International economy class flights and airport taxes from the UK
All accommodation based on a family of four with two bedrooms or family suite
Large SUV hire car
All meals and riding at Sundance; Breakfast at Tekarra and Alpine Meadows
Alberta has a dry continental climate with warm summers and cold winters, making it a year round destination. The ski season is from December to March and the summer season from May to September. At any time of year you can expect the sun to be out. Winters can get cold, when the temperature can plummet to a bone chilling -20°C. Summers tend to be hot and dry, with the warmest months being July and August, where the temperature sits at a comfortable 25°C.
For those that want to explore the Rockies and British Columbia in depth, this journey explores both iconic Rocky Mountain sights and lesser visited parks, as well as off-the-beaten track cowboy country. It is just the ticket for an epic summertime holiday in the great Canadian outdoors.
Start your holiday with a night in Calgary, Alberta's prairie city some fifty miles or so from the Rockies, to recover from any jet lag before the gentle drive next day to Banff. If you’re able to travel early July, don’t miss the opportunity stay longer and witness the Calgary Stampede. Once billed the “Greatest Show on Earth” the world-famous event has a festival atmosphere, and a ten-day schedule of shows, rodeos and nightly fireworks.
Next stop is the magnificent Banff National Park, flanked by the Rockies on all sides the vibrant mountain town Banff is a superb summer destination with a buzzy downtown arts and restaurant scene. The national park itself has pristine lakes and intriguing rock hoodoos to explore on its hiking and mountain bike trails, or continuing the cowboy theme, Banff is also one of the best places to saddle up and explore by horse-back.
Continuing on, it’s a wonderous four-hour drive to Jasper, where we recommend you take your time to admire the views, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including bears, and factor in a walk on the Glacier Skywalk for a birds-eye view of the Icefields close to Jasper. We’ve suggested a couple of nights at Tekarra Lodge, a cosy base to explore nearby Maligne Lake or if you really want to get your adrenaline going, we can organise a white-water rafting trip.
Next, crossing the continental divide, you’ll reach Clearwater in British Columbia, where the lakeside cabins at Alpine Meadows Resort make a comfortable stay to the magnificently wild Wells Gray National Park. Famed for its waterfalls, there are endless creeks and rivers that cascade down the mountain side, combine with volcanic plateaus and deep canyons, its hiking country at its best.
From here, you’ll drive to Sundance Guest Ranch in the heart of BC’s Cowboy Country, which we think will steal your hearts. The perfect place to learn to ride if you’ve never ridden before or to hit the trails if you have, Sundance is a truly authentic western ranch whose wonderful hosts and good-humoured wranglers will soon have you laughing. But don’t worry if horses aren’t your thing, as you can hike or just relax by the pool. If you are staying over a Saturday you'll be treated to a steak barbecue and country rock night, fantastic fun for all.
Then it’s onto Whistler, where there there’s a tonne of things to keep you occupied. From guided bear viewing, downhill mountain biking lessons to zip-lining, this renowned ski resort turns into an adventure summer playground for all ages. Locals say they love the summer more than the winter, with lakeside beaches renting water sports gear, live music and al fresco dining, it’s not a surprise.
Finally, your road trip ends in Vancouver, where you can explore this vibrant city, from hard-to-resist foodie markets on Granville Island to magnificent coast rainforest and First Nations culture at the Capliano Suspension Bridge, there’s so much to enjoy. To end this trip with yet another highlight, we’d recommend a whale watching cruise to spot pods of orcas or day visit by float plane to Victoria on Vancouver Islands, before toasting the end of an epic trip at one of Vancouver’s best eateries.
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Clearwater, British Columbia
Cowboy Country, British Columbia, Canada
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
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