Canadian Rockies 16 Day RV Caravan
It’s the second largest country in the world (right behind Russia). It has the world’s longest coastline and international border (with the United States). There are more lakes here than in the rest of the world – combined. And 30 percent of the land is covered by forests.
This is Canada, and what could be a better destination than spending 16 days in the magnificent Canadian Rocky Mountains on Fantasy’s Canadian Rockies tour? We rendezvous in beautiful Banff, nestled in the heart of the magnificent mountain scenery of Banff National Park. After our Orientation and Get-Acquainted Party with fellow travelers and Fantasy ambassadors, we move on to a Welcome Dinner at the Elk and Oarsman Bar, with a special guest – a Canadian Mountie!
The next morning, we’re off on a guided bus tour to Yoho National Park, home to many waterfalls, including Takakkaw Falls, one of the highest in Canada, and to Natural Bridge, an impressive natural rock formation that spans the Kicking Horse River. We see the spiral railroad tracks and tunnels built by the Canadian Pacific Railway to allow trains to gently ascend and descend the mountains. Silt carried from melting glaciers creates the deep and rich turquoise lakes in the area, including the waters of Moraine Lake, surrounded by the Ten Peaks Mountains.
It would be hard to top the scenery from our first day out, but the next day we head for spectacular Lake Louise and Banff National Park. We enjoy lunch at Lake Louise’s ski area and also visit the beautiful falls hidden in Johnston Canyon.
After fun-filled days and nights in Banff, we move on to Jasper, driving along the mighty Icefield Parkway and stopping to tour the spectacular Columbia Ice Fields in an enormous Snowcoach – a massive vehicle specially designed for glacier travel. We can step out onto the glacier and toast ourselves with a drink of genuine glacier water.
After a night in the comfortable town of Jasper, we board the Jasper Tramway for a true Rocky Mountain breakfast atop Whistler Mountain. There’s time to explore Jasper’s shops and activities the rest of the day.
The following day, we enjoy a luncheon tour aboard a boat on the crystal waters of the iconic Maligne Lake, cruising past jagged mountain peaks and keeping our eyes peeled for resident wildlife.
We cross into beautiful British Columbia, enjoying a campground cookout at our RV park in Valemount. We move on to the small village of Cache Creek for two nights, located in the Gold Country region of the province. We learn more about the exciting gold rush days at our dinner with an old west reenactment. The following day we enjoy a tour of the historic Hat Creek Ranch, where we experience firsthand the challenges of making a fortune from gold in British Columbia.
We continue on to the small farming community of Rosedale, but there’s an amazing stop along the route! We board the Hell’s Gate Airtram, one of the steepest fully suspended trams in North America. Once on board, we travel from the Cascade Mountain Range to the Coast Pacific Mountain Range – above the Fraser River as it plunges its way through Fraser Canyon.
Burnaby, located just outside of Vancouver, is the last stop of the tour, but the adventures certainly don’t end yet! There are plenty of opportunities to explore this dynamic region. We visit the gardens and eco-sculptures, taking in the breathtaking views of Burnaby Mountain. The next day, we enjoy a delicious catered lunch on a harbor cruise to view Vancouver’s inner harbor, a natural harbor formed by the Burrard Inlet. Then on to the spectacular setting of Indian Arm, an area once heavily glaciated, resulting in a spectacular landscape 0f lush green forests that protect this inlet from the open ocean.
The next day we board a ferry for a short cruise to Victoria, the capitol city of British Columbia. Established in 1843, Victoria retains its British ancestry with doubledecker buses, horse-drawn carriages, formal gardens and tearooms. We enjoy a real English high tea on our tour of Butchart Gardens – cultivated in the early 20th century by Jennie Butchart, who wanted to make something beautiful out of her husband’s former limestone quarry.
The final day of our Canadian Rockies adventure is spent on a guided city tour of Vancouver, including visits to Stanley Park, a magnificent green oasis in Vancouver’s urban environment, and Granville Island, located right under the Granville Bridge and home to the Granville Island Public Market. The historic Gastown district features Victorian architecture, galleries and restaurants, and it is home to one of the world’s few working steam clocks. We also explore the third-largest Chinatown in North America (right behind New York and San Francisco). It’s all capped off that evening at our phenomenal Farewell Dinner at the historic gabled Hart House.
The following morning, we bid farewell to our fellow travelers and depart from our friendly, scenic and charming neighbor to the north – Oh Canada!