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Need help to plan LL, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver trip

Need help to plan LL, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver trip

Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 8
Need help to plan LL, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver trip

Hi All;

We will be travelling to Banff, LL, Jasper towards end of July. Here is the problem I facing planning the trip. We are flying into Calgary (morning),renting car, spending the day sightseeing in Banff, ending up for the night in LL. 2 days around LL before driving up Icefield Parkway to Jasper. Spend another day in Jasper.

This is where my plan runs into problem. I have to go to Vancouver. Looks like it will be a solid 12+ hours drive or more. With my parents with me (both 65+), I am wondering, if it would be too tiring for them. Can you tell me, if the roads are too mountanous,narrow, too much up and down or winding? If the roads are like interstate cutting through the mountains, I think they can manage and I can manage driving by myself. How long will it take for me to reach Kamloops from Jasper? I can halt for the night at Kamloops before driving next day to Vancouver.

My other option was 1) to take a VIA or RM railroad from Jasper but tickets are too expensive and train takes 17 hours. 2) travel back to Calgary and take a AC flight to Vancouver for $140. But then I am wasting a day driving back to Calgary from Jasper with scenery allready seen 3) There are greyhound buses and they take 13 hours from Jasper to Vancouver. I don't think we can sit for 13 hours on a bus.

Driving all the way to Vancouver seems the best with a night halt at Kamloops. National would charge a $140 drop off fee which is much cheaper than other options. But what do you guys suggest? Also is the drive between Japser and Vancouver, scenic? What do you think about approx driving time? Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

bornfree is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
It is an all day drive to Vancouver from Jasper, and you could stop over in Kamloops.
The route from Jasper to Kamloops is mostly 2lane, but it was not crowded the day I drove it.

The Trans Canada from Golden to Kamloops is mostly two lanes, particularly over Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park.
*Yes there is a Glacier NP in BC.*

From Kamloops, the fastest route is to take the Coquihalla Freeway to Hope where you rejoin the trans Canada.
At that point you have a 4 lane road to Vancouver.

I don't think age is a factor with parents. I am 70 and I would not hesitate to drive it in one day. Of course my wife, who is 67, does some of the driving. (She is a good driver; you should see her negotiate those Swiss Mountain Passes.)
I do not recall how long it took us to reach Jasper from Kamloops because we stopped at Mount Robson park and took an 8 mile hike and spent the night in Valemont.

I think you could do it in 6 hours or so. But with our stops, it is hard to estimate.
bob_brown is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 03:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 757
You are taking a trip very similar to the one we have planned.

Here's what we have planned :
Driving from Coeur d' Alene, ID to Golden.

Golden to Canmore,AB (seeing LL)

Canmore & Banff past LL again to Jasper.

Jasper to Golden (again)

Golden to Kamloops

Kamloops to Vancouver.

We are going in early Sept. and are not sure we can get an early start each morning due to fog,etc.(even snow!?)

We,also, want to spend pretty full days between the points seeing the sights.

Any suggestions, anyone? Thanks
maryann is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 69
Just got back from the rockies, will highly suggest take the plane in and out of calgary, unless airfare will costs more than your budget. we took the rockymountaineer train with stopover at kamloops ( 2 days in the train is so tiring) what more driving, considering you have an elderly companion, for me driving icefield parkways twice is better than the jasper to vancouver scenery.
mikety is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,466
i'd definitly drive with a stop in kamloops for the night.
if your folks are into hiking then lake louise is a great area to stay in but there is not much else to do around there if they are not too mobile. staying in the town of banff they could take short walks around town.
ltt is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 01:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 8
Thanks everybody for your advice. This is a great place to receive and communicate ideas. Thanks all of you for being so proactive.

Mary Ann, btw, why are u going all the way to Canmore (though it doesn't seem like more than an hour and 10 min from LL)? U can base yourself in LL and go to Banff and all the other day trips around? And then leave for Jasper.

bornfree is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 757
The reasons for Canmore are- we read that the whole Bow Valley is beautiful, Canmore is smaller and less touristy that Banff (we can vist there but not stay) and the prices seem cheaper.

The next day we can go back to Banff, see LL again and head to Jasper after the Glacier snomobile.

Taking the back road from Canmore to LL has less traffic and more scenic than the IF parkway, I think it's 1A.
maryann is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 06:41 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 31
we have a similar problem in late June- spending one night in Calgary- the next 2 nights in Banff, then 2 nights in Jasper, then back to LL for one night- thinking of swapping at least 1, if not 2 nights in Banff for Canmore- read good things about a BW there- problem is driving all the way from LL to Helena, MT in one day- is that asking a lot? Is parking a problem in Banff- would we be sorry if we stayed in Canmore instead?
rsfred is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 8
Quick Question: checked the forum. nobody asked about BOW VIEW MOTOR LODGE in Banff. Checked their website. seemed pretty nice on the shores of bow river right in Banff town and pretty economical too. Anybody stayed here? Any experience to share?

BTW, I have changed plans. Not driving from Jasper to Vancouver(840 KM) with overnight stay at Kamloops. Instead driving back to Calgary (420KM) (seeing icefield parkway again) and taking the flight to Vancouver. I checked out WestJet Airlines(www.westjet.com) and you wouldn't believe: one-way fare from Calgary to Vancouver $95 CAD !! + $12 CAD Airporter from airport to my downtown Vancouver hotel. Also, that way, I don't have to worry about driving around with a rental car in Vancouver.

bornfree is offline  

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