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The Back Roads of Interior B.C. in 1 Week

Don't just zoom between the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver -- take time to explore the significantly less crowded Purcell and Selkirk mountains, the Okanagan wine country, and detour through Whistler on your way to Vancouver.

Day 1: Exploring B.C.'s Mountain Parks

Savvy outdoor enthusiasts know that just west of crowded Banff and Jasper parks are three much less busy but equally stunning national parks, Yoho, Glacier, and Revelstoke. From Lake Louise, follow Hwy. 1 west over the Continental Divide, where Yoho National Park offers Canada's second-highest waterfall, Glacier National Park features hiking trails to the base of icefields, and Revelstoke boasts the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, leading to flower-spangled alpine meadows. Spend the night in the charming mountain town of Revelstoke.

Days 2 & 3: The Okanagan Wine Country

Head west from Revelstoke, then drop south on Hwy. 97A at Sicamous. The landscape quickly changes from lush forests to arid desert highlands. The Okanagan Valley, filled with 128km-long (80-mile) Okanagan Lake, is a fruit-growing paradise now famous for its burgeoning wine industry. After arriving in Kelowna, relax at the city's sandy lake beachfront and check out the bustling restaurant scene. The following day, explore the valley's more than 100 wineries, many of them south of Kelowna toward Penticton. The same irrigation that supports wine grapes sprinkles golf courses -- some of B.C.'s top courses overlook Okanagan Lake.

Day 4: West to Whistler

This is a road-trip day, starting on the so-called Peachland Connector (Hwy. 97C) that connects the Okanagan Valley to Merritt. From Merritt, leave the freeway and follow secondary roads to Lillooet. At this historic town on the Fraser River begins one of the most dramatic mountain roads in British Columbia, climbing up the Cayoosh Valley, cresting the Coastal Mountains, and dropping into Whistler, one of the continent's top mountain resorts.

Days 5 & 6: Whistler

Whistler gained its fame as a ski destination -- there's a reason that the 2010 Winter Olympics ski events were held at the exemplary Whistler/Blackcomb Resort -- but today Whistler is as busy in summer as winter. If you're a shopper, exploring the shops in Whistler Village can take most of a day, and with four championship golf courses nearby, duffers will find plenty of challenges. In summer, there's glacier skiing through August, and hiking and biking trails start at the village edge. Nightlife in Whistler is very lively, with a dining scene to rival Vancouver's.

Day 7: Drive to Vancouver

From Whistler, Hwy. 99 drops from mountain heights to sea level along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway, before entering Vancouver from the north.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.