23783
British Columbia

Choose Your Pace: Sea-to-Sky Hiking in Vancouver & Whistler

Hike in Vancouver and the Coast Mountains at your own pace from our home base in Whistler, as you learn about local ecology, history and the First Nations Peoples from the experts.
Program No. 23783RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
2,299
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7 days
6 nights
15 meals
6 B 5 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Vancouver, BC
D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in begins at 4:00 pm.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously).

Dinner: Enjoy a buffet dinner at the hotel with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: 7:30-8:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Hiking Stanley Park, Free Time
Vancouver, BC
B,L
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Hiking up to 2 miles in the morning with stops for interpretation; pavement and groomed park trails; no elevation gain. The extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depend on personal choice.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet breakfast with juice, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: Hike through Stanley Park while listening to a lecture conducted by one of the park’s Ecology Society members. Learn about this National Historic Site, including the parks variety of hemlock, cedar, and fir trees, and explore the encircling stone seawall while marveling at the ocean and mountain vistas.

Lunch: We'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Coffee, tea, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions, or you can consult the list of Free Time Opportunities for other suggestions. Hike to Beaver Lake via Lover's Walk, one of the many trails that wind through the park's forested interior. Discover Granville Island, once an industrial hub and now renowned for its bustling market, or simply return to the hotel to relax.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Enjoy the evening at your leisure.

DAY
3
Sea to Sky, Hiking Stawamus Chief, Whistler Overview
Whistler, BC
B,L,D
The Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 75 miles, approximately 2 hours. Two levels of hiking options available. Moderate (2-3 miles, 3 hours; starting at the summit elevation of approximately 3,000 feet with slight elevation gain and loss; groomed trails and boardwalks); Motivated (5-6 miles, 3 hours; starting at the summit elevation of approximately 3,000 feet with net gain of approximately 1,500 feet and loss of 950 feet; groomed trails).

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Travel by motorcoach along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Squamish, a railway and First Nations community at the northern tip of Howe Sound. Climb to the summit of Stawamus Chief, the second-largest granite monolith in the world while in the comfort of a gondola. Learn about the region’s ecology, geology, and human history from a local expert while we walk nearby trails and rest at several breathtaking look-out points overlooking Howe Sound.

Lunch: We will enjoy a trailside boxed lunch. Choice of sandwich, yogurt cup, house-made granola power bar, apple, and bottled water. Gluten free options available.

Afternoon: Hike through alpine meadows, and stands of Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce, and Alder trees while listening to experts who will enrich our day’s experience. Learn about the history of settlement and development in the region at the Whistler Museum. Hear about the trappers, pioneers, and Indigenous peoples who shaped Whistler.

Dinner: Enjoy a plated meal made from locally sourced seasonal ingredients at the hotel. Coffee, tea, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At your leisure.

DAY
4
Hiking Cheakamus River Valley, Squamish Lil'Wat Centre
Whistler, BC
B,L,D
The Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Two levels of hiking options available today. Moderate (2-3 miles, 4 hours; slight elevation gain and loss; moderately smooth trails with some roots, rocks, and muddy patches); Motivated (3-4 miles, 4 hours; slight elevation gain and loss; moderately smooth trails with some roots, rocks and muddy patches).

Breakfast: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a buffet breakfast with juice, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: Enhance your knowledge while listening to a local expert discuss the spiritual significance of the Cheakamus River Valley to the First Nations Peoples, beginning with the name Cheakamus derived from the Squamish name for “people of the fish weir.” Walk beneath the towering canopy of cedars and Douglas fir trees which comprise this rainforest while hearing about the ecology of the region.

Lunch: We will enjoy a trailside boxed lunch of modern First Nations cuisine.

Afternoon: Explore the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre after returning to Whistler. Learn about Frist Nation’s history, customs, and traditions through dance, storytelling, and material artifacts with an Indigenous educator.

Dinner: We'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At your leisure.

DAY
5
Black Bears, Whistler & Blackcomb Mountain Hikes, Free Time
Whistler, BC
B,L
The Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler

Activity note: Two levels of hiking options available today. Moderate (2-3 miles, 2.5 hours; starting at an elevation of approximately 6,070 feet with elevation changes of approximately 215 feet; groomed trails); Motivated (2-3 miles, 2.5 hours; starting at an elevation of 6,070 feet with elevation changes of 400 feet; groomed trails). Some walking on pavement to get to trailheads. Getting on/off a gondola; standing while in transit.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Learn about the local black bears that roam these mountains, and gain insight into their behavior, biology, and population ecology from a resident bear researcher. Hike through the surrounding mountain peaks and valley views while learning about the geological diversity of the region. See the Black Tusk, recognizable for its pinnacle of jet-black volcanic rock. Enjoy a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Express gondola connecting Whistler to the Blackcomb Mountains. Seasonal attractions on this hike include walking through snow walls in May and June, across glaciers from June to September, and among wildflowers in July and August.

Lunch: We will enjoy lunch at one of the mountaintop restaurants.

Afternoon: Free time. Stay on the mountain for a more challenging hike, or those looking for a more relaxing afternoon can walk through Whistler Village.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare. Whistler has a variety of culinary experiences close at hand.

Evening: At your leisure.

DAY
6
Hiking Whistler, Vancouver Exploration
Vancouver, BC
B,L,D
Pacific Gateway Hotel

Activity note: Two levels of hiking options available today. Moderate (7-8 miles, 3 hours; slight elevation change; paved and groomed trails); Motivated (9-10 miles, 3 hours; slight elevation change; paved and groomed trails). Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 90 miles, approximately 4 hours.

Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Hike the Valley Trail, a network of paved and boardwalk trails that connect Whistler's neighborhoods to the shoreside of Alta Lake. Alta Lake connects to the River of Golden Dreams which leads to the stunning waters of Green Lake. Bike, canoe, and kayak rentals are available at an additional cost.

Lunch: We will enjoy a trailside boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Travel by motorcoach along the Sea-to-Sky Corridor to Vancouver. This afternoon’s field trip will consist of exploring the central neighborhoods of this multicultural city with an historian. We’ll stroll through CRAB Park and get a close look at Vancouver's working port, experience the hustle and bustle of Robson Street, discover the charms of historic Gastown, and travel to the Fraser River where we'll walk the gravel paths and boardwalks.

Dinner: Enjoy a farewell meal of locally sourced west coast cuisine at the hotel restaurant overlooking the Fraser River.

Evening: At your leisure.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Vancouver, BC
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is at noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a hot and cold buffet breakfast with juice, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don't forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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