road trip to british columbia


Mar 4th, 2018, 12:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1
road trip to british columbia

My wife and I are embarking on an eighteen day driving trip starting in Calgary wiyh the second and third nights booked in Banff.Eventually ending up in Vancouver for the flight back to the UK.We would gratefully accept any ideas for the rather large section in between,taking in as much as possible of the glorious country and a little hiking on the way.This our very first fly drive.
billkath is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2018, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,444
Well, it seems right that your first move after Banff is to go north toward/to Jasper, and I guess you may as well have a night or two there. I guess you first need to decide whether you want a night or two at Lake Louise.

I guess it makes the most sense if YOU inform the board here just what you envision with your 18 days... for one problem with surface travel in BC is that there aren't THAT many roads, and even fewer of them go where you want to go. (The mountains dictate where the highway paths go, and that's that)

If it were easy to get to Williams Lake, BC from Jasper, I might send you there for the path down the Cariboo highway, but otherwise it is the path to and through Kamloops, most likely.

The aura of BC certainly changes once you get from remote eastern locales to the lower western mainland, with people everywhere and growth in evidence all around.

Someone with 18 days, and so far from home, would probably do well to allow 4 or 5 days for a trip to Vancouver ISLAND (Victoria and surrounds)... so perhaps it is wise to make your way expeditiously through eastern BC saving more time for Victoria and Vancouver.

I have the odd instinct to suggest that you begin the planning of your trip from the END... and work backward to determine your time/night allocations in eastern BC.

Last stop is Vancouver, and it deserves 3 or 4 days of your time... then backtrack to what we'll now call 4 days on Vancouver ISLAND... so call that 8 days of your 18 already used there. First two are Banff... and maybe 2 more combining Lake Louise and/or Jasper... perhaps depending upon where you target for hiking.

Happily you do still have 6 days to work with, and with that now clear, I think maybe I would make the otherwise-improbable move and go from Jasper to Prince George and then down to Williams Lake, and then down toward Whistler, for perhaps a night or two, maybe depending upon whether you can find hiking that interests you.

There still may be a bit of wiggle room, so maybe you can add a day or two to Vancouver Island and make sure to spend nights in the area of Tofino or the like.

But I really think that to design your 18 days from the end, working forward TO your arrival in Calgary, makes the most sense.

Hope this gets you thinking...
NorthwestMale is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2018, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 574
Good advice!

When is your trip? That is key in providing advice that is relevant... The below advice assumes a trip that in June through September.

That said, I would strongly advise doing the Icefields Parkway (Lake Louise to Jasper) twice. It's one of the most scenic drives in the world and it's the WOW factor of the Rockies/western Canadian mountains. Suggest at least three nights in Banff, then 3 in Jasper, then another night in Lake Louise/Field/Banff before heading west. Pretty much the minimum to see the sights and get in a little bit of hiking along the way. Two nights in Banff won't even begin to allow time for hiking.

Perhaps allow 3-4 nights to get to Vancouver, then the rest of your time in Vancouver and maybe an overnight in Victoria. Try going via the Okanagan - nice contrast to the mountains.

With 18 days you do have to make some choices -- you really need a week in the Rockies and if you want to do Vancouver Island proper, at least a 4-6 days. One option is to do the Rockies, then fly to Vancouver/Vancouver Island. I'd be inclined to drive, but limit Vancouver Island to Victoria.

In anycase, you need to sort your plans now -- at least get your accommodation in Jasper booked ASAP. Man hotels are booking out for the summer already. A good option are private home accommodations 0- licensed, inspected rooms/suites in private residences.
kgsneds is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2018, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 474
Here's an idea for an unusual but great road trip driving route from Alberta to Vancouver ... it's not the usual recommendation but hits some great (my favorite) off-the-beaten track locations. This takes you through more interesting mountain and lake country and more interesting towns than either the Trans Canada highway 1 or the Yellowhead highway 5
Note that all the driving days I recommend are short, allowing for stops & exploration along the route.

More explanation:

You say "2nd and 3rd nights booked in Banff". hmmm. personally, I'd try to spend a full day or two in Calgary. There is at least a day of things you could do in Calgary, but at least during one day you should drive from Calgary to Drumheller and back to (1) experience the Canadian prairies during your drive - anyone coming from Europe should at least experience the prairies’s totally different from anything you'd find in Europe west of the steppes, (2) see some of the scenery around Drumheller , and most importantly, (3) to see the Royal Tyrrell Museum - one of the most outstanding paleontology and dinosaur museums in the world and Royal Tyrrell Museum Exhibits

But let's start with where you suggest, nights 2 & 3 (day 3) in Banff. I presume you mean Banff Townsite. That would give you one full day to wander around the townsite, see the elk (red deer) grazing throughout the town and visit its immediate sights. But if you enjoy the outdoors and hiking, on day 3 I would take my time exploring on the way and move on to nights 4, 5, & 6 (days 4, & 5) in Lake Louise - more centrally located within Banfff National Park for hiking than is Banff townsite - be sure to hike to Moraine Lake (full day) and a bit less strenuously along Lake Louise to Lake Agnes and its Tea House.

Day 6 drive the Icefields Parkway to Jasper - one of the world most dramatic drives: Icefields Parkway It's a full day drive with more stops than you could manage, so drive it both ways stopping at different sights - the aforementioned website gives you an idea of the many stops including the Athabasca Icefields.

Nights 7, 8, & 9 (Days 7 & 8) stay in Jasper and explore and hike around Jasper and Mt Robson

Day 9 (night 10) return along the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise

Day 10 drive highway 93 through Kootenay National Park to Kimberley, BC. 12(night 11). Hwy. 98 is one of the higher mountain passes through the Rockies, but for the most part through valleys with great chances to see wildlife. En route stop in Radium Hot Springs to enjoy the hot springs and to hopefully see big horn mountain sheep. (I have a blog about this part of the route at Lee's Random Ramblings: Seattle to Alberta in Winter - although it is about winter, it also addresses other seasons)

Day 11 drive on Hwy. 3 through the mountains and on hwy. 3A along Kootenay Lake and its ferry to Nelson BC. (night 12)

Day 12 drive on Hwy. 6 past Arrow Lake and Nakusp ( About the area Nakusp and Arrow Lakes ) to Kelowna.

Nights 13 & 14, Day 13 in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley along Lake Okanagan. Visit the wineries and/or, if you like bicycling, bike the Kettle Valley Tail (on an old railroad right-of-way through the Myrna Canyon across spectacular trestles and through tunnels and Some links will hook you up with bike rentals or bike tours, some involving stops at a winery.

Day 14 drive on hwys. 95C and 99 through the dry country near the Fraser River and the mountains to Whistler, the famous ski and summer resort. Spend nights 15 & 16, day 15 here. You’ll be hard pressed to figure out which of the many things to do here you have time to do.

Day 15: It’s only a 2 hour drive from Whistler to Vancouver, but there are lots of viewpoints and attractions along the way; take a full day. and Top 5 Places to Stop Along the Sea-to-Sky Highway - Explore BC

That leaves you with days 16, 17, & 18 (nights 17, 18, and 19) in Vancouver. You’ll find more to do there than you’ll have time for. PS: I recommend returning your car when you get there … you won’t need it in the city (Vancouver has an excellent rapid transit system, including trains to the airport … and parking at hotels will be expensive.

Mind you, the above concentrates on the mountains and lakes of the Rockies and interior of BC. It completely misses the coast and Vancouver Island. But that's worth its own second trip.

Last edited by elbegewa; Mar 11th, 2018 at 04:54 PM. Reason: added thoughts
elbegewa is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
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


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:00 AM.