SELF DRIVE TOURING
Experience a wide variety of quintessential western landscapes and lifestyles, unforgettable wildlife viewing and personal adventure. This comprehensive 14-day tour stretches from the world-famous Banff and Jasper National Parks into the interior British Columbia highlands, boasting incredible hiking trails around sparkling lakes. Continue on into the heart of the Rocky Mountains to Kleena Kleene for a stay at an authentic alpine ranch featuring hiking and horseback riding. Continuing through the Coastal Mountains to the temperate and sheltered valleys of Bella Coola, this wondrous experience comes to an end at the placid coastlands and dazzling cities of Victoria and Vancouver.
Day 1 : Arrive Calgary
Upon arrival at Calgary International Airport, pick up your rental car and make your way to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to discover how this modern, chic city at the foothills of the Rockies has not forgotten its cowboy frontier heritage!
Day 2 : Calgary - Banff (78 miles)
The road westward to Banff leaves the towers of glass and steel behind, replaced with the rolling grasslands of Kananaskis horse country on the way to the mountains. The journey through the valley offers beautiful vista after vista as you make your way to the Bow Valley and the iconic parkland town of Banff.
Day 3 : Banff National Park
The Rockies most famous town deserves its grand reputation! Nestled in protected lands of Banff National Park, magnificent elk casually walk the local pathways and parks to the delight of visitors. Shoppes and restaurants boast menus from around the world, while offerings of outdoor adventure are around every corner.
Day 4 : Banff - Jasper (111 miles)
Today you drive to Jasper via the spectacular Icefields Parkway. We suggest a stop at Peyto Lake en route for a stretch and a short walk. Dozens of incredible photo opportunities of ancient forests and crisply outlined mountain peaks present themselves around every bend of the road. Abundant small roadside waterfalls and alpine meadows delight travellers along this route, considered one of the most scenic drives in the world.
Day 5 : Jasper - 100 Mile House (280 miles)
Today embark on your journey westward over the provincial border into the wilds of the British Columbia interior enroute to the Cariboo Region – an area famous for its bountiful precious mineral deposits. This rugged land drew prospectors and adventurers alike during the Gold Rush period, many who stayed on to found the small communities that flourish there today.
Day 6 : 100 Mile House - Kleena Kleene (202 miles)
Today you continue westward through the pristine wilderness of the British Columbia interior. Travelling along the Chilcotin – Bella Coola Highway you arrive at the Terra Nostra Guest Ranch, just west of the clear waters of Tatla Lake boasting some of the most stunning scenery in Canada. Set in the rugged wilderness of the Chilcotin plateau, the Terra Nostra offers stunning mountain views, adventurous horseback riding and hiking trails along a scenic lake.
Day 7 : Kleena Kleene
Today is yours to explore the trails and backwoods of the Terra Nostra Guest Ranch, set in the idyllic lands on the border of the majestic Coast Mountains. The ranch’s rustic setting gives an impression of what mountain village life is like. All your exquisite meals are prepared in and served in a nicely appointed log cabin dining room.
Day 8 : Kleena Kleene - Hagensborg (Bella Coola Area) (123 miles)
Today after breakfast you depart Kleena Kleena and travel further north through the British Columbia mountain ranges before turning west and journeying into the southern arm of Tweedsmuir National Park. The largest protected park in the province, this area boasts a near untouched wilderness where visitors can observe the rugged landscape as it has been for hundreds of centuries. Leaving the park, you travel into the peaceful Bella Coola valley, home to the Nuxalt First Nations people and situated at the headwaters of a 100 km inlet leading to the Pacific Ocean.
Day 9 : Hagensborg (Bella Coola Area) - Port Hardy (Cruise)
Enjoy a full day ocean cruise on board BC Ferries through a long and winding inlet waterway carved into the mountainous landscape. This placid, meandering cruise comes to an end in Port Hardy.
Day 10 : Port Hardy - Campbell River (145 miles)
Today you travel south along the eastern shore of Vancouver Island. After following the shores of Nimpkish Lake the road turns inland, giving you a roadside view of the rugged landscape of the island’s interior. You arrive at Campbell River, known as a centre for some of the world’s best sport fishing. Overnight in Campbell River.
Day 11 : Campbell River - Victoria (165 miles)
Following the Strait of Georgia separating the island from the British Columbia mainland, you continue along the coast past quaint villages of Parksville, Nanaimo, and Chemainus. Proceeding along the scenic Malahat Drive, you arrive in beautiful colonial Victoria your home for the next 2 nights.
Day 12 : Victoria
Today, explore this elegant capital city. We suggest a visit to Beacon Hill Park and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. You may decide to drop in for afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and experience a taste of British charm.
Day 13 : Victoria - Vancouver (Cruise & 27 miles)
Traverse the charming landscape of Victoria one last time before enjoying a mini-cruise on BC Ferries back to Vancouver through the Strait of Georgia. Arriving in Vancouver and drop your car back off at the depot. This evening take advantage of one of the many fine eateries available in this cosmopolitan jewel on the Pacific.
Day 14 : Vancouver
You will have the entire day to tour Vancouver and the surrounding area. Some suggestions: MacMillan Planetarium, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island, Grouse Mountain and Stanley Park.
Day 15 : Vancouver Departure
Today is the end of your tour. Please make sure to depart your hotel and leave ample time to check in at Vancouver International Airport for your departure flight.