BC/Alberta Road Trip

Old Mar 11th, 2003, 01:36 PM
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BC/Alberta Road Trip

We're looking at a trip flying to Vanouver and renting a car to make a loop to Whistler, Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary and back to Vanouver. Would appreciate info on when to go (May, June, or July); reasonable places to stay along the way; and a minimum number of days to do this outing (10 days, 2 weeks, or more). Thanks. Bert in Arizona
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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Bert, you've chosen an interesting trip and one that is very doable in two weeks. Obviously the best time to go weatherwise is July although it's also the high tourist season at that time. It's difficult to say which would be the best routing between the points you've mentioned but as long as you don't mind winding two lane mountain roads the best route in my opinion would be north along #99 to Whistler. From there north through Pemberton & Lilooet, meeting the Trans Canada at Cache Creek, (an area like N. Arizona), then to Kamloops which is a good overnight spot. There is a Thfiftlodge, (Travelodge's Budget line) there where two people can stay for less than $55 CAD and that's about as good a rate as you'll get on your stay. From Kamloops it's a beautiful 6 hour drive to Lake Louise or you can go NE on Hwy #5 & 16 to Jasper, (about 7 hours) which I reccomend. Overnight in Jasper and then take the Icefields Parkway down to Lake Louise and Banff.

From Banff you can return on the Trans Canada to kamloops and then return to Vancouver through the Fraser Canyon. Alternatively you can turn off at Salmon Arm and take #97 through the Okanogan Valley and #3 & 1 back to Vancouver.

There's lots of detail to fill in but that's a start.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 02:22 PM
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I'd personally say July, not because it's the height of the tourist season, but because it's statistically the best month for good weather. May and June might still be a bit cool in the Rockies, and you have a greater chance of experiencing rain in Vancouver early in the year - but July is traditionally a dry month.

I'm not sure about how long your trip should be. I'd say give yourself at least 3 days in Vancouver, a day or two in Whistler, a stop somewhere between Whistler and the Rockies (are you planning to visit Jasper at all)? Several days - maybe 4 or 5 in the Rockies, then two nights in the Okanagan Valley (located around the Okanagan Lake, and the cities of Kelowna and Penticton), and then the drive back to Vancouver.

2 weeks would probably make the most sense.

I suggested stopping off in the Okanagan Valley because it's truly a gem in BC in July. It's the semi-arid region of BC, where the rolling hills are covered in fruit orchards and vineyards, dotted with wineries. Many of the wineries are first class, and do tours in the summer time. It's also a very scenic route, as the highway (Hwy 97) follows the long and windy Okanagan Lake. There are many local fruit stands lining the roads in July too which is always a nice break while driving.

Hope this helps!
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 04:59 PM
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Hello GARYA and CARMANAH:
You guys are sensational. My wife and I
appreciate all the info you posted. I wouldn't be surprised if you both may be at the gates to the city of Vancouver to greet us when we arrive.

We can't afford the fancy hotel Carmanah mentoned, but perhaps you know of another, more reasonable hotel so that we may be able to be in the center of your "walking city."

We used Fodors last in 1999 in planning a trip to Germany. It is still as quick and informative as it was for us then.

Thanks again.

Bert in Arizona
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 07:27 AM
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definitly plan on doing a loop so that you are not travelling the same roads to and from vancouver. go to banff via kamloops, through golden (transcanada hwy i think) and then drive the icefields parkway to jasper and return to vancouver through the okanagan valley.
july and august would be the best weather. however, since i prefer not to travel during high tourist season, my first choice would be september if that was an option for you or i'd go with june.
hotels are very expensive in banff/jasper area so try to book early so you get a reasonable place.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 08:37 PM
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Do a loop from Whistler to Vancouver, then take the trans-canada to Lake Lousie, Banff and Calgary...on the way back try the southern route Hwy 3...from Calgary, drive to Okotoks, then drive through the Crowsnest pass to Cranbrook (where I am from). It is absolutely gorgeous in the Rocky Mountain trench...then head to Creston, and Grand Forks, and stay in the Okanagan (Osoyoos is a beautiful small town right on the border, situated between 2 lakes). From there head to Princeton and take the Hope Princeton pass through Manning Park...then to Hope and back to Vancouver....it takes 10 hours to frive from Cranbrook to Vancouver without stopping, so definately break up the driving between 2 days. Late May would be beautiful driving through the Rogers pass to Golden and Banff...July will be hot and touristy...

Have a wonderful time, its a beautiful province!
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