Canadian Rockies Itinerary

Jun 16th, 2012, 11:46 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Canadian Rockies Itinerary

I am hoping someone can advise me on the tail end of my Canadian Rockies trip. My husband and I depart Vancouver on10 Sept on the Rocky Mountaineer to Banff, overnight in Kamloops (Silverleaf). This is very expensive but apparently magnificent views. I have two nights booked in Banff with a Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day full day tour booked for the 12th September. Early the next day (13th) we depart on a Bus tour to Jasper, incorporating Lake Louise (again), The Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake. This tour ends in Jasper so we will need to stay at least overnight. We want to do the Jasper tramway and are thinking of white water rafting but we are time poor. I had booked a half day Jasper sight seeing tour incorporating Patricia Lake, Pyramid Lake, Maligne Canyon but am thinking of cancelling that and doing the Jasper Tramway instead as I am concerned this will be more of the same type of things we will see on the previous tours and since I booked that tour, I was advised to go on the Jasper Tramway. I have total flexibility with my tours so would appreciate any advice.

My main problem is that I booked the 'Canadian' train from Jasper to Vancouver because I didn't know how else to do it at the time and we were hesitant to drive because we don't even know where to go so may have missed important stuff. Now I'm thinking of cancelling to save a lot of money as my cancellation fee is $200 but we paid nearly $2000 for this overnight train trip. I am now thinking that we will see the same type of scenery as we did on the Rocky Mountaineer ?? I thought that an alternative would be to catch greyhound buses (cost no more than about $500 and stay at maybe Kamloops (any other suggestions???). Is there a 'must see' between Jasper and Vancouver???. Alternatively, we could hire a car. We depart Vancouver for Australia on 18th September and while we will have visited Victoria Island for an over nighter and Grouse Mountain on a day trip , we won't have seen any of Vancouver itself to this point. We depart on the 18th so I thought I would need to leave at least the 17 for sight seeing Vancouver city. Whister is another big attraction but I am fairly sure we just can't fit that one in.

Appreciate any advice - sorry for the long winded post!

Cheers Carol
CarolandJohn is offline  
Jun 17th, 2012, 06:57 AM
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I have taken the ViaRail Canadian between Vancouver and Jasper several times. I never saw the need to stop in Kamloops.
Rent a car when you get to Jasper. The scenery is beautiful all over the Canadian Rockies. Banff and Lake Louise have lakes closer to them which is why IMO that they are more tourist attraction than Jasper.
I stay at the HI Hostel which is about 3 miles SW of Jasper near the north end of the Icefield Parkway.
They do have a few private rooms in addition to the dorms.
I like their large kitchen and commons/dining area.
tomfuller is online now  
Jun 17th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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Thanks very much If we stick with the Via Rail then we wouldn't stay at Kamloops as we have a sleeper. We will only stay somewhere if we catch the greyhound bus instead or if we hire a car and drive. Where would you recommend to stay if we hire a car or catch a bus? Is there any areas we should see or are the attractions closer to Jasper?

Many thanks Carol
CarolandJohn is offline  
Jun 17th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Brewster runs the tour buses from Jasper. The Brewster ticket counter is in the east half of the ViaRail station. There are several car rental companies in Jasper including one in the corner of the train station.
Maligne Lake, Maligne Canyon (hike) and Patricia Lake are all worth seeing.
tomfuller is online now  
Jun 19th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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VIA Rail travels on the CN track, as does the Rocky Mountaineer that goes to Jasper. The Rocky Mountaineer that goes to Banff uses CP track - for the Vancouver to Kamloops section, the two tracks are either side-by-side (or one above the other), or on opposite sides of a river. So the scenery is basically the same. The highways (other than the Coquihalla) also follow the same route as the tracks.... it's a necessity because of the topography.

Greyhound is definitely "downmarket" compared with going on the train. Perfectly acceptable, but not nearly as comfortable for long periods of time.
krp329 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2012, 11:30 PM
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If you do decide to drive back to Vancouver from Jasper and you're looking for something different than what you had on the way there, you might consider taking some time in the Okanagan Valley (in the Kelowna area, SE of Kamloops). This area is known for its vineyards and orchards and there are plenty of wine tours to choose from if that sounds interesting to you.

Personally, I think the nicest mountain scenery in the Rockies is in the Banff/Lake Louise area, which you'll have already done pretty thoroughly, so after you depart Jasper I don't think you'll be missing any pivotal experiences if you head straight back to Vancouver. It's a wonderful city and I know I'd probably prefer to have an extra day to explore it - the Seawall and Stanley Park are a great place to unwind after all that driving you'll have been doing, not to mention all the restaurants and shopping elsewhere in the city.
YoungPeg is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2012, 11:33 PM
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....also, I wouldn't worry about not making it to Whistler. It's very similar to Banff, only on a larger scale, and the drive can be a nightmare if you get caught in traffic. I think you've got a pretty great vacation booked as it is
YoungPeg is offline  
Jun 25th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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Take a look at what renting a car is going to cost -- starting one place and dropping off elsewhere. I looked at that last year and found the price jaw-droppingly high! Decided to make our trip a round-trip, starting and ending in the same place. Saved literally hundreds of dollars.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jun 26th, 2012, 04:48 PM
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we are doing the exact trip.....we are renting a car in vancouver and stopping in day drive to jasper 2 nights night banff 3 nights there....then on to calgary....the car including the one way rental is about $900.00..... we are doing 7 nights including one night in calgary to get an early flight .... i understand the long drive back to vancouver......driving around those roads is not difficult...with a GPS you will get where you want to go can spend a long 10 hour day driving ...might give up kamloops in order to get to banff/jasper quicker..... i would forget about whistler the day is better spent in vancouver or the rockies .....check into inexpensive one way flight from calgary to vancouver...all this might even be less than the $ 2000 you are speaking about
alane is offline  
Jun 27th, 2012, 12:48 AM
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Thanks so much everyone for your great advice. I haven't checked the site for a week or so and was so pleased to have more food for thought - I didn't expect any more replies After reading all your notes we are now thinking of hiring a car from Banff because the pick up time works out much better than from Jasper. The car hire for a one way trip to Vancouver (9.00 am on the 13th to 4.00pm on the 16th) is less than $300 for a Toyota Yaris so I thought that was pretty good. That means that we will now have to drive to the Ice Glacier and then on to Jasper whereas beforehand we were doing all that on a full day tour. We see Lake Louise on a tour out of Banff the previous day to departing Banff so is there anything else we need to see on the drive to Jasper? Where would you recommend to stay between Jasper and Vancouver? Wherever it is, we will arrive there late and leave for Vancouver early the next morning. Thanks again for all the tips
CarolandJohn is offline  
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