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Grizzly in the Chilko River, BC

Canada's western wilderness & wildlife self-drive

18 days from $7,735pp

Grizzly in the Chilko River, BC
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Tour highlights

  • Search for whales and marine life in the waters off Vancouver Island.

  • Stay at a wilderness lodge on the Sunshine Coast amid forest, waterways and mountains.

  • Take a private bear viewing tour in the backcountry of Whistler.

  • Experience a guided wildlife tour with a Métis First Nations guide in Jasper.

  • Take to the skies for a helicopter trip over jagged mountain peaks and crystalline lakes.

Price includes:

  • All accommodation
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • Vehicle rental
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

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

  • On arrival in Vancouver, make your own way to your downtown hotel. Most flights arrive in the mid-afternoon, so you have time to settle into your hotel and explore the city at night. We recommend watching the sunset in English Bay before having dinner in the Gastown district.

  • For your full day in Vancouver, you’ll be able to get your bearings with a bicycle tour of the city. Your local guide will take you through some of Vancouver’s main highlights including; Stanley Park, including a stop to see its famous totem poles; Granville Island Market for a taste of local food and artisan stalls; Chinatown and historic Gastown. The tour is about five hours, including a stop for lunch, and there is the option to upgrade to an electric bike.

  • This morning, make your way to the downtown car hire depot to collect your car. You have all necessary inclusions, such as an additional driver, third-party liability, and LDW. Leave the city behind for your journey to Vancouver Island, enjoying the views and searching for whales on the 90-minute ferry crossing. Your destination is the small town of Campbell River. This afternoon, we recommend a walk along the waterfront to get to know the town.

  • Sitting on the Salish Sea in the region of the Gulf Islands, Campbell River has some fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. Included today is a full-day whale-watching experience. The tour begins with kayaking and ends with a covered boat trip, maximising your chances of seeing dolphins, whales, orcas and bears. At the right time of year, this tour can be substituted for a day trip into traditional Klahoose First Nations territory for grizzly bear viewing.

  • You leave Campbell River today and drive south to Comox, taking the ferry over to the Sunshine Coast. Continue to Egmont for your wilderness lodge experience, surrounded by waterways, forests and mountains. On arrival at the lodge, settle in and, depending on when you arrive, take the boat trip into Princess Louisa Inlet, passing waterfalls and searching for wildlife on the way. You have breakfast and dinner included during your stay here.

  • You have a day at leisure at the lodge. Tucked away in the wilderness, the lodge offers many activities in the region. Just 3 km from the lodge are the Skookumchuck Rapids, the fastest saltwater rapids in North America. There is a short hike to the rapids or, for the more adventurous, a boat tour of the waters. There are also Zodiac tours of Jervis and Princess Louisa Inlets to see the craggy cliffs, blue waters and, hopefully, bears along the shore.

  • You have another day at your own leisure at the lodge. To explore on your own, make use of the kayak and jet ski rentals or take one of the hiking trails to Mount Daniel or Pender Hill for views over the bay. Eagles are prevalent in the area, so keep an eye out for them as they soar above. If you want to venture further from the lodge, the small town of Sechelt is just an hour away, with artisan boutiques and art galleries.

  • Today, you will continue south along the Sunshine Coast, heading for the ferry at Langdale. Once on the mainland, drive north on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler. The route follows the coastline and is surrounded by mountains, hence its name. Once you arrive in Whistler, we recommend walking the pedestrian route to the base of the mountains and getting to know the area.

  • This morning, you have a private guided 4x4 tour to the backcountry in search of the black and grizzly bears that call the Olympic Park home. You learn more about the history and wildlife of the park en route. This afternoon, we recommend taking the gondola to the summit of Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain for panoramic views of the valley and taking a canoe out on one of the nearby lakes during golden hour.

  • Today, you depart Whistler for a long drive through the arid ranch lands of British Columbia's interior. We recommend stopping in Kamloops, the largest town in the area, for lunch and any provisions. Passing the mighty Fraser River, you continue toward Clearwater, the nearest town to Wells Gray Provincial Park. Many of the accommodations here are in the park themselves and have a sense of wilderness to them. Breakfast is included for your stay here.

  • You have a full day at leisure in Wells Gray Provincial Park. This is known as Canada’s ‘waterfall park’ for its 41 waterfalls. We recommend visiting Helmcken Falls, twice the height of Niagara Falls and crashing into the pool below. There are also plenty of hiking trails past volcanic fields, glacier-fed lakes, wildflower-strewn meadows and jagged mountain peaks. Your lodge also offers several wilderness skills classes, including a medicinal plant walk, fire making and cheese making.

  • Your half-day drive today takes you past mighty Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Shortly afterwards, you will cross into the province of Alberta and arrive in the town of Jasper. The town itself is simple and small, however, the surrounding region of the park is full of wildlife, bright blue lakes and mountains. This evening, we recommend a canoe trip on Pyramid Lake to catch the reflection of the mountains and wildlife on the shoreline.

  • Jasper National Park awaits your discovery today. We recommend visiting Maligne to take a boat trip across the gemstone-blue water to Spirit Island. This evening, you join a small group tour and head into Jasper National Park in search of wildlife with your expert local Métis guide — keep your camera close as you may encounter elk, moose, bald eagles, black bears and grizzly bears. All the while, your guide will regale you with stories and the history of First Nations culture in the Rockies.

  • As you leave Jasper today, you drive down Canada’s most famous scenic drive, the Icefields Parkway. The journey south winds between towering, snow-capped mountains and along bright turquoise lakes. The main stop on the way is at the Athabasca Glacier. Here you can visit the interpretation center, drive right up to the edge of the glacier, or even take a guided hike onto the ice. Continue your journey from here to Field, on the edge of Yoho National Park.

  • You have a day to explore at your leisure. Field boasts a location on the edge of Banff and Yoho National Parks, with Yoho being the far less explored of the two. It’s home to the impressive Takakkaw Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada, and over 60 lakes and ponds. We particularly recommend Lake O’Hara and Emerald Lake, both accessed with minimal walking. There’s also a large network of well-maintained trails for hiking and biking.

  • Today, you leave Field behind and cross into Banff/Lake Louise National Park. The journey is short, at about two hours, so we recommend stopping in Lake Louise. As the lake gets so busy in summer, leave your car at the park and ride and take the shuttle to the lakefront. From there, you can take another shuttle to Moraine Lake, where we recommend taking a kayak onto the crystalline waters. Continue driving through the park to reach the small town of Canmore.

  • For your final full day in Canada, take to the skies on a helicopter trip over Mount Assiniboine. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the Rockies as you fly past glaciers, turquoise lakes, and craggy mountain peaks. On arrival back in Canmore, you have the rest of the afternoon at leisure. We recommend visiting Banff, just 30 minutes away, to take the gondola at sunset while experiencing more panoramic views.

  • This morning is free for last-minute shopping or sightseeing in Banff and Canmore. We recommend the gentle walk along the river in Canmore and a lunch stop before your 90-minute drive to Calgary Airport. Drop off your hire car at the airport depot before boarding 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

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

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