Canmore/Banff to Vancouver

Jan 11th, 2012, 10:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 107
Canmore/Banff to Vancouver

Hi all.......Driving about eleven hours which we don't mind but wonder if we will be missing a"must see" on the way. Where would be the best places for meals.
Also, if you know of "must sees or does" in the Banff/Canmore area, including restaurants, etc., all are appreciated!! We will be on a six weeks Northwest trek! Taking in Salt Lake, Custer Area, SD Sheridan, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Banff/Canmore, Blaine, WA and down the coast to Home, near Lake Tahoe. I love all the help from all you Fodorites!!!!
Howdey is offline  
Feb 1st, 2012, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Howdey - the other areas you list mostly have pretty good freeway-speed roads. That is so not the case with Canmore/Banff to Vancouver. Hwy 1 is a winding mountainous road for a large part, one lane each direction except for passing areas. The speed limits reflect the terrain and the possibility of wildlife on the road. Luckily, it is an absolutely gorgeous drive.

You would enjoy this much more if you broke it up into a 2-day drive, stopping somewhere near Kamloops halfway. From Canmore, plan on about 12 hours uninterrupted driving, as long as you don't get behind a big rig or camper, or run into adverse weather. Plan on stopping for gorgeous pictures, and there are some very nice roadside parks and interesting stops.

As to "must sees" - consider Craigellachie Coming from the west one time, we stopped for the night at Salmon Arm, then visited Craigellachie in the morning before heading on out to Canmore.
sludick is offline  
Feb 1st, 2012, 07:41 PM
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Hi Sludick, would you recommend Salmon Arm as a good stopover? and can you recommend the accommodation you stayed at?
TLWADD is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2012, 05:42 AM
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We stayed at the Best Western in Salmon Arm. It was not fancy but clean and right next to Lake Shuswap. I hear it has also had a recent renovation. There is also a Holiday Inn Express there (just not right on the lake). Sicamous is also a good stop and not far from Salmon Arm, it's close enough that a search for hotels there may overlap Salmon Arm.

There are not a lot of restaurants there. We ate at Moose Mulligan's Marine Pub and enjoyed its setting there on the lake.

Kelowna is a much bigger city with lots of lodging and restaurants, but looks pretty much like every other city. It's the default halfway stopover, and you can keep it in mind if you prefer more food and lodging options and less scenic interest.
sludick is offline  
Feb 28th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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Thanks Sludick....we even have enough free points for a free night at BestWestern!!! I was leaning that way but, thanks for the nudge and location!!
Howdey is offline  
Feb 28th, 2012, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Good to hear, Howdey! If you have the chance, stop in at Craigellachie (between Salmon Arm and Revelstoke). It's where the last spike was driven that joined the railroads across Canada. It's a good place to stretch your legs but won't take a lot of time.

The story of the railroad is quite interesting (especially the part dealing with Canadian Glacier National Park), and you might read up on it a bit before you start your vacation. Here is one tidbit that talks about this particular stop:
sludick is offline  
Feb 29th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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Sludick....that's really interesting! My great uncle (James Strobridge) was the superintendent for the Central Pacific that came from Sacramento to Promontory Summit, Utah. He and my Aunt Hannah, actually, helped to drive in the golden spike! Needless to say, I'd be very interested in Canada's history! Thanks
Howdey is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Railway sites of interest to you would be the Spiral Tunnels viewpoint in Kicking Horse Pass, on highway 1 (the Trans Canada) between Lake Louise and Field (just west of the BC/Alberta provincial border), Rogers Pass National Historic Site (in Glacier NP), Craigellachie (as mentioned), and, in Revelstoke, the Railway Museum. Also, in Glacier NP, Loop Brook makes a nice stop - there are still pillars there from the original trestle, and interpretive signage to explain how the loop lessened the grade, and you can walk along the old railway grade - it was only used for a few years and then they built the tunnel under the pass to escape the avalanches. If you have a bit more time, you can walk from Loop Brook on the old railway grade to the site of where "Glacier House" used to be (one of the railway hotels).
krp329 is offline  

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