• Patricia Lake, Jasper

Great Parks of the West

Calling all nature lovers with incurable ‘itchy feet’. Now you can explore the best of the national parks in West Canada on our Great Parks of the West self drive. The adventure kicks off in the bustling city of Vancouver, known for its combination of rugged mountains and ice-blue sea.

You’ll soon make your way into the quiet countryside with Penticton, located in the Okanagan Valley, as your first stop. Trek through the thick pine forests, or take a nap in the tepid sunshine beneath a shady tree in one of the area’s many provincial parks. Stop off overnight in the close-knit community of Revelstoke before making your way to Banff, a popular resort town and home to the infamous Banff National Park. Breathe in the dewy mountain air and admire the hundreds of icy glaciers that pepper the park’s perimeter.

Next, move on to Jasper for a chance to explore the just as impressive Jasper National Park. Walk through Tonquin Valley for gorgeous vistas of untouched, undisturbed natural beauty, and hop aboard a SkyTram for an aerial view. From Jasper, you’ll journey to 100 Mile House, a quaint town founded during the Cariboo Gold Rush, before hurtling across the Cariboo Highway to Whistler. This year-round resort town is celebrated for its outdoor activities, including tobogganing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding.

The whirlwind Great Parks of the West Tour concludes back in Vancouver after 14 days of memorable experiences and adventures that you’ll be all too keen to repeat.

Duration
14 days

Guide Price

 £2,999  pp
Options
Private basis
Start your journey
Vancouver

Trip highlights

  • Tour through Banff National Park, marvelling at over 1,000 icy glaciers and countless glittering lakes
  • Explore Jasper National Park and Tonquin Valley for untouched, undisturbed natural beauty
  • Visit 100 Mile House - a quaint, historic town founded during the Cariboo Gold Rush
  • Indulge in outdoor adventures in the year-round resort town of Whistler

Touch down in the bustling city of Vancouver, the largest in British Columbia. You’ll be whisked away to your hotel where you’ll be able to pick up your Jonview Roadbook and explore the city at your own leisure for the remainder of the day.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver or Georgian Court Hotel or similar
Vancouver

Spend your morning and afternoon uncovering the city’s most popular attractions and hidden gems in comfort as you climb aboard a San Francisco-style trolley for an enthusiastic hop on, hop off tour. Hop from sight to sight at your own pace, making sure to spend a sizeable stretch strolling through Stanley Park, which is encased by the glistening waters of Burrard Inlet and English Bay.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver or Georgian Court Hotel or similar

Today, you’ll depart Vancouver for Penticton, which is quietly nestled in the Okanagan Valley. En route, you will travel through the Coast Mountains and Manning Provincial Park, which is lovingly ensconced in the centre of the Cascade Mountains. Once you enter the park, consider taking the opportunity to stretch your legs by walking along the Dewdney Trail, which extends around 450 miles in total. Keep an eye out for the beautiful, bright, blooming rhododendron at Rhododendron Flats, especially if you’re visiting during the summertime.

Get back on the road for the final stage of the journey before arriving in Penticton, which is renowned for its orchards, balmy weather, and beaches

Suggested Accommodation

  • Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre or Ramada Inn & Suites Penticton or similar

Spend some time unpacking the many wonders of Penticton before continuing your trek eastward to the close-knit mountain community of Revelstoke. Marvel at the dense forests or treat yourself to a late morning nap in one of the tranquil provincial parks beneath the abundant shelter of a shady pine tree.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke or Coast Hillcrest Resort or similar
a body of water with a mountain in the snow

The next leg of your West Canada’s national parks tour takes you to Glacier National Park. This national park is perched in the rugged Rocky Mountains and is home to an array of mesmerising wildlife, including grizzly bears and mountain goats. After spending some time taking in the natural beauty, you’ll continue towards the popular resort town of Banff, where you’ll be spending tonight and the following day.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Banff Springs or Rimrock Resort Hotel or similar
a view of a snow covered mountain

Today, you have the opportunity to take on numerous adventures in Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest national park in all of Canada. Spend the morning hiking and inhaling the rich, dewy mountain air, or sit lakeside and listen intently to the sounds of nature, all the while marvelling at the many glaciers of your surroundings. The park boasts hundreds of glaciers.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Banff Springs or Rimrock Resort Hotel or similar
a flock of birds standing on top of a mountain

This morning, make your way to another resort town, Jasper, via the scenic Icefields Parkway. The parkway is said to have been constructed by around 2,000 unemployed city dwellers in the 1930s and took around nine years to complete. It’s now known for offering one of the world’s most stunning driving and cycling tours. Make the most of it by paying a visit to the turquoise, glacier-fed Peyto Lake and enjoying a ride on an Ice Explorer for an up close view of the glassy, sprawling ice around you.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre or similar
Two motorcycles on the Icefields Parkway
Northern Lights over the Icefield Parkway

Jasper National Park is a mountain park comprised of 4,200 square miles of untouched, undisturbed natural beauty. Make your way from one natural wonder to the next, including hot springs, glaciers, lakes and waterfalls. Also be sure to scope out Pyramid Mountain, which stands out thanks to its unique pyramid shape, and the awe-inspiring Tonquin Valley. The valley runs along the peaks of the South Jasper Range and can be found just above the soothing and serene Amethyst Lake. Hop aboard the Jasper SkyTram for a different perspective on the park’s most unmissable vistas.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre or similar
a flower in a body of water with a mountain in the background

You’ll hit the road once again as you drive through the Yellowhead Pass. Stay focused as you’ll soon be beside Mount Robson, the highest and most impressive peak in the Rockies. Your journey will continue southward along the Thompson River, which is a haven for speedy salmon and trout and their predators – bears and birds of prey. As you travel, you’ll skirt the perimeter of Wells Gray Provincial Park and stop in Blue River, a tiny community of less than 300 residents, for a breather as you progress towards your next stop: 100 Mile House.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Spruce Hill Resort & Spa or similar

Located in the south Cariboo region of Canada, 100 Mile House was founded during the days of the Cariboo Gold Rush, when a roadhouse was built to service gold seekers on their way to the goldfields. The town boasts a rustic, ranch atmosphere and is best known for its prime cattle ranching and leisure activities.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Spruce Hill Resort & Spa or similar
Whistler
a truck with a mountain in the background

Newly rejuvenated and ready for some fresh scenery, today you’ll head to the Whistler resort. The region is home to Whistler Blackcomb, which is one of the largest and best known ski resorts in all of North America, but in summer time boasts just as beautiful landscapes. You’ll travel across the Cariboo Highway, which is awash with lush greenery and mesmeric landscapes, and Duffey Lake Road for more incredible views of Canada’s craggy mountains.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler or Westin Resort & Spa Whistler or similar
a tree in front of a house

This year-round resort town is known for offering a host of activities so spike your adrenaline with a snowy outdoor adventure of your choosing. Alternatively, explore the little town of Whistler Blackcomb, where you’ll find picture-perfect little streets and chalets home to sweet shops, cafes, boutiques and some excellent restaurants.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler or Westin Resort & Spa Whistler or similar
a close up of a tree

Today, you head back to the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, where you’ll have the afternoon free to say a proper farewell to Canada before boarding your return flight home the next day. Explore the town’s many sights and attractions. Art lovers will enjoy the many galleries, while the museums are perfect for history lovers. Alternatively, spend your afternoon picking up souvenirs and gifts in the boutiques and small shops of the city. When it comes to dining, Vancouver is a melting pot of culture, providing you with the opportunity to sample a host of cuisines from local dishes to Chinese, Mexican, Irish and more.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport or Fairmont Vancouver Airport or similar

Make your way to Vancouver International Airport where you can board your flight home.

Included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 13 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis: Room only
  • Car hire and insurance
  • Taxes

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Gratuities
  • Meals
  • Attractions and excursions