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7 DAYS in BC and the Rockies

Day 1

After touring Vancouver  make the long drive east to Kamloops  on the scenic Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1). The route follows spectacular deep valleys cut by the Fraser and Thompson rivers through the rocky Coast Mountains. At Hope, carry on north through the Fraser Canyon , stopping at Hell’s Gate to suspend yourself over the canyon in an airtram. A suspension bridge crosses back over this part of the thundering river, which has three times the volume of water at Niagara Falls. Manning Park Lodge (7500 BC-3) is a perfect stopping point to stretch your legs and have lunch. End your day in Kamloops, where gold was discovered in 1856 in the North Thompson River, just above the town. There are plenty of options for casual dining before bedding down for the night at your hotel.

Day 2

Back on Highway 1, make the two-anda-half-hour journey to Revelstoke. Head straight for the gondola, which transports you above the clouds, with panoramic views at 7,700 ft (2347 m) of the Rocky Mountains, the Columbia River Wetlands, and the charming town of Golden. Continue up to Eagle’s Eye Restaurant (1500 Kicking Horse Trail) for lunch with a view. If you’re ready for another drive, wind your way 16 miles (26 km) uphill through the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, which takes you through forests of cedar and hemlock, spruce and fir to the subalpine wildflower meadows of Mount Revelstoke National Park

Day 3

Explore nearby Golden, the gateway to Yoho National Park . Surrounded by marshy wetlands, it’s home to some of BC’s richest bird habitats. One of the best ways to experience this area is from the seat of a canoe; you can flat-water paddle the Columbia River with a tour led by a skilled naturalist. After an active day, wind down with a delicious dinner at the Cedar House Restaurant (735 Hefti Rd, Golden), set on 10 acres (4 ha) of private land surrounded by mountainside, and serving local, natural meats and BC’s best wines. End your meal with a nightcap and s’mores.

Day 4

 Get back on Highway 1 and head towards Field for lunch. This tiny historical hamlet is studded with B&Bs. Locals know to arrive early for lunch at Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lodge (100 Center St) to avoid lines. Drive to Emerald Lake ) and walk off your meal on the scenic trail around the lake before kicking back for the evening. At the exceptional Emerald Lake Lodge (1 Emerald Lake Rd), make sure you have a drink at the oak bar – salvaged from a 1890s Yukon saloon – before dinner.

Day 5

Start the day with a leisurely drive to the gorgeous Lake Louise in Banff National Park . There’s a good chance you’ll see grizzlies from the Lake Louise Gondola, which takes you a breathtaking 6850 ft (2088 m) above the valley floor. Afterwards, head to Banff The resort town is choc-a-bloc with shops, restaurants and hotels, but the best sleepover (and spa) is at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (405 Spray Ave). After exploring the town, take a guided tour of the hotel and have a cocktail in one of the lounges.

Day 6

The 144-mile (232-km) stretch of road that runs from Banff to Jasper is the Columbia Icefields Parkway, and it’s incredible. Start your day early to make the drive, and try to spend at least six hours on the road here, depending on weather and wildlife viewing. Before making the final stretch, take a detour to Miette Hot Springs , 37 miles (60 km) northeast: the relaxing soak is well worth the journey.

You can grab a bite to eat overlooking the springs at Fiddle Valley Café before driving on to Jasper for a relaxing Italian meal at ALBA

Day 7

Get up early to enjoy spectacular views on the Jasper Tramway , Canada’s longest and highest cable car, linking Jasper with a vantage point 9,465 ft (2,885 m) above sea level. The gorgeous Pyramid Lake is also just a short drive away. Grab a light lunch in town before driving three hours to Edmonton airport, where you can catch a flight to Halifax to continue your journey in the Maritimes  or make your way home.

7 DAYS in BC and the Rockies 7 DAYS in BC and the Rockies Reviewed by MELANIE INFINITY on December 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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