The Canadian west coast, where lush rain forests of giant cedars and Douglas fir meet the saline expanse of the pacific and massive mountains of granite and metamorphic rocks formed by prehistoric volcanic eruptions spring from the sea. An exceptional natural setting for an exceptional trip. Starting off in the charming town of Victoria, on Vancouver Island this tour explores the wild and rich ecosystem of the coastal rain forest along signature hikes that offer authentic and unique west coast thrills. Heading to mainland BC we spend 3 nights in a remote cabin at 2000m for a 4-day backcountry alpine hiking feast. Coming down from cloud 9 we end our journey in the vibrant city of Vancouver. A one of a kind Canadian experience that will create unforgettable memories!
- The variety of landscapes: from the rocky inlets of the north pacific to some of the most stunning alpine hiking BC has to offer.
- Hiking the wilder and less traveled trails of western Canada
- Hiking through some of the last old growth forest of Vancouver Island
- Certified and knowledgeable guide, seeing to the group’s every need
- 4 days in the heart of Mountains around Whistler and Garibladi Provincial Park
- Charming Victoria and the modern city of Vancouver
Arrive in Victoria. Free time to take in the English charm of the city as well as it’s many attractions such as Beacon Hill Park, the Craigdarroch Castle or Butchart Gardens to name only a few. Rendezvous at the hotel to meet your guide, the rest of the group and hear all about the adventure you are about to start. Independent dinner. Night at the hotel.
Luxury seaside condos (shared)
50km - 1h
To the west of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island lies the tiny community of Sooke. This will be the starting point of our first hike, the East Sooke Trail. Perched along the cliffs of Sooke point the trail offers impressive views of the Olympic Mountains just across the Juan de Fuca straight. Overnight in Sooke for 2 nights. Meals: B, L, D
Luxury seaside condos (shared)
143km - 2h40
Our objectives over the next two days will be to hike the most dramatic sections of the Juan de Fuca trail from China beach to Botanical Beach. Today, we’ll start our hike from the China beach trailhead and work our way north to Sombrio beach. The 21km trail snakes along the beaches and disappears into the forest for challenging climbs along mountains faces offering incredible views of the area. Plenty of opportunities to explore tides pools and all the other wildlife the area has to offer. It’s is a rugged and demanding trail; weather can severely impact the conditions of the trail and so we’ll have the option of shortening our hike if need be. Return to Sooke for the night. Meals: B, L, D
415km - 6hrs
Getting up early we transfer to Sombrio Beach to continue our trek to reach Botanical beach. The trail meanders in lush rain forest over old log bridges and moss-covered walkways. The Juan de Fuca trail is a truly unique and challenging trail that shows you the wilder and less traveled side of the Island. We transfer to Strathcona Provincial Park in the afternoon. Healthy and delicious meal using locally sourced, organic and in-season ingredients at the Lodge. Meals: B, D
Today we explore the forbidden Plateau area of Strathcona Provincial Park, We can choose from many of the different hikes giving access to these pristine alpine lakes and high prairie meadows. Most of the elevation being gained on the car ride to get there, we conserve our energy to explore this incredible plateau. Return to our lodge for the evening where your guide will organize a Beach BBQ. Meals: B, L , D
We enjoy a second day to explore Strathcona Provincial Park along the Flower ridge Trail. A17,5km with a gentle gradient rising 1100 m over 8 km. The trail meanders up through old growth forest along a series of small ridges and benches. Once on Flower Ridge, you are rewarded with sweeping views of surrounding mountains and Buttle Lake. Return to the lodge for the evening. Meals: B, L, D
390km - 6hrs (include 1.5 hrs ferry crossing)
Today we transfer to mainland BC stopping on the way to admire one of the last strands of old growth forest. Hiking amidst century old Douglas firs and giant cedars is a humbling experience bound to turn anyone into a tree huger. Boarding the ferry in Nanaimo we enjoy a 1h30 crossing before making our way up the sea-to-sky highway to reach Whistler. Night in Lodge hostel in Whistler. Meals: B, D
26km - 22min
Our exploration of the mountains around Whistler starts with a signature hike that takes us deep in Garibaldi Provincial park to ascend Black Tusk. The jagged black peak is a stark contrast against the bright glaciated landscape and green forested mountains that surround it. This ancient volcano was once capped with glacial ice but after erupting, the piping hot magma melted much of the ice and exposed the magnificent basalt chamber that we’ll see today. A challenging but incredibly rewarding hike that let’s us discover one of the most impressive mountain range in western Canada
Remote wilderness hut
Today we set off for our 3-day trek. The gondola takes us up to the summit of Whistler Mountain from where we’ll have a 9km hike to reach our wilderness hut for the next 3 nights. Getting to our hut we’ll need to work together to get set up and prepare our dinner. We’ll have plenty of time to discuss the options for the upcoming days. Night at the hut. Meals: B, L, D
Remote wilderness hut
We have the next 2 days to explore everything that Whistler’s back country has to offer. From our base camp at 2000m we’ll have all the latitude we want to attempt climbing Mount Overloard and we’ll reserve one of the days for an easier exploratory hike to discover alpines lakes and high prairie meadows. Meals: B, L, D
120km - 1h40
Today we hike back out to Whistler before heading back to Vancouver. Spend the evening discovering Granville Island, strolling on Robson Street or exploring Stanley Park. Vancouver is a vibrant city offering extremely diverse attractions in an extremely enviable natural setting. Meals: B
Free time in Vancouver to explore the city. Transfer to airport according to flight time. Meal: B
- Accommodation: 12 nights standard hotel 2-3*, 2 nights shared luxury seaside condos, 3 nights remote wilderness hut, 2 nights lodge hostel, 3 nights Wilderness Lodge
- Ground transportation by 12-passenger minibus with enclosed trailer for 10 passengers or more
- The services of a certified and knowledgeable driver-guide
- 12 breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches and 3 dinners
- Entry fees to national and provincial parks
- Ferry from Vancouver Island back to mainlan
- Taxes where applicable
- Airports meet & greet and transfers
- Optional activities
- All dinners except D9-10-11
- Flights and travel insurance
- Tips for you guide and gratuities
- Taxes: GST (5%)
Our cancellation policy has been modified and no cancellation will be applied if when made at least 60 days before the trip. For obvious reasons linked to the COVID-19 pandemic 60 days and more before departure, Windigo Aventure reserves the right to modify all or part of the trip for similar or equivalent services at destination (hotels, outfitters, lodges or hostels with the same inclusive activities on site or nearby).
Information about activities and hikes
Intermediate level hiking tour with 4 to 7 hours of walking each day. Hikes are mainly mountainous with a few near lakes and the ocean. The climate can change rapidly in the mountains. Even though it is warm and sunny during the day, there is the possibility of snow and rain in the evening. The climate is milder near the Pacific.
We suggest you have a healthy lifestyle and are in good physical shape to join this trip. You should be able to walk for 4 to 6 hours with an average 300 to 500 m elevation gain. The hikes are at varying altitudes, from about 0 to 2200m.
All breakfasts are included either at the hotel or at a restaurant (not included). For days when we visit the parks, lunches are included and will generally be in the form of picnics. All cooking equipment and cutlery are provided by us. Your help will be appreciated in the preparation of meals. Dinners are not included and are at your own expense. Your guide will propose a restaurant every night for the group and will make all necessary arrangements. For meals not included, plan on about 15-20$ CAD for lunch and 25$-30$ CAD for dinner (tips and alcohol not included in prices).
Airport transfers and pre nights
From the Calgary airport you may hop on a hotel shuttle, stopping at various hotels including the Ramada Downtown. The cost is 15$CAD/person. To be paid locally. You may also take a taxi (approximate cost: 40$ CAD)
Vancouver –There are no airport shuttles in Vancouver. We suggest a taxi (35$-40$ CAD) or take public transport into downtown (Sky Train)
One bilingual (French & English) driver-guide who knows the area will lead the tour. On top of being excellent cooks, our guides are organized, dynamic and they just love sharing their knowledge and passions with the group. You may never want to leave them.
Expectations & Group philosophy
Groups are comprised of people from various part of the world, with different nationalities and backgrounds. Bilingual tours are given in both French and English. The group size varies between 5 and 12 people. Please note that it is expected of you to actively participate in the daily chores, like the preparation of picnics, the loading and unloading of the minibus, the set-up of camp, and to participate in the activities.
For all transfers, we use a 12-passenger minibus. The luggage will be transported inside the minibus or inside an enclosed cargo trailer, depending on the number of group members.
Major credit cards (Visa & Mastercard) are accepted almost everywhere. You can use these to pay for purchases, or withdraw money in US Dollars from the many ATMs. You can also exchange your native currency (cash) into US dollars upon arrival.
In Canada and the United States, service is never included in the price. In bars, restaurants, and wherever a service is provided, it is expected that you leave a gratuity between 15 and 20% of the total bill amount. Be aware that many employees within the service industry count on tips as their main remuneration and it is be frowned upon to leave an insufficient amount or no tip at all. Even when paying by credit card, you can specify the amount of tip you want to leave. It is also customary to give a tip to the tour guide at the end of a trip. The recommended amount by the industry is around $7/person/day.