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Trip from Vancouver to Calgary

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Apr 6th, 2017, 08:26 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Trip from Vancouver to Calgary

My husband and myself is planning a 14 days trip from Vancouver to Calgary in the last 2 weeks of June. We are from Toronto.
This trip can be divided by 3 parts:
Part 1 - rent a car in Vancouver for 4 days, would like to visit Victoria Island & Whistler
Any scenic route or itinerary that I can use
Part 2 - pick up a RV, spend 7 days to drive from Vancouver to Calgary
Any beautiful camp grounds plus scenic route,
Part 3 - stay in Calgary for the last 3 days with a rental car.
Any suggestion for sight seeing
We just want To have a relax trip plus some hiking, more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Please suggest any parts of my trip.

Thanks!
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Apr 8th, 2017, 02:49 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Do you really want to drive an RV in the Canadian Rockies?
My thoughts would be to fly to Edmonton and rent a vehicle and drive to see Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise and then Calgary.
Kamloops is not that great IMO.
Either take the ViaRail Canadian (3 days/week) from Edmonton to Vancouver or fly to Vancouver and rent a vehicle there for your final 4 days before flying back home to Toronto.
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Apr 8th, 2017, 08:18 PM
  #3
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We booked the RV already and want to have an experience of it.

Thanks!
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Apr 9th, 2017, 07:25 AM
  #4
 
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First, let me recommend the HelloBC website as a great resource for you. You'll find recommended routing, things to see/do, and RV campsites (in Accommodations tab)

http://www.hellobc.com/default.aspx?CC=US

To see Vancouver Island (not Victoria Island) - the ferry ride across is spectacular too. You'll pay extra for the car, of course. You can go from either Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay. Allowing time for the trip across, plus lining up in advance, it's tough to do this as a day trip. Plan a night in Victoria if you can.

BC Ferries website: http://www.bcferries.com/travel_planning/fares/

We love driving across B.C. and have taken several different routes. Since you'll have an RV, there is no need to stop in Kamloops at all. However, just past it, there is Salmon Arm and Sicamous, either of which is more scenic (but you are looking for campsites, not cities.).

Stop at Craigellachie to see where the last spike was driven in the completion of the railroad, it's just before Revelstoke:

http://www.railwaymuseum.com/lastspike.php

As to Calgary, I wouldn't waste my time. Instead, try to find lodging around Banff (Canmore would be reasonably close if no Banff accommodations can be found) and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
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Apr 9th, 2017, 09:53 AM
  #5
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Thanks for your time to reply.

- We plan to stay 2 nights in Van island, will you recommend not taking the car with us, just tour around by local transit? Is it convenience? Any sight seeing places must see that recommend for these 3 days,

- We will rent a car later for Whistler to enjoy the sea to sky drive, do you recommend to stay there 2 nights there? Where to stop along the highway to see nice scenery?
- Will the route through Clear Water, Blue river, Mt Robson, Jasper , Hwy 93 then Calgary has nice scenery?

- in Calgary, we will rent another car after we return the RV, should we go to Dinosour Province Park worth the time to go in Drumheller, AB we will go to Canmore, any suggested place?

Thanks��
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Apr 9th, 2017, 12:31 PM
  #6
 
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We've always had a car going over to the island, so I cannot comment on local transit there. In Vancouver, transit is plentiful, and a car completely unnecessary.

Not a fan of Whistler. IMO, you will see much more impressive scenery along the rest of your route, particularly Jasper to Banff.

The route you describe does have some very scenic areas, with the exception of Kamloops. If you do go that way, try to stop over at Clearwater and visit Wells Gray Provincial Park - there are gorgeous waterfalls.

http://www.explorewellsgray.com/

Drumheller is well worth visiting, if you can.
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Apr 9th, 2017, 03:07 PM
  #7
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Thanks again, any recommendations to visit in the island for 2 days?

How about just Van,Kelowna,Vernon, Nakusp, revelstoke,last spike railway museum,jasper,and back down to Banff then Calgary? Compare to Clear water route, which one has more scenic view?

Any recommendations for Canmore?
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Apr 10th, 2017, 12:46 PM
  #8
 
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End of June 2017??

You need to book your accommodations ASAP, especially for the Rockies. June 30 - July 3 is a long weekend, and with the special Canada Day celebrations, it's likely to be one the THE busiest weekends of the summer. If not the busiest weekend.

Reservations for campsites have been open since January - all campsites with a hookup have been booked since early January and you will be very, very lucky to find a reservable campsite for that weekend. People have reported not being able to book a campsite in or near Banff for that weekend. First come, first serve campgrounds will likely be full up by Wednesday or Thursday.

I would start looking for accommodations ASAP. You may need to cancel the RV if you aren't going to be able to find campsites. And you must have campsites booked unless you want to spend a lot of time searching for a place to stay and be driving long distances. But even finding a hotel could be tricky - get on that now.

As to the route. Don't even bother with Edmonton. No reason to do that long boring drive - nice enough to live there, but not a tourist destination.

We generally suggest at least a week in the Rockies and two days minimum to get across BC. I'd suggest that you might want to think about flying to Calgary. That would give you more time for Vancouver/VI- you probably want at least 5-6 days to do Vancouver and see a tiny bit of the island. Then a week in the Rockies, then maybe a night in Calgary. Calgary is a pleasant city, but hardly unique. Or do a couple of days in Drumheller/southern AB.

Either way, your itinerary is going to be heavily dictated by accommodation availability. Jasper will be the trickiest - start with that and build your Rockies trip around that.

I'd also suggest skipping Clearwater and doing the Icefields Parkway twice. The latter is one the most scenic roads in the world and if it's raining or cloudy the one day you allot to drive it, big bummer. And I would say that the route through BC on the TransCanada (with or without detour to Nakusp) is far more scenic than the one via Clearwater. But I don't think you have time for Nakusp/Okanagan unless you skip the nights in Calgary or skip VI.
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Apr 10th, 2017, 12:47 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Canmore is great, but other than one trailer park (which may well be booked up with long term folks), there's no RV camping in or near the town. The closest places would be in K-Country (provincial campgrounds). Again, those will be very booked up for the long weekend period and busy before.
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Apr 10th, 2017, 09:05 PM
  #10
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Thanks and I will start booking the camp site now, is Nakusp worth to detour?
I will not take the Clear Water route and do the Icefield parkway twice. We will return the RV on June 28 and will rent a car to go to Canmore and Drumheller.
Any place recommend to go in Canmore, Drumheller?
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Apr 11th, 2017, 11:21 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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I've not been to Nakusp, but here it's supposed to be lovely.

Assuming you are returning the RV in Calgary, just stop in Canmore on your way to Calgary (it's directly between Banff and Calgary). You could drive back out, but you'd probably need to be really lucky to find any accommodation at this point for the holiday weekend. Same in Drumheller.
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Apr 12th, 2017, 03:19 AM
  #12
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I have have driven the route between Revelstoke and Vernon including Nakusp several times, most recently last summer. It's a pretty enough route, as is Nakusp, but I would not recommend it to you for two reasons. First, there are long portions of twisting, narrow highway on which you will not make very good time with an RV. Second there are two ferries along the way. They are free, but you cannot reserve, and you may have long waits, especially at Galena Bay.

My suggestion would be to take the Coquihalla and Connector to Kelowna and then up the Okanagan Valley to Sicamous. Take the Trans-Canada from there to Revelstoke. You could also go via Kamloops to the Trans-Canada.

As kgsneds mentioned, you will want to secure campground reservations ASAP. This may well affect your choice of routes.

The only reason to go to Drumheller, unless you have family or friends there, is to visit the magnificent Royal Tyrrell Museum.
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Apr 12th, 2017, 06:46 PM
  #13
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Thanks for this information and will skip Nakusp, go to Okanagan Valley that route.

Yes, we want to visit the Royal Tyrell Meseum. But I don't know whether it's worth the time to drive there just for that purpose.
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