Off the Beaten Track (20 nights)
Day 1 Vancouver to Victoria (68 km/42 miles + ferry)
Your destination today is the city of Victoria located on Vancouver Island. Departing Vancouver, stop at the fishing village of Steveston - home to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (admission not included). Continue to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal for your 90 min. ride to Victoria (ferry fare included). Arriving on Vancouver Island, it is a short and scenic drive to Butchart Gardens (admission included) - fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display, before arriving into the charming harbour City of Victoria.
Day 2 (Orca) Killer Whale Watch Cruise & Victoria
This morning depart on an exhilarating round trip of 50 to 80 kilometres in search of orcas, minke whales, grey whales, porpoises, harbour seals and other marine wildlife. This afternoon is free to explore Victoria.
Day 3 Victoria to Campbell River (269 km/168 miles)
Departing Victoria, wind your way up the Island Highway through such communities as Duncan, known as the “City of Totems”. Here you will find an authentic representation of the Northwest Coast Indians’ world at the Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village. This site features totem carving demonstrations, weaving, beading and knitting. Continuing north, pass the community of Chemainus, the “City of Murals”. to Campbell River.
Day 4 Campbell River to Port Hardy (241 km/150 miles)
Northbound again, your route today takes you along the Island Highway, reaching its northern terminus at the city of Port Hardy, your destination for tonight.
Day 5 Port Hardy to Bella Coola (Ferry)
Embark on a full day of cruising the sheltered waters of Canada’s Discovery Passage with BC Ferries (ferry fares included). During the length of the 13 hour crossing, a wonderful array of snow capped mountains combine with rich forests provides a background for a series of dramatic fjords.
Day 6 Bella Coola
Enjoy an Eco-Rafting Float trip. From May through July numerous birds, including eagles, waterfowl, kingfishers, merlin, heron and songbirds congregate in the Bella Coola Valley’s rivers and streams. Small mammals including otter, mink, fox, beaver and deer are also commonly seen. Black bears are active throughout most of the summer and fall and for a period of a few weeks in August and September, grizzly bears congregate along the river banks, stalking the Pacific salmon.
Day 7 Bella Coola to Elkin Valley Ranch (452km/280mi)
From Bella Coola, drive the “Freedom Highway” across the Chilcotin Plateau, a region of golden, rolling ranchland that teems with outdoor possibilities. Charter a float plane (Optional) to fly over Turner Lake and view one of North America’s highest waterfalls - Hunlen Falls plunges 253 metres (850 ft) over a sheer rock face. Heading east again on Highway 20, reach Hanceville and then towards the Nemaiah Valley and the rolling ranchland of Elkin Guest Ranch. (Dinner included).
Day 8 Elkin Valley Ranch
Elkin Creek Guest Ranch is nestled between the imposing Mount Tatlow of the Coast
Mountain Range and sparkling Vedan Lake and has 28,000 acres of cattle operation. Choose to fill your day horseback riding with the wranglers, river kayaking, fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking on a variety of trails, sailing, windsurfing, fishing on pristine Vedan Lake or simply relaxing in the clear mountain air (breakfast, lunch & dinner included).
Day 9 Elkin Valley Ranch
Day at leisure to enjoy the activities at the Ranch (breakfast, lunch & dinner included).
Day 10 Elkin Valley Ranch to Wells Gray Provincial Park (410km/255miles)
Today return back to Highway 20, at Riske Creek, detour to Farwell Canyon along a well-maintained gravel road to view hoodoos - tall pillars of layered rock, some in whimsical formations. Stay on a back road to explore Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park, home to more than 500 free-roaming bighorn sheep. Heading east again on Highway 20, you arrive at Williams Lake amid rolling ranchland. Williams Lake is home to the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame: a must stop. Continue south on Highway 97, following what was once the old Cariboo Wagon Road to 100 Mile House and see the original Barnard Express BX stagecoach. Continue on to Highway 24 renowned for the many lakes dotted along the highway.
Day 11 Wells Gray Provincial Park
Today is yours to explore the volcano-shaped wilderness of the park. Explore the park’s mineral springs, serene lakes, dormant volcanoes and rushing falls. Not to be missed are the towering Helmcken Falls near the entrance to the park.
Day 12 Wells Gray Provincial Park to Jasper (318 km/198 miles)
Set out for Jasper along the scenic Yellowhead Highway and take in the breathtaking vistas of the steep-walled gorges and crashing falls of the North Thompson River. On your journey today, perhaps you will get a glimpse of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Day 13 Jasper
Jasper offers many terrific scenic highlights to explore. Take a tram ride up Whistlers Mountain, or visit Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed lakes in the world.
Day 14 Jasper to Banff (289 km/180 miles)
Your scenic drive today takes you through the spine of the Canadian Rockies. View a never-ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and pristine emerald colour lakes. Along the way see such sights as the Columbia Icefield and take an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier (included).
Day 15 Banff
A full day to explore Banff and area. Check out the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff Gondola (Included) where you will see a panoramic view of the Bow Valley, and then take a dip in the hot mineral pools at the Upper Hot Springs.
Day 16 Banff to Cranbrook (280km/173miles)
Travel south through the Rocky Mountains back into British Columbia. Along the way visit Fort Steele Heritage Town (not included).
Day 17 Cranbrook to Nelson (232km/144miles)
On the way into Nelson today take a short detour over to Harrop to experience the Harrop Proctor Cable Ferry. Surrounded by the Selkirk Mountains, set on the shores of Kootenay Lake and clustered with some 350 heritage buildings, Nelson’s storybook charm and stunning scenery create the quintessential small town setting. Perhaps enjoy an evening cruise on the S.S. Moyie paddle wheeler.
Day 18 Nelson
Today is at leisure to explore Nelson and the surrounding region.
Day 19 Nelson to Osoyoos (261km/162miles)
Continue travelling westward to Osoyoos, Canada’s only desert town, with a unique interpretive centre. With expanses of orchards and vineyards, lake swimming and boating, this area has all the attractions a visitor could ever want.
Day 20 Osoyoos to Manning Provincial Park (169km/105miles)
Leaving the southern desert area of BC today travel into the mountainous interior of southern British Columbia and Manning Provincial Park. You overnight at the Manning Park Resort located in the middle of the park, and this gives you some quiet time to explore, and perhaps go on one of the many hiking trails available.
Day 21 Manning Provincial Park to Vancouver (230km/142miles)
Return to Vancouver along the Hope highway through the fertile farmland of the Fraser Valley.
Drop your car off at Vancouver Airport and check in for your flight home.