Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Canada
Reload this Page >

Self Drive Calgary to Vancouver - Must See's

Self Drive Calgary to Vancouver - Must See's

Old Mar 12th, 2006, 09:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Self Drive Calgary to Vancouver - Must See's

Hi All,

Planning a self-drive from Calgary to Vancouver via Lake Louise, Banff. There seems so much to do it's quite overwhelming. I would be really grateful if people could share some of their holiday highlights, must-see - do's, stay's for a June trip. 27 year old couple. Thanks again for your replies.
yipyapdesign is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,079
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are going to do this trip in one day?

Yes there is a lot to see and do.
I could spend 5 days easily on the trip with mosts of it in and around Lake Louise and Yoho.

I really cannot advise you on how to do it because driving from Calgary to Vancouver with no major stops is a long day. The distance is about 610 miles depending on the exact point of origins and the exact destination.

At best it will take you 12 hours or so for the drive with only a few stops for gas and a bite to eat.

brookwood is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 04:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your reply - sorry it's a two week holiday.
yipyapdesign is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello yipyapdesign,

Check out my website at:


The Itinerary section has a suggested 12-day itinerary that could be adapted to your timeframe.

Also have a look at the Tips section for practical information about weather, what to pack, national park entry fees, drivings distances and times, etc. I particularly draw your attention to the Websites page in the Tips section. It has links to great websites that have been created by other "real people."

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,079
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have visited out there quite a few times, but my knowledge is that of a visitor and not that of a resident.

If you have two weeks, I would focus my attention on three locations:
Lake Louise, the Icefields Parkway, and Jasper.

That said, there are many places to go in the Lake Louise vicinity. Motels there are expensive. As a result I stay in the village of Field over the Great Divide in Yoho National Park.

Around Lake Louise there is Moraine Lake, Johnson Canyon, Lake Louise itself, the wonders of Yoho which require some walking to see in their full beauty.

The Icefields Parkway is a fairly long drive because you will tempted to stop often. There are only a few places to stay along the Parkway, and all have their drawbacks. You can drive from Lake Louise to Jasper in one day, but be prepared for a long day with all the tempting stops for short hikes and scenic views.

From Jasper to Vancouver, the best route is probably through Kamloops.
I would suggest going to Jasper first, and then allow time for an all day visit along the Ice Fields Parkway.
Then spend a few nights around Lake Louise.

When you leave the Canadian Rockies, I suggest taking the Trans Canada highway west over Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park. From there continue on to the town of Revelstoke. There, turn south and drive along the Columbia River Valley.

Then turn west from this route to the town of Vernon in British Columbia.
You can spend the night there or in Kelowna and continue on to Vancouver the following day.

If you are into hiking at all, I can make a few suggestions. The best source of information on trails in the Canadian Rockies is The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Bart Patton and Brian Robinson.
It is excellent and gives considerable detail on many, many hiking trails.

I don't like to list fixed schedules because I tend to go where I see something I like, even if I end up sacrificing something later on!!

My favorite hike of them all is a long one. It is the Whaleback Trail in Yoho.
A strong hiker could do it in a day.
Me? I stay overnight at a backwoods chalet. But I am slow on the trail.
brookwood is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2006, 02:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you Judy and Brookwood for taking the time to reply to my posting! Both have been really helpful. Brookwood I'll definately be looking up your book recommendation. Looking forward to it already.
yipyapdesign is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2006, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The book is now in its 7th edition and gives a good summary of trail conditions, distances, and elevation changes.

I am not joking when I say that there are hundreds of different combinations you can make with the various trails.

The whole area is more than just Banff and Lake Louise. The most scenic part of the Canadian Rockies starts south of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and extends all the way to Mount Robson weat of Jasper. The area is huge.

Although I have been there several times, I feel like there is so much I have not seen that I have barely scratched the surface.

I do feel that Moraine Lake is well worth the effort to drive down there and view the lake from the outlet end.
Lake Louise, although mobbed at times, is beautiful. The same is true of Peyto Lake, Emerald Lake and several other attractions.

I hope the Parker Ridge trail near the Icefields Center is open for foot traffic when you are there. It is a short steep hike that leads to a fantastic view of the Saskatechewan Glacier.

The Iceline Trail in Yoho is a scenic one too. It is the type of trail that you can hike part of the way and turn around and not feel like you are missing something.

There is a little of a steep start to the trail, but after the initial climb up the valley side, the trail levels off somewhat as it crosses piles of glacial rubble.

At times the route gets close to the remaining ice of the glacier, but the ice cap is now very thin and will be gone in a few more years.

bob_brown is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
May 16th, 2017 06:49 AM
Road Trips
Jan 16th, 2016 09:49 PM
Jun 5th, 2006 05:30 PM
Jun 14th, 2004 06:15 AM
Jan 7th, 2004 05:48 PM

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

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -