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Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

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Manitoba
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Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

Hi

My husband and myself will be driving from Winnipeg, Mb to Victoria, BC on June 30/10 - returning on July 17/2010.

I'm trying to make a driving time line so I know which town to book hotel rooms in.

So far this is my time line and I know for a fact that driving in the mountains will add on a few hours but I'm unsure on how much extra to add.

Winnipeg to Moose Jaw (6.8 hours) NO MOUNTAINS

Moose Jaw to Calgary NO MOUNTAINS

This is where I need help:

Calgary to Banff: How long will it take?

Banff to the Tsawwassen Ferry (Vancouver) It says 867km according to Google Map. How long will it take to drive this stretch?

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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1. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

It takes 40 minutes to drive from the Calgary International Airport to the Calgary's western city limits, in light traffic and no construction on the route. If you are trying to cross the city during rush hour, it will take longer. From the west city limits to the Banff townsite is roughly 75 minutes. So allow roughly 2 hours to get from Calgary to Banff.

To drive from Calgary to Vancouver via the fastest route (Trans-Canada to Kamloops, Coquihalla Hwy from Kamloops to Vancouver), with minimal stops and a driver who is familiar with the mountain route, takes roughly 10 hours. You'll want to give yourself some extra time to enjoy the scenery and negotiate some unfamiliar winding roads in the mountains. If you have the time, and haven't seen the Rockies before, it's best to spread this trip out over 2 days for maximum enjoyment.

Calgarians routinely blast to Vancouver in 10 hours, with a single fuel stop in Sicamous, Salmon Arm, or Kamloops. Make sure you've fuelled before you leave Kamloops, as there are very few fuel stops on the Coquihalla and they can be easy to miss.

Edited: 06 May 2010, 23:28
Vancouver
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2. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

Banff to the Ferry will be a really really long day. However if you left at 7am mountain time, that would be 6am Pacific time. Then drove for 9hrs you might be able to get to the general Vancouver area before the rush hour if you are on a weekday. That is solid driving with little to no pit stops. Then it would still be an hour or so to the ferry. Most people would suggest an overnight stop along the way. Maybe Kamloops might be a good choice. This would allow site seeing and relaxing in between driving. Personally, I have done the drive many times and if you are switching off drivers it is doable, but just leave earlier than you even think you should leave. The summer traffic is horrible.

Plus you would still have to take the ferry and drive to Victoria which is another couple hours combined....

Manitoba
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3. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

Thanks for the tips! I think we will add on an extra day for driving that stretch as we have only been as far as Banff (for driving). We will be traveling during the July long weekend so the traffic will most likely be bad!

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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4. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

One tip for driving on the summer long weekends - the Sunday of a long weekend is usually fairly quiet, similar to the traffic volume on an ordinary weekday.

Also, on the long weekends, every single room and campsite in Banff is full; so if part of your plan includes an overnight stop in Banff, make your reservations soon, and reconfirm them a week or two before you go.

Edited: 07 May 2010, 14:22
Manitoba
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5. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

Yes, last night I booked a B&B in Banff! Very excited!

Wednesday Evening: Manitoba to Moose Jaw, SK

Thursday: Moose Jaw, SK to Banff, AB

Friday: Leave Banff, AB to ?????

Not sure where to stay yet somewhere 8-9 hours away and thats on the way to the Tsawwassen Ferry.

Manitoba
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6. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

One more thing...

Do you know if Gas Stations are usually open during the July 1st of the long weekend along the Trans Canada hwy?

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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7. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

Yes, they will definitely be open.

Kamloops, Canada
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8. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

Don't forget to add your time zone hours too, near Rogers Pass time goes to Pacific.

Manitoba
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9. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

We are thinking about stopping in MERRITT for the night (coming from Banff). Would that be a good spot to stop for the evening and night?

Is there any nice golf courses around Merritt?

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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10. Re: Driving time from Calgary to Vancouver?

You should probably also ask this question on the BC forum, where you're more likely to encounter posters who have been to Merritt or know more about Merritt.