Vancouver to Calgary in 14 days

Old Jun 10th, 2004, 04:04 AM
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Vancouver to Calgary in 14 days


I decided to rewrite this with a better title:

Message: I have 14 days to travel from Vancouver to Calgary. Should I spend more time in Vancouver, an overnight in Victoria or more time in the National Parks region? So far I have 4 nights Vancouver (including day trip to Victoria), 1 night Kamloops, 2 nights Jasper, 2 nights Banff, 1 night Lake Louise and 4 nights Calgary. I think I might have more than I need in Calgary and should spend it somewhere else.
Thanks


eznmomma is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2004, 06:40 AM
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Yes, you have too many nights in Calgary. You need at least one extra night in Vancouver. Here's what I suggest.

Here's what I suggest.

Summary

1 - Land in Vancouver
2, 3, 4 - Vancouver
5 - Day trip to Victoria
6 - Kamloops or Kelowna
7 - Lake Louise
8 - Lake Louise
9 - Jasper
10 - Jasper
11 - Jasper
12 - Calgary
13 - Calgary
14 - Calgary
15 - Home

Detailed Explanation

Days 1 - Land in Vancouver

Days 2, 3, 4 - Vancouver

Day 5 - Day trip to Victoria

Day 6 - Drive to Kamloops. You could consider staying in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley instead. Kamloops often is used as a half way stopping point between Vancouver and the mountains, so it's well supplied with clean, comfortable hotels and motels. But Kelowna is in a prettier location. Kelowna also has hotels and motels, because the Okanagan Valley is a vacation destination in its own right.

Day 7 - Suggest you overnight in Lake Louise rather than Jasper. The drive to Lake Louise, whether you do it from Kamloops or Kelowna, takes nearly 6 hours without stopping. But the thing is you SHOULD stop. There is a lot to see.

ALSO, you will lose an hour that day because, just before Golden, you will cross from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone, at which point you'll leap ahead an hour.

Between Salmon Arm and Sicamous, you get nice views of Shuswap Lake, the "houseboating capital of Canada." (For that reason, if you're coming from Kelowna, it's nice to drive north to Salmon and then east to Sicamous, rather than just driving north to Sicamous, as you could do. If you're coming from Kamloops, you will in any case pass through Salmon Arm.)

Between Revelstoke and Golden you'll drive over spectacular Rogers Pass in BC's Glacier National Park. No reason to stop, really, but it's nice to know what you're seeing.

In Yoho National Park there are the railway tunnels, Emerald Lake, and Takakkaw Falls, all of which are worth a look.

Overnight in Lake Louise.

Day 8 - Visit Moraine Lake. Make this your first activity of the day, so as to beat the tour buses to the parking lot. Spend a bit of time walking around Moraine Lake. Then explore the area around Lake Louise. If you like, walk to Lake Agnes Teahouse or the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. They're discussed in other, current threads. At a minimum, walk Lake Louise's lakeshore path. If you're not into hiking, you could get great views by taking the gondola part way up Mount Whitehorn, which is part of the Lake Louise ski complex in winter. Overnight in Lake Louise.

Day 9 - Drive the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. Stop at the Peyto Lake Lookout, ride the Snocoach on the Athabasca Glacier, look at Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls. I believe you also will have time to hike to Angel Glacier at Mount Edith Cavell just BEFORE you get to Jasper. There is a current thread that discusses the hike to Angel Glacier. Even if you don't do the highly recommended Angel Glacier / Cavell Meadows hike, the Mount Edith Cavell Road is pretty in itself, because of the views of the Astoria River Valley.

Overnight in Jasper townsite.

Day 10 - Take the tramway up Whistlers Mountain, walk in Maligne Canyon, take the cruise across Maligne Lake to Spirit Island. Overnight in Jasper townsite.

Day 11 - Spend another day exploring Jasper's environs. Perhaps drive to Mount Robson Provincial Park, and do some hiking there. Perhaps go white water rafting or kayaking on the Athabasca River. Perhaps rent a canoe at Pyramid Lake. Consider an evening picnic at Pyramid Lake or Patricia Lake. It stays light till late in the summer, and it'll be peaceful there even if Jasper townsite is full of visitors.

Day 12 - Drive the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise, without stopping much this time. The Icefields Parkway will look different when it's viewed from the opposite direction, so don't feel it's a waste of time to drive it twice.

At Lake Louise, turn east onto the Bow Valley Parkway (Route #1A). Walk into Johnston Canyon, at least till the Lower Falls (this too is the subject of a current thread).

Proceed to Banff townsite, and look around there. You may like to take the gondola up Sulphur Mountain. Overnight in Banff townsite or Canmore, which is 20 minutes' drive east of there.

You might even consider driving all the way to Calgary, which is 1.5 hours east of Banff townsite. Jasper to Calgary is a 5 hour drive, without stops. Johnston Canyon, lunch, walking around Banff townsite, taking the gondola up Sulphur Mountain, and dinner will add, say, 7 hours to that, making it a 12 hour day. I don't like switching hotels more often than necessary. So if it was my trip, it would be worth pressing on till Calgary so that I could avoid checking in and out of a Banff or Canmore hotel for just one night.

Day 13 - Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller. If you do only ONE thing in the Calgary area, this should be it. The dinosaur skeletons really are impressive. Overnight in Calgary.

Day 14 - Explore Calgary. In another thread I provided a walking itinerary of downtown Calgary, if you're interested.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34500806

Aside from the downtown walking tour (which I think is of more interest to adults), if you have kids they might enjoy Heritage Park, which is a pioneer village in a southwestern suburb of Calgary. It has a steam train, a paddle wheeler that plies the lake, an old fashioned amusement park, a blacksmith who makes real, miniature horse shoes for kids while they watch, a small farm that uses horse-drawn ploughs, etc.

Day 15 - Homeward bound.

More to come in another thread.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2004, 06:47 AM
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DECISIONS, DECISIONS

You could create an extra day or two in which to see VICTORIA by deducting one day from Jasper and perhaps deducting the day of looking around Calgary.

You also could re-work this itinerary to explore EDMONTON instead of Calgary. In that case:

1 - Land in Vancouver

2, 3, 4 - Vancouver

5 - Victoria

6 - Kamloops / Kelowna

7 - Lake Louise

8 - Moraine Lake / Lake Louise

9 - Johnston Canyon, Banff townsite. Overnight in Lake Louise.

10 - Jasper

11 - Jasper

12 - Drive to Edmonton (between 3.5 and 4 hours)

13 - Explore Edmonton (search Fodors for previous threads).

14 - Drive to Drumheller (4 hours), lunch (1 hour), see Royal Tyrrell Museum (2 - 4 hours), drive to Calgary (2 hours). Overnight in Calgary. The northeast quadrant of Calgary, near the airport, would be most convenient if you're only using Calgary as a base for catching a flight the next morning.

15 - Home
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2004, 07:51 PM
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Judy, I just read your itinerary suggestions for eznmomma, and they are amazing for their detail. I hope s/he read your postings.

We've never travelled to the Rockies with our kids, but when we do, I will certainly search your past recommendations.

Cheers,
A Fan
BowenLinda is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2004, 03:18 AM
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Hi

I got back today from a 2 week trip to western canada, travelling from Calgary to Vancouver.

I chose to have less time in Vancouver and more time on Vancouver Island so that I could go to Clayquot Sound. I dont regret doing that for a second, I really loved my time there and it was definitely a highlight of my trip. I would say that 4 days is more than enough time for Vancouver, depending of course on what you want to do. I had 2 days there in total and was able to fit quite a lot in in that time. I also only had 1 day in Victoria which for me was ample.
Jenz is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2004, 05:15 AM
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I have checked the thread and adjusted my itnerary. We are in Calgary for stampede so I gave myself two full days there but I took a day from VAncouver and allowed only a one day trip to Victoria. Thanks for all your help.
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