Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast  tour
Calgary Jasper Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast  Trip
Vancouver Victoria Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast  Trip
Nature & Wildlife Educational/ learning Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast  package
Education / Learning Hiking Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast  package

Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast

Explore! Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
96%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
From: $ 3,780 $ 252 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Calgary - Alberta's glittering gem in the heart of the Rockies
  • Banff National Park - Canada's most beautiful national park including the picture postcard Lake Louise
  • Jasper National Park - Visit the stunning landscapes of Columbia Icefields and Athabasca Glacier and search for wildlife including moose and elk
  • Clearwater National Park - Hiking and outdoor activities in Wells Gray Provincial Park
  • Whistler - Canada's premier mountain resort
  • Pacific Rim National Park - Diverse landscapes and a chance for whale watching
  • Vancouver - Beautiful and dynamic city on Canada's majestic Pacific coast

Short Description

This remarkable journey across the Rockies combines spectacular mountain scenery with the beautiful Vancouver Island. Admire the unspoilt views of jagged mountain peaks and explore magnificent national parks, glaciers and waterfalls. Travel into the wilderness from the thriving city of Vancouver, perfectly located by the beaches of the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by a dramatic mountain landscape. Search for wildlife, including bears, moose and whales and get active with options including canoeing, hiking and horse riding.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Calgary
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join tour in Calgary

Description

Arrive Calgary and check-in to the hotel. Home to the world renowned Calgary Stampede, this most dynamic of cities is a rich fusion of modern architecture and traditional heritage, where the pioneering history of the Canadian west is woven into everyday life. You may have some free time today to explore the city and soak up the friendly ambience of this spectacularly located community. Filled with museums, shops and cafes, the centre of the city is a great place to just wander and take in its majestic setting against the backdrop of those ever present mountains.

Please note that on the 7th July departure, the joining hotel will be the Clarion Airport Hotel Calgary, located just 10 minutes by taxi into the city. Pre-tour accommodation is available either at this hotel, or at the Ramada Downtown Hotel.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Visit Calgary, drive to Canmore, explore Kananaskis Country

Description

This morning we will take some time to explore the glittering city of Calgary. The centre of town is a great place to wander around, marvel at the impressive architecture and absorb the friendly atmosphere - all set against a backdrop of the Rockies that rear like a distant tidal wave. These rugged mountains, interspersed with moments of sublime serenity in the form of turquoise lakes and cascading falls, beg for further exploration and before lunch we waste no time and head west up into the hills. Our base for the next three nights is the small town of Canmore situated in the picturesque Bow Valley. Described as the gateway to the Rockies, it is the perfect place from which to make our forays in to the nearby Kananaskis country and Banff National Park. This afternoon we explore Kananaskis country and the valleys of this region on foot.

Included Meals : None

Day 3 - Walks in Banff National Park, optional hot springs

Description

Over the next two days we will explore the splendour of nearby Banff National Park. We will follow well-marked trails to discover beautiful lakes, stunning vistas and perfumed pine forests. We highly recommend taking an optional excursion by aerial tram to the top of Sulphur Mountain - if the weather is clear, the views across the Rockies are simply breathtaking. You may also want to spend time in the town of Banff itself. A bustling and lively place, it is easy to get infused with the energy that surrounds you. Banff is also famous for its hot springs, in fact, it was the discovery of the hot springs in 1883 that lead to the building of the settlement in this location. Relaxing in these geothermal waters is a wonderful way to while away a few hours one afternoon. For the more active among us there are numerous optional trips, such as canoeing on the Bow River, that can be organised locally.

Included Meals : None

Day 4 - Free day to discover Banff National Park including Lake Louise

Description

Today is left free to explore more of Banff National Park including making a visit to the picture postcard Lake Louise and Morraine Lake. Tom Wilson, the first white Canadian to see Lake Louise, when he was led there by a local native in 1882, wrote 'I never, in all my explorations of these five chains of mountains throughout western Canada, saw such a matchless scene…I felt puny in body, but glorified in spirit and soul.' Despite the increasing number of visitors to the lake it is still possible to experience the same feelings of awe that Tom Wilson had the first time he saw it.

Included Meals : None

Day 5 - Drive to Jasper National Park along the Icefields Parkway

Description

We take the drive along one of the world's top scenic highways today. We leave Canmore, travelling along the Icefields Parkway which cuts its way through a mountain wilderness filled with rivers and stunning glacial lakes. Every kilometre of the Parkway is witness to spectacular scenery and we are likely to encounter wildlife along the road itself. We continue northwards and pass alongside the Columbia icefields where we have the chance to stop at the Athabasca Glacier and falls. At Athabasca Glacier there is the option of taking a guided glacier hike or a snowcoach tour onto ancient glacial ice. Jasper, in the shadow of Mount Edith Cavell, lies at the end of today's journey.

Included Meals : None

Day 6 - Search for wildlife in Jasper National Park

Description

We start today with a hike in Maligne Canyon, a limestone chasm formed by the Maligne River carving its path through the rock. We have the rest of the day to explore the various highlights of the area around the townsite of Jasper. Keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife that roam freely here - wapiti, elk, moose and bears. You may want to take the Jasper Tramway to the high alpine terrain of Whistlers Mountain (named for the whistling sounds of the marmots that live there), try one of the many great biking trails in the area, or go rafting (optional).
Please note: Participation in canoeing or kayaking, or rafting requires that you are able to swim 25 metres unaided.

Included Meals : None

Day 7 - Head to Clearwater via Mount Robson and Spahats Falls

Description

This morning we head northwest along highway 16 through Mount Robson Provincial Park. We also see Mount Robson itself, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies (3954m). It is tall enough to create its own weather patterns and if we're lucky we'll be able to view this photogenic monolith from top to bottom. From here we enjoy a hike to the base of Mount Robson up to Kinney Lake before leaving Mount Robson behind and continuing onto Clearwater. This afternoon we head the short distance to Spahats Creek Provincial Park from where we can take an easy walk to the 61m high Spahats Falls. These impressive falls cascade down through layers of pinky-red volcanic rock, and from the observation point we should also have a great view down the Clearwater Valley.

Included Meals : None

Day 8 - Visit the Wells Gray Provincial Park including Helmcken Falls

Description

This morning we head out to the nearby Wells Gray Provincial Park, home to Helmcken Falls at 127m, higher than Niagara Falls. There are unexpectedly spectacular views from all along the park entrance road and great opportunities for wildlife spotting. We are then free for the rest of the day. The park offers an array of outdoor activities, including hiking and canoeing on amazingly clear lakes (all optional). You can hire a canoe here and feel as if you really are paddling off into the wilderness. Please note: Participation in canoeing or kayaking, or rafting requires that you are able to swim 25 metres unaided. The slower pace of life in these parts is infectious so you may also choose to return to our lodge and relax.

Included Meals : None

Day 9 - Journey to Whistler

Description

Today we journey south west to Whistler, pausing en route at various places to soak up the wonderful views. We will travel through the mountains of interior British Colombia, through different environments and climate that change the landscape, stopping at several viewpoints including Joffre Lake, where we can do some short walks. This evening in Whistler we can enjoy a meal in one of the many excellent restaurants and, for those that wish, follow it up with a night out on the town.

Included Meals : None

Day 10 - Free day in Whistler; walk or take a cable car ride

Description

Today we have a free day in Whistler to enjoy the variety of activities on offer here, including a cable car ride up one of the nearby peaks and hiking. There will also be the chance to walk on different trails around Whistler where we can walk on a trail either on the mountain or around its peaceful shores.

Included Meals : None

Day 11 - Ferry to Nanaimo, drive to Pacific Rim National Park

Description

This morning we will follow route 99, more famously known as the Sea to Sky Highway, toward the Pacific coast of Vancouver. We will continue to Horseshoe Bay from where we will catch the early ferry across to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Although the island stretches almost 500km from north to south, it only has a population of 500,000 and with its numerous provincial parks it is easy to escape into the wilderness. En route to Pacific Rim National Park we will stop in McMillan Provincial Park where we will take a short walk to the famous Cathedral Grove, a striking group of huge Douglas Firs. Some of these incredible trees reach up to 70m in height, are 2m thick and are estimated to be up to 1000 years old. We then continue on to the Pacific Rim National Park which will undoubtedly be the highlight of our time on the island. The park stretches intermittently for 130km and the mountains, coastal rainforest, wild beaches and unkempt marine landscapes are as diverse as they are beautiful. We will overnight in Ucluelet near Tofino.

Included Meals : None

Day 12 - Free day for optional whale watching or sea kayaking

Description

Today we are free to choose from a variety of different activities. The two most popular excursions are both out to sea. The more energetic may wish to take to kayaks and explore this wild coastline of hidden coves and rocky inlets. Alternatively, there is the chance to go whale watching from one of the coastal villages in the park. There is also the opportunity to go Black Bear watching today from a zodiac boat, or take an optional walk along one of the park's many trails. Our Explore Leader will be on hand to organise these trips and accompany those wishing to choose one of the optional walks.

Included Meals : None

Day 13 - Drive to Victoria, free time to explore

Description

We head south today, away from the wilderness of the Pacific Rim National Park and towards the much gentler scenery of Victoria. On the way we will make stops to view the totem poles carved by the First Nations of the North West Coast. In 1884 the Federal Government outlawed 'pot latching' and this unique art form nearly died out. Fortunately, in recent times, there has been a revived interest in this proud tradition and the totems that can be found along this stretch of coast are strong reminders of the island's native people. This afternoon we have free to time to explore Victoria. We highly recommend visiting the Royal British Columbia Museum or alternatively sit at one of the pavement cafes watching the world pass by.

Included Meals : None

Day 14 - Ferry to Vancouver, orientation tour

Description

Vancouver, known as the Jewel of North America and easily one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Canada, beckons us today in contrast to the wilderness we've been experiencing over the past days. However, this city's setting on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by Mount Seymour, Cypress and Grouse Mountain will remind you that nature looms nearby. During the afternoon, we provide a brief orientation tour, as well as the opportunity to discover Stanley Park (optional). This evening we recommend a visit to Gastown, an attractive area offering many restaurants and bars.

Included Meals : None

Day 15 - Tour ends Vancouver

Description

The tour ends this morning in Vancouver.

Included Meals : None

Availability

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Price From $ 3,780
Price Per Day: $ 252 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

74 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

96%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 55
Great 12
Average 3
Disappointing 3
Terrible 1
Value
4.5
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.3
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.4

Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast

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Company Reviews

Trip of a lifetime seeing the Arctic in a week

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I travelled as a solo traveller and was relieved to find that about half the boat was also solo travellers. It was a great adventure - on a ferry board for a week with the most amazing panoramic views around us every day. We were regularly out on smaller boats to see the bird cliffs up close, or to go onto land to walk around. We saw lots of amazing wildlife including walrus, blue whales, beluga whales, endless species of birds, and of course Polar Bears! The week went by too quickly. It was a great mix of wildlife and landscapes. Each day there was a different guide giving a presentation of everything from the biology of a polar bear, to the fauna found in the arctic circle. You could join in for as little or as much as you wanted. Definitely recommended.
Read more

Super good tour guide, but the itinerary was rushed

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Junk on Halong Bay, Homestay in Mekong Delta. Hoi An Our tour guide, Long, was excellent and did a super job of mixing history and political context with what we were seeing. He went out of his way to add to the tour, actually taking us to favorite restaurant on his night off. The children loved him and we enjoyed his professionalism and his personal narrative of Vietnam. I felt that the itinerary was very rushed for a family tour. I understand the non family tour is longer and actually that would have been better for the family too. In particular a very busy day in Hue followed a mostly sleepless night on the train. We could have done with more time in Hue, or different activities. Hue was a bad day as the kite making was dull, crowded, and hot, then we didn't get to fly kites as we had not made them. In the end we had little time at the Citadel as we had to transfer into a small bus to navigate the streets.
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Excellent

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Mohammed was excellent!

Enjoy the trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The highlight of this trip was seeing Machu Picchu, which I loved it.

Great Tour Leader will come back in 2017

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A great tour leader - friendly, personable, approachable, knowledgeable of the local area, sights and people. We plan to come back and cycle with Andrew again in 2017.
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Pleasant surprise experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
It is hard to say because each outing was a pleasant surprise. The best experience was a workshop on feltmaking in Kazbegi town Georgia) where, as a group, we made the felt from scratch and created our own design. A great opportunity to discover a local craft. It is also an excellent example how this diverse group got along like a house on fire. In Armenia my fqvourite outing was the walk along the Garni river gorge with a local guide. The scenery was breathtaking.
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Details

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

There are a number of exciting optional excursions you can do on your trip. These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract. Vancouver Island - Whale Watching (3 hours) CAD$ 109; Wildlife and hot spring (6 hours) CAD$ 139 + tax (food & drink not included); Sea Kayaking CAD$ 90 (4 hours); Bear Viewing CAD$103 Whistler - Tree Trek - CAD$ 41; Rafting CAD$ 95 (CAD$ 65 for 6-16yr olds) (option of class 1 to 2; class 2&3; or class 3&4 rapids); Zip line CAD$ 109; Gondola CAD$ 50 Wells Gray - Canoeing CAD$ 110 (including lunch) Jasper - Skytram CAD$ 50; Maligne boat tour CAD$ 70; Rafting trip CAD$ 72-103 (Athabasca River - class 2 rapids or Sunwapta River - class 3 rapids); ; Bike hire from CAD$15 (per hr) Athabasca Glacier - Snowcoach CAD$ 104; Ice walk CAD$ 110 (payable in cash only) Lake Louise - Canoe rental CAD$100 per half hour, CAD$126 per hour Banff - Gondola CAD$ 65; Hot Springs CAD$ 7.30; Canoeing on the Bow River CAD$42 (1hr) CAD$63 (2 hrs); Three Sisters Peaks Helicopter tour CAD$ 129 (15mins); Royal Canadian Helicopter tour CAD$ 259 (25mins); Mt. Assiniboine Helicopter tour CAD$ 314 (30mins) Kananaskis - Helicopter Tour 20 min ride, CAD$198.50, include a 1 hr wilderness stop for CAD$69 + 5% taxes. All optional excursion costs are subject to change at the discretion of the local supplier.

Accomodations

Accommodation Notes

Accommodation and service levels in Canada are, as would be expected, high. We generally steer clear of the larger hotel chains, although this is not always possible. We use a mixture of hotels and motels, which provide a comfortable base for a night or two but on the whole do not boast additional facilities such as restaurants, pools etc. Meals are normally eaten out at local restaurants and diners. All of the hotels/motels we use on this tour have private bathrooms. We are in 2 to 3 star hotels, with the exception of Jasper where we use twin or double shared cabins. In Wells Gray we stay at a ranch. Depending on time of year we might stay in cabins, twin/double shared or in the ranch itself. In Wells Gray Ranch, singles stay in the Ranch, not the cabins and will have to share bathroom facilities. Hotels/motels are normally located in centre of village or town, but in some exceptions we might be out of the centre. In Victoria and Vancouver we stay in town, but not directly in the centre. We use simple yet comfortable motels in Canmore, Whistler and Ucluelet.

Guides

A Tour Leader is an integral part of any Explore tour and your tour will be led by one of our experienced Tour Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Tour Leaders are the key to the success of our tours; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Tour Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this tour fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others. Please note that the Tour Leader will also drive the touring vehicle on this tour.

Tour Staff

Explore Tour Leader / Driver, Explore Tour Leader / Driver

Additional Information:

Tour Features

Certain departures operate in reverse. Please refer to our website for more details.

Trip ID#:

explore-RK

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