Itinerary Vancouver to Calgary - April

Feb 9th, 2019, 11:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 14
Itinerary Vancouver to Calgary - April

Hey Travelers, thanks in advance.

I am planning to travel from Vancouver to Calgary starting April 22nd and leaving Calgary May 01. I will spend 3 nights in Vancouver. I've booked the accommodation already but i can change/cancel if necessary.

Can you guys advise if the days are enough for some outdoors activities? I am looking for 1 day fishing tour, rafting, Stand Up Paddle, Snowmobile and maybe Helicopter and Dog tour

My first idea was to take 1 day from Whistler or Banff and visit Wells Gray Provincial Park, however i would prefer to drive and go straight to Jasper.
Monday, 22 April 2019 Overnight Whistler
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 Whistler
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 Whister
Thursday, 25 April 2019 Drive and overnight Clearwater
Friday, 26 April 2019 Drive Jasper -
Saturday, 27 April 2019 Jasper
Sunday, 28 April 2019 Jasper to Banff
Monday, 29 April 2019 Banff
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 Banff
Wednesday, 1 May 2019 Drive to Calgary Airport - Flight at 5 pm
mellonidas is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,655
mellonidas, how are you with winter driving? April is still winter in the mountains, and I rather expect that the Icefields parkway from Jasper to Banff might be subject to avalanche danger at that time of year. It doesn't appear that you have built in any wiggle room in the event you are delayed due to weather or road closures. Hopefully, kgsneds or another poster who is very familiar with that area will give you some guidance.
sludick is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 11:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 14
Hi Sludick, thanks.

I have no idea how to drive in places with snow. Even from Jasper to Banff in late April is not a good time?

Maybe if i get a round flight from Vancouver to Calgary, rent a car and spend 5-6 days around?! What do you guys think?

About Whistler, i am not i ski/snow guy, want to do more fishing, safe hiking and helicopter. Would be possible?

Thanks again,
mellonidas is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,655
This will still be ski season in all the places you mention. You should consider delaying this trip until later, June at least. Even in June, there will still be some snow/ice until later in the month - Moraine Lake will likely still be frozen until mid to late June. If you have no experience driving in the snow, then definitely do not attempt to drive the Icefields Parkway (between Jasper and Banff) or into the mountains.
sludick is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 11:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 14
Thanks, i've already bought the tickets.

Probably i will not drive from Whistler to Jasper. Will get a round trip from Vancouver to Calgary and stay 4 nights in Banff doing whatever is possible.
Will keep itinerary between Vancouver - Whistler.
mellonidas is offline  
Feb 13th, 2019, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 582

April is still very much winter in the mountains, including the Rockies and inland BC. In the valleys it's early spring, so anything from heavy snow to +20c - sometimes all in just a few days! While it's not the riskiest time to be driving, you would still need to have at least M+S tires (extra fee), and plenty of flex time in case you hit delays due to accidents/avalanches/avalanche control. Very possible in late April and often there are no alternate routes - you simply have to wait until the road reopens. I'd definitely not want to be on the Icefields Parkway if you aren't comfortable driving in the snow.

If you have no experience driving in the snow, I think your plan to fly to & from Calgary is best. Four days should be plenty, given that seasonal roads and attractions will be shut. No access to Moraine Lake or Takkakaw Falls, and lakes like Lake Louise, Bow Lake etc. will all be solidly frozen. Mid and higher elevation trails will still be snowbound, and depending on the snow we get, valley bottoms will likely be some mix of snow, ice, slush, mud and muck. Tis a season for short walks in the valley bottoms and enjoy the first warmer days of spring (if it has come).

Unfortunately, I think almost all of your activities will be on the - 'not yet possible' list. You're a good month too early for most non-winter activities and too late for most winter activities other than spring skiing.

No fishing to be had -- too late for ice fishing and too early for the regular season -- i.e. things are frozen, but not frozen enough to be safe for walking. There are some helicopter tours year round, though they are weather dependent, and with the chance of later season storms, April might not be the best month. Also, be aware that commercial flights are not allowed (at sightseeing elevations) in the national parks (and most provincial parks), so any tours will be outside the park. From Banff, the closest helipad would be in Canmore - Alpine Air runs a variety of tours there. Not cheap, but it depends on your interests and budgets as to whether it's a good fit.

It will almost certainly be too late for dog-sledding - if the snows linger, you might find a company in the Banff area (Canmore or Lake Louise) that has a shorter tour through mid April, but by the time you arrive, they're probably shut for the season. Same for snowmobiling. Even if snow lingers, the majority of operations tend to shut after the first week or two of April (i.e. spring break) both because they're not likely get enough business to justify operating, and to provide a break before summer operations.
Snowmobiling is not permitted in national or provincial parks, so from Banff, you'd be headed all the way to the Golden area. Or find something around Whistler, where late April is definitely too late for much snow stuff other than skiing much higher up in Whistler/Blackcomb.

Likewise, with most lakes still frozen, stand up paddleboarding is not likely to be an option. And even if valley bottom lakes are thawed in the Rockies, they will be VERY cold, and I doubt any organization would start rentals until mid to late May. People do paddleboard with wetsuits whenever possible (i.e. lakes thawed), but rental companies are not likely to start until they can be sure of lakes being thawed, having enough customers and not having excessive liability. Your best bet that early would be in the Vancouver area or coast or the Okanagan Valley (south BC).

It will be too early for whitewater rafting. Given that the melt season here lasts into July, river volumes generally don't subside enough to be safe until late May or early June. Operations usually start around the May long weekend (third weekend of May) if water levels permit.
kgsneds is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
May 28th, 2018 11:17 PM
Jul 4th, 2014 11:03 AM
Apr 1st, 2012 09:23 PM
Oct 16th, 2002 05:53 AM
Mar 20th, 2002 06:47 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:15 AM.