Take a floatplane over Whistler Valley, canoe by twilight in Banff National Park and sleep in a bijou teepee underneath the stars
About your trip
Canada, oh Canada. This land of immense natural beauty is yours to explore with our 15-day escape to the Rockies and British Columbia.
Buckle up for a showcase of summertime delights, from hiking, caving and canoeing in Banff National Park to whitewater rafting through the desert canyon of the rollercoaster Thompson River. This is your chance to unwind and connect with new friends in the Great Outdoors, surrounded by majestic peaks, wildflower meadows and turquoise lakes.
You’ll be breathing in adventure of the boldest flavour, with an iconic floatplane flight over Whistler Valley and a sleepover beneath the stars in a bijou teepee. Epic road trips are all part of the experience, too, as we chase the sunshine from one scenic mountain town to the next, visiting boutique wineries, bucket-list waterfalls and the thrill-a-minute Golden Skybridge.
The finale? A cruise along the incredible Sea to Sky Highway to Vancouver, Canada’s west coast queen.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- National park entry fees
- 14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
- Hand-picked 3-4 star hotels & a teepee
- Local transport
- Arrival airport transfer
- Max 12 travellers per group
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Cosy up in Calgary
Howdy Flashpackers and welcome to Calgary – a warm and fun-loving hub surrounded by natural beauty in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. You’ve arrived in the sunniest city in Canada, with a strong community spirit and plenty of scenic parks and river paths to explore. It’s a fabulous starting point for our Rockies adventure, so why not take an amble before we meet in the early evening and head downtown for a welcome meal together. This is your chance to get to know your fellow Flashpackers and Calgary’s vibrant foodie scene over a craft ale or two. And in a place nicknamed “Cowtown” – after the annual Calgary Stampede – cowboy hats may well be a feature, too. Yee-haw!
Day 02 Hiking & caving in Banff
Get set for a show-stopper this morning, as we travel one and a half hours along the Trans-Canada highway to the world-famous Banff National Park. Covering over 2,000 miles of UNESCO-protected valleys and peaks, Banff is an adventurer’s playground of alpine meadows, glacier-fed lakes and spectacular mountain ranges. It’s a summertime haven, too, with long hazy days and blue skies providing an ideal canvas for exploring. We’ll begin our foray here in true style, with a hike along a remote prairie trail in the shadow of the majestic Rockies. In the afternoon, we’ll head over to Grotto Mountain for a tour of Rat’s Nest Cave – a wild underground labyrinth featuring ancient fossils and intriguing geological formations.
Day 03 A twilight canoe on Bow River
Today we’ll be savouring Banff away from the crowds on the off-radar Sunshine Meadow Gondola and Standish Chairlift. Framed by rugged peaks, the ride whisks you up to 8,000ft above sea level, with 360-degree views over three lakes – Laryx, Grizzly, and Rock Isle – at the summit. We’ll take a short hike (there’s a restaurant at the top, too) before heading back down for an evening canoe tour along Bow River. This quintessential Canadian experience will see you and your fellow Flashpackers dial back to nature in an indigenous 15-person war canoe. Watch out for local wildlife including beavers, bald eagles, elk and muskrats, as we paddle past remote stretches of pine forest and the imposing Mount Rundle.
Day 04 Lakes, beautiful lakes
It’s time for two gems of the Canadian Rockies: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. These two natural wonders are prized the world over for their astonishing blue hue that catches the light, reflecting a mirror-like view of glaciers all around. We’ll take a guided walk along the shoreline of both beauty spots, taking in Victoria Glacier, the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and the Valley Of The Ten Peaks en route. Afterwards, we’ll have free time to explore. Along with other Flashpackers, you might like to take an optional ride up the Lake Louise Ski Hill Gondola for a Caesar cocktail – Canada’s answer to a Bloody Mary, served with clam tomato juice – at the top.
Day 05 Golden Skybridge, ahoy
Have your soundtracks handy for a road trip today, as we travel three hours’ west through a sweeping landscape of mountains and forests, including three national parks – Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park and Mount Revelstoke National Park. Our final stop is the laidback mountain town of Revelstoke but first, we’ll stop off at Golden for a sky-high thrill or two. We’re here for a mosey along Golden Skybridge, Canada’s highest suspension bridges that hover hundreds of feet above a Columbia Valley canyon – with extraordinary mountain views. With an adventure pass that also includes access to the Railrider Mountain Coaster, Sky Zipline and Canyon Challenge Course, today is all about stretching your limits (anyone for axe throwing?).
Day 06 Hot spring bathing in BC
From one wow-worthy mountain resort to the next, the road-tripping continues as we set sights on the quaint little city of Rossland, nestled in the Kootenay Rockies. The trip takes around four hours and includes a gorgeous ferry ride across Upper Arrow Lake. Soon after, we’ll stop at Nakusp Hot Springs for a spot of alfresco bathing in this hidden hotspot featuring warm mineral pools overlooking the Selkirk Mountains. Later on, we’ll visit the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre, which tells the heartbreaking story of over 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were uprooted from their homes and sent to internment camps during World War II. Tonight, you’ll have time to mooch around Rossland, with its historic downtown and live music buzz.
Day 07 Roving the Rossland Range
There are so many reasons to love Rossland, your amphitheatre for today. Regularly voted one of Canada’s best places to live, this tiny and picturesque city is filled with friendly locals, microbreweries and hip restaurants – all underscored by a relaxed, outdoorsy lifestyle. In summertime, the hiking trails around the Golden City – so-called because of its gold mining heritage – are a real draw. We’ll be embarking on one today, following a scenic circular route through the mountains, dotted with ancient trees and serene lakes, where you can take a dip. The Rossland Range is also home to a series of day-use huts, to hang out and picnic in along the way. Yet another excuse to disconnect and let loose in stunning Canadian scenery…
Day 08 Private tasting at a boutique winery
More dramatic views await as we road trip across British Columbia, passing remote settlements and countless picture-perfect lakes. We’ll stop off to stretch our legs in the sunny Southern Okanagan town of Oliver, famed for its colourful fruit stands, stacked with juicy peaches, pears, plums, apricots or bright red cherries, depending on the season. Our destination is Penticton, one of just two cities in the world situated between two lakes: Okanagan and Skaha. Summer here is all about lakeside beach culture, along with great produce from nearby orchards and vineyards. Tonight, we’ll drop by Fairview Cellars, a family-run boutique winery perched on Reed Creek, where you can let your hair down with wine tasting and dinner, exclusive to Flash Pack.
Day 09 Okanagan Valley vineyards
You’ll have the morning free to explore Penticton, with its lively community and easygoing vibe. Stroll along the beach-lined lakeshore, take a peek inside SS Sicamous – an early 20th-century sternwheeler – and crack open a local craft beer as you drink in the scenic setting. With abundant sunshine, cooling lake breezes and an optimal temperature range, Penticton is a premiere grape-growing region and this afternoon you’ll rejoin your group for a wine-tasting safari. Taking in a string of vineyards in the feted “Napa Valley of the North”, you’ll sample crisp whites and sun-ripened reds as you learn about the processes from grape to glass. It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it…
Day 10 Rafting & a teepee sleepover
Raft, relax, recharge. That’s the motto of Kumsheen, a unique riverside retreat and the next stop on our legendary Rockies road trip. Passing parks, vineyards and mountains on a three-hour drive, we’ll arrive in time for an unmissable experience: whitewater rafting. Prepare to paddle your way down a series of rapids on the cascading Thompson River, as it twists and turns through desert-like scenery dabbled with canyons and pine forest. It’s enormously fun and, afterwards, you and your group can grab a well-deserved rest in Kumsheen itself, with an outdoor pool, hot tub and spa area. This evening, you’ll be staying the night in Anishinabe-style teepees. Think: candlelit tents complete with cosy duvets, and dinner under the starry night sky.
Day 11 Come fly on a float plane
We’re road-tripping once more, and this morning’s drive is arguably the best of the lot. Watch as the landscape changes from rocky canyons, desert ranches and turquoise lakes to the lush forests, creeks and waterfalls. Once in Whistler, a taste of the high life awaits in one of Canada’s most exclusive destinations, bursting with boutique shops, bars, restaurants and aprés nightlife. You’ll take to the skies in a sensational 30-minute flight over Whistler Valley, with a bird’s eye view over the immense mountains, glaciers, valleys and rivers. Taking off from Green Lake in a spray of water, you’ll hear the roar of the engine in your ears as you cruise above Whistler Village, spotting venues from the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the magnificent Brandywine Falls.
Day 12 Bear spotting in Whistler
Canada’s First Nations people have lived in harmony with the land for thousands of years and you’ll spend the morning immersed in nature, together with an indigenous herbalist. Together, you’ll learn about the medicinal uses of local plants and discover how each tree has its own special story. Later, you’ll head out on a black bear-watching excursion (which vary in colour from black to cinnamon brown), with optional hiking and wild swimming. Then, it’s over to the wonders of Whistler Village to relax and explore. Pop by a gallery, hit the spa or hang out on a sunny patio with your fellow Flashpackers and watch the world go by. Peach gin fizz? Don’t mind if we do…
Day 13 Vancouver calling
Today we’ll trade the wild outdoors for big city livin’, completing our classic West Canada road trip with a 90-minute drive along British Columbia Highway 99 – aka, the Sea to Sky Highway. Around the halfway point, we’ll stop at Shannon Falls Park to admire one of the highest waterfalls in BC, at 335 metres. Stretch your legs with a a stunning circular ridge hike in Murrin Provincial Park, complete with alfresco lunch. Then it’s onwards to cosmopolitan Vancouver, with exceptional coast versus mountain views en route. The rest of the day is free for you to live like a Vancouverite, getting to know the beaches, parks, museums and food markets in this summertime dream of a seaport city; Canada’s West Coast gem.
Day 14 Cycling in Stanley Park
Covering 1,000 acres of rainforest and greenery on the tip of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park is a must-see. We’ll uncover its secrets via a bike tour today, cycling through woodland trails, blooming gardens and the pristine seawall area. We’ll hear more about the park’s history, including the stories of the coastal first nations and their iconic totem poles. Free time follows – a great excuse to discover Vancouver’s many diverse neighbourhoods. Take a ferry across False Creek to the art studios of Granville Island, stop by a speakeasy in the cobblestone streets of Gastown, grab a Taiwanese bubble tea in Lower Robson or watch the volleyballers at Kits Beach. Tonight, we’ll gather for a farewell dinner in Vancouver’s dynamic downtown.
Day 15 Catch you next time, Canada
Flashpackers, it’s time to bid adieu to captivating Canada; but what an adventure it’s been. We’ve been caving, rafting, swimming and teepee camping, all packed into two short weeks of outdoor immersion. We’ve cruised over the mountains of Whistler on a floatplane and revelled in blue-sky views from a gondola in Banff National Park. We’ve knocked back vino from boutique BC wineries and basked in some of the finest road trips on Earth. After breakfast, it’s time to make your own way to the airport – buoyed on by memories of new friendships in an incredible land. Or if you have spare time, why not stay on a few days in Vancouver? It is, after all, one of the happiest cities in the world.
Our Favourite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Kumsheen river retreat
This nostalgic retreat celebrates the very best of Canada’s great outdoors. Guests stay in beautiful teepees complete with wooden flooring, cosy duvets, candlelight and views of the starlit sky. Kumsheen has rafting in its soul, running multiple routes along Thompson River. There’s also a pool, hot tub and sunroom restaurant with terrace.
Revelstoke Glacier House Resort
Nestled between the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges, with breathtaking views all around, this alpine-style adventure lodge has a true backcountry feel. Cosy up in rustic log cabins, relax in the hot tub and sauna, and enjoy classic Canadian cuisine on the sunny patio overlooking Begbie Glacier.
Hotel Belmont Vancouver MGallery
Featuring eclectic mid-century design and an enviable location in Vancouver’s Entertainment district, you’ll be well placed here for soaking up the city vibe. Bold colours, prints and textures combine to give rooms a contemporary feel, while the boutique Basement nightclub brings DJ nights and craft cocktails right to your doorstep.
- Which airport do I need to fly into and out of (plus airport code)?
Fly into Calgary International Airport (YYC) and out of Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
- What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
Try to arrive before 3pm in Calgary on Day 1 if you can, but we will pick you up anytime.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no planned activities for Day 15 of this adventure, so you’re free to leave any time you wish.
- Do you include airport transfers?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
The departure transfer is not included, but your Pack Leader can help you arrange a local taxi.
- What level of fitness do I need?
You don’t need to train beforehand to take part in the hiking, canoeing or rafting elements of this trip. They’re all designed to be moderate in terms of fitness levels. The most challenging activity is the Day 7 hike in Rossland, but the adventure is fairly relaxed and you’ll always have a guide on-hand for help and support.
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above to make sure you are happy partaking in the activities mentioned. Please get in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.
- Do I need a visa?
You do not normally need a visa if you’re visiting Canada as a tourist from America. Visitors from the UK, the EU and Australia must apply online for and complete an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before boarding their flights to Canada. If you’re travelling to Canada from elsewhere, please check with your local consulate/embassy for entry requirements.
- How much should I budget per day for extras?
We recommend budgeting around 100 CAD per day for extras like meals, drinks and activities.
- Will this itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission is to create 1 million friendships, so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends.
Want to know more about your group?
Get in touch.
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account, meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled.
Book with confidence.
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