With an added stroke of genius. The West Peak Practice tour invites you to view the countryside from a different perspective. Well, more than one actually.
You can take a train ride over the spine of the Canadian Rockies – a rail journey unrivalled on this planet – or follow the British Columbia coastline in a seaplane, or soar over ice blue glaciers and blue black lakes in a helicopter.
Your adventure begins here. At Sonora you can take a marine eco-adventure tour that includes listening to whales with hydrophones. You can fish for giant salmon, track down grizzly bears, hike through ancient forests, go kayaking, paddle boarding or river rafting. Or have a helicopter fly you over a glacier, or transport you to a remote river fishing spot. And then, after all the excitement, you can luxuriate in a completely relaxing and restorative spa.
Stay: Two nights at the Sonora Resort.
A year round playground that – depending on the season – encourages you to throw yourself into the world class array of winter sports. In summer you can ride a horse or hike deep into the natural forest around Fitzsimmons Creek. You can combine mountain biking with canoeing or kayaking – exploring glacial lakes and streams along the way. Or take a 4×4 vehicle up Blackcomb Mountain, ride zip cables and walk across soaring suspension bridges over raging creeks.
Stay: One night in the Four Seasons Hotel.
You’ll hear echoes of the past in this valley as you ride horses, emulating the traditional cowboy lifestyle on a 160 acre ranch. You can also hike through the unique landscape of Echo Valley with its impressively varied topography or trek through wooded trails, marshland creeks and grasslands. Gold panning trips, photo safaris, fly fishing and mountain biking are also on the menu.
Stay: Three nights at Echo Valley Ranch and Spa.
Here you’ll be close to Wells Gray National Park with its 5000 sq kms of untouched wilderness – ample space for exploring unknown peaks, icefields and secret valleys. Venture south of the park and you’ll stumble across spectacular wildflower displays, whilst the central volcanic plateau offers stunning canyons and waterfalls.
Stay: One night at the Alpine Meadow Resort.
Wildlife abounds in this untamed parkland. You can expect to observe grizzlies in their natural habitat as well as wolves, elk, big horned sheep and fleet-footed mountain goats. You should also see the Icefields Parkway – surely one of the world’s most beautiful highways – as well as the Athabasca Glacier and the Sunwapta Falls. Take a guided rafting tour along the Athabasca River and you’ll gain a great insight into the natural and human history of Jasper.
Stay: Two nights in Jasper Park Lodge.
The waters of Lake Louise are a deep turquoise, the surrounding Rockies are majestic, so the photographs you take will be picture postcard clichés. But viewing the area from the air will give you a whole new perspective. Taking in the jewel-like Jasper National Park, the Columbia Icefield, Snow Dome and the Lyle and Wilson Icefields.
Stay: Two nights in Moraine Lake Lodge.
Banff is a resort town with any number of activities and amenities ranging from therapeutic hot springs to hearty local restaurants. If you’re an adventurer you won’t want to miss the Ice Explorer tours of Athabasca Glacier; if you’re a climber or hiker you have Alberta’s Rocky Mountains close by, with 25 peaks that soar to over 3000 metres.
Stay: One night in Buffalo Mountain Lodge.
Even if you’re not a railway enthusiast you can’t help but be inspired by the awesome mountain scenery, the plunging valleys and snow-capped peaks that confront you at every turn of the track. If you do love trains, the Rocky Mountaineer threads its way through the Canadian Rockies, delivering one of those iconic, world class rail journeys that is at the top of every collector’s wish list.
Stay: One night aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.
One of the highlights of British Columbia’s dazzling coastline, Vancouver is reckoned by many to be one of the world’s most scenic cities, with lush parks, exciting areas like Robson Street and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is also the gateway to adventures like whale watching for minke, Dall’s porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea elephants and bald eagles. The Whistler Mountaineer tempts rail journey fans, and sea planes are on hand to zip you from Coal Harbour to tranquil Horseshoe Bay, for a gourmet meal at the famous Boathouse Restaurant.
Stay: Two nights at the Fairmont Pacific Rim