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.

21 day trip

Tewkesbury, England
Level Contributor
22 posts
36 reviews
Save Topic
21 day trip

Hi folks

I've done my research, and made a plan for a 3 week trip next year, starting about mid August.

Travelling will be me (age 70) and my wife from the UK. We have travelled a lot in the US, but not much in Canada - tho we have been to Vancouver a couple of times - and loved it. We are basically coming for the scenery (who isnt?). We enjoy short flat walks, but no mountain hikes sadly. We aim to stay in good quality hotels - normally 4 star, but its a tad expensive in this area, so may have to settle for 3 star sometimes. Good food is important.

Here is my plan so far:

4 nights in Vancouver, 2 in Kelowna, 2 in Revelstoke, 3 in Banff, 1 in Lake Louise, 4 in Jasper, 2 in Clearwater, 2 in Whistler, then fly back from YVR.

I don't much like one night stops as you don't get a chance to look around, so Ive made most stops a 2 night minimum.

Any comments or suggestions would be most welcome.

Joe Atiyah

calgary
Level Contributor
4,497 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 21 day trip

To give yourself more tine in the Rockies (the best part of your trip) you should look at flying into Vancouver and home from Calgary. This would involve a one-way car rental but if you look at other postings there is a company called Canada Affair that can arrange that for you.

Secondly, drop Whistler from your plans; once you've seen the Rockies, Whistler will be disappointing.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,665 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 21 day trip

I like your plan. The only thing I would do is reverse the order, starting with Whistler and Clearwater, although Rogers Pass is less impressive in that direction. The reason for turning it around is just that you may find the Clearwater area a bit disappointing after some of those other places, so do it first so that things just keep getting better.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,665 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 21 day trip

oh, and don't get the car until you are ready to leave Vancouver. You won't need it before then.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,173 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 21 day trip

Hi Joe, thanks for doing the initial research which is so helpful for us to get an idea of what you would like to do. I'm glad you've got a year, 6 months until you need to think about booking accommodations in Banff, LL and Jasper and have uttered the words "so far."

If you are going to Whistler, it is best to know exactly why you are doing so. If it's for more mountains, then you will not find it anything like the magnificent Rockies that you have just spent 8 days in. You would follow the Rockies with Whistler if you wanted to see the ecosystem change that happens when you come down from the high country around Lillooet and Kamloops to sea level at Pemberton. You would do it because of the forest landscapes, the fairly unique drive of the Duffey Lake Road between Lillooet and Pemberton, the special views over Howe Sound as you drive down from Squamish to Horseshoe Bay. And being able to see snow covered, (dormant volcano) Mount Baker about 80 km away in WA State from the Upper Levels Highway (Hwy 99 between Horseshoe Bay and Vancouver.)

You might want to do some cycling on the valley floor trails, some walking/hiking in the alpine at the top of the lifts, eat (try one of the golf course restaurants), shop, Peak to Peak gondola for a couple of hours, Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre for an hour. Then you've got reasons for going to Whistler as well as the Rockies.

For the Clearwater to Whistler leg, I encourage you to do the Duffey Lake Road (west of Lillooet) in daylight. It is twisting and narrow with some switchbacks. There will be animals (deer) around and it would be better to be able to see them. You'll need to allow ~6+ hours to drive that leg.

I wonder if you looked into the Slocan Valley (Castlegar > Nelson > Revelstoke) up Hwy 6. I think this area is much more interesting, more engaging than Hwy 5 down from Mt Robson > Clearwater > Kamloops.

Here is it: http://goo.gl/maps/yjR62

And information, with blue print town names that open to new pages: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

And this circle route with attractions to visit: hellobc.com/driving-routes/22/silvery-slocan…

Hwy 5 has Wells Gray Park and Helmcken Falls. Other than that, well, there are trees and farmland for 4-5 hours driving 400+ km, pastoral and bucolic for sure. If you see Takakkaw Falls in Yoho NP, you will be very satisfied.

I would definitely consider doing the Icefields Parkway in both directions, on two different days. Especially in lieu of Hwy 16 and 5 through Wells Gray. The IP is a major part of the UNESCO World Heritage site called the Rockies.

Do you realize that Lake Louise is a 45 minute drive from Banff and there is nothing there except a few accommodations? It is not a village or town as you would expect a town to be. Staying there though would have the benefit of being on site before the tour buses get there and after they leave.

Having said all that, I like your itinerary for the following reasons, it is a sensible set of driving legs, it allows you to stop, except for Hwy 5 and Clearwater, in places that are appealing to visit for at least 2 nights, which I think is a big plus. 90% of your itinerary is excellent and that might be enough to stick with it.

Tewkesbury, England
Level Contributor
22 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 21 day trip

Thanks folks for your input, especially Mufti for all those comments.

Actually I originally planned a one way trip Vancouver - Calgary, but decided a loop was better. Both flights and car hire is easier and cheaper, and it gives us a chance to have a look at different areas.

We have been to Whistler before and liked it - its more like a European Ski resort, but quite fun in its own way. And the point is that Vancouver to UK flights leave in the evening. I wouldnt want to drive from Clearwater then fly home, but from Whistler its a reasonably short and pleasant drive to YVR, and gives us a day to rest after a long drive before flying back (have to think of those things now I'm officially an old fart). And I wouldnt particularly want to spend another night in Vancouver - with a car in tow.

And yes, thanks, we will pick up the car when we start our loop rather than the first few days in Vancouver.

Following your remarks, and other posts, I think I will stay an extra night in Banff, and not one in Lake Louise - especially as the prices there are a bit eye watering.

The Slocan area looks nice, but can't really see how we could include it without changing the whole plan. And I'm thinking that with 4 days each in Banff and Jasper, we can see quite a bit of the IP from both ends, as well as driving north along it. I'm quite happy to have some parts through less spectacular scenery - think we'll be seeing plenty of that. We once spent 5 days driving from Cairns to Brisbane through sugar and banana plantations. Wouldn't do it again, but was happy to do it once.

One question which someone else mentioned - should I take the Little Fort route from Clearwater, or stick with the road through Kamloops?

Thanks again for all your thoughts.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
12,012 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 21 day trip

Definitely take the route from Little Fort west on highway 24 to hwy 97 then south to hwy 99 ..the drive across hwy 24 is rolling hills, lakes..then hwy 97 puts you into ranch country..take a short detour to Chris Harris photo studio if you've got the time..wonderful pics of the Chilcotin Caribou country.

I've driven all the route combinations and this is my favorite...the stretch along the Fraser heading to Lillouet is very scenic.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,665 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 21 day trip

+1 for that. That road past Green Lake is quite pretty. and I'm a fan of the little town of Clinton too - they have the cutest little town museum.

8. Re: 21 day trip

-:- 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: 10 September 2014, 06:21