Canadian Rockies

While Italy has Venice and Florence, Canada has Banff and Jasper… legendary natural marvels that are as spectacular & vital as anything the ancient Romans ever built. Don’t think these protected areas have no history. Of the thousands of National Parks, Banff, created in 1885, is the third oldest. The two bordering parks were designated Unesco World Heritage sites. Both parks are surrounded by classic Canadian Rocky Mountain peaks and stunning glaciers.

Day 1 – Portland OR – Chilliwack BC
We’ll start our morning off with a quick coffee stop and leg stretch, before heading up to the Tulalip Resort Casino for lunch. This afternoon, we’ll cross the border into Canada – please have your passports ready! Once in Canada, we’ll make our way to our home for the night. The Coast Chilliwack Hotel in British Columbia is surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of rivers, parks, and mountains, but you’ll still have all the amenities of modern life at your fingertips. Later, we’ll have a scrumptious welcome dinner at the hotel, to get acquainted. Coast Chilliwack Hotel (L, D)

Day 2 – Chilliwack BC – Kamloops BC
This morning, enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before we depart for our tour in Yale, BC. Yale was once the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Chicago. Originally established in 1848 as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, Yale grew with the influx of an estimated 30,000 gold miners during the gold rush of 1858. Next, we’ll enjoy lunch at Hells Gate Airtram. Hells Gate is an abrupt narrowing of British Columbia’s Fraser River, located immediately downstream of Boston Bar in the southern Fraser Canyon. These aerial trams will give you a birds’ eye view of this historic landmark where 200 million gallons of water per minute thunder through this 33 meter(110 feet) wide passage. “We had to travel where no human being should venture for surely we have encountered the gates of hell” – Simon Fraser, 1808.  You will witness firsthand what these words really meant to this early explorer. We’ll have a leg stretch at the Oasis Hotel in Cache Creek, before moving on to our home for the night, the Coast Kamloops Hotel. Dinner will be on your tonight, and there are several restaurants within 6 blocks or less from the hotel. Coast Kamloops Hotel (B, L)

Day 3 – Kamloops BC – Jasper BC
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning, before departing the hotel. We’ll stop for lunch at the Best Western in Valemount today. As early as the 1700’s the Valemount area was seasonally visited by the Shuswap Indian Nation. Trappers started arriving in the beginning of the 1800’s by foot, horseback and boat to trade fur with the Nomadic band. Today, Valemount’s 1300 residents share their mountain home of rugged beauty and natural resources with travelers and adventurers from around the world. Later, we’ll enjoy stops at Rearguard Falls, and the Mt. Robson Visitors Center, on our way to our home for the next two nights the Crimson Hotel in Jasper. Jasper is known for being surrounded by Mother Nature, and it provide a fantastic, family-friendly getaway. Enjoy a quiet location away from the main street, but still close to convenient destinations. Tonight, we’ll have dinner at the restaurant, in the courtyard of the hotel, is a contemporary, recently renovated restaurant, popular with locals for innovative and affordable made-from-scratch Canadian cuisine. The Crimson Hotel Jasper (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Jasper Local Touring
After a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel, we’ll head out for a beautiful cruise on Maligne Lake. Tourists have been exploring and marveling at Maligne Lake for quite a while now, and the world-famous Spirit Island is the heart and soul of Jasper National Park. Accessible only by boat, this diminutive icon of the Canadian Rockies is the destination point of our scenic Maligne Lake cruise. The 90 minute interpretive tour aboard glass enclosed and temperature controlled boats will allow us to comfortably take in the lakes lovely, tranquil-blue color and that backdrop of lofty peaks which hold back the busy world and provide a calming wilderness experience. This afternoon, we’ll have lunch at the Maligne Canyon Restaurant, at the top end of one of Jasper National Park’s most famous attractions, Maligne Canyon. The special treat: the building also houses one of Canada’s premier Art Galleries! The Gallery houses one of the world’s best collections of Native Indian and Inuit (Eskimo) art. The Government of Canada has asked for pieces of this collection to be included in their Canadian Museum of Civilization. Millions of dollars’ worth of original pieces of stone and ivory (tusks of walrus and narwhal) carvings are on display and for sale. We’ll have a little time to rest at the hotel before we depart on our OPTIONAL tour – the Jasper Skytram. Your adventure begins at the Lower Station (elev. 1304 metres, 4,000 feet), where you will board one of the fully enclosed trams and lift off on the flight of a lifetime. During your seven minute flight aboard the Jasper SkyTram, you will be accompanied by a fully trained and knowledgeable flight attendant, who will point out the many sights and answer your questions. As your tram gently touches down at an elevation of 2277 metres(7,500 feet), step out into the safe Upper Station, and prepare for a whole new perspective on the Canadian Rockies! Dinner will be on your own tonight. There are several options near the hotel. The Crimson Hotel Jasper (B, L)

Day 5 – Jasper BC – Banff AB
Enjoy another scrumptious breakfast at the hotel this morning, before we head out to Athabasca Falls. A powerful, picturesque waterfall, it is not known so much for the height of the falls (23 metres, 75 feet), as it is for its force, due to the large quantity of water falling into the gorge. Next, take an Ice field Glacier Adventure ride on the Glacier Snow Coaches. An experienced driver-guide will share a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, ice fields, and their impact on our environment. Then, we’re off to lunch at The Crossing Café, with a variety of menu options that are sure to please. Next, we’ll travel to Lake Louise, with a quick photo stop at Peyto Lake on the way. View and experience Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau Lake House. Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier and a glistening emerald lake, the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel is located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism. Later, we’ll check into our home for the next two nights, the Banff Park Lodge, conveniently located in the town of Banff, just steps away from the glacier-fed Bow River. Tonight, dinner will be at the Chinook Family Restaurant, in the hotel. Banff Park Lodge (B, L, D)

 Day 6 – Banff Local Touring/Free Day
Our day begins with breakfast at the hotel. Later, we’ll depart for our one-of-a-kind city tour, including Bow Falls, Cave & Basin, Mt. Norquay, and a ride on the Banff Gondola. Lunch will be on your own today, and your afternoon and evening are free to explore. Banff Park Lodge (B)

Day 7 – Banff – flights Home
**NOTE** Please have your passports ready “on your person”, not in your luggage, as we will need to go through customs, and they will be required at check-in at the Calgary Airport. (B)

Canadian Rockies