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3 week loop trip from Seattle/Vancouver/Banff NP/Glacier NP/Seattle

3 week loop trip from Seattle/Vancouver/Banff NP/Glacier NP/Seattle

Oct 5th, 2012, 12:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 222
3 week loop trip from Seattle/Vancouver/Banff NP/Glacier NP/Seattle

My husband and I are in our 60's and finally can carve out 3 weeks for a trip. We are coming from Philadelphia and flying into and back from Seattle. Our initial itinerary is:

3 nights in Seattle

3 nights in Vancouver --- where to stay?

Drive to Kelowna on our way to Banff and spend one or two nights for the wineries

Drive from there to Banff and spend two nights --- where to stay?
While there drive up towards Jasper

Drive to Glacier NP for 4 nights (already booked at Many Glacier Hotel)
Plan on visiting Waterton Lake NP as a day trip (afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel?)

Drive to Placid Lake, Montana, where we stay with a friend for 5 nights (so lucky)

Then head back to Seattle, maybe visiting the wine area in Walla Walla or Yakima on the way back (I know it'll take two days to drive back)

We are doing this in mid-August and have never been in this area before. Any recommendations places to see or stay or general comments on our itinerary are very welcome! We aren't planning on renting a car until we leave Seattle for Vancouver.

Trying to find a great and not overly expensive place in both Seattle and Vancouver. Do I have too many days in Seattle where it would make more sense to add a day somewhere else? What else should I change?

I've also posted this in the US Forum, as suggested.
ceezee is offline  
Oct 5th, 2012, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 268
Similar age to you both and we have stayed in Banff and were thrilled with:http://www.roomstays.com/hotel/586109

I have been on cycling trips to Seattle, Vancouver and Banff several times.May I suggest you drive from Seattle to Port Angeles so you can take the ferry across to Victoria BC. which is a really beautiful city. Then from there drive to the east side of Vancouver island and take a ferry across to Vancouver.After exploring Vancouver, I would go to Lake Louise and the Ice fields Parkway before taking the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff.http://www.canadianrockies.net/banff/bvp.html
You have a good chance of seeing wildlife there.
snowgirls is offline  
Oct 5th, 2012, 05:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 222
"May I suggest you drive from Seattle to Port Angeles so you can take the ferry across to Victoria BC. which is a really beautiful city. Then from there drive to the east side of Vancouver island and take a ferry across to Vancouver."

Great idea! I love ferries. Definitely will check into this.
ceezee is offline  
Oct 6th, 2012, 04:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 268

Have stayed in Lake Louise here and as its the gateway to the Icefields, its nice to do a day trip from the hotel, go north along the icefields for as many hours as you like, have a lunch picnic in an alpine meadow, or buy a picnic lunch here: http://www.fodors.com/community/cana...-for-lunch.cfm at Lagans in Lake Louise village as there are only 2 or 3 places along whole parkway to get food.

then return and drive to Banff and have a dinner there . Banff much larger than LL so lots of food choices.
Peyto lake on the parkway is beyond stunning
If driving gets too tiring, you could cut out the drive to Jasper and stay in Banff on the return, as the drive from LL to Banff is about 40 minutes.
snowgirls is offline  
Oct 6th, 2012, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,082
There are 2 HI Hostels in Vancouver. They do have private rooms as well as the dorms. http://www.hihostels.com/
There is a HI Hostel in Seattle at the old American Hotel.
One of the advantages to the HI Hostels is that you can cook food that you buy in their kitchens.
tomfuller is offline  
Oct 6th, 2012, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,584
>Drive from there to Banff and spend two nights --- where to stay?
While there drive up towards Jasper<

You may have already planned for this, but Banff to Jasper and back is more than a day trip. So, allow a day to drive up, a couple of nights there, and a day to drive back.

Banff itself - including Lake Louise - give that 3+ nights.

In the Okanagan, you might also consider staying around Oliver or Penticton. Kelowna is bigger and busier, not so attractive to me.

Vancouver - we've had the best luck using Priceline to bid on a place in Downtown-West End. Bid at least 3* (4 if possible), and anything you get will be good.
sludick is offline  
Oct 6th, 2012, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,082
My wife and I have stayed at the HI hostel that is near the north end of the Icefield Parkway about 4 miles from Jasper.
I like cooking in their kitchen. I love their common room with the fireplace.
tomfuller is offline  
Oct 21st, 2012, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 70
Re Kelowna - great city but for me, personally, I'd stay in Penticton, Oliver or Osoyoos for the wine as I believe the wines in the South Okanagan are better than the wineries around Kelowna. Then you can drive thru Kelowna enroute to Banff.

Wineries on the Golden Mile, Black Sage (Oliver/Osoyoos) & Naramata Bench (Penticton) are the ones to visit, although the views for lunch/dinner from Mission Hill or Quail's Gate (West Kelowna) are astonishing. So is the food!
arjaykay is offline  
Oct 21st, 2012, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 517
What's your budget for hotels. Vancouver has a wide range of hotels and you get what you pay for. If you are a looking for a basic hotel in a great location, something like Coast Plaza Hotel and Suites or Century Plaza Hotel & Suites might be a good place to stay. Both have kitchenettes.
both are close to Robson, different ends, though.

If you are looking for something more comfortable: Loden Hotel is fantastic, Sylvia hotel offers the best location.
Kurosawa is offline  
Oct 29th, 2012, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I have limited experience in the areas but do have a few thoughts-- Vancouver struck me as a much more intereting town to visit than Seattle. Both have great locations, but for a US citizen, I found Vancouver a better place to be. Banff is much bigger than the LL area, as far as hotels and restaurants go. As I remember, Glacier has three park lodges, two on the eastern side and one on the western. You've picked the one with the most spectacular view I have ever seen. However, Many Glacier is pretty remote with little or no non-lodge choices for food or shopping. If you hadn't planned on this kind of peace and quiet, a day in Waterton or a day on the west side of the Park might be a nice choice.
slcbbrown is offline  
Oct 29th, 2012, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,584
Well actually, Banff & Lake Louise can be considered a single area, so you'd be ok in either place or in between, or even in Canmore.

slcbrown - I do agree with you about Vancouver. Nicely compact yet you are within minutes of mountains and unspoiled nature. Much less traffic than the Seattle area. But I don't spend time in Seattle these days (although it is my birthplace), so opinions will vary.

While we have not stayed at Many Glacier, we wished we could have (they were closing up for the season). There were grizzlies on the slopes right outside the hotel,though, with a ranger pointing them out to a small group (and keeping them away).

The drive from there up into Waterton is really the way to go. Nice to cross international borders while still in national parks.

In Waterton, we stayed at Kilmorey Lodge, and we are so sad it burned down. We still talk about that early September evening - already could feel winter coming, not so many people, deer and elk roaming freely through town. One was busy eating the tree in front of the post office, standing on hind legs. We took in a move at the historic theater there - wife took tickets and manned the concession stand, husband ran the movie. Same horsehair stuffed seats that have probably been there for 150 years, I guess. Wonderful memories..
sludick is offline  
Oct 31st, 2012, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 126
Have done this-our favorite trip!
2 nights in Seattle is plenty
3 nights VAncouver-but take the ferry from VAncouver one of your days to Victoria-much closer and shorter cruise. Take your extra night from SEattle and do it in Whistler-great summer rates at all the hotels there. Wonderful town.
Then the rest looks ok. ONe night Kelowna is plenty as a stopover point, better off spending your time in Jasper/Banff!
You will back track if you do Banff-Jasper-Glacier. If you can do Jasper-Banff(with a stop at Lake Louise/Lake Moraine) you don't back track.
Waterton nice for a day. Glacier is spectacular, we spent a week and didn't see enough. Have fun!
daisee is offline  
Nov 4th, 2012, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 173
Another idea for a longer and more scenic ferry ride is to drive up Whidby Island to Anacortes. There is a beautiful ferry ride through the San Juan Islands from Anacortes to Sidney. The gentle drive along the spine of Whidby Island is beautiful, especially if you stop at dramatic Deception Pass. If you could eek out a few days on Vancouver Island, you could visit Butchart Gardens or even take on bit of whale watching.

anniemackie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2012, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,999
I see that you've booked Many Glacier hotel for 4 nights.

I definitely see the advantages of moving from hotel to hotel less.

You don't mention how active you are. Hiking, etc.

I might consider spending two of those nights at Rising sun on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Also, be careful with Glacier NP. There's one on the US side in Montana and one in Alberta on the Canadian side. Since you mentnioned Waterton Lakes and Many Glacier Hotel I assume you mean the one in Montana.

Mid-August is a great time for Glacier. It has a short season due to snow. At that time all trails should be available.

Many Glacier is spectacular. Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake hikes are the most scenic I've seen. We were very close to a grizzly on the return from Iceberg Lake.

Also in MG is Fishercap Lake. A very short hike at the start of the Swiftcurrent Pass trail We were there four times in a couple of days and saw wildlife each time.

At Logan Pass you have two hikes; Hidden Lake Overlook and Highline.

Not far from there are St Mary and Visrginia Falls. Nowhere near the size of Lower Yellowstone or the larger falls in Yosemite but their shape is beautiful.

You can see my photos at:
Myer is offline  
Nov 6th, 2012, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,999
Forgot to mention. Lake Louise gets the publicity but Moraine Lake (the view on the back of the old Canadian 20 bill) is by far the more spectacular. The left turn midway between the highway and Lake Louise.

Don't bother walking along the lake. Go left from the parking lot and walk up the path/stair behing the "rock pile". There are several viewpoints there. You'll remember this view for the rest of your life.
Myer is offline  

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