vancouver and canadian rockies

Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 07:45 PM
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vancouver and canadian rockies

Hi! I will be taking a vacation with my husband and parents in September. We are interested in seeing Vancouver as well as Banff/Lake Louise/ Jasper. We are looking into flying into Vancouver and then either taking the train to Banff and renting a car from there or driving from Vancouver on. We will have 10 days for our trip. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 09:07 PM
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First of all, I suggest you try a search on here because there is lots of info - Vancouver and the ROckies are popular. You will be coming at a nice time of year. After you read some other threads you might have specific questions.
Do you plan to fly home from Calgary or will you be leaving from Vancouver? That will impact on what suggestions you get for a schedule.
Also, what are your interests? Hiking? Shopping? Museums?
Generally, allow 3-4 days minimum for Vancouver (with maybe an extra day for Victoria).
Driving over the Rockies might be a good idea as you can stop along the way to see things of interest... but again, it depends on what your interests are.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 10:24 PM
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Hello Gosoxgo,

Don't take the train. It's too restricting. The whole point of visiting the Rockies is to stop and get out of your car at scenic lookout points.

Ten days really is about the shortest time in which you can visit both Vancouver / Victoria AND the Canadian Rockies. If folks have less time than that, I suggest they visit one area or the other but not both. If 10 days includes the day you fly to Western Canada and the day you fly home from Western Canada, it really will be a stretch to include Vancouver and the Rockies.

If price makes any difference to you at all, compare the fares flying into Vancouver and out of Calgary and vice versa. Also compare picking up a car in one place and dropping it off in the other place. The direction of travel can make a big difference to these prices.

Taggie has been a good poster, and correctly has asked what your interests are. I'll take another approach and give you an itinerary that many other people have done. You can look at it and see if it appeals or not.

I'll assume you want to fly into Vancouver and out of Calgary. If you want to travel in the other direction, you can simply reverse the order of my information.

1 – Arrive Vancouver

2, 3, 4 - Vancouver really deserves 3 full days, not counting arrival day. I recommend, amongst others, Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain, Capilano Canyon, Granville Island Market and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. The Museum of Anthropology depicts the traditional lifestyle of the First Nations people of the west coast.

5 - Day trip to Victoria to see Butchart Gardens, etc.

6 - Drive to Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley.

More to follow in next thread ......
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 10:29 PM
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7 – Drive north to Salmon Arm on the Shuswap Lake, then turn east on the #1 Hwy and drive to Lake Louise. You will drive over beautiful Rogers Pass. Stop to look at Emerald Lake, the railway tunnels, the natural bridge over the Kicking Horse River and Takakkaw Falls.

You will lose an hour as you cross from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone.

Overnight in Lake Louise.

8 – Explore the Lake Louise / Moraine Lake area. O/N in LL again.

9 – Drive the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. At a minimum stop to see Peyto Lake, ride the Snocoach on the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefields, and to see Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls.

10 – If you can spend a day exploring Jasper’s environs, do so. If you cannot afford the time, skip this day. If you can stay in the Jasper area today, take the Skytram up Whistler Mountain, walk in Maligne Canyon, go to Mount Edith Cavell and do as much of the Angel Glacier hike as you feel comfortable doing.

11 – Drive back down the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise. The scenery looks different when one sees it from the opposite direction. At Lake Louise, turn east onto the Bow Valley Parkway, and drive to Johnston Canyon. Walk into Johnston Canyon, to the Lower Falls at least, but better yet to the Upper Falls if you feel up to it. Drive to Banff townsite, and look around the town. Drive on to Calgary. O/N in the northeast quadrant of Calgary, near the airport. I recommend the Greenwood Inn.

12 – Fly home.

More in next thread ......
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 10:34 PM
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You can pare this down to a 10 day trip, including flying time, if you drive all the way from Vancouver to Lake Louise in one day (although that might be a strain on your parents, depending on their ages and levels of endurance) and if you eliminate the day of exploration in the Jasper area (although it's a gorgeous area and deserves some time if you can possibly spare it).

Another option is for you to visit Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria, and leave out the Rockies. Whistler is close to Vancouver, and would provide you with a mountain experience.

Still another option is to visit the Canadian Rockies only, and leave Vancouver / Victoria out of the picture.

By the way, catching the train from Vancouver to Lake Louise or Banff wouldn't save you any time compared with the itinerary I've provided you, as the train stops at Kamloops overnight.

You can get driving distances and times at

www.mapquest.com

and

www.freetrip.com

Send away for free maps and travel guides from Tourism British Columbia at

http://www.hellobc.com/bcescapes/req...tart.asp?ct=y&

and from Travel Alberta at

http://www1.travelalberta.com/cfforms/freestuff/

If you come back and ask questions about accommodation, it would help if you told us your price range and what kind of lodgings you prefer (hotel, chalet, B&B, etc.).

Hope that helps.
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Old Nov 24th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Judy, your posts are always so good and helpful.
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Old Nov 24th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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Oh Judy, I was trying to save you the trouble of posting all your info! That's why I suggested the poster do a search... I know how many times you end up posting your itinterary for this trip.
But I forget this forum is more easygoing than the Europe one....
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Old Nov 24th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Hello Taggie,

Thanks for your concern, but posting this info isn't as much work for me as first meets the eye.

After typing these itineraries up from scratch several times, the thought occurred to me to save my most frequently recommended ones as MS-Word documents.

I now have a stash of my former itineraries : 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks, and so on. Often my post is a copy and paste job, edited to address the individual situation.
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Old Nov 24th, 2004, 03:39 PM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are still in the early planning stages and this information is very helpful. One of our biggest decisions to make is whether we try and see both Vancouver and the Rockies or just the Rockies. I will see if we are more flexible with our dates and if so will go to both areas. If we are limited to 10 days, I think we would rather spend our time in the Rockies. As far as interests- my parents are healthy, but not hikers, my parents would be interested in walking, museums and shopping. My husband and I would be more interested in hiking. Again, thank you for your input. I will post questions as I do more research!
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Old Nov 25th, 2004, 08:38 PM
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Vancouver is an interesting city to visit. The drive to Banff can take all of one whole day.

Time and distance wise, it makes sense to stop in Vernon or Kelowna.
These cities are in the Okanagen Valley, which itself is pretty. From there you can continue to Revelstoke via one of two routes. The most sceneic route is east from Vernon on Route 6 and north on 23. The downside of this route is that it is longer.

The other way is to take 97A north from Vernon to Sicamous and join the Trans Canada highway going east.

To get to the Okanagen, take the Trans Canada to Hope. Then take the Coquihalla Tollway to Merritt and turn east to the Okanagen Valley.

Here are a few of my favorite places in the Rockies. Yoho National Park with Emerald Lake, Takkakaw Falls, and the Iceline Trail.

Lake Louise with the steep Saddleback and the Plain of Six Glaciers trails.

Moraine Lake with several trails departing from the road/lake area.

Kootney Park with Marble Canyon, if it has reopened. Last year it was closed because of fire damage. (bridges gone)
And the trail to Stanley Glacier.

The Icefields Parkway, all of it, with places like Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, the Icefields Center, Athabasca Falls, Endless Chain Ridge, and a few more.

In Jasper, Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier -- at least what remains in this age of global heating.

If you elect to drive from Vancouver, take the Trans Canada route over Rogers Pass which is in Glacier National Park. If clear, the views are fabulous. The visitor center is worth a visit as well.

Most of the trails in Glacier are steep. Perly Rock for example is described in the guidebook as "ambitious".

Another ploy would be to fly from Vancouver to Calgary. Rent a car in Calgary and return it there. The Calgary airport is user friendly.
From Calgary you can drive west to the Canadian Rockies easily.
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