advice on vancouver and rockies

Old Feb 5th, 2008, 10:31 PM
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advice on vancouver and rockies

comments invited on best western downtown drake street, Vancouver 2x nites b4 and after cruise.----- we have 5x nites to drive thru rockies. looking suggestions 1x nite camloops, 1x jasper,1x lake louise 1x banff ,last nite in calgary b4 flying out early and seeing family in calgary./or i should i spend 2x nites in jasper and only one in LL.or banff, thanks guys.
haroldberley is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:51 AM
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Hi! I know nothing about vancouver hotels so can be of no help on any info on the bestwestern there. In regards to driving thru the rockies, I would think staying one night in the four places mentioned would be inpractical plus many places might not let you stay for just one night. Is Kamloops just a stop to break up driving or did you have plans there? It looks like it's a 9.5 hour drive from Vancouver to Jasper, so if you could possibly do it all in one day, that would be my suggestion. As far as staying one night in each of Lake Louise and Banff, they are really close to drive to each other. Pick one place and stay 2 nights would be my suggestion, or if you forgo staying in Kamloops, 2 nights in Jasper and 3 in either Lake Louise or Banff or maybe even Canmore then you don't have to pay the park fees and it's not a long drive either. For accomodation, did you want to stay right in a town or in a more outdoors area? Storm Lodge and cabins right outside Lake Louise looks neat as well as Deer Lodge Lake Louise. In Banff there is a new hotel called the Fox suites which looks very nice. In Canmore the Bear and Bison B and B looks awesome as well as there are many condo units such as Falcon Crest Lodge,Firemountain resort, and a new one that is to open this spring called Blackstone Lodge. Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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Any hotel or motel between Vancouver and Calgary will allow you to stay one night (unless you're booking cabins on a lake). I would definitely break up the trip by at least one night. Yes you can drive from Vancouver to Jasper in one day but you wouldn't have time to stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 05:48 AM
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We did this drive last year with another couple, and stayed at the Best Western in Sicamous last fall for a night. Very nice, on the river, and MUCH more scenic than Kamloops. You might also look into Salmon Arm -- there is a Holiday Inn Express there that we also considered. At any rate, take a look at those two cities instead of Kamloops.

I would not recommend you try to do this drive in a single day. As cruiseyrrc said, you won't have time to enjoy the scenery -- it's flat out drive, drive, drive. The road gets windy in spots, 2 lane shared with 18-wheelers and logging trucks. Then there is the weather to consider. A few years ago we decided to drive from Banff to Vancouver in a day, but it started raining and did not let up. We stopped in Kamloops, exhausted. And Kamloops was just a city, nothing to recommend it, really.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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As Cruiseryyc mentioned, any hotel/motel will let you stay one night.

Stopping in Sicamous or Salmon Arm does not make sense if driving from Vancouver to Jasper. It is in Kamloops that you get off the #1 (Trans Canada) highway and onto the #5 (Yellowhead) to Jasper. Going to Sicamous or Salmon Arm would mean having to back track to get to Jasper.

Agreed that staying one night in Banff and another in Lake Louise is a waste. It is only 1/2 hour drvie between them. I recommend Banff as Lake Louise is a very small village with not much to do in the evenings.

Staying in Canmore will not save you the park fees if you are planning on visiting the park during the day.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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True -- I was thinking of Banff/Lake Louise/Canmore. Forgot that OP wanted to to to Jasper first.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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If you can, get out of Vancouver early in the morning and drive as far as Valemount or Tete Jaune Cache in one day if not Jasper itself.

From Vancouver take the Trans Canada to Hope where you take Highway 5 along the Coquiquihalla Highway to Kamloops. The Coquihalla is a toll road but it is the quickest way from Vancouver to Kamloops.

From Kamloops stay on Route 5 through Barriere all the way to near Mt. Robson. The distance from Vancouver to Jasper is about 800k, or 500 miles.
The road once you leave Kamloops is 2 lane and a little winding, but there is no good way to get there.
Even the Trans Canada east of Kamloops is slow freight.

I suggest Valemount or Tete Jaune Cache because they are places with motels before you reach Mt. Robson.

There is also the Mount Robson Inn which offers good rooms but for a price.

Robson itself on a clear day is a beautiful sight. The mountain reaches an elevation of some 3954 meters or nearly 13,000 feet.

It is not so much the absolute elevation of Robson that makes it so spectacular, is is the relief. The mountain towers about 8,000 feet above Kinney Lake. I remember standing there staring up, and up, and up some more before my eyes finally decided which spot was near the top.

From Mount Robson, you have a relatively short, downhill drive into Jasper.

If you spend the rest of the day looking around the sights near Jasper and spending the night there, I think you will have sufficient time to see the major sights.

My top 3 picks are: Maligne Lake and Canyon, the Whistler with its Swiss cable car, and Mount Edith Cavell which features the Angel Glacier.

The next day, drive the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise. This drive will take you all day if you stop and view some of the many sights and incredible scenery along the way.

If you go as far as Lake Louise, there are a few motels and hotels there but expect to pay a price.

Banff has more commercial accommodations, but it is past Lake Louise on the Trans Canada, which you rejoin just north of Lake Louise.

The primary sights around Lake Louise are of course the lake itself and Moraine Lake.

I am not much into night life so the smallness of Lake Louise Village is not a factor.

Canmore has a few motels and might be a logical place to spend the night before heading to Calgary.

The road from Canmore to the western side of Calgary is quite good.

Given the limited time you have, something will have to be omitted.

An alternative would be to drive from Kamloops on the Trans Canada to Lake Louise via Glacier National Park. Rogers Pass has a good museum and, if the day is clear, you get some great views of the peaks of the Selkirks and the Purcell Mountains.

From Glacier you drop down to Golden where you begin to climb out of the Rocky Mountain Trench, which marks the boundary between the North American tectonic plate and some of the lesser plates that collided with the North American plate to form the Rockies.

This route takes you through Yoho National Park which has several major sights. The one I recommend the most is Takkakaw Falls which is a few K north of the Trans Canada Highway.

From the visitor center in Field, BC, the turn to Takkakaw is a few hundred meters up the road.

You also traverse Kicking Horse Pass which is the route of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and its famed spiral tunnels. From the crest of Kicking Horse, it is only a few more miles to Lake Louise.

Based on what I know, I would take the Jasper alternative because the Icefields Parkway is the most spectacular drive in that part of the world. I have done it more than once, and hope I live long enough to do it again.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 08:12 PM
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Although Bob is right that the Coquihalla is the quickest way to Kamploops from Vancouver, staying on the #1 is a much more scenic drive. Also, since most of the traffic and all the big trucks take the Coquihalla, it's a more relaxing one as well.

I think it depends on how far you plan on driving that first day that will determine which route you take. If you want to go farther than Kamploops than the Coquihalla may be the better option. However, if you want to stop in Kamploops, take the #1.
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