Skip to content
Highway 99, British Columbia

Jewels of western Canada self-drive tour

15 days from $5,160pp

Highway 99, British Columbia
Request a quote

Tour highlights

  • Explore Vancouver by taking a guided bike tour around the lush forest of Stanley Park.

  • Drive through some of Canada’s most spectacular landscapes, passing snow-covered mountains and glittering lakes.

  • Spot wildlife including bears, moose, bald eagles, deer and elk with a local First Nations guide.

  • Admire the gemstone-blue waters of Moraine Lake from the privacy of your room at the lodge.

  • Take to the gentle waters with a guided canoe and river float trip.

Price includes:

  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • Vehicle rental
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
Make an inquiry

Itinerary idea in detail

Private customized tour. Ask us about booking your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • On arrival in Vancouver, make your way to your downtown hotel. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic. The remainder of the day is free to relax after your flight or begin to explore the city. You could browse the shops on Robson Street or enjoy a meal in one of the many gourmet restaurants. We also recommend sunset from English Bay to see the gold reflections on the water.

  • Spend a day at leisure in Vancouver exploring independently. There's plenty to see in this natural yet cosmopolitan city. We recommend a visit to the North Shore to cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge floating above the canyon in the forest, and to take the cable car to the top of Grouse Mountain for sweeping views of the water, mountains and city skyline. We also recommend a visit to Gastown for the many restaurants, and a visit to several of the city’s museums, such as the Museum of Anthropology.

  • Today, you make your way to Hornby Street to meet your guide and embark on a cycling tour of Stanley Park. Follow the gentle cycle paths through the city to the huge natural site on the waterfront. Along the way, you stop at the totem poles to learn about First Nations history, Beaver Lake to try and spot the beavers making their dams, and the little mermaid sculpture. There is the option to have an e-bike on this tour. The rest of the day is yours to explore.

  • Collect your hire car from downtown Vancouver this morning. Your car hire package includes insurance and an additional driver. On your way out of the city, you drive past Stanley Park and over the Lion's Gate Bridge before continuing along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to the mountain village of Whistler, set at the foot of two mountains. The journey takes around two hours. After checking into your accommodation in Whistler, you can relax or head out to explore the town using the pedestrian zone.

  • Spend a full day exploring Whistler. We have included tickets on the cable car up to the summit of Whistler Mountain and then the Peak 2 Peak Gondola over to Blackcomb Mountain — the views from here over the town and the surrounding mountains and lakes are incredible. Further activities in the area include kayaking, white-water rafting, hiking and mountain biking. We also recommend the gentle stroll along the Valley Trail running past several lakes with an alpine backdrop, keeping an eye out for bears.

  • Today, depart Whistler and drive for around six hours through the arid ranch lands of British Columbia's interior, passing the small towns of Pemberton and Lillooet and the mighty Fraser River. This is the Cariboo area and was once renowned for its gold. Today, it's best known for its ranches, deep canyons and beautifully rugged countryside scenery. Arriving in Clearwater, the nearest town to Wells Gray Provincial Park, you can check into your accommodation before relaxing after your long journey.

  • Spend today exploring the striking Wells Gray Provincial Park, where craggy mountains rise above evergreen forests, lakes and steaming waterfalls. We recommend a hike along one of the many trails, looking out for wildlife such as moose, black and grizzly bears, elk and deer. Many lead to the park's renowned waterfalls — the impressive Helmcken Falls is twice the height of Niagara Falls. Guided horse rides are also an option, as well as white-water rafting, which the area is known for. Your lodge also offers a range of wilderness survival classes for something different.

  • Travel east along the North Thompson River and into the Rockies — the drive will take around four and a half hours. Reaching the Rockies, you pass the mighty Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 m (12,972 ft). Shortly afterwards, you cross into the province of Alberta and arrive in the small town of Jasper. This evening we recommend taking a canoe out onto Pyramid Lake to watch the sunset colors hit the mountain peaks and reflect in the calm water.

  • Spend the morning exploring at your own leisure. We recommend visiting Maligne Lake and Canyon — a boat trip to Spirit Island presents one of the best views in the Rockies, taking in the distinctive blue lake fringed by mountains. You could also take a cable car up to the top of Whistlers Mountain for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. This afternoon, head out on a small-group guided tour with a local Métis guide to look for the park's wildlife including black and grizzly bears, bobcats, elk, coyotes, moose and porcupines.

  • This morning take a guided float trip along the beautiful Athabasca River. The route follows that of fur traders who ventured here around 200 years ago, and your guide provides a commentary on the area's history and wildlife. You may encounter small rapids during the journey, and you can enjoy views of Jasper's mountains throughout the trip. The afternoon is free for you to further explore the park. We can recommend a walk through alpine meadows near the base of Mount Edith Cavell, where you can admire the region's flora and views of Angel Glacier.

  • Drive for four hours south along the spectacular Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Moraine Lake. The route climbs from the low forested valley up to the treeline, passing all three life zones of the Rockies. You may see ptarmigans, wolves and bighorn sheep, among other wildlife, and there are many viewing points to stop at. It's worth taking the whole day to enjoy this journey. There is the option to stop for a helicopter tour halfway to see remote glaciers and plunging waterfalls from above.

  • Spend a day enjoying the scenery around Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, home to one of Canada's most revered vistas. Many walking trails offer hours of wildlife viewing and varied scenery to enjoy — one of the most popular is through the Larch Valley, but be sure to check bear activity in the area first. A shorter walk to the top of the Moraine Lake Rock Pile offers the classic view of turquoise waters and mountains.

  • Drive the short distance from Moraine Lake to the town of Banff, about an hour away. We recommend following the scenic Bow Valley Parkway, where you can drive at a leisurely pace and pause for photographs. Johnston Canyon offers the opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy a picnic — a trail here leads to three waterfalls and seven cold water springs known as the Ink Pots. Arriving at your accommodation in Banff, you have the rest of the day to relax or explore the town.

  • Spend today exploring Banff and the surrounding area. For a touch of history, we recommend visiting the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, where Canada's National Park system began in 1885. Naturally occurring hot springs are found both in the cave and outside in an emerald basin, with a boardwalk leading to a vent hole. This afternoon, we’ve included a gentle canoe trip down the Bow River to see the towering mountains and wildlife from the water. In the evening, we suggest a trip to the top of Banff Gondola to watch the sunset over the peaks.

  • Enjoy a leisurely morning doing any last-minute sightseeing before you depart Banff and drive the two hours to Calgary Airport. Watch as the mountainous landscape gives way to flat prairie lands dotted with ranches. You eventually reach the city and, after dropping off your car at the airport's car depot, 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.

Request a quote

When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°F) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Vancouver
 
Whistler
 
Wells Gray Provincial Park
 
Jasper
 
Banff
 

Other tours you may be interested in