Vancouver to Banff

Old Apr 13th, 2022, 09:42 PM
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Vancouver to Banff

Hi. I am planning a 8 day trip in June from Vancouver to Calgary by car. Any suggestions as to what is a "must see" on the route, and scenic drives, etc? Where to stay overnight?
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Old Apr 15th, 2022, 04:32 PM
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I have suggestions, but I need more info from you first:
  • Are the 8 days one way or return, and do they include arrival/departure days via airplane, or do you live in Vancouver?
  • Have you been to Vancouver or Calgary before or do those 8 days also include time for those cities?
  • Who are you? (i.e. how many are coming, where are you from, how old/mobile are you?)
  • What are you actually interested in seeing and doing? Arts? Museums? Indigenous culture? Tourist attractions? Parks? Alpine hiking? Horseback-riding? White-water rafting? Wine tasting? Craft beer? Dining at restaurants serving local things in season? etc.
  • What sort of scenery are you most interested in, or have little interest in? Like, are you wanting specifically to see rugged snow-capped, mountains with glaciers and turquoise glacial lakes and that's the only thing you're interested in and you don't care about anything else? Or are you interested in ever-changing topography and ecosystems and want to balance out cold mountains with warm summery valleys?
  • Are you looking for a lot of small stops or longer multi-night stops in fewer areas?
  • Are you looking for quick pull-over-by-the-side-of-the-road scenic stops, or are you looking to get off the main highway down a road for 20km or and go hiking for hours to see the scenery?
There are so many places I can recommend, and there is no one universal recommendation. Usually most tourists who do this drive want to just see mountains. And by mountains, they often only care to see Banff and Lake Louise, which closest to Calgary. But this whole route takes you up and over multiple mountain ranges with all sorts of diverse ecosystems in between, like the dramatic Fraser Canyon, or the semi-arid desert-like Okanagan Valley where there are gorgeous lakeside resorts and hot summery temperatures where people hang out at the beach all day to go swimming and boating, where there are 100+ wineries you can tour and eat at nice restaurants at. There are super touristy mountain resort towns where millions of international tourists on tour buses flock to, that are so busy, the parking lots are full all summer, you have to take shuttle buses to see the lakes. And then there are the smaller, hipster, mountain towns where the locals go to go mountain biking, hiking, and hang out in the craft breweries, where you get stores that sell local artisan products, and aren't the mass produced souvenir shops. There is a lot of Indigenous cultural sites along the way. There are a lot of heritage sites along the way. There are hot springs resorts, there are remote lakes and cabins and retro towns and little fishing lodges and also lush valleys where you find farms and locally-grown fruit and food.

Does any of that appeal? If so, what, out of all that, appeals the most? What kind of trip do you want? It's honestly all scenic, so I need a bit more to know what exactly to recommend.

Last edited by BC_Robyn; Apr 15th, 2022 at 04:38 PM.
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Old Apr 17th, 2022, 09:22 AM
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BC Robyn is spot on here. if you peruse similar posts here, or especially in the Alberta forums, the amount of options will make your head explode. i did this type of drive from Seattle to Jasper through both provinces over 17 days in 2018 so if you can narrow down your interests a bit it would become easier to help you.
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Old Oct 15th, 2023, 04:39 AM
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10 days in the Rockies in Canada

Originally Posted by BC_Robyn
I have suggestions, but I need more info from you first:
  • Are the 8 days one way or return, and do they include arrival/departure days via airplane, or do you live in Vancouver?
  • Have you been to Vancouver or Calgary before or do those 8 days also include time for those cities?
  • Who are you? (i.e. how many are coming, where are you from, how old/mobile are you?)
  • What are you actually interested in seeing and doing? Arts? Museums? Indigenous culture? Tourist attractions? Parks? Alpine hiking? Horseback-riding? White-water rafting? Wine tasting? Craft beer? Dining at restaurants serving local things in season? etc.
  • What sort of scenery are you most interested in, or have little interest in? Like, are you wanting specifically to see rugged snow-capped, mountains with glaciers and turquoise glacial lakes and that's the only thing you're interested in and you don't care about anything else? Or are you interested in ever-changing topography and ecosystems and want to balance out cold mountains with warm summery valleys?
  • Are you looking for a lot of small stops or longer multi-night stops in fewer areas?
  • Are you looking for quick pull-over-by-the-side-of-the-road scenic stops, or are you looking to get off the main highway down a road for 20km or and go hiking for hours to see the scenery?
There are so many places I can recommend, and there is no one universal recommendation. Usually most tourists who do this drive want to just see mountains. And by mountains, they often only care to see Banff and Lake Louise, which closest to Calgary. But this whole route takes you up and over multiple mountain ranges with all sorts of diverse ecosystems in between, like the dramatic Fraser Canyon, or the semi-arid desert-like Okanagan Valley where there are gorgeous lakeside resorts and hot summery temperatures where people hang out at the beach all day to go swimming and boating, where there are 100+ wineries you can tour and eat at nice restaurants at. There are super touristy mountain resort towns where millions of international tourists on tour buses flock to, that are so busy, the parking lots are full all summer, you have to take shuttle buses to see the lakes. And then there are the smaller, hipster, mountain towns where the locals go to go mountain biking, hiking, and hang out in the craft breweries, where you get stores that sell local artisan products, and aren't the mass produced souvenir shops. There is a lot of Indigenous cultural sites along the way. There are a lot of heritage sites along the way. There are hot springs resorts, there are remote lakes and cabins and retro towns and little fishing lodges and also lush valleys where you find farms and locally-grown fruit and food.

Does any of that appeal? If so, what, out of all that, appeals the most? What kind of trip do you want? It's honestly all scenic, so I need a bit more to know what exactly to recommend.
Hi,
We are a family of 5 ppl wanting to visit the Rockies in Canada in late may 24. I saw this thread and thought it would be great to hear your suggestions of what to do.

So to answer your questions,
1. We plan to drive from Vancouver and return back in about 10-11 days.
2. We will have stayed in Vancouver for 2-3 days before we embark on this journey.
3. We are a family of five, a couple in there mid 50's with their adult kids.
4. We are keen on a nature trip exploring the Parks, Alpine hiking, Wine tasting, Craft beer, Dining at restaurants serving local things in season? etc.
5.We want to balance out cold mountains with warm summery valleys?

We want to explore the areas, not necessarily confined to the side of the roads but to hike etc. So we are not keen to just do the touristy things but to experience the place as locals would do.

Thank you and looking forward to this trip.
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