North West Adventure
WHISTLER | 108 MILE HOUSE | PRINCE GEORGE | SMITHERS | BELL II/STEWART | WATSON LAKE | WHITEHORSE | BEAVER CREEK | DAWSON CITY | FARO | MUNCHO LAKE | FORT SAINT JOHN | GRAND PRARIE | JASPER | BANFF
Travelling from the lush coastlines of southern British Columbia, through the Rockies, on to the northern reaches of the Yukon and back, travellers will get a comprehensive experience of the vastness and natural diversity of Canada’s immense western edge. A circular routing features unique locations and accommodations, designed for the return traveller that desires an itinerary that is off the beaten path. The vivid majesty of the southern mountains is contrasted by the stark, haunting beauty of the remote north and the winding, horizon-challenging roads that traverses it. Communities that celebrate their unique histories and locations combine with unforgettable landscapes to create a one of a kind Canadian experience.
North West Adventure
Day 1 : ARRIVE IN VANCOUVER / VANCOUVER TO WHISTLER (121 KM)
Upon arrival into Vancouver pick up your rental car at the airport and proceed along the Sea-to-Sky Sky Highway to the village of Whistler for your 2 night stay. The rest of the day is yours to explore the sights and sounds of Canada’s premier mountain resort!
Day 2 : WHISTLER
The many charms of Whistler are yours to discover today. The 2010 Winter Olympics showcased the multitude of sights and activities available in Whistler, many of them operating year round. The many cafes and restaurants of the village provide the perfect destination for visitors leisurely exploring the pedestrian walkways and town squares. Woodland trails surround the village, as does a well-developed network of biking and hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts of all ability. Overnight in Whistler.
Day 3 : WHISTLER TO 108 MILE RANCH (321 KM)
The road leads northward today into the fabled Cariboo Region, made famous for its bountiful precious mineral deposits. The area drew prospectors and adventurers alike during the Gold Rush period, many who stayed on to found the small communities that flourish there today. 108 Mile Ranch itself was established to support the miners on their trek to find their riches in the mountains of this rugged land and your home for the next 2 nights.
Day 4 : 108 MILE
Enjoy a day at leisure, free to explore the local area. This ranch-dotted western paradise set near the shores of 108 Mile Lake is steeped in frontier history of the Cariboo region, with weather-beaten relics still standing of the frontier days long past.
Day 5 : 108 MILE TO PRINCE GEORGE (312 KM)
The drive today travels through some of the wildest areas of the province, the route dotted with small towns that support the lumber harvesting industry and celebrate the frontier culture that is still alive in these communities. En route to Prince George, perhaps take some time visit Barkerville – a Gold Rush town that has been restored to its pioneer glory days.
Day 6 : PRINCE GEORGE TO SMITHERS (371 KM)
The interior mountains are a place of immense beauty derived from the ancient forests and large expanses of untouched wilderness that lie just off the roadside. Large animals such as bears and elk inhabit the forests, many of them enshrined in the art, legends and culture of the several First Nations peoples that have called this region home for thousands of years.
Day 7 : SMITHERS TO BELL II OR STEWART (359 KM)
Put on your prospector’s hat and strike north today on the way to the base of the panhandle of Alaska! This route, once taken at great risk by prospectors and adventurers alike, still rings with the hope and sometimes desperation of the ‘tin pans’ that risked it all for a chance at golden riches. Overnight in Bell II or Stewart.
Day 8 : BELL II OR STEWART TO WATSON LAKE (495 KM)
Few ever travel the roads of northern British Columbia and today you join that exclusive club! The wild but serene landscape is a constant companion, providing near endless photo opportunities and invite all who pass through these lands to make stops to enjoy the vastness of the wilderness. Arriving in Watson Lake, take some time to visit the ‘signpost forest’ – a collection of over 10,000 signposts donated by visitors from around the world.
Day 9 : WATSON LAKE TO WHITEHORSE (438 KM)
Departing westward along the Alaska Highway into the interior of the Yukon as it dances back and forth along the provincial border, pass through small towns and villages such as Teslin and Swift River that have carved unique communities out of a rugged wilderness. Arrive in Whitehorse –long a bastion of civilization providing the comforts and conveniences of the southern cities in the far north.
Day 10 : WHITEHORSE
Born in the frenzied days of the Gold Rush, this frontier town on the banks of the mighty Yukon still echoes with the din of the hardy prospectors from the past. With a full day at leisure, we suggest taking a daytrip to remote Skagway, or to visit some of the local sites such as the SS Klondike, Beringia Centre, the Transportation Museum or the MacBride Museum.
Day 11 : WHITEHORSE TO BEAVER CREEK (446 KM)
On the westbound journey today, take some time to independently explore natural wonders such as the shores of Lake Kluane and Destruction Bay, or the spectacular Kluane National Park. Well-marked hiking trails and scenic viewpoints showcase some of the unique landscapes of these protected parklands. Arrive in Beaver Creek where the mighty Alaskan and Yukon highways meet.
Day 12 : BEAVER CREEK TO DAWSON CITY (434 KM)
The journey continues today along a picturesque route following the Taylor Highway and Top of the World Highway as it traverses the wilds of Yukon and crosses over the international border to Alaska, USA. The small crossroads town of Chicken provides the ideal midway point to stop and experience a slice of local life. Ending with a short crossing of the Yukon River by ferry, arrive at Dawson City for a 2 night stay- a frontier town that still glitters with the golden hopes of the past
Day 13 : DAWSON CITY
The day is yours to independently discover the excitement of the Gold Rush days gone by as the town comes alive with period actors on local walking tours, historical buildings and interactive gold-panning stations that give visitors a taste of the past. The Bonanza Creek with Discovery Claim and Dredge 4 National Historic Site provides an in-depth look into the industry that made the town famous. The Midnight Dome offers dramatic views of the town at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers.
Day 14 : DAWSON CITY TO FARO (531 KM)
Journeying inland, you embark on a day of exploration as you discover the peace of the road seldom travelled. Venture through tracts of starkly beautiful wilderness, often home to First Nations peoples such as the Little Salmon Carmacks band. Arrive in small village of Faro, set under the watchful eye of distant mountains. Overnight in Faro.
Day 15 : FARO TO WATSON LAKE (425 KM)
Campbell Highway is your guide today as you follow the path of several rivers and long lakes, many only previously seen by the most avid outdoorsman or eco-adventurer. Arriving in Watson Lake, enjoy another opportunity to explore this small town, perhaps with a stop at the World War II exhibit at the local airport.
Day 16 : WATSON LAKE TO MUNCHO LAKE (274 KM)
A shorter distance today provides ample time to check into your hotel for the next 3 nights and take a captivating independent day trip to Muncho Lake Provincial Park. Set amidst spectacular ‘folded’ mountains, bountiful wildlife, brilliantly-colored wildflowers – well marked trails and path invite visitors to fill the day with hiking, sightseeing and exploration.
Day 17-18 : MUNCHO LAKE
With your hotel as a home base, spend two days independently hiking the surrounding protected lands of Dune Za Keyih, Kwadacha Wilderness, or Northern Rocky Mountains Provincial Parks. With unique ecosystems found nowhere else in the world, researchers and adventures alike explore these dynamic landscapes and revel in what scientific and spiritual marvels they reveal.
Day 19 : MUNCHO LAKE TO FORT SAINT JOHN (620 KM)
Travelling east of the upper spur of the Rockies, the route leads into the open lands along the provincial border with Alberta. Arriving in Fort Saint John, the welcoming sight of the Peace River Valley welcomes you after a long day of exploration.
Day 20 : FORT SAINT JOHN TO GRAND PRAIRIE (207 KM)
Travelling farther south, arrive in the economic hub of Grand Prairie. Surrounded by forests, cascading rivers, city parklands, art galleries and activity centres, the city is a meeting place, cultural and commercial centre of northern Alberta for residents and visitors alike. Overnight in Grand Prairie.
Day 21 : GRAND PRAIRIE TO JASPER (397 KM)
Descending south along the skirt of the Rockies, turn westward at the small community of Hinton and plunge into the mountains and one of the most famous of Canada’s park system, Jasper National Park. Arrive in this small village, known as one of the major outdoor adventure and eco-tourism centres of the west.
Day 22 : JASPER TO BANFF (288 KM)
Today depart along the Icefields Parkway as it meanders through a landscape of peaks and glaciers, embarking on an incredible 1.5 hour sightseeing tour of the Columbia Icefield in an all-terrain Ice Explorer vehicle. Afterwards, the Trans-Canada Highway leads you to Banff, a year-round resort village boasting spectacular wilderness scenery, outdoor adventure activities and dining delights from around the world. Overnight in Banff.
Day 23 : BANFF
A day at leisure in Banff means you have the very best of the Rockies right at your doorstep. Dining, shopping, small local museums and galleries in town, or hiking sightseeing, wildlife viewing and endless outdoor excursions – Banff literally has it all. Ride the Banff gondola and hike the summit, or go for a drive back to the Icefields Parkway and fill your camera with some of the most stunning scenery in North America.
Day 24 : BANFF TO CALGARY DEPARTURE
Today your tour comes to an end as you proceed to Calgary International Airport and drop off your rental car and catch your onwards flight home.