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

Vancouver to Calgary - advice on itinerary and what to reserve first

Vancouver to Calgary - advice on itinerary and what to reserve first

Old May 18th, 2014, 08:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 149
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Vancouver to Calgary - advice on itinerary and what to reserve first

Hi all,

I am planning a trip from Vancouver through the Rockies to Calgary this July. I know it is late, that's why I need your help. Please comment on the general itinerary, and, more importantly, tell me what should be reserved first. For instance, I presume I can always find somewhere to stay in Vancouver, but what about the parks?

We are a couple in our sixties in good health. We are flying from Washington, DC. We don't want to drive too long on any one day. Our interests include wildlife, scenery, culture, good food and historical sites. We are not interested in shopping, art museums or going somewhere you have to be dressed up.

Very tentative itinerary
Day 1 Fly to Vancouver
Days 2-4 Vancouver
Day 5 Pick up rental car and drive to Okanagan Valley
Day 6 Okanagan Valley
Day 7 Drive to Banff
Day 8-11 Banff and Lake Louise
Day 12 - Drive Icefield Parkway to Jasper
Day 13 Jasper
Day 14 Drive to Calgary
Day 15 Fly home

Is it worth adding another day to visit Victoria as a day trip from Vancouver? Should we base ourselves in Banff for days 8-11 or spend part of that time at Lake Louise? Any other advice?

Thanks in advance.
jerirl is offline  
Old May 19th, 2014, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Banff has hundreds of hotels, Lake Louise only a few , so your options may be guided by availability. That being said, we did a day trip from Banff to LL along the old highway 1A and loved it.http://propanekitchen.com/2011/07/30...d-lake-louise/
I would not add Victoria. Why not add a day to the Okanagan?http://www.okanaganbritishcolumbia.com/
Just so you can sit and enjoy the local life, not pack up and go each day.
snowgirls is offline  
Old May 19th, 2014, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,002
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you enjoy historical sites, one worth a stop on the drive from Okanagan to Banff is Craigellachie. This is where the last spike was driven to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway:


In fact, the railroad played a huge part in Banff's history, so this is a good introduction.

July will be busy, so I would recommend you get hotel reservations at Banff and Jasper - most particularly Jasper, as there is not an abundance of lodging.

The Okanagan is very different from what most people envision when they think of British Columbia. Especially if you enjoy wines, it would be nice to add another day there as snowgirls suggested. It is lovely there, with lots of fruit/vegetable stands as well. But not snobby or dressy at all.

Lake Louise is really in the same area as Banff (maybe an hour or so apart), so I would probably stay in one place. You might even look into something like the Baker Creek cabins on the Bow Valley Parkway, more or less in between the two towns: http://www.bakercreek.com/
sludick is offline  
Old May 26th, 2014, 09:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 149
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the comments. I have made some hotel reservations, here is my updated itinerary. More questions follow.

June 30 Fly into Vancouver.
June 30-July 4
sight see in Vancouver
Coast Coal Harbour Hotel

July 4 pick up rental car and drive to Penticton
July 4-6 Black Sea Motel
take bus to wineries, go in lake if it's warm enough

July 6 drive to Banff
July 6-11 have reservations at Juniper Hotel in Banff townsite for one day that overlaps with the next hotel
Hike and view sites in Banff. Visit Lake Louise one day.

July 10 or 11 drive to Jasper hotel
July 10-13 have reservations at Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge. note - this actually on the Icefields Parkway, not in Jasper town

July 13 drive to Calgary
July 14 fly home

What's on the way from Penticton to Banff that we should stop and see?

Do you think it's better to have the extra day at Banff or Jasper?

We have traveled out of the U.S. a lot, but have never been to western Canada before, so if there's something unique, please let me know.

Any other advice or comments?

Thanks in advance.
jerirl is offline  
Old May 26th, 2014, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds like a great itinerary!

Be aware than Sunwapta Lodge is a good hour from Jasper. It's really more of a one night stop over between Banff and Jasper, not a location from which to explore Jasper or the northern part of the Icefields Parkway. It's a nice location from which to see the falls, and break up the drive to Jasper. But I think it would not hold your interest for more than a night or two. I enjoyed one night there, but that was enough.

There is one dining room/cafe at Sunwapta - good food, but you have no other restaurants, cafes or supermarkets from there to Jasper. (You could theoretically drive to NumtiJah, River Crossing or the Icefields place for a meal, but their options are limited and there are no supermarkets between Jasper and Lake Louise). So you will be eating at the same place for pretty much 3 meals a day unless you pack food from Banff.

I would actually suggest just one night at Sunwapta and then two or three nights in Jasper proper. Otherwise you are looking at a least an hour drive to anything in Jasper, plus more to get to places like Maligne Canyon or Maligne Lake.

I'd be inclined to leave the extra day to Banff, as you have more options there - i.e. YoHo, Kananaskis. But you could also use an extra day in Jasper to explore Mt. Robson Provincial Park. That said, from your "Jasper" location, you are going to be doing a lot of driving to sights in Jasper, so maybe an extra day there?
kgsneds is offline  
Old May 26th, 2014, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,664
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Be aware that July 1 (Tuesday) is Canada Day. Many places will be closed including banks, government buildings and stores.
I like the walk around the seawall in Stanley Park.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2017, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey will be super nice if you can share your experiences.
I will do a round trip Vancouver Calgary (July 12-19) with my family.
Any advise will be appreciate it!
Maria2017 is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 20th, 2015 02:29 PM
May 14th, 2014 02:18 AM
Jul 4th, 2013 08:28 PM
Jun 14th, 2008 05:55 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 - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -