West Canada


Being a fan of the Heartland TV show since I have been 10, my mom had planned a road trip for me through Alberta and British Columbia back when I was 16. I will try here to dig deep into my memory to share with you this amazing itinerary we did in 14 days from Calgary to Vancouver.


We landed in Calgary, got our rental car, and our first stop was the Ranch where Heartland is filmed. It is privately owned so you can not enter the property, but we could see it from the distant and it was enough to make me happy. We then drove to High River to see Maggie’s diner. Same, you can not enter the diner but you can take a sneak peek through the windows.

Banff National Park

We then made our way to the National Park of Banff with more wonders than you can count. We spent the day exploring Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and stopped at a lookout of Bow River on the way. The water of lakes and rivers in this area is incredibly blue (and cold) as it is glacier water. In the evening we enjoyed walking around the town of Banff.

During our second day in the Banff area, we explored Minnewanka Lake, Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake, Bow Lake with a view on the Wapta Glacier. Take the hike up Peyto Lake to one of the most famous views of Canada. You can encounter with a few squirrels and Chipmunks.

Jasper National Park

From Banff to Jasper, drive down Icefield Parway and stop at Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier. Once in Japser National Park, there is numerous sites to enjoy: Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls and Maligne Lake. Then head to Angel Glacier, Valley of The Five Lakes and Maligne Canyon.


We drove to Clearwater where we had found a host on Couch Surfing. If you get the chance, try to stay with Couch Surfers, it was the occasion to discover the area with locals and meet other travellers. The highlight was Moul Falls where you can actually walk behind the waterfall. I also recommend trying the cowboy experience and going for a horse ride through the Alberta plains or help move cattle during a roundup ride. I had a great time with Vavenby Trail Ride.

A long drive was then waiting for us to reach Vancouver, but we stopped on the way in Whitler and bumped into a Ghost town on the road there: The Deadman Junction Ranch.

Vancouver Island

Hop into a ferry with your car to reach the island. Enjoy the beach and explore the fishing village of Tofino where you can also go for a Whale Watching Boat Tour. Also take a chance to explore an old-growth forest such as Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.


We finished out journey by getting lost in Vancouver City. I recommend renting a bike as there is a bike trail going all around the city.

I hope this itinerary will help you plan your journey through West Canada. For me this was dozens of beautiful encounters, hundreds of breath-taking landscapes, thousands of kilometres on the road and a billion of memories.

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Adventure by Emily – 2022 ©