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16 Day Tour to Waterton Lakes, Banff, Revelstoke, Kootenay Rockies - a complete itinerary

Day 1: Pick up Motorhome

Day 2: Gibsons – Harrison Hot Springs

Day 3: Harrison Hot Springs – EC Manning Park

Day 4: EC Manning Park – Osoyoos

Day 5: Osoyoos – Nelson

Day 6: Nelson – Cranbrook

Day 7: Cranbrook – Waterton Lakes National Park

Day 8: Waterton Lakes National Park

Day 9: Waterton Lakes National Park – Banff

Day 10: Banff

Day 11: Banff- Revelstoke

Day 12: Revelstoke – Kamloops

Day 13 – Kamloops – Vancouver

Day 14 – Vancouver – Gibsons

Day 15- Return Motorhome

 

Day 1: Pick up your Motorhome!

A Taxi will pick you up at the Vancouver airport (if you arrive same-day), or from your hotel of choice (if you spend the night in Vancouver), and bring you to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. You’ll board the ferry, feeling almost as if you’re taking a mini-steamer to our location in Gibsons, British Columbia.

 

Someone from our Happy Holidays Team will meet you as you exit the ferry terminal, and escort you to your clean, fully-stocked and ready-to-go vehicle!

After an orientation to the vehicle, as well as a bit of paperwork, we’ll present you with a packet of information that can help you on your way! (Tourist information, a handbook about your RV’s different systems and operations, as well as a few other goodies! You’ll also find a card showing all our different resources online – including an up and coming set of how-to videos, in case you just can’t seem to remember how to operate something!)

Head to the shops here, grab a meal, and catch some shut eye to prepare for your big trip!

Restaurant suggestions: Buono, Lunitas Mexican Eatery, Drift Cafe and Bistro

Campground: Gibsons RV Resort or Langdale Heights RV Park

Day 2: Gibsons – Harrison Hot Springs

 

What better way to get your trip started than a long, luxurious soak in the mineral infused waters of a Canadian hot spring? Harrison Hot Springs is a wonderful facility, where the natural hot spring water is pumped into pools of differing temperatures! Our suggestion? Spend most of your time in the warm pool, and when you get too warm, take a quick dip in the ice-cold pool, and a quick dip in the HOT pool. That will help “reset” your body so you can spend even more time relaxing in the warm water!

 

Restaurant suggestion: Black Forest Steak and Schnitzel House

Campground: The Springs RV Resort

 

Day 3: Harrison Hot Springs – EC Manning Park

 

Manning Provincial Park is located East of Hope on Highway No. 3, only a short distance from Vancouver, and the American Border Crossing.  This 70,884-hectare park is comprised of rugged mountains, vast forests, subalpine meadows, sun-dappled lakes, and white water torrents.

 

For some suggestions on things to do, click here!

 

Restaurant Suggestion: The Pinewoods Dining Room and Bistro

Campground: Coldspring Campground/Lightning Lake Campground

 

Day 4: EC Manning Park to Osoyoos

Visit the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad, Rattlesnake Canyon, and the waterfront. The Model Railroad is AMAZING, even if you’re not that into trains or models (which I am not.) It is rated SUPER high on Tripadvisor, and for good reason! The attention to detail is spectacular.

 

Rattlesnake canyon is a great way to spend an evening – admission is free, and you just buy passes for the things you’d like to do. Trampolines, bumper boats, go carts, rides, and greasy food – a true North American date night!

 

 The waterfront is a big, sandy beach on the lake. Watch the sunset here – watching the shadows creep up the canyon walls is magical and colourful.

 

 If you only have one day in Osoyoos, we’d recommend spending the morning at Nk’Mip winery, the afternoon at the Model Railroad, the evening at the lake, and after dark at Rattlesnake Canyon – that way you can see it all in one day!

 

Restaurant Suggestion: Campo Marina Italian Restaurant

Campground Suggestion: Nk’Mip Campground

 

Day 5: Osoyoos – Nelson

 

Nelson is famous for its hippie culture, sandy beaches, and great cafes. To make the most of your visit, we’d recommend grabbing a bite at the Rose Garden Café. (It is located just off the bridge when you come into town.) Head to the beach to enjoy the sand and the water, and then take a quick walking or driving tour of the downtown core.

Finally grab dinner at Thor’s Pizza, and head to your campground for the night!

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Rose Garden Café, Thor’s Pizza

Campground Suggestion: Nelson City Campground (can’t beat the location!)

 

Day 6: Nelson – Cranbrook (Fort Steele)

 

Cranbrook is the largest city in the Kootenay Rockies, so if you’re running low on any supplies, this is a great place to stock up! For a true western experience, however, we’d recommend visiting Fort Steele. A city frozen in time, this city has actors, artisans, and activities – all as if you were visiting in the 1800s! From their website: “

 

Enjoy old-time trade demonstrations, steam-train rides, and Clydesdale horse-drawn wagon tours! Try gold panning, watch live theatre and street performances, and observe the museum displays...or simply enjoy the gorgeous view in a Kootenay Rockies setting!”

Have a BBQ dinner at their International Hotel Restaurant, to enjoy some authentic Western BBQ, or, for something a little more upscale, visit The Old Bauernhaus Restaurant. The building itself was imported from Germany and is older than Canada by over 200 years! (Not to mention their Bavarian Feast is TO DIE FOR.)

 

Restaurant Suggestions: International Hotel Restaurant, The Old Bauernhaus Restaurant

Campground: Kimberley Riverside Campground

 

Day 7: Kimberley – Waterton Lakes National Park

 

Today, you’ll be starting in the Kootenay Rockies, traveling up through Crowsnest Pass, and then down into Southern Alberta – to the stunning Waterton Lakes National Park. Looking for a place to break for lunch? Check out Fernie – this often overlooked corner of BC is quaint, full of character, and has some DELICIOUS options! (Try the Himalayan Spice for some south Asian grub, or for Mexican, visit Nevados.)

Found just north of the enormous Glacier National Park in the US, Waterton Lakes is spectacularly beautiful. With the praries, the rockies, a red rock canyon, fields of wildflowers, and a gorgeous, wind-swept lake, we could stay here forever! Today, make your way to your campsite at  the Townsite Campground, and take a stroll along the lakefront. Enjoy the smell of the clean, glacial air!

 

Grab a pie at Pizza of Waterton (try the Butter Chicken Pizza – it’s to die for!) and head in for the night.

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Himalayan Spice, Nevados, Pizza of Waterton

Campground: Townsite Campground

 

Day 8: Waterton Lakes National Park

 

Today, we have two different suggestions:

  • If you’re fit, and you enjoy hiking, try the Crpyt Lake hike. Rated by National Geographic as one of the top 20 most thrilling hikes in the world, this hike will take you through the forest, up the dry rocks, and finally along a shelf with a 700 foot drop on one side. Up a ladder, scramble through a cave, and use cables for support to bring you to the glacial crypt lake. BE AWARE: this is a challenging hike, and since the trailhead is water access only, you need to be able to complete the hike in the allotted time. Bring water, bring snacks, and bring stamina!

  • If you’re looking for a more leisure activity, book a half or full day boat tour on the water. This tour can take you into the US side; if you want to get your passport stamped at the Goat Hut Customs site, feel free! (Just make sure you know what visa waivers/visas you may need to have to do so.) You can also stay on the boat, and no passport is necessary.

 

Whichever way you choose to go, we recommend having a casual dinner at the Wieners of Waterton Gourmet Hot Dog restaurant – it’s better than it sounds, we swear!

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Wieners of Waterton

Campground: Townsite Campground

 

Day 9: Waterton Lakes National Park

 

Today, start your day with a coffee or tea and Belgian waffle from Waffleton. Yeast waffles made with real pearl sugar, and only the best toppings– from powdered

Sugar, to bananas, to Nutella. Take a stroll around the town, enjoying the small shops and beautiful streets.

This afternoon, either head into the Serenity Spa for a treatment, or go for a drive to the Red Rock Canyon. Enjoy the scenery from your car, or take the Red Rock Canyon Loop hike for some truly breathtaking and colourful views.

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Waffleton, Lakeside Chophouse Restaurant

Campground: Townsite Campground

 

Day 10: Waterton Lakes – Canmore/Banff

 

Today, after an early start, enjoy the southern prairies of Alberta as you head into the Canadian Rockies. Grab a bite in downtown Canmore before heading if you’re hungry; While there are plenty of places to eat and drink in Banff, this small down is definitely worth a visit!

 

Once you enter Banff, you can hike or take the Gondola up to the local peak. The panoramic views are spectacular – and it’s not uncommon to see wildlife! (The hike is short, but moderate.)

Head down the mountain, and head either to Ticino Banff, a restaurant showcasing southern Swiss/Italian cuisine, or to The Grizzly House. Here, you can order such exotic fare as rattlesnake and bison fondue. (This restaurant is not for the faint of heart!)

 

After dinner, we’d recommend heading to Lake Louise to spend the night – they have a campground near the village, but if it is full, there is overflow camping just down the highway. (If it’s still light out, head to Lake Louise for a less crowded atmosphere than you’ll find in the morning!)

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Ticino Banff, or The Grizzly House

Campground: Lake Louise Campground

 

 

Day  11: Lake Louise

 

Today, make sure to get a bright and early start – so you get the chance to visit Lake Louise and/or Lake Moraine. These jewel-bright lakes are world famous for a reason – because they’re spectacular! Milky turquoise water, towering, glacier-bound peaks, and some of the cleanest air you’ll ever have the priviledge to breathe! We would recommend hiking to the Plain of the Six Glaciers – the views are once in a lifetime. Grab a tea and snack at the Teahouse if you like, or bring your own snacks and sit outside!

 

This would be an excellent evening to have a home-cooked meal in your home on wheels. Some fresh pasta cooked with pesto is always delicious!

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House, Home Cooking!

Campground: Lake Louise Campground

 

 

Day 12:  Lake Louise – Revelstoke

 

Revelstoke is another outdoor paradise – and the drive to get there is beautiful! Since you’re spending one day here, we have a few options:

 

For the hikers: Take the Meadow in the Sky Parkway up the mountain, and enjoy a hike to Eva and Jade Lakes. Totally secluded, and dripping with snow even in July, this slice of paradise is not as populated as the Banff hikes, so you can make sure to have some true solitude! Bring a snack or a meal, as the hikes are at least 11 km, and we were HUNGRY afterwards.

 

For those looking for a view – without the work: Hey – no judgement here! The local ski resort has a few options for a day spent on the mountain! We recommend the summer special – which includes a buffet breakfast, gondola tickets, and a ride on the alpine coaster (which takes you back down the mountain on a self-controlled toboggan on a track!)

 

However you choose to spend your day, we would recommend spending your evening trying axe throwing at Peak Axe Throwing Revelstoke. This safe, fun activity is a lumberjack’s version of bowling that is both a great time and a totally new experience!

Once you have a winner, head to Woolsey Creek Bistro for a bite, and retire to your home on wheels for some shut eye.

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Woolsey Creek Bistro

Campground: Revelstoke Campground

 

 

Day 13: Revelstoke – Kamloops

 

For today, book yourself a wine tour for the afternoon! The Okanagan is BC’s wine country; with delicious local wineries, distilleries, and breweries, you’re bound to find something to enjoy. Most wineries have on-site dining, and if you’re looking for a recommendation of where to enjoy a meal, the professionals at Tastefull Excursions Wine Tours can point you in the right direction!

 

Restaurant/Wine Tour: Tastefull Excursions Wine Tours

Campground: Kamview Heights RV Campground

 

 

Day 14: Kamloops – North Vancouver/Gibsons

 

Today, you’ll be doing a bit of driving. But don’t worry – these drives are an experience in and of themselves! Canada is a vast, empty landscape, and the peaceful commute from Kamloops to North Vancouver can show you just that.

 

If you’re looking to return your RV on day 15, head to Gibsons on the Ferry, and spend the night there. However, if you’ve got one more day, you have two options – but both start with an overnight stay at the Leduc Lion’s Campground

 

Campground: Leduc Lion’s Campground/Gibsons RV Resort/ Langdale Heights RV Park

 

Day 15: North Vancouver/Downtown Vancouver

 

Today, you have two choices: a bike tour of Downtown Vancouver (the absolute BEST way to see the city), or to enjoy a trip up Grouse Mountain.

 

If you choose the bike tour, just know – we take EVERYONE that visits us here in Canada on this tour. It is hands down the BEST way to see Vancouver, and the company that operates the tours is great! Check out this video from the tour company for a preview:

 

 

 

If you choose Grouse Mountain, you’ll find a lumberjack show, ziplining between mountains, a gorgeous restaurant, and a birds of prey show. You can also go paragliding, explore up a wind turbine, and visit the two resident bears – Coola and Grinder.

 

Both options are excellent, but if you have young children, we would recommend Grouse Mountain – it is a great way to spend a day!

 

After your chosen activity, take the ferry to Gibsons, and spend the night on the Sunshine Coast – that way, in the morning, you can wash, dump, and fill the RV with time to spare before returning the vehicle!

 

Restaurant Suggestions: Either Steamworks (if you did the bike tour) or The Observatory Restaurant (if you chose Grouse Mountain).

 Campground: Either Langdale Heights RV Park (they have a pitch and putt!) or Gibsons RV Resort (with a super convenient location)

 

Day 16: Return the RV

 

Meet one of the Happy Holidays Motorhome staff at the pre-arranged location (usually the ferry terminal) to give back your RV. The staff member will do a quick once-over of the vehicle, record the kilometers, and send you on your way to the ferry!

 

Once you disembark the ferry, a taxi will be waiting for you, to take you either to the airport (if you’re catching a flight), or to a pre-arranged location (if you're planning to stay in the area for a bit longer!)

 

To book this itinerary, contact us today at [email protected], or by phone at (604) 886 - 9025.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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