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Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

Portsmouth, United...
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Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

Hi,

We (a family of 4, mum, dad, 18yo son & 16yo daughter) are flying into Calgary end of June 2018. We are planning to hire an SUV then drive through the Rocky's over a week before spending a week in and around Vancouver and Vancouver island. Can any one suggest a good itinerary or link to one. What are the 'must see' highlights en-route? All advice eagerly received.

12 replies to this topic
Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

1. Go to the forums for both the Canadian Rockies and BC where you will find comprehensive collections of resources for your trip planning.

2. Usual and best advice is to spend a week in the Rockies, spread between Banff/Canmore and Jasper.

3. Trips like this attract question every day on the forums I mentioned so it pays to read what advice others have been given.

4. You don't need an SUV for such a trip, just a car large enough for passengers and, importantly, their luggage.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowForum-g65…

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowForum-g15…

Penticton, Canada
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2. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

for a car hire (car rental) with a one way no drop fees there is Canadian Affair UK which offer a package with all the insurance so no upsell at the counter when you pick up the car.

an SUV is definitely not needed; you want a category that will have enough room for your luggage.

The trip reports are on the right side when using a web browser - not the app.

and when doing a search the results are sorted by relevance which is not current info - best to change it to sort by date.

There are a least 7 different ways to get between the 2 cities so lots of reading to be done.

Bangkok, Thailand
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3. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

Hi,

A standard SUV (2,500 cc) is good for steep mountains and cities on the road trip.

Suggestions:

3 days in Banff

Icefields Parkway

3 days in Jasper

Wells Gray Provincial Park

Sea to Sky Highway

We have 2 SUVs at home. We use SUVs for work and road trips.

Once we took Toyota Matrix to Colorado. Trucks tailgated us in the steep mountains.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

Two weeks will be pushing it if you want to include any of Vancouver Island. Wales will fit into 2/3rd of VI. Two weeks is very good for a one way road trip between the Rockies and Vancouver.

The magnum opus of the Rockies is the Icefields Parkway, a 230 km stretch of road with spectacular views and scenery. Because it is spectacular, regulars in the BC Forum and CR Forum recommend exploring it in both directions.

1 July is Canada Day nationwide, which forms a very busy long weekend. In the Rockies that will probably mean a stay of a min 3 nights. Prices will spike too.

One itinerary to consider would be:

Arrive Calgary, drive immediately the 2 hours to Banff

3 nights Banff

one full day to explore the Icefields Parkway

3 nights Jasper

bonus full day to explore the IP

1 night Lake Louise

2 nights Revelstoke

2 nights Kelowna or Penticton

via Hwy 3, the Crowsnest Highway, to Vancouver

2 nights Vancouver

TOTAL = 13 nights.

.

Have you considered a week in the Rockies, then flying to Vancouver or Vancouver Island for the second week. Flights depart daily almost every hour. The flights are 1.5 hours with Air Canada or WestJet. There are several points of entry on VI:

one is Victoria which qualifies as a terminus for Canadian Affair's no drop fee rental cars. Then tour on the Island and on to Vancouver to drop the car and visit;

one is Nanaimo, which is a good destination if Tofino/Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park is of interest. Getting to Vancouver after touring, by ferry and public transit, is easy to do from Nanaimo/Departure Bay ferry terminal;

one is Comox which is a bit more awkward as it is not too convenient for getting to Vancouver by anything but a plane.

In this scenario, you could consider something like:

Arrive Calgary, drive immediately to Banff

3 nights Banff

IP

2 nights Jasper

IP

1 night Lake Louise or Banff before driving the 2 hours to the airport

Fly to Victoria

1 night Victoria

Drive 5 hours to

3 nights Tofino (has the cachet) or Ucluelet (blue collar)

Drive/ferry 6.5 hours to drop the car in Vancouver

3 nights Vancouver

TOTAL = 13 nights

.

I think you can see how much of a pinch it will be to include the towns of greatest interest on VI. And I haven't even mentioned Port McNeill/Telegraph Cove for wildlife tours on the ocean at north Island.

You could however, fly to Nanaimo.

Arrive Nanaimo, drive immediately to Tofino, 3 hours

3 nights Tofino

Drive/ferry 6.5 hours to

3 nights Vancouver

TOTAL = 12 nights. In this case I would give night 13 back to Jasper to make 3 nights there.

The ferry ride will involve making a reservation for a space on the ferry. A 1 hour wait for the ferry and a 1.5 hour sailing, so not 6.5 hours of driving.

www.bcferries.com

Timing of booking: if this past summer was anything to go by, book well in advance for the Rockies and Vancouver. Accommodation filled right up and late bookers had a lot of difficulty, some could not get the same accommodation for their whole stay. Start looking about February with a view to getting good value and greater choice. Just a heads up on that for now. Best asked in the BC Forum or CR Forum.

Edited: 17 October 2017, 08:30
Greater Sydney...
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5. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

"A standard SUV (2,500 cc) is good for steep mountains and cities on the road trip"

So is a regular car, and it is more economical.

Edited: 17 October 2017, 11:48
Fremont, California
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6. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

With two weeks - 1 for the drive from Calgary to Vancouver; and one for Vancouver Island, you can have a very nice trip.

From Calgary its only about a 90 minute drive to Banff. Be sure to take the boat ride on Lake Minnewonka.

Banff has lots of restaurants and places to stay.

I would overnight there and next day see Lake Louise.

In terms of driving across to Vancouver there are a variety of parks you can opt to drive through.

Kootenay National Park is just west of Banff and its fun to go to Radium Hot Springs for a couple of hours.

https:/…activ

Yoho is also very beautiful especially Natural Bridges area, Emerald Lake, as well as trying to time it to see the train as it takes the train track. Its interesting to watch.

As you drive across, there is Glacier National Park (Canada)

https:/…activ

Revelstoke has a very nice nature type trail.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

https:/…activ

In the town of Revelstoke there is a good railroad museum.

As one gets to wine country, there is Okanagan Lake. We liked Mission Hills winery tour the best.

From That area you can complete the drive to Vancouver.

In Vancouver, Stanley Park, Canada Place, museums, and so forth. We liked North Vancouver too (suspension bridge, etc.)

If you have time be sure to also drive up to Whistler. Brittania Mine is interesting to see on the drive there.

Its a very scenic drive.

Since most of your trip will be in British Columbia, I would post in the British Columbia forum.

There are many helpful people there. There is also a southern route they can describe for you if you do not want to drive through the national parks area This area includes seeing a variety of towns, car ferries, and so forth.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

I believe the first week is for the Rockies and the second week is for the drive to Vancouver. A third week for Vancouver Island would be marvelous.

Wednesbury, UK
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8. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

Hi.

I'm with Mufti.

I think that 2 weeks is a good time scale for the one way, or if you fly between the two.

I've done the one week one way, enjoyed it, but it was very rushed ( although in late October and snow meant a lot of trails etc were out of bounds anyway) and subsequent visits, where I've had time to really see and explore the Rockies have been much more rewarding.

If you are spending a week in the Rockies, then the one way drive plus Vancouver the last, I don't think you'll see too much of VI, and I can easily spend two weeks there alone ( and I'm no slouch when it comes to pacy road trips).

But the Canada forums are the place for this really.

Edited: 17 October 2017, 20:07
Portsmouth, United...
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9. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

Thanks for the great advice. The only fixed dates we have are arrive Calgary 30/06/18 depart Vancouver 15/07/18. Other advice we've had is the current hotel/motel you're staying at books your onward stay, but from what your saying I guess that only low season, not July?

Portsmouth, United...
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10. Re: Calgary to Vancouver 1 week road trip

Another thought, we did think about going during Calgary Stampede week, but the price hike of flight/hotel prices prevented this, but are there any other rodeo events in the vicinity the weekend of 30/06/18-01/07/18?

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