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Budget couple's First Trip to Banff area--drive from Vancouver, then what?

Budget couple's First Trip to Banff area--drive from Vancouver, then what?

Old Mar 18th, 2002, 07:48 PM
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Budget couple's First Trip to Banff area--drive from Vancouver, then what?

Hi all! We are flying from California to Vancouver then driving to the Banff area. Hear it's gorgeous! THis will happen in August. Where to stay (less than $100 USD per night), what to do, and how long will all of the driving take? THanks! patti & josef
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 04:56 AM
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Hi Patti,
I haven't visited there yet, so I'm not going to be able to offer specific advise, but we're going there next year, so I've looked into it. The Banff - Lake Loise area is very expensive! For $100 or under, however, you should be able to get something, but don't wait too long to book, as I've heard that reasonably priced lodging is the first to go. I have noticed a number of B&Bs advertised that look very nice, and are quite reasonable. Cabins are about in the $100 American range; the closer to Lake Louise, the more expensive, for the most part. Lodging in Canmore, near Banff, is more reasonable. I have also heard that the area is beautiful. Have a great trip!
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:55 AM
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My wife(who is named Patti also) and myself took our first trip to Banff last
summer,it was one of the most beautiful places we have ever been,in fact we are planning our return trip for our 10th anniversary.I'll give you some ideas on
what we did .We lodged at the Rundlestone Lodge.Rooms were nice and the staff were always polite and helpful.We
went in July and our room rate was 130ish per nite.(not bad for this area and time of year,we booked many months in advance).The location was perfect for us,the hotel is one of last ones
in town so it was easy to get to ,easy to get out ,and walking distance to restaurants,shopping etc is 5-10 minutes
via the sidewalks.Banff is a nice town,
with many of your standard tourist shop,
plenty of eateries and even a little mall.We went to Lake Louise,Yoho,
Icefields Parkway on our trip to Jasper.
To get to Lake Louise you can take 2 routes,the highway or Bow Valley Parkway
WE wore the tires off of the Bow Valley
it is about 45 minutes or depending on the amount of stops you make.The scenery
is outstanding ,lots of wildlife.Lake Louise is nice,we got there early ,we were warned about the parking lot filling up early and it did.We did the hike along side the lake.We then drove
to Moraine lake,this drive is breathtaking.Both Lakes are just as green-blue as all the pictures you have seen.We treated ourselves to lunch at the hotel in Lake Louise ,the grounds are very very nice.We also treated ourselves one day to lunch at the Banff
Springs Hotel,looks as big as a castle
same property owners I think.The Bow Falls are near the Banff Springs Hotel
The Hoodoo trail is nearby as well.A
beautiful overlook is Peyto lake ,going up the Icefields Parkway.Yoho was the
unexpected surprise and highlight of our trip.I had read all of the reviews and suggestions on Lake O'Hara and Yoho ,but words do not give this area
justice.I suggest giving a day trip to Lake O'Hara a look at,they only take so
many visitors daily via bus to the lake
so the impact of foot traffic is minimal.
the Lake and waterfalls and mountains
combined makes it hard to believe a place like this really does exist!I cannot wait till our return visit,after we left Banff and Jasper we went to Vancouver Island for a week.If you search this site you will find some good ideas,one last suggestion pick yourself up a copy of Moon Handbook on
Canadian Rockies ,they describe perfectly-dining,lodging,drives,maps
shopping-it is the best 14.95 you can spend for your trip.Good Luck!Jp

Old Mar 19th, 2002, 08:32 AM
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We drove from Chilliwak (about an hour east of Vancouver)to Banff a couple of summers ago. The trip is beautiful! We got caught along with about 1000 other cars in a mountain pass by an overturned semi. The entire trip took us 12 hours. Without accidents you should probably figure 9-10 hours from vancouver. It was actually faster coming back from Jasper to Chilliwak by about an hour.
Hope this helps. Banff is fabulous. Jasper is cool too, though less touristy.
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:14 PM
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Patti, it's a longish all-day drive from Vancouver to Banff, and can be a little trafficky in the summer. If you have an extra day or so, let me suggest you route yourself through the Kootenay country (southeast BC) before heading north to Banff/Jasper. Consider overnighting in Nelson, a very attractive town in a grand setting ("Roxanne" with Steve Martin filmed there, among other things.) Then the drive north through Revelstoke NP to Banff will be less taxing. Returning to Vancouver via Hwy 1 or similar will then allow you to make something of a loop rather than there-and-back.
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 09:50 PM
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Banff in August is very crowded and expensive. I would recommend staying at Canmore, which is about a half hour drive from Banff. It is just as pretty and much cheaper accomadations are available. Banff itself is easily accessable.
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 10:17 AM
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Hi all, thanks so much for the replies! This does help us a lot. We feel quite certain we will drive to/from Vancouver. Any B&B suggestions both in Vancouver and along the way (of even a bit out of the way!) to Banff/Jasper? THanks again! Happy summer travels, Patti
Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 12:32 AM
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Hi Patti,

Try looking into the Okanagan Valley... it's the region located in south-central BC around the cities and towns of Kelowna, Penticton, Osoyoos and Vernon. It's definitely a unique region in the province and will probably give you a scenic drive between Vancouver and Banff. And the weather's always good.

The Valley surrounds Lake Okanagan, one of the deepest in North America... then there's the rolling hills, the fruit orchards, and my favourite, the fruit stands that line the road. In August a lot of the fruit will be ripe (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc)... so that's one bonus. Of course, there are also the wineries in which you can tour.

There's bound to be dozens of B&B's in the Okanagan, so keep an eye out!

Here's a good link to start off to give you info on the Okanagan.


Here's a link with B&B's in the Okanagan. (Try looking around Kelowna, Penticton, Peachland, Summerland, etc).


Hope this helps!
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