๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ WESTERN CANADA

Lake Louise, Canada - Western Canada itineraryIn a country as big as this driving distances can be huge, luckily in Western Canada there is plenty to see and so you’ll only be on the road (or rails) for a few hours before you arrive at yet another breathtaking destination. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Western Canada itinerary:

Luxury Whistler, Canada
1 โœˆTo Vancouver (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening ๐ŸจRosewood Hotel Georgia (Book >) All hotels >
The only thing to do today is enjoy your first meal in Canada and stay awake as long as you can to beat jetlag. Arrange a transfer from the airport.
2 For one of the best views of the city head up Vancouver Lookout, for perhaps the best view catch the cable car up Grouse Mountain. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden makes for a very serene visit, as does the 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden. Take a taxi over to the spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge, or to Lynn Canyon for almost the same experience but for free. Gastown, Main Street, or Alexandra Road are good places in which to find somewhere to eat.
3 ๐Ÿš—Vancouver to Whistler drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:00 ๐ŸจFour Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
Not far from Vancouver is the mountain resort of Whistler. The Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas run all year except October to early November and are great for views and for starting your mountain adventure, be it on snow or track. Like snowsports? visit Whistler between December and March. Into hiking or biking? June to August is the time to come.
4 ๐Ÿš—Whistler to Clearwater drive Dep: 13:30 Arr: 19:00 ๐ŸจAlpine Meadows Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Make the most of the clear mountains air before the drive to Clearwater. You may want to plan in frequent stops to take in the view along the road.
5 ๐Ÿš—Clearwater to Jasper drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 ๐ŸจAlpine Village Jasper (Book >) All hotels >
Wells Gray Provincial Park, adjacent to Clearwater, is a wonderful place to hike or canoe. If, like me, you’re a fan of white water rafting then this is a great place to do it. Fill up on fuel before leaving town – distances between gas stations can be large.
6 Enjoy the famously picturesque cruise on Maligne Lake, which can also be experienced by kayak. The Jasper SkyTram is an easy way to get those unforgettable mountain-top views. After a long and active day, relax in Miette Hot Springs. You’ll need to pay a national park entry fee if you stop off and hike/bike/etc, but if you’re just driving through then you don’t need to pay.
7 ๐Ÿš—Jasper to Banff drive Dep: 08:00
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 14:30
๐ŸจHotel Fairmont Banff Springs
(Book >)
All hotels >
Another wonderful drive (one of the top drives in the world by Condรฉ Nast Traveller) and another fantastic destination. On the way stop off at the magnificent Athabasca Glacier for a tour of the ice sheet and skywalk. Banff is another place where you come in winter for the snowsports or in summer for every other activity. Again, there are some lovely hot springs in which to luxuriate. Had enough of driving? Banff has a good local bus system which can take you to many trailheads and sights.
8 A full day to choose to explore the trails, the ski runs, the rivers or the lakes. Add another day here if you can’t get enough of the outdoor lifestyle. You can also travel to and from Banff on a Rocky Mountaineer package.
9 ๐Ÿš—Banff to Lake Louise drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:40 ๐ŸจPost Hotel & Spa
(Bookย >)
All hotels >
Plenty of choice for hikes in Lake Louise, whatever your ability. I recommend, if you can, heading up as high as you can for spectacular panoramic views. You may want to set off earlier and arrive before 9 if you want to avoid coach trippers at Lake Louise.
10 ๐Ÿš—Lake Louise to Field drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:30 ๐ŸจCathedral Mountain Lodge
(Book >)
All hotels >
Just down the road from Lake Louise, Field is in Yoho National Park and the Kicking Horse valley (which you’d have already visited if you went rafting from Banff. Points of interest include Emerald Lake, Wapta Falls, Takakkaw Falls and Lake O’Hara Although unlikely to happen, it’s good to know what to do if you encounter a bear. Read the advice here.
11 ๐Ÿš—Field to Kamloops drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:30 ๐ŸจCampbell Hills Guest Ranch (Book >) All hotels >
Kamloops is a great stopping off point on your way back west. Here you can enjoy horseriding, mountain biking or, at certain times of year a ride on the fantastic Kamloops Heritage Railway. Accommodation tonight is in a working ranch. Check the weather the night before – you may need more time if it starts snowing. HERE
12 Today you can ride horses, take a kayak out onto the lake, drive ATVs or hike in and around the ranch. Your stay at the ranch includes all meals.
13 ๐Ÿš—Kamloops to Victoria drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 ๐ŸจAbigail’s Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Continue the drive out the mountains, around Vancouver, across the ferry and on to Vancouver Island. Have a relaxed afternoon enjoying the sights of Victoria, including the famous Butchart Gardens. Buy the car ferry ticket from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (and back) in advance here.
14 Drive the two hours over to Port Renfrew and enjoy the incredible scenery in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Or head out to sea from Victoria on a whale watching trip. If you want to extend your trip then a visit to the Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort is an experience you won’t forget.
15 ๐Ÿš—Victoria to Vancouver drive
โœˆVancouver to home (Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:30
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Western Canada itinerary with the USA (California & Nevada)
Check the ferry times before driving back to Vancouver.
Mid-range Vancouver Island, Canada
1 โœˆTo Vancouver (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening ๐ŸจO Canada House (Book >) All hotels >
The only thing to do today is enjoy your first meal in Canada and stay awake as long as you can to beat jetlag. Arrange a transfer from the airport.
2 For one of the best views of the city head up Vancouver Lookout, for perhaps the best view catch the cable car up Grouse Mountain. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden makes for a very serene visit, as does the 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden. Take a taxi over to the spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge, or to Lynn Canyon for almost the same experience but for free. Gastown, Main Street, or Alexandra Road are good places in which to find somewhere to eat.
3 ๐Ÿš—Vancouver to Whistler drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:00 ๐ŸจFirst Tracks Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Not far from Vancouver is the mountain resort of Whistler. The Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas run all year except October to early November and are great for views and for starting your mountain adventure, be it on snow or track. Like snowsports? visit Whistler between December and March. Into hiking or biking? June to August is the time to come.
4 ๐Ÿš—Whistler to Clearwater drive Dep: 13:30 Arr: 19:00 ๐ŸจAlpine Meadows Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Make the most of the clear mountains air before the drive to Clearwater. You may want to plan in frequent stops to take in the view along the road.
5 ๐Ÿš—Clearwater to Jasper drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 ๐ŸจAlpine Village Jasper (Book >) All hotels >
Wells Gray Provincial Park, adjacent to Clearwater, is a wonderful place to hike or canoe. If, like me, you’re a fan of white water rafting then this is a great place to do it. Fill up on fuel before leaving town – distances between gas stations can be large.
6 Enjoy the famously picturesque cruise on Maligne Lake, which can also be experienced by kayak. The Jasper SkyTram is an easy way to get those unforgettable mountain-top views. After a long and active day, relax in Miette Hot Springs. You’ll need to pay a national park entry fee if you stop off and hike/bike/etc, but if you’re just driving through then you don’t need to pay.
7 ๐Ÿš—Jasper to Banff drive Dep: 08:00
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 14:30
๐ŸจThe Rimrock Resort
(Book >)
All hotels >
Another wonderful drive (one of the top drives in the world by Condรฉ Nast Traveller) and another fantastic destination. On the way stop off at the magnificent Athabasca Glacier for a tour of the ice sheet and skywalk. Banff is another place where you come in winter for the snowsports or in summer for every other activity. Again, there are some lovely hot springs in which to luxuriate. Had enough of driving? Banff has a good local bus system which can take you to many trailheads and sights.
8 A full day to choose to explore the trails, the ski runs, the rivers or the lakes. Add another day here if you can’t get enough of the outdoor lifestyle. You can also travel to and from Banff on a Rocky Mountaineer package.
9 ๐Ÿš—Banff to Lake Louise drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:40 ๐ŸจBaker Creek Mountain Resort
(Book >)
All hotels >
Plenty of choice for hikes in Lake Louise, whatever your ability. I recommend, if you can, heading up as high as you can for spectacular panoramic views. You may want to set off earlier and arrive before 9 if you want to avoid coach trippers at Lake Louise.
10 ๐Ÿš—Lake Louise to Field drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:30 ๐ŸจEmerald Lake Lodge
(Book >)
All hotels >
Just down the road from Lake Louise, Field is in Yoho National Park and the Kicking Horse valley (which you’d have already visited if you went rafting from Banff. Points of interest include Emerald Lake, Wapta Falls, Takakkaw Falls and Lake O’Hara Although unlikely to happen, it’s good to know what to do if you encounter a bear. Read the advice here.
11 ๐Ÿš—Field to Kamloops drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 ๐ŸจWingate By Wyndham Kamloops (Book >) All hotels >
Kamloops is a great stopping off point on your way back west. Here you can enjoy horseriding, mountain biking or, at certain times of year a ride on the fantastic Kamloops Heritage Railway. Check the weather the night before – you may need more time if it starts snowing.
12 ๐Ÿš—Kamloops to Victoria drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 ๐ŸจThe Oswego Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Continue the drive out the mountains, around Vancouver, across the ferry and on to Vancouver Island. Have a relaxed afternoon enjoying the sights of Victoria, including the famous Butchart Gardens. Buy the car ferry ticket from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (and back) in advance here.
13 Drive the two hours over to Port Renfrew and enjoy the incredible scenery in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Or head out to sea from Victoria on a whale watching trip. If you go on a whale watching trip then you may want to take motion sickness tablets as the sea can be rough.
14 ๐Ÿš—Victoria to Vancouver drive
โœˆVancouver to home (Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:30
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Western Canada itinerary with the USA (California & Nevada)
Check the ferry times before driving back to Vancouver.
Budget Vancouver, Canada
1 โœˆTo Vancouver (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening ๐ŸจSameSun Vancouver (Book >) All hostels >
The only thing to do today is enjoy your first meal in Canada and stay awake as long as you can to beat jetlag. Take the Canada Line from the airport to Yaletown-Roundhouse station.
2 For one of the best views of the city head up Vancouver Lookout, for perhaps the best view catch the cable car up Grouse Mountain. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden makes for a very serene visit, as does the 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden. Take a taxi over to the spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge, or to Lynn Canyon for almost the same experience but for free. Gastown, Main Street, or Alexandra Road are good places in which to find somewhere to eat.
3 ๐ŸšŒVancouver to Whistler bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:00 ๐ŸจPangea Pod Hotel (Book >) All hostels >
Not far from Vancouver is the mountain resort of Whistler. The Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas run all year except October to early November and are great for views and for starting your mountain adventure, be it on snow or track. Like snowsports? visit Whistler between December and March. Into hiking or biking? June to August is the time to come.
4 ๐ŸšŒWhistler to Vancouver bus (Book >)
๐Ÿš„Vancouver to Jasper train (Book >)
Dep: 12:00
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:00 ๐ŸจTrain
A couple more hours this morning to enjoy Whistler before departing for Vancouver and your train to Jasper. You are in for a treat; the views on your train journey are spectacular! This bus departure time is only available Fri-Sun, if travelling on other days then take the 10:00.
5 ๐Ÿš„Vancouver to Jasper train (Book >) Arr: 11:00 ๐ŸจHI Jasper (Book >) All hostels >
Wells Gray Provincial Park, adjacent to Clearwater, is a wonderful place to hike or canoe. If, like me, you’re a fan of white water rafting then this is a great place to do it. Jasper is one hour ahead of Vancouver.
6 Enjoy the famously picturesque cruise on Maligne Lake, which can also be experienced by kayak. The Jasper SkyTram is an easy way to get those unforgettable mountain-top views. After a long and active day, relax in Miette Hot Springs. You’ll need to pay a national park entry fee if you stop off and hike/bike/etc, but if you’re just passing through then you don’t need to pay.
7 ๐ŸšŒJasper to Lake Louise bus (Book >) Dep: 07:00 Arr: 10:45 ๐ŸจHI Lake Louise (Book >) All hostels >
Journey along the famous Icefield Parkway. There is plenty of choice for hikes in Lake Louise, whatever your ability. I recommend, if you can, heading up as high as you can for spectacular panoramic views. You can also travel to Lake Louise via the Athabasca Glacier on a tour (which is much more expensive!)
8 Another day for hiking in the Lake Louise area. Consider a Hostelling International membership if you plan to frequently stay in their hostels (it also gets you a discount on the bus from Jasper).
9 ๐ŸšŒLake Louise to Banff bus (Info >) Dep: 09:35 Arr: 10:20 ๐ŸจSamesun Banff (Book >) All hostels >
Take the bus to the transport hub in Banff, which is another place where you come in winter for the snowsports or in summer for every other activity. Again, there are some lovely hot springs in which to luxuriate. Although unlikely to happen, it’s good to know what to do if you encounter a bear. Read the advice here. HERE
10 A full day to choose to explore the trails, the ski runs, the rivers or the lakes. Add another day here if you can’t get enough of the outdoor lifestyle. You can also travel to and from Banff on a Rocky Mountaineer package.
11 ๐ŸšŒBanff to Kamloops bus (Book >) Dep: 10:05 Arr: 16:15 ๐ŸจPacific Inn & Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Kamloops is a great stopping off point on your way back west. At certain times of year a ride on the fantastic Kamloops Heritage Railway. Consider adding another day here if you enjoy horse riding – Kamloops has excellent ranches.
12 ๐ŸšŒKamloops to Vancouver bus (Book >)
๐ŸšŒVancouver to Victoria bus (Book >)
Dep: 08:15
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 12:45
Arr: 17:20
๐ŸจOcean Island Inn (Book >) All hostels >
Continue the drive out the mountains, around Vancouver, across the ferry and on to Vancouver Island. Enjoy the sights of Victoria, including the famous Butchart Gardens. Buy the car ferry ticket from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (and back) in advance here.
13 Get up early for the 06:45 bus to Port Renfrew and visit Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (returning at 17:45). Or head out to sea from Victoria on a whale watching trip. If you go on a whale watching trip then you may want to take motion sickness tablets as the sea can be rough.
14 ๐ŸšŒVictoria to Vancouver Airport bus (Book >)
โœˆVancouver to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:45
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:25
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Western Canada itinerary with the USA (California & Nevada) itinerary
Check the ferry times before driving back to Vancouver.

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