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Jasper - a drive too far?

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Jun 17th, 2013, 01:39 PM
  #1
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Jasper - a drive too far?

I am in a dilema and need some sensible comments about our trip this summer to Vancouver. Having hired a ( fun loving) car, we are driving from Vancouver to Vancouver Island and exploring the Island, ending up sailing from Port Hardy to Bella Coola. We can't then decide whether to drive to Jasper via 100 Mile House (sensible stop over?) and onto Calgary to drop the car off and fly back to Vancouver for a pre booked special 2 days at Halfmoon Bay. Or drive to Agassiz and Chilliwack for a couple of nights and then back to Vancouver. Lots of people have said we should take in the Rockies while we are in the vicinity, but I'm not sure if it will all be too much driving and spoil the holiday.

Comments would be great - Thank you
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Jun 17th, 2013, 09:11 PM
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To go from Vancouver to Jasper I like taking the ViaRail Canadian. It runs overnight with arrival in Jasper in the afternoon. It only runs 3 days per week so you will be there for 2 or 3 days. There are car rentals available within walking distance of the station or you can take a Brewster bus tour.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 03:36 AM
  #3
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Thank you that sounds like a good plan, but we're committed to the car hire from Vancouver and we need this to cross from Port Hardy to Bella Coola. But thanks for the response. I think this is the trouble when you decide to change your plans just before you go!!
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Jun 18th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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So you're thinking of driving the Freedom Road from Bella Coola? We'll be doing that drive on our next trip. As I understand it, it's maybe 6.5 hours to Williams Lake, then factor in any stops for viewing and unexpected delays. 100 Mile House another hour or so, then maybe 5.5 hours to Jasper. So you would have a long day either day 1 or day 2.

I'd say that you will be taking in plenty of mountains anyway without Jasper, given Bella Coola and the coastal mountains. Take a look on hellobc.com, they have some driving circle routes. The Coast Cariboo circle route sounds like something for you: http://www.hellobc.com/british-colum...ng-routes.aspx
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Jun 19th, 2013, 12:52 PM
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Some of the answer likely relates to just from where you are visiting BC. If you were coming from halfway around the world, it might make great sense to endure that never-ending path from Bella Coola to Jasper, to only then press on down the Icefields Parkway.

If there is some chance you might get somewhere near again, then perhaps you don't need to be so ambitious.

While researching your quest, I noticed a spot on the map called "Kleena Kleene", which I'd not heard of before, so upon Googling that place, I was caused to see some photos which sorta swayed me toward encouraging you to go for Jasper/Calgary.

I will say that "100 Mile House" is mostly just a wide spot in the road. (The most exciting thing that happened when I was there was that my arrival was timed with the lunch bell at "100 Mile High", so kids came streaming out of school and made the town seem 'happening').

The low point was finding out that something was so wrong with the town's water supply, that the A & W Root Beer place couldn't even make their signature floats, and had to serve Root Beer out of a can. (***maybe it was merely the washing of the glasses tied the water supply to the inability to serve a Root Beer Float) (then I bought a t-shirt and soon left the area). (Maybe Williams Lake might make for a better stop-over???)

It is unfortunate that you have so little room for improvisation, due to commitments. When I began writing this response I was of the mind to discourage the long path toward the Rockies, but once you get to Williams Lake, it shouldn't be too taxing at all, considering all of the scenery you'll get in exchange for your effort.

I'm gonna tentatively say "go for it".
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Jun 19th, 2013, 03:08 PM
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Just in case any of our planned route might be useful:
- Arrive in Seattle; 2 nights
- Drive on up to Wells Gray Provincial Park (Clearwater); 3 nights in a B&B. *this park is renowned for its waterfalls* Will include horseback ride, day hikes, boat ride
- Drive (long day) to Bella Coola over Highway 20; 4 nights. Activities there centering on grizzly viewing (boat float); possibly float plane
- Drive to Williams Lake; 1 night. Allowing time to stop and view sights on road; possible side trip to Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park
- Drive to Horseshoe Bay; 1 night in more familiar territory and early ferry in am to Van Island
- Drive to Tofino; 3 nights
- Drive to Victoria; 3 nights
- Ferry to Port Angeles and last night in Seattle before catching early am flight next day

Our original plans were to vacation with aunt/uncle and spend time in Nelson/Kimberley/Banff/Jasper/Clearwater/Okanagan. But some health issues caused them to cancel and we made new plans, a little like you are doing.

All of this is just to say that British Columbia makes for some truly beautiful driving, no matter where you go. You just need to give yourself enough time to enjoy the journey. I think either option can be splendid.
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Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:29 AM
  #7
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Thank you one and all very much for all this interesting info. It has made us have a great deal of lengthy chats (only a few disagreements) over which advice to take. Bonus is my husband has now started paying more attention to the map book! So that's good. NothwestMale you say 100 Mile House is not so good, we had intended to stay at Tom's B & B, as it's the night of our 34 year anniversary, quite like it to be fairly good. I hadn't heard particularly favourable reports on Williams Lake?? Aahh! Any other opinions out there? I do like the sound of Wells Grey Provincial Park so think that maybe a better option than the drive to Jasper. I like the sound of the float plane at Kleena Kleene, this could prove a more relaxed and stunning view of the Rockies. All in all I'm very grateful to learning more of others' opinions.
Thank you
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 08:24 PM
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Hey, let me be honest and say that I have no reason not to believe that a particular B & B in/near 100 Mile House won't be as wonderful as you need, and as wonderful as rumored.

So go ahead and target that for your anniversary!
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Jun 24th, 2013, 01:02 AM
  #9
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Cheers!!
Thanks again
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