your campground under giant cedar trees has it's own little waterfall.

Day 19: Vancouver You catch the ferry back to the mainland. Early afternoon you arrive at the hotel in downtown Vancouver. Rest of the day is free in what many call the most beautiful city in North America. So much to see: Robson Street, Chinatown, Gastown, museums, the harbour or the totem poles in Stanley Park. All easily reached by foot. Lunch and dinner on own.

Day 20: Vancouver Transfer to the airport for the flight home.

(As the trip is done in expedition fashion changes in travel itinerary are a possibility and are left up to the discretion of the guide.)

Additional cost: Single Room/Tent: +CAD 225.00 All Rates per person (+ GST)

Local Tour Payments (LTP) or a Kitty payment, if stated is paid direct to your tour leader / crew on day 1.

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