Road trip Canada: The West

Highlights

  • Vancouver
  • Canoeing glacial lakes
  • Mountain biking in alpine trails
  • Jasper and Banff Nat. Parks
  • Hiking in the Rocky Mountains
If you enjoy the outdoors and an active lifestyle, you are in for a treat with this road trip through the magnificent wilderness of Canada West. The possibilities for hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, canoeing and other outdoor sports are abundant in this area, so bring your good hiking shoes and get ready for spectacular scenery and a whole lot of fun!
Duration: 2-3 weeks
Countries: Canada

Few road trips can top this one when it comes to scenery and outdoors experiences. Starting in Seattle or Vancouver, this road trip takes you through some of the best National Parks in Canada. You will be able to go canoeing in serene glacial lakes, enjoy breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, as well as experience the hustle and bustle of the big city life in Vancouver and Calgary. 

Road trip route suggestion

Seattle or Vancouver - Whistler - Kamloops - Jasper - Banff - Calgary - Radium Hot Springs - Revelstoke - Nakusp - Okanagan Valley - Vancouver/Seattle

 

Photos from this road trip:

 

Seattle / Vancouver

Spend a few days in the big cities of the Pacific West. If you start in Seattle, you may want to explore both cities, with Vancouver being the more interesting of the two. Check out Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market with its international food court – it is great for a cheap and delicious lunch!

Whistler, British Columbia

Make your way to Whistler, Canada's outdoor capital. If you travel during the skiing-season (November – May), you cannot leave Whistler without having tried the slopes of North Americas largest ski resort. You can also go on a bear viewing tour (if you dare!), hike The Whistler Valley Trail or get your adrenaline kick on a white water rafting adventure!  

Kamloops, British Columbia

In Kamloops, you will never fall short of activities to keep you busy. Curling, BMX, Trekking, Segway Tours and Ziplining are just a few of the activities you can try here. Alternatively, you can test your skills in foot golfing – yes, it’s an actual thing! Kick the football through 18 holes and see which one of you is best at combining the two sports.

Jasper, Alberta

Next stop is Jasper, a cozy mountain town in Alberta. Take the Jasper SkyTram for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains. Then, after a long day of exciting activities, head to the popular Jasper Brewing Company for great beers and a good time with the friendly locals of Jasper!

Jasper and Banff National Parks

From Jasper, the journey continues through the National Parks of Jasper and Banff. A great way to explore Banff National Park is by joining local ranchers on a horseback riding tour along the famous Lake Louise. You can choose between a full or half day trip. However, if the four-legged animal is not you thing, canoeing the lake is just as magnificent! 

Note: According to Parks Canada, all entry to Canadian National Parks and Historic Sites will be free during 2017 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.

Calgary, Alberta

It’s back to the big city life! As with most cosmopolitan cities, Calgary offers great shopping, countless dining opportunities, a fascinating arts scene and an exciting nightlife. Check out Heritage Park Historical Village and experience Calgary as it was is the 1800s. If you happen to go in July, do not miss the annual rodeo festival at Calgary Stampede – it’s the highlight of the year! 

Radium Hot Springs and Revelstoke, British Columbia

On your way to Revelstoke, make a stop at the little village of Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park. Here you will find one of Canada’s best thermal mineral pools. Dive in and soak up the healthy minerals. Once in Revelstoke, you can test your skills in their famous alpine trails either on skis or on a mountain bike, depending on the season.

Nakusp, British Columbia

The town of Nakusp, with its aboriginal heritage, is a hidden gem in the West Kootenay region. It is a friendly and tranquil little town located at the shores of the beautiful Arrow Lake. Take a walk along Nakusp Waterfront Walk to the Japanese Garden, or hike up Cedar Grove Trail to see the huge western red cedars that grows here. Hot Springs are located just north of Nakusp. 

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Okanagan Valley is one of the warmest and sunniest areas in all of Canada. Here you can relax and soak up the sun at one of the many sandy beaches along the Okanagan Lake. If you are a wine lover, this is also the time to put Canadian wine to the test, as Okanagan Valley is the second largest wine region in Canada.

Seattle / Vancouver

The roadtrip ends back in Seattle or Vancouver, depending on where you started. A good idea would be to explore one of the cities at the beginning of the roadtrip and the other at the end of it. 

Total distance: 2700 km

Car rental if you're under 25?

Car rental if you're under 25?
For travelers up to 25 years KILROY offer special deals through Alamo. Rental conditions for young drivers are usually strict - but not with KILROY. When you rent your car in USA and Canada with us, you do not pay the extra “young drivers” fee, and all insurances are included.
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Map: your Western Canada road trip