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Vancouver to Jasper--What is the most scenic route??

Vancouver to Jasper--What is the most scenic route??

Old Aug 24th, 2008, 09:24 AM
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Vancouver to Jasper--What is the most scenic route??

Tentatively planning a trip next summer to start in Vancouver (4 days) and end in Calgary. We would spend about four days in Vancouver and then drive across to Jasper, then Lake Louise, Banff and finally Calgary to fly out. Checked the route on mapquest and it looks like we're facing a nine hour drive (without stops). We really enjoy car trips as long as we're seeing some beautiful scenery so we wondered if there is an especially scenic route we can take from Vancouver to Jasper to make the trek a little more bearable???

If by doing this trip straight through we are missing some really amazing sights, we would be willing to stop somewhere overnight between Vancouver and Jasper to do that. We are not looking to do any hikes so it would just be to sightsee, but we don't know if that's possible with just a "pass by". Without the half way stop we're left with about 7-8 days between Jasper and Banff. Is that enought time to see the major highlights of these two parks??

Please help!!!
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Without a doubt you'd want to drive Vancouver/Squamish/Whistler/Lillooet/Cache Creek (#99, overnight in Cache Creek), then on via #1 to Kamloops and up the "Yellowhead Highway" #5 to Jasper.

The scenery on #99 is simply brilliant and the Yellowhead is the only way to get to Jasper without retracing your tracks on #93 (Banff/Jasper).
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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Tootsall, you've certainly given us something to think about as other posters have recommended different approaches that would leave us somewhere around Golden/Field, BC in the Lake Louise area. I think they might have suggested that way so we would drive the Icefields Parkway both directions. From what your post indicates, Route 99 would also be spectacular.

If knowing that your route would exclude the opportunity of doing the Icefields in both directions, would you still suggest starting this part of the vacation with Jasper and not the Lake Louise area?
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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In response to Tootsall's suggestions, the Sea-to-Sky highway to Whistler is quite spectacular, but is subject to a fair amount of construction in preparation for the Olympics. The road from Pemberton through to Cache Creek is also scenic, but is the most difficult of all the suggested routes, and Cache Creek is in my opinion a bit of a dump and not a great place to stay overnight. Kamloops would be better.

Yes, the Yellowhead is very scenic, but doesn't compare with the Trans-Canada through Revelstoke, Glacier and Yoho parks, and retracing one's steps on the Icefields Parkway offers a difference of scenery.

The problem is that there are so many scenic routes in BC that it is difficult to choose--one simply has to make many trips!!

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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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While I don't disagree with laverendrye's comments regarding the construction on the Sea to Sky highway (#99), I personally dislike driving the Trans Canada because of the heavy truck traffic with limited opportunities to pass them (in spite of most of them now routing via the Coquihalla). IMO, the section from Kamloops through to Golden is the worst in this regard so I avoid it whenever possible.

Since you also wish to make a stop in the Golden/Field area then that would pretty much preclude taking the Yellowhead (even though that would expose you to a wider variety of scenery).

No problem at all doing the icefields highway though: whether you drive it in summer or "throw the dice" and drive it in winter it's a spectacular trip in either direction and you'd certainly see things on the return trip south that you will be guaranteed to miss on the way north! (I've driven it about 5 times in both seasons now and I still marvel at it). Be prepared to go slow though: there is much to see, the road is narrow, and there will be a lot of bicyclists "on tour". Besides, there are a lot of speed-limited sections anyway and you don't want to be going so fast that you can't stop to take photos wherever there are pull-outs!

I think I read in another thread that you were with someone who had driven the Furka Pass? I did that one a couple of times in '06 and although there are similarities, the highways in Banff/Jasper are more open with wider shoulders and much more open curves (as vs "corners" in Switzerland!). You'll have no problems on any of the routes recommended to you so far by everyone.
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