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The Wilderness Explorer is one of our best selling Western Canada Self-Drive holiday itineraries.This 14 night holiday commences with a 3-night stay in the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. You then head for the wine region of the Okanagan Valley - Manning Park & Penticton and then on to Clearwater, exploring Wells Provincial Park, home to Helmcken, Dawson and Spahat Falls. Following onto Jasper, from which you will travel along the scenic Icefields Parkway, a never ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and pristine emerald coloured lakes before arriving at Emerald Lake Lodge for a 2-night stay before travelling onto Banff and Kananaskis.
Day 1 Fly UK to Vancouver
On arrival in Vancouver you will be transfered to your downtown hotel. (included)
Day 2 Explore Vancouver
Spend today at your leisure, taking in the very best of this stunning coastal city. Some of the main highlights of Vancouver are Stanley Park, Granville Island, English Bay and the Steam Clock at Gastown.
Day 3 Explore Vancouver
Your final day in Vancouver is at your leisure. Why not pre-book an excursion in Vancouver or even a full day tour taking in Victoria or Whistler - ask one of our Canada Experts for details.
Day 4 Vancouver to Manning Park
Pick up your hire car this morning from downtown Vancouver for your drive to Manning Park. Depart Vancouver through the fertile farmland of the Fraser Valley bound for Manning Park,. This is one of the best provincial parks in BC to see wildlife nearby. This rugged mountain park is a staggering 65,880 hectares.
Day 5 Manning Park to Penticton
Today you will make your way from Manning Park to Penticton for your overnight stay at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Day 6 Penticton to Clearwater
Make your way from Penticton to Clearwater for your tranquil 2 night stay at the Alpine Meadows Resort.
Day 7 Explore Clearwater
Today is yours to explore the volcano-shaped wilderness of Wells Gray Provincial 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 8 Clearwater to Jasper
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. Leaving British Columbia you enter Alberta and Jasper National Park. Jasper was originally a tent city serving the railway, and is now a quaint mountain village.
Day 9 Explore Jasper
Today is at your leisure to explore the uniquely beautiful landscape of Jasper National Park where serene lakes and gentle meadows stand in stark contrast to its jagged peaks and spectacular glaciers. We recommend a Maligne Lake boat cruse, a visit to Mietter Hot Springs, or a ride on the Jasper Tramway - the longest and highest aerial tramway in the Rockies.
Day 10 Jasper to Emerald Emerald Lake
This morning depart on the scenic Icefields Parkway that takes you through the spine of the Canadian Rockies. You view a never-ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and pristine emerald coloured lakes. Along the way see such sights as the Columbia Icefield and take an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier (not included). Also watch for the Sarbach Glacier, Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, with Bow Glacier proving the backdrop, and Crowfoot Glacier. From here you will then head arrive at your destination - Yoho National Park. The word Yoho is the Cree word expressing awe. This 1313sq. km (507 sq. miles) national park is filled with gem-coloured glacial lakes and waterfalls, snow-covered peaks and dense forests of western red cedar and western hemlock. Historic railroads, spiral tunnels within mountain sides and steep rock faces, where mountain goats roam are just some of the sights to be seen. Other Yoho marvels include a natural rock bridge over the Kicking Horse River, Hoodoos, some of Canada's highest waterfalls and the Burgess Shale fossil find where over 120 marine animal species dating back as far as 530 million years were discovered.
Day 11 Enjoy Emerald Lake
Built of hand-hewn timber and featuring massive stone fireplaces,the Lodgge includes a formal dining room and quiet reading and sitting rooms. From the upper or lower large verandhas, enjoy the serene views of this wilderness landscape. Use today at your leisure to explore Yoho National Park, perhaps even hire a canoe on Emerald Lake.
Day 12 Emerald Lake to Banff
Enjoy the leisurely drive to Banff. Choose the Bow Valley Parkway, beside the Bow River with an option for you to take a stop at Johnston Canyon and walk along the paved footpath to either the lower or upper waterfalls before continuing to Banff.
Day 13 Explore Banff
A full day to explore Banff and the surrounding area. In town you'll find lots of excitment including shopping, cafes, nightlight and museums. Check out the Cave and Basin National Historic Site (not included), Banff Gondola (not 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 14 Banff to Kananaskis
Today you will take a short drive from Banff to Kananaskis for your overnight stay.
Day 15 Fly Calgary to UK
Make your way from Kananaskis to Calgary Airport, where you will drop off your hire car before your flight back to the UK.
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