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Rockies to Vancouver

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Dec 22nd, 2014, 03:08 AM
  #1
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Rockies to Vancouver

Hi: My husband and I have about 10 days this summer to visit the Banff/Lake Louise area and would like to connect it with a trip to Vancouver. If I plan to hike in this area for a week or so and then drive to Vancouver will I have time to visit Jasper or does this take me too far off the trail to Vancouver. Was thinking I would be too far north to make that happen. At this point I was thinking about flying to Calgary and then spending 2 days in Banff, 2 in Lake Louise and then 2 in Revelstoke before making the 6 hour ride to Vancouver for 3 nights. Is it doable to visit Jasper as well?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
Ellen
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Dec 22nd, 2014, 07:55 AM
  #2
 
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My favorite way to arrive in Jasper is on the ViaRail Canadian. The train runs 3 days per week from Vancouver. I believe it arrives mid-afternoon. There are several car rental places within walking distance of the Jasper station.
You can take another Canadian back to Vancouver or take it east to Edmonton for a flight back home.
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Dec 23rd, 2014, 11:20 AM
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That 6 hour ride to Vancouver is probably not realistic. You'll want to give it at least 2 more hours, more if you want to stop. From Banff, we normally make this a 2-day trip, since the drive from there can easily be 12-14 hours nonstop. Less from Revelstoke, of course, but still..

You can do a loop that includes Jasper, but keep in mind that you still have a long drive to Vancouver. For me, I would either fly to or from Calgary, or add some more days to the trip.

Also - Lake Louise and Banff are quite close together (less than an hour), so you could just stay in one location and be ok.

British Columbia is a beautiful drive and well worth the time, if you have it. Allow time for plenty of pullovers to take pictures, do some of the little parks and trails right along the main highway, etc. And keep in mind that, until you are closer to Vancouver, the highway is often a single lane in each direction with occasional passing lanes. Can make for slower travel, especially if you get behind an RV or semi.
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Dec 24th, 2014, 10:57 AM
  #4
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Thanks so much...I think I am going to do this a little differently. Does this sound doable. Fly to Vancouver..spend 3 nights there. Then take the train..Canadian Via..to Jasper. Rent a car in Jasper and spend the remaining 6 days between Jasper and Banff, Glacier Nat'l Park, etc. Thanks for any input
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Dec 24th, 2014, 11:16 AM
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Renting a car in Jasper has worked well for me in the past.
The Brewster tour bus counter is in the east half of the Jasper train station if that would work for you.
Be sure to adjust your schedule to fit the three day per week train schedule. From Jasper you can take the eastbound train to Edmonton for your flight home instead of going all the way back to Vancouver.
If you are looking for cheap lodging in the Jasper area, there's a HI Hostel which has coed dorm rooms and private double rooms. I like the kitchen/dining room there.
The hostel is not far from the north end of the Icefield highway about 6km SW of Jasper.
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Dec 24th, 2014, 05:45 PM
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Yes, that does sound better, given that you don't have time to devote to enjoying that drive to Vancouver. A couple of questions on the car (maybe tomfuller has some insight here) - if you rent in Jasper, where are you returning the car? Which airport are you leaving from and how will you get there?

A note on Glacier, which is a cross-border trip - just make sure to check with the car rental company before your trip on their policies and to advise them you'll be crossing the border. Not normally an issue for the majors, but something to check on. Actually, you may want to skip Glacier given your time constraints.

Where are you considering staying in these locations? Some options depending on budget; there are some local Fodorites who might want to make some additional recommendations.
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Dec 24th, 2014, 05:57 PM
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Oh, and one other question - wondering what is attracting you to Revelstoke? Just not a place I have considered - you may have a specific activity in mind?
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Dec 28th, 2014, 09:18 AM
  #8
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A few observations:

Revelstoke is certainly worth a visit. In nearby Mount Revelstoke National Park you can drive the Meadows in the Sky Parkway up to the 1500m level from where there are many alpine trails and also a bus shuttle to the summit of Mount Revelstoke. http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/revelstoke/index.aspx

Contrary to Sludick's observation there are no border crossings involved in visiting Glacier National Park which is situated between Golden and Revelstoke (and a long way from the US park of the same name). The Trans-Canada Highway runs through it and the Rogers Pass section is spectacular.

Revelstoke to Vancouver is not a bad day's drive with stops. The fastest way is to continue on the Trans-Canada to Kamloops then follow the Coquihalla Highway to Hope and on to Vancouver. Marginally longer and more interesting in my opinion is to turn south from the Trans-Canada at Sicamous and through the Okanagan Valley to Kamloops. From Kamloops take 97C (the "connector") to the Coquihalla at Merritt and continue on to Vancouver. My favourite route would be to continue down the Okanagan to Osoyoos and then Hwy 3 to Vancouver, but that is best done in two days.

If you want to visit Jasper and the Icefields Parkway, you might stay 3 nights in Banff, drive to Jasper and stay one night, then back to Lake Louise for one night, Revelstoke for one night and then on to Vancouver. Backtracking on the Icefields Parkway is worthwhile as the vistas are different in each direction and you can make different stops en route each way. From Lake Louise to Revelstoke you can stop in Yoho National Park to see the magnificent Takkakaw Falls and Emerald Lake. If you skip Emerald Lake you can be in Revelstoke in time for a drive to the top.

The only reason I would consider taking the train from Jasper to Vancouver would be to avoid drop-off car rental charges in Vancouver and a night's lodging. However you would have to calculate the difference between those and the train fare as well as the car rental drop off charges in Jasper. There is much to see on the road to Vancouver and remember that much of the train trip will be at night
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Dec 29th, 2014, 04:56 AM
  #9
 
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laverendrye, for some reason I was thinking of the U.S. Glacier National Park. It would certainly make more sense in the itinerary for the Canadian one. Thanks for the correction.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 05:41 PM
  #10
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The two Glacier Parks do often get confused.
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