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Calgary to Vancouver self drive

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Calgary to Vancouver self drive

As part of a 3 week trip next year, we are planning to do a self-drive from Calgary to Vancouver over 6 days in mid-May.

Thinking of stopping over in LakeLouise/Revelstoke/Kamloops/2 nights in Chilliwack - to do some fishing-then arrive in Vancouver on day 6.

Wondered if we would have to book in advance for that time of year?

Could we just arrive and find somewhere to stay for one night easily enough? we didnt know how busy things were in May............Also - how's the weather generally at that time of year?


Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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25,386 posts
86 reviews
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1. Re: Calgary to Vancouver self drive

Wow, 6 days from Vancouver to Calgary! Calgarians and Vancouverites drive it in a day.

But I enjoy the slow, relaxed approach too. I think you will enjoy staying in Revelstoke and Lake Louise, which are smaller centres in the mountains. However, Kamloops is a city in the middle of a desert-like area. I don't think you will find much to do there. I would suggest stopping in Salmon Arm, an hour's drive to the east, instead. It's a city in the centre of cottage country, on the shores of the huge Shuswap Lake. Very tourist-friendly. You might also look into Golden and Field, both in the BC Rockies.

You may also want to consider going through the Okanagan Valley, which is the centre of BC's famous vineyards and orchards. (But May is too early for tree fruit; you may have the very first crop of strawberries, though.) The towns of Kelowna, Penticton, and Vernon make good stopping points, and you can enjoy the lakes in the area.

However, May is the start of late spring in Canada; particularly in the higher elevations, you will find that overnight lows are below freezing, while the days may range from warm and pleasant--even hot--to disctinctly cool.

I would recommend booking in advance for Lake Louise, Banff, and (especially) Jasper. Also, book ahead for the Victoria Day long weekend; in 2008, that's the weekend of May 17-19. This is the traditional launch to the warm weather and outdoor activities, like gardening and barbecuing. Outside of those places and times, you'll find things to be fairly quite; the busy summer period really begins at the end of June, which is when consistent warm weather arrives.

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2. Re: Calgary to Vancouver self drive

Thanks for that - we did want to take it easy - we will be on holiday after all and want to see the sights, not just be driving all day!! your advice sounds like it will be really useful.


Victoria, Canada
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3. Re: Calgary to Vancouver self drive

I agree with the previous post- do try to take the time to visit the Okanagan Valley. Even though the grapes will not yet be on the vines, there are plenty of wineries where you can stop for free tastings and the Spring Wine Festival takes place the first four days of May.

Here is a link:


The weather should be lovely- though you may still find snow in the high mountain areas.

Have a great holiday!

Kamloops, Canada
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551 posts
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4. Re: Calgary to Vancouver self drive

To most people that stay on the highways Kamloops is in semi-desert countryside. Within 1 hours drive in basically all directions around Kamloops you can find over 100 hundred lakes to fish in. Most have Rainbow trout.

Here is the tourism website


You should be able to find fishing in the Activities section.

Just an added reason to stop here.

5. Re: Calgary to Vancouver self drive

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