14 Day Tour to Banff – a Complete Tour Itinerary!
Great! You’ve done it. You’ve booked your holiday to Canada. But now what?
We often have clients looking for suggestions on where to go, what to do – how to make the most of their trip to Canada! Here, we’ve outlined a tour suggestion – including activities, campground suggestions, etc. – feel free to use the whole itinerary, part of it, or even to do the whole trip in reverse! And, as always, should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’d be happy to help!
So, without further ado…. here is the tour itinerary!
Day 1: Gibsons – Groceries, dinner, overnight at Langdale Heights RV Park
Day 2: Manning Provincial Park – kayak/paddleboard rental, overnight at Coldspring Campground
Day 3: Kelowna – Bike the kettle valley trail, overnight in Bear Creek Provincial Park
Day 4: Revelstoke – Kayaking tour, overnight in Bear Creek Provincial Park
Day 5: Golden – Hiking, overnight in Whispering Spruce Campground
Day 6: Lake Louise – Do the up the mountain, down the river tour, overnight in Tunnel Mountain Village
Day 7: Banff – Canoe the bow river, overnight in Tunnel Mountain Village
Day 8: Jasper – Horseback riding tour, overnight in Jasper Campground
Day 9: Blue River – Picnic at Yellowhead, overnight
Day 10: Whistler – Head for a beer at a pub, overnight at Riverside RV resort and Campground
Day 11: Whistler – Zip lines, overnight at Riverside RV resort and campground
Day 12: Either head back to Gibsons via Horseshoe bay, or do a RZR tour (ATV tour) in Whistler!
Day 13 (optional): Head back to Gibsons via Horseshoe Bay
Day 1: Arrive in Gibsons
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.
Photo: Norman Kohler
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!)
If you arrive directly from the airport, we do recommend that you stock up your fridge, maybe grab a bite at one of the many fantastic local restaurants, and get some shut eye at the local Langdale Heights RV Park. If you’re a golfer, they also have a pitch and putt on site!
Campground: Langdale Heights RV Park and Pitch and Putt
Day 2: Manning Provincial Park
After a good night’s sleep in your new home-on-wheels, you’ll head to Manning Provincial Park. Part of the beauty of a road trip in Canada is just that – being on the road. So make sure to stop and take pictures along your way – there’s lots of lookout points!
When you get to Manning provincial park, you’ll find 70, 884 Hectares of rugged mountains, vast forests, subalpine meadows, sun-dappled lakes, and white water torrents.
Photo: Randall St. Germain (caminomyway.com)
Canoe, Paddleboard, or Kayak Rental: Manning Park Boat Rentals
Spend the night in one of the local campgrounds – we recommend Coldspring Campground!
Day 3: Kelowna
Wake up bright and early, enjoy the Canadian sunrise, and the cleanest air in the world! After your coffee and breakfast, head on the road to Kelowna. From there, you can take a shuttle to Myra Canyon, where you’ll be renting bikes from Myra Canyon rentals.
After picking up your bikes, you can either take a guided tour, or you can just head on your way back to Kelowna – it is downhill almost all the way!
Photo: Leah Pettit
Make sure to sample some of the wine while you’re there – Kelowna is part of BC’s wine country!
Kelowna Bike rental: http://www.myracanyonrental.com
Campground: Bear Creek Provincial Park
Day 4: Revelstoke
Revelstoke is a beautiful place to have an adventure! You can find everything from gentle hikes to challenging climbs, fields of alpine flowers, spectacular waterfalls and interesting interpretive centres.
After a leisurely morning, sleeping in, and possibly a big breakfast, you’ll be spending the afternoon on a kayaking tour! There are many to choose from at Natural Escapes, but we’d recommend the Waterfall Tour. You will be on a guided tour of the pristine lake, with views of mountains, glaciers, and a waterfall! Snacks are included, and your guide will be taking complimentary photos throughout the tour.
Photo: Natural Escapse Kayaking
Kayaking tour: Natural Escapse Kayaking
Campground: Williamson Lake Campground
Day 5: Golden
Golden is a beautiful place to go for a hike or a stroll. If you’re feeling like you’d like a more leisurely activity, we’d recommend a picnic! Bring some wine (possibly purchased in Kelowna?), some cheese, some fruit, and a good book, and you’ve got a whole afternoon of pure relaxation ahead of you. Even the most adventurous of souls needs a little time for peace and quiet – why not do it in the pristine wilderness of Golden?
Photo: Nuvo Magazine
Campground: Whispering Spruce Campground
Day 6: Lake Louise
Today, you’ll be waking up bright and early – for a all-day thrilling trip! You’ll be doing the Up the Mountain, Down the River tour through Wildwater Adventures. You’ll start by taking the Kicking Horse Gondola up the mountain, and spend a few hours enjoying the freshest air in the world! After, you’ll ride back down and do an afternoon whitewater rafting tour. (Don’t worry – they have all the options, from slow and gentle, to adrenaline pumping!) Head out for a post-whitewater dinner at the local pub, and call it a night!
Fun fact: Lake Louise is the highest community in Canada – 5,020 feet (1520 m)!
Tour: Wildwater Adventures
Campground: Tunnel Mountain Village
Day 7: Banff
Banff is one of the most iconic and recognized places in all of Canada – and with good reason! Even the most amateur of photographers can’t help but capture the majesty you’ll find peeking around every corner and over the top of every hill.
Photo: St. Mary’s Parish Photo: Trek Earth
We here at Happy Holidays find that the best way to view nature is from the water – it’s peaceful, it’s beautiful, and it’s private. That’s why we recommend for you to canoe the Bow River. Rent a canoe (they can usually sit 2-3), and go for a slow, private tour of all the small rivers branching away from the main lake. Of all the tours we’ve been on, we find this one to be absolutely magical. There’s something about the area that makes you feel like you’re in a fairy tale. But don’t trust us! Go see for yourself.
Canoe rental: Banff Canoe Club
Campground: Tunnel Mountain Village
Day 8: Jasper
Jasper, Banff, and Lake Louise are all clustered in the Canadian Rockies – and now that you’ve experienced the whitewater and the calm tributaries, it’s time now to get up amongst the peaks.
Today you’ll be playing at cowboy for the day! There are many different options, but we’d recommend the Sundance Loop Trail. The tour is long enough to enjoy yourself, but not long enough to end up saddle sore! This is western style riding – for those acquainted with English style, western style riding is like sitting in a big reclining armchair.
Photo: Banff Adventures
Horseback riding: Banff Tour Rides
Campground: Jasper Campground
Day 9: Blue River
Blue river is an outdoorsman’s paradise. There are unlimited lakes, rivers, waterfalls and streams to relax in. If you’re feeling like you’d like to see a little wildlife, take the Blue River Safari. You’ll be in a boat specially designed for the shallow water – and you’ll be taking in nature in the only inland temperate rainforest on the planet! As you tour through Grizzly Bear Valley, the bears decide when and how long you stop! You could also see wolves, beavers, eagles, and ravens!
Photo: Tripadvisor Photo: River Safari
After your tour, head to the River Safari floating restaurant – where you’ll enjoy forest-to-table meals! This restaurant specializes in Wild Salmon, game, berries, and greens – all the favourites from a bear’s diet.
Tour: Blue River Safari
Dinner: River Safari Restaurant
Campground: Blue River Campground and RV Park
Day 10: 100 Mile House
If you’re feeling a little tired, feel free to enjoy the scenery for a relaxed day in this beautiful plateau. If you’re still up for a little adventure, you could head out for an ATV tour – we’ve never been on this tour, so if you do go, let us know what you think!
Overnight: Green Lake Provincial Park Campground
Day 11: Whistler
Today you’ll be waking up early, driving to whistler, and then taking and zipline tour on the mountain! The ziplines on Whistler mountain operate year-round, but we find summer to be distinctly less….. frigid. We’d recommend the eagle tour – it is 5 ziplines, 4 treetop bridges, and about 2.5-3 hours. This tour inclunes a 2400 ft zipline with a 30 storey descent; so if you’re afraid of heights, a less thrilling tour might be for you!
We’d recommend booking this tour in advance; if you book well in advance, you can often be eligible for discounts!
Photo: Ziptrek Whistler
Head out for dinner at one of the fabulous local restaurants. If you’re looking for something casual, we’d recommend Creekbread – a great wood-fired pizza grill with wonderful local options. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, the Rim Rock Café and Oyster Bar has one of the best menus in BC, in our opinion. For dessert, get their sticky toffee pudding – it is truly inspiring!
Tour: Ziptrek Whistler
Campground: Riverside RV Resort and Campground
Day 12: Whistler (Optional)
If you’d like you can skip the day 12 adventure, and head back to give the RV back in Gibsons via Horseshoe Bay. (See day 13 for complete details.)
If, however, you’ve been dying to take an ATV tour through the mud, mountains, and rivers – then today is your day! If you’re a beginner, or afraid of heights, we’d recommend the bushwhacker tour – there’s still plenty to see, but since you won’t be scaling mountains, it is more suited to all riders. If, however, you’ve been ATVing and you’re DYING for 5000 ft views, then the Top of the World tour is for you.
Photo: Canadian Wilderness Adventures
After your tour, head to one of the many local pubs for a beer, and grab a bit if you’re hungry!
Tour: Whistler ATV
Dinner: Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub
Campground: Riverside RV Resort and Campground
Day 13: Back to Gibsons
Today is the day. The final day of your trip! Lucky for you, the drive from Whistler to Horseshoe Bay is one of the most beautiful in the world. It is called the Sea to Sky Highway, and in this direction, you’ll be going from sky to sea! Most places, you have to choose between mountains and ocean – here, you get both. Towering peaks to your left, and mixed seawater and glacial water on your right. Feel free to stop and take photos, but remember – you’ll be taking a ferry to Langdale to return your RV, so give yourself plenty of time to get there.
When you get to the ferry terminal, you’ll be purchasing tickets to Langdale. Once on the ferry, feel free to go up to the higher decks for food, drinks, and a viewing deck! The ferry is, hands down, the best way to see the coastal islands.
Head to the public market for breakfast or lunch (depending on if you’re an early riser or if you like to sleep in!). Afterwards, you can take a kayak for a local tour, or go for a sundowner on a sailboat! (We recommend Sunshine Kayaking for any water-based adventures in the area. We’ve been on many tours with them ourselves, and they are great to work with, whether you’re a novice or experienced.) Head up to Mike’s place for their (what seems like) hundreds of flavors of homemade gelato, and get ready for your final night in your temporary home!
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1 (604) 886-9025