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Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

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Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Hey there,

Looking for a little advice in regards to how many days should be spend at each location. We are going from 6th August to 20th August 08

Here is our basic itinerary so far:

DAY Staying

1 Calgary

2 Calgary

3 Calgary

4 Banff

5 Banff

6 Banff

7 Banff

8 Jasper

9 Jasper

10 Jasper

11 Kamloomps??

12 Vancouver

13 Vancouver

14 Vancouver

15 Vancouver

The main issue we have is from day 4 -11.

Is this the best way to spend our time going from Banff, Jasper then Kamloops.

I have read several forms on here where people say that Kaloomps is not really worth staying.

Should I then split my time evenly between Banff & Jasper?

What would be the best way of splitting my time up to see Lake Louise/Lake Morraine, should I stay at Banff and spend a day seeing them?

Any replies would be greatly appreciated

Regards

Colin

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Calgary
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Alberta, Canada
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Banff National Park, Canada
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Jasper National Park, Canada
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1. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Colin,

What are you planning to see in Calgary? It sounds like you haven't been to the Rockies before, and if that's true, then you will want to maximize your time there - unless there's something unique of particular interest in Calgary (like Heritage Park, for example). And Calgary does have a lot to offer, don't get me wrong, but the Rockies make for strong competition. The same goes for Vancouver.

I would recommend splitting your time 50-50 between Banff and Jasper; these parks (and their eponymous towns) are quite different, but equally beautiful. Plan to spend the entire day driving the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) connecting Lake Louise and Jasper; for more info and important trips, read this TripAdvisor Traveler Article, "Canadian Rockies Icefields Parkway":

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g659487-c74055/Canadi…

As for Kamloops, you will probably want to stop somewhere overnight about midway between Jasper and Vancouver. Kamloops is halfway, and it has pretty decent accommodations. But it's not what I would call a tourist mecca on a par with Banff, Jasper, Calgary, or Vancouver. I don't find the semi-desert setting at all appealing.

http://www.tourismkamloops.com/

gonorthwest.com/BC/…Kamloops.htm

You can use Banff as a base for visiting Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, which are both about 45 minutes drive away from the townsite. Or you could schedule a night at the village of Lake Louise, so that on Day 7, you drive from Banff to Lake Louise, check in to your accommodations, see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, and then you can start your drive up the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise early the next day.

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2. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Hi Colin

I had similar considerations when planning our recent trip and tweaked it multiple times. We eventually did Calgary, Calgary, Banff, Banff, Banff, Vernon, Vernon, Vernon, Hope, Hope, Tofino, Tofino, Victoria, Victoria, Vancouver, Vancouver, Vancouver in the end (17 nights).

Our only fixed point was Vernon because I have family there, it's not particularly touristy. I was considering Jasper followed by Wells Gray Provincial Park (which looks lovely) before Vernon but decided that Jasper itself didn't sound that great and I'd prefer to go to Vancouver Island although on reflection I'd rather have spent more time in the Rockies and less in Vancouver itself.

In Calgary we went to Drumheller the first day (a mind-numbing road journey) and the zoo the following morning and were happy to move on.

I'd have spent more time in Banff, the walking was splendid, we did one day in Lake Louise - I particularly recommend the hike to Lake Agnes - from what I saw of Lake Louise, Banff was a better base.

Vernon (in the Okanagan) was more about family, it's very pastoral (lots of wineries), and the Silver Star ski resort was amazing (the town that taste forgot!) but hardly worth a detour.

Hope was gorgeous, even though the clouds never got above the valleys, Kamloops is definitely a more obvious half-way spot between Jasper and Vancouver but it didn't look very interesting from the road (Banff to Vernon was a Very Long Drive, although we did stop in all the Parks en route!).

I enjoyed Tofino and Victoria (Brentwood Bay) but I'm not sure I'd recommend fitting the island into a two week holiday - too much time and money spent on ferries and long distance driving - with hindsight I'd look for somewhere nice on the sunshine coast to the North of Vancouver for my fix of seaside instead.

Vancouver was such a disappointment! It seems to be one big building site at the moment - I really wouldn't recommend spending much time there until after the Games in 2010. We just couldn't find much we wanted to do there either, two nights would have been plenty for us. I'd heard so many good things about it before we went, but apart from the dining, it really didn't appeal to us at all.

Well that's just my 10-cents worth, hope it helps and you have a great trip!

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3. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Many Thanks for both replies, it helps loads :)

The only reason we are staying 2 nights at Calgary is that we arrive Wed afternoon so stay that night, spend the following day in calgary then stay 1 more night and leave next morning, so my planner should prob be more like:

DAY Staying

1 Calgary

2 Calgary

3 Leave Calgary / Arrive lunch time in banff

4 Banff

This would then give us 5 days to explore Banff and the surrounding areas. From what i read above it sounds like staying in Banff and visiting Lake Louise and Lake Morraine is the best option rather than staying near Lake Louise for a night.

This then leave us 3 night to get to Jasper and stay, we are going to goto the rodeo 1 night when we are there, has anyone been to this and how good is it? (being from Scotland we dont get much rodeo over here :))

Would 3 nights in jasper be ok to see everything we need to see?

Will maybe have to rethink 4 nights in vancouver if you were disapointed in it, we were thinking in spending a night on vancouer/victoria island to break it up a little.

Sounds like Im no too far away from doing the most common/obvious route.

Thanks again for your input and any future advice.

Regards

Colin

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4. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

The Jasper Rodeo is definitely a lot of fun - I think you will have a good time.

I think that you should leave Vancouver Island out of your itinerary for this trip. Vancouver is a beautiful city, but where you base yourself makes a huge difference to whether you enjoy it or not. **Do not** be tempted to stay somewhere in the suburbs. Stay right downtown, as close to Stanley Park as possible, would be my advice.

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5. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Message To Banff,

Thanks for your reply, why would you suggest staying downtown Vancouver?

For safety reasons?

Thanks for your input and thanks in advance to anyone else who can make our holiday that bit better with any advice.

Cheers

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6. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

No, not safety concerns, just so you can really enjoy your visit. Greater Vancouver is very large and is not easy to drive in (lots of traffic, one-ways, pinch points at key bridges, etc), so staying downtown where you can walk, take water taxis, etc to many points of interest will (I believe) make your trip more pleasant.

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7. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Colin,

Good advice above from Banff. We stayed on the corner of Robson and Denman, and did not move our car for the three days we were there.

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8. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

You certainly don't need a car in Vancouver! It's a pain to drive around and a pain to park, why pay for car hire plus parking when a day combined public transport pass costs $9? We hired at Calgary airport and dropped off at Vancouver downtown for no one-way fee. Drove to the hotel (corner of Seymour and Smythe), dropped the luggage off (nowhere to even stop out front so left car and 1 person in service road round the back to avoid being towed), then dropped the car off a few blocks away and walked back. Next day we did entirely on foot, along the waterfront to Stanley Park and the aquarium; the following day got the travel passes (7-11s sell tickets and maps and are everywhere) and went out to the Botanic Garden and Queen Elizabeth Park.

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I would not counsider Vancouver as a whole 'beautiful' at the moment (although the parks and gardens were very attractive), there is just far too much construction work happening everywhere (and the sun never really shone while we were there which didn't help). Perhaps it's the lack of history that makes it less appealing to European eyes? It may be beautiful compared to Calgary but to Venice? Or even Edinburgh?

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9. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Thanks again for your replies and the info about vancouver.

We will have 5 days to spend in Banff.

Any advice on what would be the best way to spend those 5 days?

What NOT to miss and what can be missed.

We will be spending a whole day going to Lake Louise & Morraine and the first day we arrive(late lunch) we will be checking into our hotel and spenind the night in the town.

So 3 days still to spend which will include the gondola ride,national park & Johnson Canyon.

Should we include the Glacier trip on 1 of our "Banff" days?

Many thanks for any advice

Colin

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10. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Banff road trip ++ advice needed ++

Ok, spent the last hour or 2 surfing the forums here so see what you make of this as a very basic plan for Banff, free free to advise other options or change visits on different days due to distances etc

Day

1 Leave Calgary, head to Banff, (2-3hours drive) Check in Banff (late lunch)See Shops,town & Fairmont hotel

2 Lake Louise Area - Morraine Lake (travel using Bow Valley Parkway) Yoho National Park- Visit Takkakaw Falls ** is this too much to do in 1 day? **

3 Banff Hot Springs, Sulphur mountain, Gondola trip, Johnson Canyon

4 Columbia Icefields

5 Icefields Parkway Drive To Jasper

Thanks in advance

Colin

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