Vancouver to Rocky Mountains


Apr 3rd, 2016, 03:13 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Vancouver to Rocky Mountains

Hi, we are two couple on our 60's and planning our first trip to Canada . We have two weeks and we arrive to Vancouver. We would like to stay 5 days in Vancouver , going for a day trip to Victoria, and then renting a car , we want to visit the rocky mountains, Jasper , Lake Louise, Banff, Yoho, Emerald Lake, and Takkakaw falls, at least. We are planning to go in mids August. We would like to visit small towns and do little trecking.
Is it a good idea to do a round trip from Vancouver? If so, where should we go first? i would prefer to stay in one place , rather than be moving from hotel to hotel, Canmore is a good option? Or it will be too much driving each day? Maybe split the time ?
What about Whistler kamloops and Calgary, is it worth a Visit.?
If we don,t do a round trip. How should we do it? Train? Plane.?
I hope you can help us.thanks
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Apr 4th, 2016, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 505

With only two weeks, 5 days of that in Vancouver, you really barely have time to drive to the Rockies, let alone drive round trip. We suggest a minimum of 5-6 nights in the Rockies, and it takes two days to drive across BC.

I would totally skip Whistler or do it as a day trip from Vancouver. You will get more than your fill of spectacular mountains in the Rockies. I'm suggesting against driving to/from the Rockies, but when driving, we suggest stopping other than in Kamloops. It's really convenient only for being half way - not much of interest to see there. Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Penticton, Revelstoke etc. are all much better.

I might also suggest going down to 4 days in Vancouver. A day trip to Victoria is possible, but it's a long day with the ferry (or float plane). Either spend a night there, or skip it for this trip.

If this trip is for August 2016, you need to book ASAP. July-August is peak time, with record numbers of tourists expected in the Rockies. Places may well be booked up already or have limited availability, especially on weekends. Jasper usually has the least availability, so I suggest booking there first and adjust the rest of your schedule around those dates.

Canmore is nice, but for the regular tourist, Banff is closer to the main tourist sites and offers lots of accommodation options. I'd suggest it only if you can't find accommodation within your budget in Banff.

Suggested itinerary (you can move Jasper around based on availability):

Day 1 - arrive in Vancouver
Day 6 - fly to Calgary, drive to Banff, stay in Banff
Day 7- drive to Jasper
Day 8 - Jasper
Day 9 - Jasper
Day 10 - drive to Banff/Canmore
Day 11 - Banff/Lake Louise/Yoho NP (Emerald Lake & Takkakaw Falls are in Yoho NP)
Day 12 - Banff/Lake Louise/Yoho NP
Day 13 - Banff/Lake Louise/Yoho NP
Day 14 - fly to Vancouver (or book connecting flights home).
Day 15 - fly home from Vancouver
kgsneds is offline  
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Apr 5th, 2016, 04:56 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Hin, thanks for your reply, I have more doubts
1- flying and not by traíin? ( I because it,s faster)
2- there is place in Banff lodge, too far from Banff town? I prefer condos than hotels
3- difficult to find place in Jasper, are there Condos near, any ideas?
4- can I visit St louise hotel for lunch or something? To stay there much too expensive
5- anything that I should book on time?
6- we are arriving to Calgary and renting a car there, it,s worth a visit? We want to vist the most possible of Canada
7- in Vancouver, good idea to go on tour to Victoria?

Thats all for the moment
Thanks for your help
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Apr 5th, 2016, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 505
1 - The train only goes to Jasper (unless you take the uber expensive Rocky Mountaineer), and only runs 3x per week. And spends most of the time outside the Rocky Mountains. Driving is faster (though most people break up the drive) and gives you a LOT more flexibility. I think you will find it expensive and a challenge to book a one way car rental from Jasper.

2- No actual condos in Banff because of strict regulations about rentals in the parks. There are some condo style hotel units. Nothing will be that far from the centre of Banff - it's tiny.

3 - Again, no condos in Jasper because of parks regulations. If you are looking for self catering, either look for a unit/suite with a kitchenette in a PHA or see if one of the very few hotels with self-catering is available. For this August, I think you are going to find availability is already quite limited. And the closest place to Jasper is a good hour away (Hinton) and a stinky mill town outside the mountains. I would search for self catering units - search by your requirements then e-mail to find out availability. Do that ASAP.

4 - The Chateau Lake Louise has several restaurants open for lunch. You can always go in and see if a table is available.

5 - You need to book accommodations and car rental ASAP. Only need to book restaurants if there's some place you really want to eat. Otherwise you can walk up (and possibly wait) or book 3-7 days in advance.

6 - No, not at the expense of the mountains. Your time is limited and there's nothing unique about Calgary. It's a medium sized western city, like any other city.

7 - As I said, you have limited time and a day trip to Victoria is a VERY long day. You will need to make some choices.
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