Driving from Toronto to Vancouver in late April
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Nov 26, 2012 10:57 PM Last Post By: CrouchingGopher
Nov 22, 2012 6:17 PM
Nov 23, 2012 8:34 AM
1I've done it in January in a rear wheel drive sedan with no problems. Depends on the year, but April should be fine. The two places you should get weather reports are: Roger's Pass, and the Coquihalla south of Kamloops, BC. Both places can have freak storms as late as July. You can get around the Coq by taking the Trans Canada at Kamloops, but it's much longer. Only go that way if the current reports on the Coq are REALLY bad. They're quick with the plows, so you really should't have a problem.
You say you've done the trip before, so the following may not be information you need. However, it may help others, so I'm including it.
If you really want to see the Canadian Prairies, then by all means drive that way. If it doesn't matter, take the US route via Chicago. Faster, better weather, cheaper gas... I've done both, US wins. I've also done the route via Northern Michigan. Not quite as fast as via Chicago, but way less traffic and you get to drive over the Mackinaw Bridge. With the US route, there are easy options to head north at Eastern Saskatchewan (Estevan) and Eastern Alberta (Lethbridge), or continue all the way to the coast.
Happy driving :)
Nov 26, 2012 3:40 AM
2I have driven from Toronto on #1 to Vancouver in the spring. It's ever so easy and very quiet in comparison to other long distance roads around the world. 300 miles a day was the target for me, with a few stops on the way. The first part of the journey is quite tedious, but once you get to Western Saskatchewan, it starts to get more scenic. Before that it's just hour after hour of flat! The weather in spring was just fine and the mountains in BC were still thick with snow. Lovely scenery and very full waterfalls along the route.
Nov 26, 2012 9:14 PM
3Cannot speak for Ontario but I drove form Winnipeg to Vancouver in late April two years ago. Highway was clear although there were snow flurries for most of the drive - snow did not settle on the ground in the prairies. Once into the Rockies though it did so you need to slow down there and take it easier.
It's not that predictable though. April can be clear and sunny or it can be frozen and snowing. The Canadian winter is very unpredictable anywhere across the country. From week to week and place to place it changes dramatically. And the spring (April) is the most unpredictable of all.
I did the trip again this past August, both ways alone. Take lots of music with you and listen to the talk radio. I find the prairie driving very peaceful, almost meditative. After Calgary it gets really interesting.
Nov 26, 2012 10:57 PM
4Late April will likely be fine weather: warmer days with cooler evenings. Through the mountains (starting about a half-hour west of Calgary), you might still get some localised snow flurries and/or freezing rain. Forecasts can change in a few hours. Solution: build in an extra six or eight hours into your schedule, and pull over for a snooze, or a meal, or a coffee, or a movie...if you get a dump of snow. The daytime warmth or the snow ploughs will clean the roads up.
Consider a couple of jugs of half-strength washer fluid. If you're not experienced with driving on snow and ice, DO NOT DRIVE ON SNOW AND ICE! Especially at night: I used to drive a transport truck from Calgary to Kamloops return, often at night, and I've seen lots of car drivers get in serious trouble in there.
You might even stick to daytime driving hours through the mountains so you can enjoy your driving, and the stunning scenery! I envy you! I really like driving across Canada. Stay away from transport trucks: there are some inexperienced, very impatient, and very inconsiderate drivers out there nowadays. If they want to pass you, help them to do it (by slowing down) while going downhill. If you want to pass them, be fast like a bunny and leave them in your rear view mirror as soon as possible.
Edited by: CrouchingGopher
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