Southern Alberta Grand Motorhome Adventure
Explore the splendour of the Canadian Rockies on a Motorhome holiday to remember. Enjoy amazing Vancouver, experience the great outdoors and the wonders of nature, take in the glorious views of the majestic snow-capped mountains and take a stroll along pristine turquoise lakes.
Based on May 2019 departure – other dates available throughout 2019 – call for details!
Upon arrival into Vancouver International Airport make your way to your overnight hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore.
You will be picked up from your Vancouver Airport hotel and transferred to the Motorhome pickup location. Collect your vehicle and along Highway 9, the Sea to Aky Highway, one of the Top 5 Roadtrips in the world. Make sure you stop at Shannon Falls on the way. Shannon Falls is 6 times higher than Niagara with a 335 metre (1099 feet) drop. Short trails lead to several excellent views of the falls from the parking lot in Shannon Falls Provincial Park. After visiting Shannon Falls, be sure to stop at the Sea to Sky Gondola, one of the newest attractions in the area. Glide above the town of Squamish as you enjoy incredible views of Howe Sound, Squamish Chief Mountain and Shannon Falls. Take advantage of the on-site cafe, children's play area and retail shopping before you climb aboard your 8-person gondola for the 10 minute ride to the top.
Continue north on Highway 99 towards Whistler. Why not consider a stay at the Whistler RV Park and Campground which is 18kms south of the village, with its wonderful views of Black Tusk and the surrounding mountains. Or Riverside Resort in the township of Whistler and spread over 40 acres of lawns, forest and green space and spend the next 2 nights in this beautiful mountain resort.
Highway 99 from Whistler to Sun Peaks is not as busy as some in British Columbia, making the drive a leisurely one. You will be driving in somewhat isolated areas, with lots of lakes, rivers, forest, and wildlife, but not too many towns or gas stations. Be sure that your gas tank is full before leaving the town of Mount Currie.
If you turn right at Pemberton and continue on Highway 99 to the Trans Canada Highway (No. 1), you will be a short drive north of Cache Creek. When you come to Cache Creek, turn right and drive along Highway 97, which will bring you to Kamloops. Sun Peaks is just northeast of Kamloops. While driving between Cache Creek and Kamloops, be on the lookout for a large number of cattle, wranglers, and some inexperienced riders on horseback. This is one of many cattle drives which take place each year on ranches in the area. Cache Creek is nestled amid desert and grassland plateaus, steep river valleys and steep
On this leg of the journey, be prepared to see some wildlife beside the highway. The elevation gain seems moderate, but the scenery is varied and majestic.
As you travel north on Highway 5 towards Blue River, look out for signs along the road to River Safari. This is an awe-inspiring one hour boat ride through Grizzly Bear Valley in the Monashee Mountains and an experience not to be missed. Bear, moose, eagles and osprey are only a few of the magnificent creatures you may see during this wilderness experience.
From Blue River, continue north on Highway 5 towards Tête Jaune Cache. When you turn the corner at Tête Jaune Cache, you will be able to see Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies, the second highest in Canada.
Mount Robson Provincial Park is a great place to take a break and stretch your legs. You can easily walk down along the river. For the more adventurous, there are hiking trails available with more information on routes and markers available at the Provincial Park parking lot.
There are a few campgrounds very close in to Jasper that are well suited to Motorhomes. In Jasper National Park itself, the campgrounds are all National Park campgrounds. Some offer nature daily presentations in the campground amphitheatre throughout the summer season.
Jasper is the most northerly of towns located in the National Parks straddling the Rocky Mountains. It is less commercialized than Banff, but still offers a wonderful visit, especially for the outdoor enthusiast.
There are places to rent canoes and lots of venues perfect for a day hike. Sunwapta Falls are thrilling to see as the power of the water cascading down the rocky cliffs is deafening as well as humbling. As well, Maligne Canyon is a spectacular sight, this is a very deep canyon with all sorts of twists and turns down among the rocks. The rocks have been worn smooth by the force of the water rushing through its narrow channels.
If all this action hasn't left you tired, you may like to consider a 60km drive out to Miette Hot Springs tonight for a relaxing soak amidst majestic mountain scenery. Wildlife on this route is virtually guaranteed - whether it be big-horn sheep, goats, elk or bears.
The Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff offers scenery and surprises. As you drive along Highway 93, you will experience sudden climbs, wide turns with expansive views followed suddenly by steep descents into forested valleys.
Interesting stops include Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls. Near the Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint, you'll pass by a glass skywalk built into the side of the rocks on your right-hand side. There is no parking or ticket office here and you will need to continue on to the Icefield Centre if you decide the Glacier Skywalk is to be on your day's agenda. After purchasing tickets at the Icefield Centre, you board a coach which will take you back to this fairly new attraction. Also at the Icefields Centre, you have the opportunity to board an Ice Explorer for an 80 minute round trip onto the Athabasca Glacier
As you come around the bend in the road near Bow Summit, the highest point on the Parkway, you will see a spectacular vista spread out before you. Then, as you round the turn, you begin a slow descent to the valley below. Once you reach the valley bottom, watch for moose and black bears
Peyto Lake is another worthy stop along the way. This lake is south of the Columbia Icefields and close to the Bow Glacier lookout. The glacial silt lying below the water reflects light to give the lake this unusual colour. As the light lessens, the colour of the water changes to a darker, truer green and blue.
The Icefield Parkway ends in the picturesque village of Lake Louise, located in the Bow Valley. Four km (2.5 mi) above the village is the lake itself, dominated by the majestic Victoria Glacier. Near Lake Louise, visit emerald-coloured Moraine Lake.
If physical activity is what you are after, Banff offers a great deal to keep you occupied. You can hike east along the Bow River valley to the hoodoos (eroded rock formations by the river’s edge), ride or hike up Sulphur Mountain and take the gondola down, then take a soothing dip in the Banff Hot Springs at the base of Sulphur Mountain. Or you could go to the west side of town and rent a canoe and paddle northwest along the creek to the Vermillion Lakes.
White water rafting is on offer with a number of different trips to choose from. If you'd rather see it all from the air, try a helicopter flightseeing trip in Canmore (just outside the park). If you're looking for something to do this evening, a stroll through Banff's downtown area is a good idea as the shops are open late. Alternatively, you can head up to the Banff Hot Springs for a relaxing.
Today you will head to Calgary the ‘Stampede City’ where you will return your vehicle before boarding your flight back to the UK and your Canadian Rockies road trips comes to an end.