Alberta & British Columbia: Get Outdoors on a Family Road Trip

Road trips have always been one of our favorite ways to get to know a country. Windows rolled down, foot on the gas and the latest soundtrack on the stereo; you see and you connect so much more than when you soar above it all. Over the years, we’ve built up quite the passport of road trips but there’s one place we keep coming back to – Canada, and when it comes to hitting the road, you’ve got to head West. This time around, we’re bringing the family too. After all, Alberta and British Columbia are packed full of some of the greatest adventures and most incredible wildlife Canada has to offer. Journey from Banff, down through Jasper and onto Whistler, Vancouver and Tofino over the course of 12 days and as the stunning scenery rolls past the windows, you’ll hear no utterance of the words ‘are we there yet’.

Ride the Rockies

Shift into gear in Calgary, and having picked up the keys to your luxury SUV on arrival at the airport, head out west into the wilderness. Cruising along the highway, you’ll take in towering mountains and glacial lakes before pulling up at your first stop, the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. A grand castle hotel surrounded by dense pine forest and overlooking pristine lake waters, a stay here is like a spell in your very own fairytale. Settle into one of the enchanting guest rooms and then all that’s left to do, is explore.

Make this itinerary yours

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Start Planning Here

Tomorrow morning, saddle up your steed as we slow things right down on a horseback ride through these stunning landscapes, catching sight of those lakes one last time before packing up and getting back in the car and heading north. Driving the stunning Icefields Parkway route over the Saskatchewan River and through the soaring peaks of the Rockies, you’ll soon leave the lakes of Banff behind for the pines of Jasper.

Peak to Peak

Check in in the heart of it all at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and rest up in one of the rustic-luxe lakefront cabins before heading off on another adventure in the morning. Depending on how energetic the kids are feeling, tomorrow could see you lacing up your hiking boots to scale mighty peaks or simply take in the tranquil lakes that speckle the region. Spend an hour or five exploring the beauty of the park with a private guide, before retreating back to the Fairmont and the soothing embrace of the spa. The next morning, you’ll then begin the long drive to Whistler with a quick overnight in Sun Peaks amid the striking Thompson Okanagan region. Easily one of the world’s best drives with the endless scenery rolling past your window.

Whizz through Whistler

Home to literal mountains of adventure, you’ll hardly know where to start, so head first to the Four Seasons Whistler where you’ll be able to enjoy a brief moment of peace in front of the open log fire in your room before heading back out for a ziplining adventure. Hiking through the peaks of the Whistler and Blackcomb valley, you’ll then whizz back down again before taking in the scenery at a more genteel pace as we also arrange for you to pick up a paddle and head out on a family canoeing adventure with a private guide. After one last morning of adventure in Whistler that will see you whitewater raft down the Cheakamus River, it’s then time to pack up the car again as you make one last drive down to Vancouver.

City Sights & Island Life

Just a short hour and a half away, you’ll find yourself amid the buzz of downtown Vancouver in no time. Staying at Fairmont Pacific Rim, you’ll be in the heart of it all as you head off on a private city cycling tour through historic Gastown, the tasty treats of Granville Island and the leafy surrounds of Stanley Park.

For your last three nights, you’ll then get back to nature as you cross over the strait over to Vancouver Island. Perched overlooking the wilds of the Pacific Ocean, lay your head amid the rugged luxury of Wickaninnish Inn before heading out in search of some of the incredible wildlife of the island. Joining an expert local guide, you’ll head out into the woods and along the shore to track grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Our top tip? Head out at low tide, when they come out to hunt for rock crabs. Then, you’ll take to the water in a zodiac to scour the coast for whales. Grey, humpback and killer; all call the Pacific Rim home.

Wildlife and the wilderness, it’s the perfect end to the perfect trip.