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Driving trip from Vancouver to Rockies in June

Driving trip from Vancouver to Rockies in June

Apr 19th, 2014, 06:39 AM
  #1  
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Driving trip from Vancouver to Rockies in June

Me and my husband plan to have a driving trip from Vancouver to Jasper, Banff, Glacier, Lake Louise.......and Whistler if time available. We are from Toronto and this is our first driving trip. Exciting and worrying!!

We would like to see the most out of this trip and relaxing so we need your help for this!

Any suggestion or itinerary for the most scenic driving route and where should we stop over night?
How many days we should prepare for this trip?

Thanks in advance!

Winnietheszeto
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 07:35 AM
  #2  
 
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Check the cost of taking the ViaRail Canadian to Winnipeg and spending 2 days there and then taking the next Canadian to Jasper. Rent a car in Jasper to see what you want to see in the Canadian Rockies. Have fuel prices improved in Canada recently?
I have taken the Canadian several times and really like Jasper.
I don't like driving many hours through the prairies to get to the mountains.
tomfuller is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 07:38 AM
  #3  
 
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Are you asking others to tell you how much time to allow for this trip? That's kinda like asking how long is a piece of string.

Do you want to spend time IN Vancouver? Where do you plan to fly home to Toronto from? Calgary, Edmonton?

You can do Whistler as a day trip from Vancouver. What is it you think you are going to do in Whistler?

What do you want to do in Jasper, Banff and Glacier?

Why are you including Glacier? Have you looked at a map?
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 09:27 AM
  #4  
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Oops and thanks for asking!

My plan is for around 2 weeks. From Vancouver and end the same than fly back to Toronto!

Is Icefield in between? No plan in Whistler and just want to drive around enjoying the beautiful scenery.

May be some hiking..........open for suggestions what to do!
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 02:44 PM
  #5  
 
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Does this work for you? Fly Toronto to Vancouver. See Vancouver by walking and the HOHO bus through Stanley Park.
Rent a car to see Whistler if you want.
Leave Vancouver on the ViaRail Canadian to Jasper. Rent a car in Jasper to see the Rockies including Banff. Return the rental car in Jasper and take the Canadian to Edmonton. Fly back to Toronto from Edmonton.
This would have you flying instead of driving over the vast prairies.
The other option in Jasper is to take a Brewster bus tour.
tomfuller is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 03:47 PM
  #6  
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Thanks but our tickets are round trip ticket so can't do this way!!
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 06:47 AM
  #7  
 
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Two weeks is the minimum you really need for a driving trip round-trip from Vancouver to the Rockies. And that's without any time in Vancouver. With your time frame, I would skip Whistler - the Rockies will be much more impressive and you're better to spend your time there. I'd also miss Glacier - you just don't have time unless you are doing a lot more driving than seeing or enjoying.

You probably want to drive from Vancouver to Jasper, then down to Banff and back to Vancouver. Or the reverse. The other option is to drive the same way, but give yourself two trips on the Icefields Parkway. Well worth it.

I would allocate at least one night between Vancouver and the Rockies each way. Then at least 2-3 nights in each of Jasper and Banff/Lake Louise, if not more. You can spend much more time exploring each part of the Rockies, but that will give you time to see the highlights and spend at least one full day driving/exploring along the Icefields Parkway. You can also take a day trip to see places like Lake Louise and YoHo National Park.

So, if you really want to enjoy the Rockies, you probably will need to really limit your time in Vancouver and only allow one night each way for the drive to Jasper/Banff.

June is not a bad time to see the Rockies. It's generally quieter, and the prices haven't gotten to full summer peak rates yet. However, it can be a rainy month, so it's better to allocate more days for the Rockies so you can switch around plans if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate.
Very early in the month, there might be some limitations in terms of accessibility and hiking trails due to snows in higher elevations. It all depends on the weather - this year with the considerable amount of late season snow, it could be a late spring in the mountains. The higher elevation lakes generally don't completely thaw until sometime in late May or early June, including Maligne Lake. Also. seasonal roads like the one to Moraine Lake don't open until early June and the ones to Edith Cavell and Takkakaw Falls won't be open yet. Many of the trails around Lake Louise, for instance, the ones to the Plains of Six Glaciers, may or may not be hikeable, depending on snows and avalanche risks.
kgsneds is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Great advice from kgsneds. That routing will give you a little time in Vancouver, too. You could also include a drive through (Canadian) Glacier National Park (not the U.S. one).

Skip Whistler. After seeing everything else on this trip, it would only be a let down. It's got name recognition and has the ski resorts (no good in June), but you will be going through some really superior scenery that IMO it cannot compete against.
sludick is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 10:03 PM
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Thanks for kgsneds & sludick advice.

Should I change hotels every two days so I can cut the driving time up?

Where should I stop overnight for the first night between Vancouver & Rockies?

Then I will skip Whistler for this trip for sure.
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 09:41 AM
  #10  
 
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I would do it differently given the Vancouver arrival/departure point being fixed already.

Vancouver and day trip to Whistler.
Rental car from Vancouver via Highway 1/3 through Hope and then 5 north to Merritt. East on 97c to Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. North on 97 taking in a few of the wineries to join Trans Canada highway 1 again at Sicamous.

Trans Canada through Glacier (I originally thought you meant the US Glacier park, I don't know why) to Banff. Time in Banff/Lake Louise and Jasper.

Return Trans Canada 1 to Golden. Turn south on 95. Take 95/93 south to join Highway 3. Take 3 west to Osoyoos and through Manning Park all the way back to Vancouver.

This would be a pretty good loop route with little backtracking at all.

I am definitely against take a train from Vancouver to Banff/Jasper. There is simply too much to see along the Trans Canada that the train does not allow you to take the time to enjoy. A quick stop for example at 'The Last Spike'.
Or a stop at Rogers Pass in Glacier. The chance of having a moose or a bear walking across the road in front of you.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 06:15 PM
  #11  
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Thanks dulciusexasperis!

I need to book hotels now before is too late!
If I follow this route, where should I stop over night and how many nights I should book because I don't have much idea how long I need to spend at each place.
Will plan what to do after I reserve all the hotels this trips.
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 06:42 PM
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I would take the route suggested by dulciusexasperis. Good variety. Like him/her I don't see the point of taking the train from Vancouver to Jasper.

My suggestions for overnight stops would be Kelowna, Banff or Lake Louise, (couple of nights) Jasper (couple of nights) Golden, Nelson, Osoyoos/Oliver (couple of nights), and back to Vancouver. Depending on when you leave Vancouver, instead of Kelowna for your first night stop, you could continue to Sicamous which is nicely situated on Shuswap Lake, or even to Revelstoke. A couple of nights in Osoyoos or Oliver gives you a chance to visit the vineyards of the South Okanagan.
laverendrye is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2014, 06:52 AM
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Winnie, the suggestions by laverendrye sound fine to me. Personally, Other than Vancouver and maybe Banff/Jasper I would not pre-book anywhere. It's not peak season in June and you aren't likely to find any problem with getting a room anywhere.

I like to maintain the freedom to choose when and where to stop when on a road trip, not have to reach X even if I feel tired or stop at X when it's a lovely afternoon and I feel like carrying on a bit farther.

It also allows for the unexpected. You drive into a town and discover they are having some kind of event like a watermellon seed spitting contest or whatever. So you stop for a couple of hours, not 'oh, we have to keep moving to get to X' and our hotel reservation.

You can look at the route on something like Mapquest; look at distances and driving times fromm point to point and even see the major hotel chains on there. Make a list of places along your route and which hotels are where. Depending on how your day goes, you'll have a list of stops to consider and choose from.

Top show up and ask for a room tip. NEVER say, 'What is your best price'. In all of N. America, 'best price' is a defined term which is synonymous with 'rack rate'. The standard published price for a room. Asking for 'best price' does NOT in fact get you the best price it gets you the highest price.

My method is to always say, 'what is the lowest price (don't use the word 'cheap' which is insulting)you can give a retiree like me on a fixed income?' Said with a smile, it works a charm. You will always get the CAA/Senior discount at least.

Speaking of Seniors, Canada and Canadian hotels are a bit parsimonious when it comes to Senior discounts. In many instances it means 65 or older. In the USA it often is offered to anyone 50 or older.

Some Alberta hotels offer an 'out of province' price for out of province visitors. I always ask if there are any special offers I might take advantage of if staying more than 1 night.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2014, 09:17 AM
  #14  
 
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Great suggestions.

I would allow at least two nights in Jasper and Banff, preferably 3. You will want the time to explore the parks. If it were me, I'd rather do the trip to/from Vancouver with just one night and use the extra nights in the Rockies. But they are many ways to do it!
kgsneds is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2014, 06:02 PM
  #15  
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Thanks again and have better idea now to do my planning.
Any short hiking trails that is worth to go! Me and my husband are both working in the office 9 to 5 and lack of exercise and both over 50s .... Any suggestions?
Any good restaurants or food or sea food that we should not miss in this trip!
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2014, 09:23 PM
  #16  
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Hi all,

Somebody suggested a route like this from Vancouver to Valemount, then Kamloops, Jasper, Banff, Golden, Kelowna than back to Vancouver. Is Valemount and Kamloops worth to go? Is it longer drive like this?

Thanks
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 03:14 AM
  #17  
 
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I think you must mean Vancouver to Kamloops then to Valemount and onwards.

It's a possibility, but I think that the Okanagan and Kootenays as earlier suggested are much more interesting. I've been to Kamloops many times (family visits) but I don't think it has much to offer for a tourist other than a convenient overnight stop.
laverendrye is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 06:31 AM
  #18  
 
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I think the route I suggested and was seconded by laverendrye, is probably the most scenic route. It is not the stops along the way that determine that.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 01:37 PM
  #19  
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Thanks and will take dulciusexperis route!

Any hiking trails that should not be missed in this trip as I asked above! Also any suggestion of restaurant or food??

I think I will go to enjoy the hot spring'
winnietheszeto is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 02:22 PM
  #20  
 
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For hikes, the current Canadian Georgraphic Traveller has this list of the ten best hikes in Alberta.

http://travelclub.canadiangeographic...n-alberta.aspx
laverendrye is offline  

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