West Canada road trip
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Sep 25, 2012 11:05 AM Last Post By: lyn6358
Sep 17, 2012 5:18 PM
West Canada road tripHi guys, a group of my friends are planning to travel to west canada (calgary, rockies and vancouver) from 22nd Oct to 30th Oct.
This is the current plan:
22nd Oct -> Montreal to Calgary (700am-932am)
24th Oct -> Drive to Rockies from Calgary
27th Oct -> Drive from Rockies to Calgary, fly to Vancouver (Flight from Calgary to Vancouver, 755pm-949pm)
30th Oct -> Vancouver to Montreal (Flight to Montreal, 410pm-1151pm)
However, will it be better if we drive from the rockies to vancouver instead? are there any nice scenic route that we can take? or any nice places that we should visit in between calgary and vancouver?
We have yet to come up with the exact itinerary of what we are going to do at each places, but please feel free to throw in any recommendations!!! :)
Sep 17, 2012 5:28 PM
1If you like driving then of course, a road trip rather than flying will be a lot more interesting. If you look at a map there are any number of routes between the Rockies (what do you mean by that? Are you staying in Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise ...?) and Vancouver. Each is equally scenic and interesting.
Just last week I drove from Vancouver to Cranbrook (at the edge of the Rockies via Hwy 3) in one day (1000 km). The next day I passed Calgary as I continued on to Saskatchewna. That was a long drive but I loved every minute of it. Coming back a few days later I took two days to travel from Calgary to Vancouver, stopping over in Sicamous - took the upper highway, TransCanada #1 and followed it all the way through the Fraser Canyon (Cache Creek to Hope). It was a spectacular drive, 500 km each day.
There is no bad route, they are all amazing.
Sep 17, 2012 6:45 PM
Sep 17, 2012 6:53 PM
3But littlehilds ...you have the perogies to look forward to in Steinbach!
Well, it can be brutal but that's why you have to have "projects" to do enroute. This year I took dozens of old CDs along and listened/fast forwarded through them looking for the songs that were the reason I bought them in the first place. I made a list of those songs and some day soon I will transfer them onto my ipod. Only have another 3-400 CDs to go so I am good for a couple more trips across the prairies. Husband was following me though and said this qualifies as "distracted driving" since I wandered every time I recorded a track in my notebook.
Sep 17, 2012 7:17 PM
4haha, thats awesome. I drove from Prince Albert-Calgary last night actually...watching the crop harvesting was my time burner;)
Sep 17, 2012 7:21 PM
Sep 17, 2012 8:00 PM
6Calgary has a train, but is limited. Calgary is a large sprawling city. You dont need much time in Calgary, and much of the attractions are near downtown (c-train is free in the core).
What areas are are speaking of for stopping? Calgary?, Rockies?
Sep 18, 2012 5:42 AM
7Is your flight back to Montreal set in stone? If you drive from the Rockies to Vancouver, then it seems you won't have much time in Vancouver itself. I think I would leave Calgary on Oct 23, which would allow you to leave the Rockies on Oct 26, arrive in Vancouver on Oct 28 and then have all of Oct 29 in Vancouver. Vancouver is more interesting than Calgary so I'd steal a day from the latter to give to the former. However, you can also spend more time traveling between Calgary and Vancouver if you are rather trade time spent in the city for time spent in nature/countryside. There are an infinite number of things you can do while traveling west. You might like the Okanagan (Penticton-Oliver-Osoyoos) if you want to see a different type of landscape (dry, desert-like) and have an interest in wine. Alternatively, the national parks west of the Rockies like Glacier and Yoho are quite nice, if you're interested in doing more hiking. The Kootenays around Nelson is also beautiful and you can find some hot springs.
Be aware, though, that there will be a one-way charge to rent a car in Calgary and drop it off in Vancouver. It might even be more than the price of a plane ticket. Have fun!
Sep 21, 2012 10:49 PM
8Hi, yes I agree with other posters that you don't need much time in Calgary, make the most of the Rockies and head straight there. After spending a few days in the Rockies, you could make your way east on Hwy 1, you'll pass through some national parks before you hit Revelstoke. You could spend a night in Revelstoke to enjoy these parks or push through to Kamloops (not much of a destination but a good place to spend the night before driving on. Then follow Hwy 1 out of town, but instead of following it all the way to Vancouver, go west on Hwy 99 (you can reach this highway by turning north onto Hwy 97C off of Hwy 1). Hwy 99 passes some beautiful mountain scenery and also passes Whistler (great place for skiing) and ends in Vancouver. It is a longer route, but it means you get to see Whistler, and is also a very scenic route.
Sep 22, 2012 11:32 AM
9Yes we have already booked our flights! Thanks for the advices. We will heed your advices and pull a day from Calgary and push it to Vancouver. Seems like we will be spending 27th on the road? It will be great if you guys have any recommendations for food and wineries! Hot springs and beautiful landscapes all sound really awesome! Really looking forward to this trip :D
Edited by: ldwdigi2
Sep 22, 2012 7:50 PM
10keep in mind that some of these driving portions you speak of can be very long or dicey due to weather or perfectly fine. hit and miss in October.
the rockies drive is well worth the possible adventure as it is mind blowing beautiful and yes, there are places all along the route you can stop and stay, soak it in or whatever you need.
Sep 22, 2012 7:53 PM
11also consider heading south from Calgary to the crows nest pass (highway 3). you can reach a place called Nelson in a day and it has all of the above. food, hot springs close by, drink and a very cool little town on the side of a mountain
Sep 23, 2012 5:40 AM
12Yes, though you probably won't want to backtrack from Banff back toward Calgary but instead take Hwy 93 to Invermere and then meet-up with Hwy 3. Nelson makes a great stopping point. The next day you can continue on Hwy 3 to Osoyoos. You can stop at the Desert Museum and/or the NkMip Cultural centre and then continue onto the wineries along the so-called Golden Mile and the Naramata Bench. Finally, you can continue on Hwy 3 to Hwy 1 and into Vancouver. Enjoy!
Sep 25, 2012 11:05 AM
13When I head through the mountains I always head straight west - through Banff, Louise, Golden, Revelstoke - if you like wineries then I would head down south from Sicamous toward Vernon & Kelowna
That time of year you don't have to worry too much about booking ahead for accommodation so I would take the days as they come - driving straight through no stops you can do Calgary to Vancouver in about 12 hours so I would just drive and stop whenever you see something that looks interesting (there are alot of places to stop & get out and explore - hikes etc).
Also that time of year the weather may still be great and you will want to stop lots or it may be not great and you will want to keep going...
It's a little hard to recommend things to see & do (not knowing what your preferences are) - but as you mentioned wineries - the Okanogan is definite route to take...
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