Welcome to the Canada Country Guide

Hello/Bonjour and welcome to our Canada country guide. If you love adventure and nature and are considering a trip to western Canada, then you will want to spend some time looking through this guide. We spent fifteen days exploring western Canada. In order to do this, we bought one way tickets to Vancouver and out of Calgary. We rented a car in Vancouver and drove 1,475 miles.  We went up the Sunshine Coast and then headed eastward across the country making well thought out stops along the way. We were able to drive up the Icefields parkway before ending our trip in Calgary. Highlights of this adventure included kayaking at sunset with seals, taking a boat ride to the Princess Louisa Inlet and watching an eagle soar, trying Via Ferrata, hiking an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet, completing the Lake Louise Tea House challenge, white water rafting, biking at Stanley Park, relaxing at lodges with stunning views, seeing animals in their natural habitat, stargazing in Jasper, walking on a glacier, exploring tide pools, and eating good food.  This guide includes our itinerary and our personal thoughts about our experiences. We hope that you enjoy exploring this page and find this information useful when planning a cross-country driving trip in Western Canada.


What can I expect from Canada?

Western Canada has so much to offer for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, wilderness lovers, hikers, stargazers, those seeking relaxation. You can expect to see a vast range of scenery including lakes of various shades of blues and greens, glaciers, wildlife in their natural habitat, and beautiful views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. You will crave the outdoors and will find yourself constantly wanting to find ways to get outside.

You may also find yourself getting outside of your comfort zone and trying one of the many adventure sports that western Canada has to offer. If you make it to Jasper National Park you will not be disappointed with the night skies. We encourage you to book a trip and get out and explore all of what western Canada has to offer.

Things to See and Do in Canada

The Sunshine Coast
Garibaldi Lake
Yoho National Park
Icefields Parkway
Jasper National Park
Banff National Park
Via Ferrata

Typical Costs When Traveling

Accommodation – We stayed in a mix of Air Bnb’s, Hotels and Lodges. Our total for loding was around $4,500 for three people which was $1,500 each or about $100/night per person. We splurged on the West Coast Wilderness Lodge and the Lodge at Emerald Lake but you can definitely save money by finding cheaper accommodations in both those areas.

Food -Food was closely priced to food in America. When we stayed at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge Meals were included with the package. Overall Breakfast was $10-15USD Lunches were $15-20USD and Dinners Depending on wine or not were around $35-50USD.

Transportation – We rented a car for $725USD that took us from Vancouver to Calgary. We did need to take a ferry with the car twice to the Sunshine Coast and Back for around $105USD so with gas, parking rental car etc we each paid around $335USD for transportation.

Suggested daily budget – 200-250 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in nicer accommodations, eating out all your meals, and renting a car. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out at nicer places more often, expect this to be higher!)

Money Saving Tips

  1. Travel in Threes! If you travel with three, you can generally aim to get rooms for two with a pull out couch.  Splitting lodging three ways is cheaper than splitting two ways! 
  2. Use CAD or your credit cards when able.  You’ll pay a higher rate if using USD.
  3. Search for discounts on car before booking.  We used AAA and got a significant discount.  Rates are higher and vehicles are more limited in the busy summer seasons, so book early.
  4. Stay just outside of the national parks, if able. Lodging can be quite expensive during peak season.  High demand and close proximity leads to increased prices.
  5. Choose hikes. Hiking is completely free!


Our Must Have Guides For Traveling

Everything you need to know about traveling.

Lonely Planet Banff, Jasper and Glacier National Parks Travel Guide[/vc_column_text]

Know Before You Go

  • Accommodations book up quickly. If you are staying in lodges, be sure to book well in advance 
  • Just about every place takes USD and CAD, but if using USD, you will pay more. It would be smart to take some CAD for places that do not take credit cards. 
  • The national and provincial parks can get very crowded. If you are doing a day hike, go early! This will also allow you to avoid some of the hottest times of the day. 
  • Parking at Lake Louise can be difficult. Go early to avoid using shuttle lots which require you to park around a mile away and to be shuttled to the trail head. 
  • Buy your Parks Canada pass ahead of time! 
  • Pack layers for hiking and be sure to include rain gear.

Keep Reading

You Oughta Try Via Ferrata

Discover Johnston Canyon – Banff NP

Horseshoe Canyon White Water Rafting

Lake Louise Tea House Challenge

Stargazing in Jasper National Park

Opal Hills Trail – Jasper NP

Maligne Lake Boat Cruise – Jasper NP

Columbia Icefield Glacier Walk

Princess Louisa Inlet Tour

Nighttime Kayaking

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Hiking to Garibaldi Lake


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