The only reason I was able to see all the beautiful places I practically drooled over in Canada was because I booked with Moose. Their amazing staff members and clientele, along with perfectly chosen sights and locations, made this trip one for the books.
Moose offers a number of guided tours through Western and Eastern Canada. Although there were quite a few that seemed amazing we settled for the Tomahawk, which is ultimately the first portion of the Big West, and we’re so glad we did! The Tomahawk starts in Vancouver and ends in BANFF, stopping in all the big cities and at all the beautiful sights along the way. The beauty of Moose is that these fairly long drives between cities are broken up by amazing sight-seeing spots, fun excursions and lots of singing/napping.
Our first leg of the tour began in Vancouver and brought us to Whistler. Our tour guide, Marshall, was knowledgeable and funny. Highway 99, or the sea to sky highway, was amazing in itself however we stopped along the way in places like Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls and at Whistler Bungee to hike from the Cheakamus River to Brandywine Falls on the sea to sky trail. These stops really break up the drive an allow you to see beautiful parts of British Columbia that you might otherwise miss. You also have the opportunity to Bungee Jump before arriving in Whistler. After group members Bungeed the entire group hiked about a mile to Brandywine Falls; the hike lent itself to beautiful views. From here Marshall picked us up and we were on our way!
The HI Jericho Beach had an incredibly laid-back vibe. We rented a volleyball and made our way to the beach where we enjoyed some fun in the sand, a quick dip and a beautiful sunset.
For the next leg of our tour, we had a new tour guide who was amazing from the very beginning; the trip would not have been the same without Mike as our guide! (If you click his name it will take you to his guide page where you can see what he’s all about!) He really brought us all together with his thoughtful gestures and passion for travel. Our destination was set for Kelowna. We stopped along the way at Bridal falls, for a picnic lunch at a park in the town of Hope, and at Othello’s Tunnels before arriving in Kelowna where we took a speedboating adventure that was included in our Moose Tour. We spent another beautiful, sunny afternoon on the beach
Our Lake Louise travel day was short which made our Hostel (HI Lake Louise Alpine Center) enjoyment long. We made a lovely dinner, drank quite a bit of wine/beer/liquor and enjoyed the most amazing conversation with members of our tour and some friends we met along the way. We ended the night with a full-tour-group campfire which included plain chocolate AND Reese’s cup s’mores by yours truly, the Americans, while we drank, sang campfire songs and laughed.
Day 6 of the tour is for Ice Fields! Up and away to Jasper with our first stop being Bow Lake. Bow lake was practically glass, reflecting a mirror image of the mountainous backdrop. We had 45 minutes here to walk around the lake and enjoy its beauty. Be sure to follow the pathway into the bush towards the backside of the lake. It will bring you away from the clutter of people and provide you with a more rugged feel for such a beautiful landscape. From here, our tour guide challenged us to an ‘ice swim’ at Waterfowl Lake. Most of us accepted the challenge, changed into our suits and took the plunge into the icy waters. It’s only cold for a minute before you simply can’t feel your submerged limbs anymore! From here we went for lunch at Mistaya Canyon; a short downhill hike to a rocky shoreline proved to be an amazing lunch stop. There’s nothing quite like peanut butter and jelly Sandwiches with a view!
We made a few roadside stops on our way to The Columbia Icefield at the Saskatchewan river crossing and the big bend, but our main excursion for the day was walking on a glacier! The Glacier Adventure was a lot of fun. It wasn’t an overly long experience, or incredibly thrilling, however, it is so inspiring to walk on the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. You can also fill your water bottle with fresh glacier water, which I took full advantage of. Also, the all-terrain ice
Our drive back to Banff was our last day with Moose, and was referred to as ‘Waterfall Day’. We spent 45 minutes at Athabasca falls exploring its many paths and more remote beauties. Next, we stopped at Tangle Falls where a decent portion of the group did some minor rock climbing and/or scrambling to the top! The view was beautiful from both ends and the climbing adventure was exhilarating. Next up was Moose Falls, an unnamed waterfall named by our tour guide upon discovery. This short hike is on a narrow path that leads you to the side of a waterfall where the sheer power of the water will leave you in awe. Our final stop before coming into Banff was at Peyto Lake. This is the lake on a lot of the Moose Flyers. We just
Our trip would not have been as memorable if it had not been for Moose tours, our group members and most importantly our guide. We would have never seen all of the beautiful sights, acquired the amazing memories or made beautiful friendships without the Moose Network. Not only was our tour affordable, but the Moose discounts and included meals and excursions along the way kept our 10-day adventure costs to a minimum. If you’re looking to explore Western Canada I suggest booking with MOOSE and leaving a few extra days for yourself in Vancouver and Banff to see more of what you’d like to see!
Moose is the G.O.A.T
(Sorry for my terrible pun)
((For all of you who do not teach Middle School: GOAT stands for “greatest of all time”))