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Excursions in Rockies

Melbourne, Australia
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Excursions in Rockies

Hi all my husband and I plan to travel to Canada in late July 2014 for around 21 days. We are hiring a car and travelling from Calgary, Banf, Lake Louse, Jasper, Clearwater, Whistler,Tofino and then Vancouver. We are keen bush walkers aged in our late 50s. Can someone give me advice as to must see excursions in those areas please and whether you would need to book prior to leaving Australia. Thanking you in advance for all your feedback

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Excursions in Rockies

Absolutely book BEFORE you leave home! July is our summertime, and very busy all over the province, and all of Canada for that matter!

Are you keen to see Whistler? After the Rockies, you may be underwhelmed by Whistler. The village is certainly nice enough, and there are great restaurants, but if you eliminate Whistler, you will have more time in the Rockies.

Will you be camping, hotels, B&B, or???

Do make sure you get on the Rocky Mountain forums too. Lots of information for you on the right hand sides of the various pages. They will be in blue letters for you to click on.

Welcome to Trip Advisor too!

tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g659487-i11598-Cana…

Here is the link to get you to the Rocky Mountain forum. Check out the other questions and answers to get even more information!

Edited: 20 October 2013, 00:38
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Excursions in Rockies

Welcome to the forum from me too, LynT ~

Joan has set you up very nicely with some things to think about. With 21 days, you will be able to set up a driving itinerary that includes the Rockies, the drive across the province, Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Be sure why you want to visit Whistler as it may be what you want or it may be a pale cousin after visiting the Rockies. Just come to some informed decision about going there as well as the Rockies.

www.whistlerblackcomb.com

www.whistler.com

You're going to do a one way car rental, are you? Have a look at Canadian Affair which rents cars to Brits, Europeans, Aussies and Kiwis with no one way drop fee between qualifying cities.

http://www.canadianaffair.com/en/car_hire/

You mention an itinerary of Calgary > Banff > Lake Louise > Jasper > Clearwater > Whistler > Tofino > Vancouver. I am going to suggest that you look at Banff (including a day trip to LL) > Jasper > back down the Icefields Parkway > Revelstoke and across the province in part on Hwy 1. Either through your choice of Whistler or another choice of the Okanagan Valley.

Opening the PDF link under the following map will give you a clear idea of the points of interest between Lake Louise and Jasper and why the Icefields Parkway is deserving of exploring in two directions.

pc.gc.ca/eng/…Parkway.aspx

It's very early days to be asking about specifics of excursions and activities. First you need to work out an itinerary based on your interests and priorities and how many hours you are willing to spend behind the wheel. Those will determine where you will go, what routes you will take, and how many nights you would like to have in those places. To get started on that research, look in the Top Questions to the right side of the page. There you will see our Trip Report Collection full of helpful information from previous travellers.

Some resources that might interest you to use are:

Hello BC our online tourist information website: www.hellobc.com

A valuable, annotated website that tells about every region and almost every place in BC and some in Alberta, a wonderful resource to discover the places you want to visit while here: www.britishcolumbia.com

examples: Okanagan Valley: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

Slocan Valley: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

..

Some other tips. Whistler to Tofino will take about 7.5 hours of straight driving, including an hour wait for the ferry and the 1.5 hour ferry ride. It's a long way and you may wish to avoid the last quarter of Hwy 4 (west) to Tofino in the dark and that section of highway is narrow and twisting. From the Okanagan Valley (Kelowna) the straight drive (ferry wait and ride) will be about 9.5 hours. Be prepared to build an overnight into your itinerary on the way to Tofino.

Whistler > Tofino: http://goo.gl/maps/8UnR4

Kelowna > Tofino: http://goo.gl/maps/PWidg

BC Ferries: www.bcferries.com

..

To help identify the geography here, there is the beautiful Slocan Valley (green forests, hot springs, history) from near Creston in the south to Revelstoke in the north, the Okanagan Valley (water activities, wineries, pocket desert in Osoyoos, cycling the Myra Canyon trestles of the old rail bed (22 km in all), the Fraser Canyon from about Lillooet down to Hope, with rugged canyon views and the Fraser River at the bottom, the Duffey Lake Road from Lillooet to Pemberton where the drive winds and curves from the high country down to sea level through forested landscapes. The very scenic Sea to Sky Highway 99 from Whistler down to Horseshoe Bay (ferry terminal) near Vancouver.

The first Monday in August will be a very busy long weekend. BC Day in BC and Heritage Day in Alberta. Your accommodations will need to be booked well in advance for anything in the Rockies and Tofino, most particularly on this weekend

Ask questions any time for help building your itinerary. When you have a provisional itinerary post it for feedback, and more suggestions. The Trip Reports will be a huge help.

Edited: 20 October 2013, 01:44
Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Excursions in Rockies

Can't edit twice.

I meant to mention that the Okanagan Valley stretches from Osoyoos in the south to Vernon in the north.

seattle
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4. Re: Excursions in Rockies

you've gotten good advice thus far. As far as booking rooms well in advamce I couldn't agree more. However booking excursions such as the ice Explorer or a Malgne Lk cruise can be easily be done once you arrive. Many things are sort of weather dependent so you don't want to book things too far in advance. A day or two would be fine.

Greater Sydney...
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5. Re: Excursions in Rockies

G'day LynT, and welcome to the forums.

You have been given some very good advice above by two very good advisors, but I just wish to clarify the point mentioned by Joan about booking. I am sure that Joan, when suggesting to book before you leave for Canada, was referring to accommodation, not excursions. There is certainly no need to book excursions before you go and in fact these, depending on what you are considering, could be left until a day or two before so that you can be selective depending on the weather forecast even though those are not always very accurate.

In regard to Whistler, we did find it quite underwhelming after the Rockies, a bit like Thredbo on steroids. Ask yourself, would you go to Thredbo in summer? Unless into mad downhill mountain biking which is very big at Whistler.

(Edit) David and myself were posting at the same time, with the same advice. :)

Edited: 20 October 2013, 02:20
Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: Excursions in Rockies

Hi Frommy! Yes, I was thinking of accommodation, not the excursions.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Excursions in Rockies

Thank you all so much for the advice so quickly. You certainly have left us lots of things to ponder about. We intend staying in motels along the way. I will certainly look at everything that has been suggested.

Our main interest is walking and taking in what is obviously fantastic scenery.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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8. Re: Excursions in Rockies

You don't need to book excursions to go hiking in the Canadian Rockies national parks, unless you want a guided hike. There are many, many trails. Base yourself for several days in the Banff or Lake Louise area, and then the Jasper area. Check the national park websites for hiking information ( www.pc.gc.ca/banff www.pc.gc.ca/jasper www.pc.gc.ca/yoho ), start digesting and processing all the information and then come on back with questions. I love hiking and would happy to answer your questions, and one of the Banff DEs is also a keen hiker.

Banff/Lake Louise accommodation: www.banfflakelouise.com

Jasper accommodation: Hotels - www.jasper.travel

B&Bs and private home accommodations (PHAs): www.stayinjasper.com

And yes, do book ahead. July and August is peak season, the better value accommodations book up in advance. The August long weekend (first Monday of August is the holiday) is the busiest time of it all.

Edited: 20 October 2013, 07:06
Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Excursions in Rockies

Thank you for all your information. We are looking forward to what we expect will be a wonderful walking experience. We will certainly check out all your suggestions.

Nanaimo, Canada
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10. Re: Excursions in Rockies

Forgot... if you do indeed manage to fit Tofino into the itinerary, you may want to consider reserving the ferry as well! Especially if it coincided with that long weekend.

http://www.bcferries.com/