We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

Would appreciate a bit of help please as the more i research the more muddled i get. Driving from Vancouver to Calgary, stopping of for the Stapede (3 days) and then doing Banff-Jasper (5 days) and then taking the RM from Banff to Kamloops to Vancouver. We have about 6 days to do the Vancouver to Calgary bit and have decided to go straight to Manning Park from the airport, next day Osoyoos area, following day Kelowna, but then i have problems as there are several interesting routes to Calgary.

1) - is it worth the extra couple of hours and 1 night to go to Kelowna

2) if so we cannot decide between

Kelowna - Nelson - Revelstoke - Radium HS - Calgary

or

3) Kelowna - Vernon - Revelstoke - Radium HS - Calgary.

Interested in seeing the scenery as we drive, short (2/3 mile) hikes in some areas, visiting a wineary and probably spending a bit of time at a sandy lake (but not essential).

Don't want to drive for the sake of driving or 'duplicate' too much of the same sort of scenery when there is soooooo much to see, but would like to see different parts and aspects of your country (so would not want to do option 3 if it covers the same scenery as the RMountaineer).

I know at the end of the day it is down to 'personal choice', but a few opinions would help to clarify things for us.

Many thanks.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,664 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

Yes, I can see you are muddled. :> Your current suggestions have you driving up and down and around in circles. I think perhaps we can assist you with finding a suitable route. Let me just get a couple of things straight:

1. You have a total of 6 days to get from Vancouver to Calgary where you plan to see the Stampede. You have planned for the first night at Manning Park, but have the route for the remaining 5 nights to figure out.

2. You are going from Calgary BACK to Banff to spend 5 days seeing the Banff and Jasper area.

3. You will pick up the RM in Banff to head back to Vancouver.

The first red flag for me is your car rental. You need to check that you can leave a car in Banff. You may have to drop your Vancouver car in Calgary, take a bus to Banff, and then get a car in Banff (if you can even do that) for that part of your trip. Check in the Banff forums for advice on that. We've had other posters try to leave a Vancouver car in Banff and have run into problems with that.

Looking at everything you are doing, I'm going to suggest that you do head to Osoyous and stay there for two nights, using the intervening day to drive up through Oliver, Penticton and perhaps as far as Naramata or Summerland, depending on what you what to see/do.

From Osoyous, stick with highway 3 and head east for Nelson. Perhaps visit Ainsworth Hotsprings and Kaslo.

From Nelson, take the ferry (just for the pure novelty of taking a ferry across a lake) to Creston and then over to Cranbrook. Visit Fort Steele.

From Cranbrook, you COULD go up to Radium, but I'm going to make another suggestion, as you have already allowed 5 days in Banff/Jasper. Stick with highway 3 though Fernie and Sparwood and head into Alberta through the Crows Nest Pass. You could take the 40 (which I've not done - again, get over to the Alberta forums for more advice on this bit) north through Kananaskis to Canmore and then east on Highway 1 to Calgary, or head over to Fort Mcleod (visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump) and then north on 22 to Calgary. Taking one of these routes would take you through different country and avoid the duplication you have currently going back and forth through Banff about three or four times. :>

If you have time to squeeze it in, check out Drumheller and the Royal Tyrell Museum east of Calgary. Well worth it.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,664 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

DUH! Just noticed that you ARE in the Alberta forum. Whoops! My mistake. :>

Vancouver
Level Contributor
2,338 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

I think the option provided is a good route as well, especially since your second half of your trip will cover the mountain areas.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
2,880 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

Yes its good advice, especially taking the hwy through fernie from Cranbrook, it makes more sense. You could also stop and check out Frank slide site when going the Crowsnest Pass route, that is an interesting thing to see too.

www3.sympatico.ca/goweezer/canada/frank.htm

Edited: 28 July 2010, 23:02
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

Thank you - these replies have been really helpful. Will do a bit more research and then come back with our 'final' route for any tweakes or changes.

Car rental companies seem to be recognising that people want to do 'one way car hire' as we have a couple of options - one being with Canadian Affair who confirm that we can hire in Vancouver and drop off at Banff without any inflated price.

kind regards and again - many thanks

6. Re: Vancouver to Calgary by car - choice of routes

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 27 January 2011, 06:17