15 days in British Colombia - any tips?
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Mar 2, 2012 5:35 AM Last Post By: ACDS413
Jan 17, 2012 1:13 PM
15 days in British Colombia - any tips?Hi
I'm flying from London to Vancouver, BC on the 24/3 returning on 8/4. I'm a big outdoor person and I am really keen to squeeze a couple of short hikes / treks and whale watching in Vancouver island, skiing at Whistler, Banff and of course.. seeing Vancouver.
My questions are:
- Would Vancouver Island, Whistler and Banff be too much to cover in 15 days?
- Which are the best trail in western part of Vancouver Island, Whistler and Banff?
- What are my chance of spotting the orcas at the west coast of the island late march?
- Any recommendation for cheap places to stay in the above places (apart from Vancouver city)
Jan 17, 2012 1:35 PM
Jan 18, 2012 6:01 AM
Jan 18, 2012 7:01 AM
32 weeks is more then enough time to enjoy the area.
March will have deals to have. Banff basically has 1 street with dozens of hotels on it. You should be able to search on a search engine and find something under or close to $100/night. If that seems high to ya, they do have a couple of nice hostels.
Vancouver Island, plan for at least 3 nights in Tofino, 1 night in Victoria. Like the above said, ferries are pricy...but hen, what are you going to do right?
Many people here will suggest not going to Whistler. If you dont ski, then it might not be worth the drive, but its still a nice place...expensive though.
Orcas, apart from my overnight ferry from Prince Rupert, and a few times from Horseshoe-Nanaimo (Ive done this trip like 50 times), Ive rarely seen them by chance. You need to be lucky if your not doing the tours. People on this forum may know spots where they frequent regularly.
Jan 18, 2012 7:30 AM
4You will need warm clothes for hiking in Banff. It will be just at the end of winter and probably lots of snow on the trails.
Jan 18, 2012 7:37 AM
Jan 18, 2012 5:58 PM
6In the Vancouver area you should check out Stanley Park - especially the seawall. For hiking you should check out the Grouse Grind in North Vancouver. It is possible the Grind may not be open in March (I don't know).
If the weather is nice you can check out Lynn Canyon (also N. Van) as well. I agree with skipping Whistler unless you're into skiing and even then Grouse or Seymour might be better.
Orcas are transient and it is pretty much luck of the draw whether or not you will see them. I've seen them a few times from the Tsawassen to Schwartz Bay ferries just by luck and also off Sooke on the island. When you're riding the ferry be sure to keep watch as you may see Orcas, whales, porpoise and seals.
Jan 18, 2012 8:30 PM
7great info by Wensceslasz; In any event, my suggestion would be to consider ~8-10 days in the Rockies, remembering the need to factor in drive time to/from wherever, ~7-10 days on Vancouver Island and 4-6 days in the Vancouver area.
Jan 20, 2012 11:53 AM
Jan 21, 2012 11:33 AM
9Two weeks is enough time, I haven't done any hiking in Banff/Lake Louise, but joegoozey is right, it will be snowy. On Vancouver island you should check out Cathedral grove and at the northern end, the Cape Scott trail. I'd also skip Whistler, as there will be lots of people in March. Check out Lighthouse Park in West Van, aswell as Stanley Park in Vancouver, these are both day hikes. There are lots of day hikes in the Victoria area aswell. Orcas are not as prevalent in March as they are in the summer, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of whale watching boats in Victoria and other places on the island, and they are your best chance of seeing Orca at this time of year. Tofino is also beautiful, and if you want somewhere a little less touristy on the west coast, go to Uclelet, which is nearby.
Jan 21, 2012 2:02 PM
10Many thanks to all who have replied. Really appreciate your insights and suggestions. A bit worried about nancyatthenet proposing 7-10 days each for Vancouver island and the Rockies as I don't have that much time. Looks like it's going to be a very tiring holiday with lots of driving for me.
Another question I have, how does Canadian motor insurance work? Will I be able to drive my Canadian friend's car with a UK drivers licence? Also how scary are the motorways connecting Vancouver and Calgary? Anything I need to watch out for?
Again, thank you very much for your replies!!!
Jan 21, 2012 3:33 PM
11every province has different rules regarding licensing and insurance but yes, you should be able to drive a fruiends car with UK license assuming you have his/her permission.
Part of the road is freeway, half or so is two lane mountain highway in generally excellent shape. Watch out for blizzards, yeti and snow snakes.
Drive during daylight hours, aside from possible large animals on the road, some of the highway is pretty stunning and you'll want to take pictures.
Jan 22, 2012 6:05 PM
Mar 2, 2012 5:30 AM
13If you had more time the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island would be awesome, best trail on the west coast. Very tough though 5-7 days.
Mar 2, 2012 5:35 AM
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