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Kamloops to Vancouver - thoughts on routes

Kamloops to Vancouver - thoughts on routes

Old May 16th, 2002, 07:51 AM
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karen
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Kamloops to Vancouver - thoughts on routes

Thanks to all who have been giving advice - help again, please: What is the "best" (easiest? fastest? prettiest?) route from Kamloops? We do need to arrive downtown Vancouver by late afternoon - so no exploring along the way (we're taking leisurely time in other spots; so many places to see!)
 
Old May 16th, 2002, 08:34 AM
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gary
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There are basically three direct routes from Kamloops to Vancouver. The fastest by any measure is the Coquihalla route which is also the least scenic but far from boring. Driving straight through should get you from downtown Kamloops to Downtown Vancouver in just over 3 1/2 hours. It is entirely four to six lanes and there is a $10 toll on the Merrit-Hope leg.

The second route - and IMHO the most scenic - is the Trans Canada Hwy #1 route which follows the South Thompson and Fraser rivers through to Vancouver. On this route you'll follow through desert, Mountain, river rapids and steep canyons to the lower Fraser Valley. It will take you about an hour to an hour and a half longer than the Coquihalla and is well worth it for the scenic values. Over half the route is two lanes.

The third route and the slowest takes highway #97 and #99 passing through Lilooet, Whistler and Squamish on the way to Vancouver. It has the greatest variety of scenery passing from desert to Mountains to Rain Forest to the Magnificent Howe Sound route entering Vancouver from the North. Except for just after Kamloops and before Vancouver it's almost entirely two lanes and will take you at least 5-6 hours. Hope this has been of some help.
 
Old May 17th, 2002, 08:14 AM
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Thor
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Karen: Gary's suggestions are very comprehensive, and informative, but he didn't mention all the options. As he states, the Coquihalla, ( Highway 5), is the fastest route. However, if you wanted to combine speed with one section of more leisurely, and scenic driving, you could take highway 5A from Kamloops to Merritt, and then hook up with the Coquihalla there for the rest of your journey. Highway 5A is a good paved road passing through farm country and a string on lakes. It is not busy, so you can still make reasonable time.
At Merritt, you can even take higway 8 to Spences Bridge, and hook up with the Trans Canada there. This highway is a lot like highway 5A, and if time is a factor, is probably not the best option for you.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2003, 06:33 AM
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I will be driving from Jasper to Tsawwassen to catch the ferry to Victoria. I am planning on overnighting in Kamloops but might want to drive further the first day so--can anyone suggest another stopover point? Also The Coquihalla route seems the most direct--will it take me to Tsawwassen? I am leaving in two days so please advise--thanks, Zelda
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Old Jul 6th, 2003, 10:00 AM
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We stopped at Merritt along that route. There is a Best Western and a few other motels in a row.
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Old Jul 6th, 2003, 02:12 PM
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Zelda, the Coquihalla route joines Highway 3 and the Trans Canada #1 just before Hope in a seamless way. About 30 k's before Vancouver you'll see signs announcing the cutoff for the Tsawassen Ferry terminal. I beleive it's the Highway #10 interchange.
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Old Jul 6th, 2003, 05:41 PM
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Zelda...if you take the coquihalla hwy (#5) from kamloops to vancouver, you could stop in merritt, which is about an hour out of kamloops. It is a small town but has a variety of motels just off the highway. Beware that after merritt, it is 150 km and 1.5 hr to the next gas station/accomdations option in Hope. There is nothing on the merritt/hope section of hwy 5 except 4-6 lanes, lots of trees and rest stops (limited servies).

Once the coquilhalla joins up with hwy 1/trans canada in Hope, just continue on into the vancouver (you may not even notice that the hwy changes...hwy 5 justs ends and flows into hwy 1). Look for the well marked exits to the "victoria ferries" about an hour from Hope.

Karen...easiest driving/fastest route is by far the coquihalla (set the cruise control and go, $10 toll). The prettiest route is the frazer canyon, although only 2 lane in most places.
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