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3 weeks calgary to vancouver

London, United...
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3 weeks calgary to vancouver

Hello,

My mother and I are planning a trip from Calgary to Vancouver in late june-early July and so far have this itinerary -

Arrive in Calgary and head straight to Banff,

Golden,

Revelstoke,

back to Banff, for a few days stay

on to Jasper with a few days stay and a trip up to Hinton,

Clearwater,

We have 12 days for this part.

Then 5 days near William's Lake (committed to this),

Then Kamloops,

Boston Bar,

Hope,

Vancouver.

We have 5 days for this part.

We have not decided on how long to spend in each place - any suggestions about allocation of days would be appreciated. And if anyone could spot any glaring errors in our planning?!

Thank you in advance!!

Port Moody, Canada
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1. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

Hinton is a glaring error. Not sure why you would go there? Family to visit?

Minimum 3 nights each for Banff and Jasper + drive Ice Field Parkway twice. Well worth it.

Where abouts is " near Williams Lake?" .

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2. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

With 5 days to get from "near Williams Lake" to Vancouver, you will want to choose some locations more exciting than Kamloops, Boston Bar and Hope. Kelowna would be nicer - Kelowna to Osoyoos is wine country and there are more wineries than you can count. It is about a 5 hr drive from Williams Lk to Kelowna where you could spend a day or two then head for Osoyoos (just under a 2 hr drive) where you could check out some wineries between Oliver and Osoyoos.

The drive from Osoyoos to Vancouver is about 5 hrs and a stop in Manning Park to wander some of the trails would break the drive up.

I assume you must be visiting family if you are spending 5 days "near Williams Lake"?

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3. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

Hi Traveller47 and IslandWest,

Thank you for your suggestions.

Hinton was on our itinerary as we had read about somewhere you can see beavers and thought we might also go to Miette Hot Springs, as neither are further than an hours drive from Jasper, would you recommend we don't do this?

By Williams Lake we mean about an hour away in the Cariboo mountains where we have found somewhere to stay that offers hiking and wildlife watching.

We hadn't planned to go via Kelowna as wineries were not our top priority and we would like to see Hell's Gate which is how we came up with our original route.

Any other thoughts or suggestions appreciated!

Port Moody, Canada
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4. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

I'm familiar with the Cariboo are you staying at a particular lodge?

So it appears you have 12 days and need to arrive 'near" Williams Lake on day 13? Is this correct? With 12 days for the Rockies you've got lots of time to really enjoy the area. How many times do you want to pack and unpack or is this not an issue for you?

I'm going to suggest a routing that has a bit of a circle in it.. this will take you through the Kootenay's as well as the Rockies.

day 1 arrive Calgary drive to Banff o/n Banff

day 2/3 Banff visit Lake Louise as day trip .. 45 minutes away

day 4 drive south to Radium Hot Springs the on to Nelson 5 hour drive total so lots of time to stop along the way. o/n Nelson

Day 5 Nelson area

day 6 drive Nelson to Revelstoke 3.5 hour drive plus ferry wait times. This route takes you along the scenic Arrow lakes and uses small local free ferries..very scenic and laid back o/n/ Revelstoke

Day 7 Revelstoke area lots to explore here

day 8 drive Revelstoke to Jasper this is a 5.5 hour drive but will take at least 10 hoursas you'll be driving the Ice Fields parkway and will want to stop all along the way! o/n/ Jasper

day 9/10/ Jasper

day 11 drive Jasper to Clearwater about 3 hour drive time o/n Clearwater

day 12 drive Clearwater to "near " Williams Lake about 2.5-3 hours drive

at that time of year it will be light late so you have lots of day light for exploring July 1 sunrise is about 5:30 am and sunset is 10 pm

You may well see beavers in Jasper itself. You can also see beavers in Vancouver in Stanley park and also right in False Creek. There are beavers and beaver dams everywhere..

After your 5 days in Williams lake you'll take hwy 97 south to Cache Creek where you'll pick up hwy 1 over to Lytton. and down the Fraser Canyon. This is a great route for scenery. Outside Spences Bridge be sure to scour the hillside for mountain sheep.. we always see them there.

If you wanted to break up this part I'd look at staying in Clinton overnight and then the next day doing the Canyon with your stop at Hell's Gate . From here you'd head into Vancouver where you can drop your rental

car and then have 4 nights vancouver. This gives you 3 full days to explore Vancouver where you won't need a car at all.

3 nights Banff

2 nights Nelson

2 nights Revelstoke

3 nights Jasper

1 night Clearwater

5 nights wailliams lake

1 night Clinton

4 nights vancouver

suggest you book soon as July 1 is a holiday and space in both Banff and Jasper is very limited.. value accommodation gets booked up early

I'll try and copy a map link for you

Edited: 20 April 2013, 17:12
Port Moody, Canada
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5. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

http://goo.gl/maps/NM5GC

map link to route

Edited: 20 April 2013, 17:14
Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

Miette Hot Springs is located about an hour's drive from both Hinton and the town of Jasper - the intersection of highway 16 and the Miette Road is close to midway between the two towns, and then it's about 1/2 hour up the Miette Road. I am not sure if your odds of seeing beavers is any better in/near Hinton than Jasper - one local "hot spot" here for viewing beavers (and waterfowl) is Cottonwood Slough, which is just a couple of kilometres up the Pyramid Lake Road from town, or you can hike there. There is a trail leading up the hill behind the slough, and lots of great spots to view the slough below (take binoculars for a better look). Go in the late afternoon or evening.

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7. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

Hi Traveller47,

Thank you for your suggestions and map - both much appreciated. Your route obviously draws on your local knowledge which is so helpful as looking at maps can't give us that. We are going to be staying at Pyna-tee-ah Lodge. We actually need to arrive there on day 13 so potentially have an extra day to play with - is there anything extra we should schedule in or just extend our stay by one day in one of the places already identified ? While it would be nice to minimise unpacking and packing, it is not a major issue for us.

Hi kro329,

Thank you for information about finding Miette Hot Springs and the advice about where to see beavers. We will bear it in mind when planning our activities when we are staying in Jasper.

Thank you both again for taking the time to help us plan our trio.

Winnipeg, Canada
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8. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

Hi,

I grew up an hour from Hinton and while the area is beautiful, it is not remarkable enough to detour. Miette is a very long and windy road. Again, not an easy detour. The hotsprings in Banff are right in town and basically the same style though less remote. Stick with Jasper and the surrounding area. Visit Athabasca Falls, go for a walk in the Maligne Canyon (there are about 7 bridges, you don't have to do them all but it is spectacular), go for lunch at Jasper Park Lodge, take the Jasper tramway for an amazing view. It's a stunning area. Also, I agree with the suggestions to take the Okanagan route, even if wineries aren't your thing. There is more to do and see! Good luck.

Port Moody, Canada
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9. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

Add the extra day to Jasper. In the itin I've suggested you only have 2 full days and you can easily use 3 full days there. While the Okanagan is lovely given your stated interests and the lodge visit I'd add the Nelson loop and skip the Okanagan. I've driven all the routes I've suggested..have stayed in Nelson , Banff, Jasper, Clinton. Etc..never get tired of the beauty of the areas.

Jasper, Canada
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10. Re: 3 weeks calgary to vancouver

The Miette Road is 15 km long and takes 1/2 hour to drive from the highway up to the hot springs - it is paved, and although it does have a few areas with some switchbacks, it is not a "hairy" road by any stretch of the imagination. Because it's a quieter road, there are good odds of seeing wildlife - I have often seen black bears when driving the road, and you are almost guaranteed seeing either bighorn sheep or deer in the hot springs parking lot.

One advantage of Miette Hot Springs over the Banff Upper Hot Springs is that Miette has cold pools, so you can alternate hot & cold so as not to overhead. Banff has only the hot pool, so once you are heated up, the only way to cool yourself is to sit out of the pool. Both have lovely views of surrounding mountains.

There are six bridges on the Maligne River from the canyon to the river's confluence with the Athabasca River. Four of the bridges are over the canyon, the first three are the most spectacular. This is a *very* popular sightseeing attraction - you will be sharing this with lots of other people. The trail is paved in places, often with steps where necessary, and there are fences along the rim of the canyon.

Fifth bridge is at the bottom of the canyon, and doesn't actually exist anymore - it was damaged by high water levels last summer. A temporary bridge was put in through the winter because that is how the ice walk tours access the canyon, but it has now been removed, since it was not suitable for higher water levels in summer. A new bridge will not be constructed this summer. From Fifth Bridge to Sixth Bridge is basically flat walking in the forest along the river - pretty, but not exceptional.

Edited: 22 April 2013, 18:59