Itinerary Calgary to Vancouver

Old Feb 28th, 2004, 05:01 AM
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Itinerary Calgary to Vancouver

We have 12 days in July. I am thinking of flying into Calgarary and out of Vancouver. I would like some suggestions on sites and itineraries. I would like to spend a day or so in Victoria, if that is not too ambitious.
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Old Feb 28th, 2004, 08:15 AM
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Hello PJM10S,

You are really trying to fit a lot, I would say too much, into 12 days.

The Calgary Stampede (annual rodeo festival) will be July 9th through July 18th. Whether or not your travel dates will overlap with the Stampede and whether or not you have any interest in seeing it will be factors.

Also, it would be helpful to know how much you like outdoor activities and how you would like to divide your time between hiking, etc., and city pursuits.

Anyway, as a first stab here is an itinerary that, for lack of other information, assumes you do want to take in the Stampede and assumes a sort of "average" mix of mountains and city.

1 Fly into Calgary

2 Calgary

3 Banff (Sulphur Mountain gondola, Lake Minnewanka, etc.)

4 Lake Louise (take the Bow Valley Parkway or Route 1A to see Johnston Canyon)

5 Lake Louise (Moraine Lake, hike to Lake Agnes Tea House)

6 Visit Columbia Icefields, ride Snocoach on Athabasca Glacier. Overnight in Lake Louise again.

7 Drive to Vancouver.

8 Vancouver

9 Vancouver

10 Vancouver

11 Victoria

12 Fly home

Jasper is a lovely spot. If you skipped Calgary, you could spend a day in Jasper.

I also love the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, but getting there, seeing the museum and the surrounding landscape with its clearly visible geological strata, and then getting back again takes a full day. I don't see how you can fit it into this itinerary.

Three days is the minimum that I would devote to Vancouver. I strongly suggest that you do not make your Vancouver stay any shorter than that.

You could, if you like, focus on one area or another, either Drumheller, Calgary, Rockies on the one hand or Vancouver and Victoria on the other hand.

If your vacation coincides with the Stampede and you do decide to visit Calgary, waste no time in making your hotel reservations.

Hope you have a great trip.
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Old Feb 28th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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We do like outdoor pursuits, sightseeing and have thought about white water rafting on Kicking Horse river.I do think I would like to go up the road to Jasper as well. I just wasnt sure that there was enough to see in Vancouver for 3 days. Thank for your reply.
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Old Feb 28th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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PJM10S, I hestitate to talk about Vancouver because there are people here who know it so much better than I do. But they don't seem to be here right now and I am, so here goes.

Vancouver is one of those fortunate cities that's located in a spot where the mountains meet the sea, which makes for incredible views. It also has lush vegetation, which is pretty (although the rainy winters are the price that Vancouverites pay for that foliage).

I am not fond of shopping. Nonetheless, I consider the main shopping street, Robson Street, along with Gastown, Chinatown and Granville Island Market, to be worth a day, just for the sake of looking around and taking in the atmosphere.

Stanley Park is worth half a day.

http://www.seestanleypark.com/

The other half of that day could be occupied at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. The building alone is handsome, as is the view from it. The exhibits depicting the traditional lifestyle of the First Nations people of the west coast are fascinating.

A third day could be occupied taking the Royal Hudson train to and from Squamish, visiting Capilano Canyon and finishing up on Grouse Mountain.

That said, there is way more to do in the Rockies if you want to spend more time there. Jasper easily could occupy 2 full days (one for Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon, the other for the gondola ride up Whistler Mountain and a hike starting at Angel Glacier on Mount Edith Cavell).

In addition to the white water rafting on the Kicking Horse River that you mentioned, you could do lots of hikes in Yoho National Park (Whaleback, Burgess Shale, etc.). Also see my suggestion re hiking at Lake O'Hara in this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...9&tid=34478977
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Old Feb 28th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Three days is barely enough for Vancouver, especially if you don't plan on returning in the near future. Vancouver is a big, very cosmopolitan city with extraordinary natural beauty and enough to see and do to fill a week or two. One full day is enough for a tourist overview of Victoria.

Bottom line is that I think Judy's itinery is pretty good for the 12 days you have available.
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Old Feb 28th, 2004, 11:24 AM
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Is the so-called "Royal Hudson" steam train trip still running? We took it a couple of years ago in August. I was so looking forward to a relaxing trip but it was like the most hellish school bus ride you could imagine. I think the Howe Sound area is one of the most scenic spots in the province and wouldn't miss it. But I'd rather go by car.
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Old Feb 28th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Sadly BC Rail went totally out of the passenger train business, including the Starlight Express, two years ago. There is talk about reviving the Passenger route between N. Van & Prince George when a sale of BC Rail is consumated. Hopefully they will also revive the Royal Hudson & the Starlight Express.
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