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Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

Best of western Canada by train & self-drive

12 days from $5,535pp

Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park
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Tour highlights

  • Explore the buzzing coastal city of Vancouver and go whale watching off the coast.

  • Admire western Canada's mountainous scenery from aboard the comfortable Via Rail Canadian train.

  • Search for bears, moose and big-horned sheep with a Métis guide in Jasper National Park.

  • Step onto a sea of ice at the Athabasca Glacier for a guided hike.

Price includes:

  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodation
  • Custom Price List Items
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Private customized tour.

  • On arrival in Vancouver today, make your way to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or begin exploring the city. Depending on your arrival time, you could visit the Museum of Anthropology to learn about the area's First Nations culture or visit Gastown to sample delicious local food at one of the many eateries.

  • You have a full day at leisure to enjoy Vancouver and this cosmopolitan city has plenty of sights to see. For the best way to see Stanley Park, an oasis in the middle of the city, we recommend hiring bikes and cycling along the seawall and into the park. If you’re more interested in the arts and culture, we suggest a stop at The Museum of Vancouver and the Bill Reid Gallery, along with the artisan stalls at Granville Island.

  • Today, you join a whale-watching trip, heading out into the Strait of Georgia and tracking reports of recent whale sightings. This is one of the best places to view orcas in the wild, with three pods native to the southern parts of Vancouver Island. Your onboard naturalist will tell you about the orca, porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and other wildlife you may encounter. You then have the rest of the day to explore Vancouver further.

  • This morning, you will make your way to the VIA Rail station to embark on your journey by train. Here, you board the Canadian, a comfortable sleeper train from which you can enjoy views of inner British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies from the domed glass observation cars. You will be accompanied by experienced guides who know the railway and the areas you pass through well and can help point out sights. You spend tonight on board the train in your private cabin.

  • This morning your rail journey will come to a close as you enter the Rocky Mountains and pass by the spectacular Mount Robson as you’re enjoying breakfast. The trains typically arrive in Jasper in the late morning, so you have the afternoon at leisure to relax in your accommodation or explore the town. Begin by picking up your hire car from the station depot. Your rental will include all taxes, an additional driver and a loss damage waiver.

  • Today you have a full day at leisure to explore Jasper and the surrounding area. For hiking and walking, we recommend the alpine meadows near Mount Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier, a great area for wildlife viewing. Alternatively, take a cable car up to the top of Whistlers Mountain for views from the SkyTram over the valley. Another highlight is taking a boat trip out on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island for an iconic view of the turquoise lake and surrounding forest.

  • Spend a second full day exploring the beauty of Jasper National Park. A fantastic spot to visit is Old Fort Point lookout. It's a beautiful walk from town and the lookout offers stunning views of Jasper town and the surrounding mountains. This afternoon, take a guided tour of the park with a local Métis guide to spot the wildlife that calls the area home, including black and grizzly bears, coyotes, elk and moose.

  • Drive south from Jasper along the Icefields Parkway, surrounded by rugged mountains and glittering lakes. On the way, stop at the Athabasca glacier to venture onto the ice with a guide to marvel at the crevasses, ice formations and channels up close. Your guide will tell you about the ongoing science projects as you collect samples and explore the ice, all while admiring the dramatic scenery. Your journey then continues toward Yoho National Park and the town of Field.

  • You have the day at leisure to take in the striking natural scenery of Yoho National Park and the surrounding area. In Yoho itself, we recommend visiting the towering Takakkaw Falls and taking a stroll around Emerald Lake at sunrise to see the vibrant green lake before tourists arrive. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are also within easy reach by shuttle from Lake Louise resort, and offer great walking and kayaking or canoeing opportunities to admire the gemstone blues.

  • Continue your journey to Banff this morning. The drive takes around 90 minutes, so you will be able to enjoy much of the day exploring Banff National Park. We recommend taking the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, which boasts superb views stretching across the Rockies. Walk along the boardwalk to the summit to get even higher and look down upon Banff below. This is a particularly special experience at sunset, and you can then enjoy a dinner with panoramic views.

  • Today is yours to explore Banff National Park further. We recommend visiting nearby Sunshine Meadows and Mount Norquay, a mountain resort used for skiing in winter. The sightseeing gondola and chairlift provide access to many hiking trails with panoramic views and a sea of wildflowers in July. We also suggest a visit to Johnston Canyon for the rushing river, crashing waterfalls and a gentle walk through the forest.

  • Depending on your flight time, you may have some time to spend in Banff this morning, perhaps browsing the town's shops for any last-minute souvenirs. You then take a two-hour drive to Calgary Airport, where you return your hire car and board your onward flight.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodations, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Contact a Canada specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Canada will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

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Place Daily max temperature (°F) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Lake Louise

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