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3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

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3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

any recommendations?

Friday 9-3 fly in 2:30 Vancouver Airport. Rent a car leave at 4 pm

Drive 6 hours to ClearWater, stay over night

Saturday 9-4, drive to Jasper, to Banff. Stay over night.

Sunday 9-5, from Banff drive to Salmon Arm, Stay over night

Monday 9-6 from Salmon Arm to Vancouver,

Fly out at Evening.

Is this trip too intense or OK?

What about reverse? Vancouver-SlmonArm-Banff-Jasper-Clearwater-Vancouver?

Thanks!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

Oh boy, what a beat-myself-up experience you would find this. The first thing you would say is why did we only give ourselves one day for AAAAALLLLLL this beauty. The trip you describe is similar to driving from SF to Phoenix for 1 day - but wanting to get down to Tucson as well and see stuff on the way.

My first observation is that it's Labour Day weekend and traffic will be slow and very busy. You won't make the time you think you will.

You would be much better to consider flying instantly to Calgary, rent a car there for the 2 hour drive to Banff. Then spend the 4th and 5th (full days) in the Rockies and fly home on the 6th.

Better yet, see if you can fly directly SFO - YYC.

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2. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

Thank You! We made a mistake when we see the air ticket on sale for $224 SFO-YVR. But we will be back next time using SFO-YYR(calgary).

or maybe we just go Banff only or Jasper Only? Which one should we go if only pick one of them?

thanks!

Vancouver, B.C.
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3. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

Like Mufti said I don't think you will see very much. Most of your time will be spent driving and sleeping. Can you not get the tickets changed?

The drive between Jasper and Banff is 4 hours without stopping for any sightseeing. I'm pretty sure you want to stop at the icefield and ride on the bus. That's 90 minutes already.

If I had to pick one it would be Japser, Banff feels way too over developed and touristy in my opinion. Please reconsider this trip.

Rockies BC
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4. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

I agree with the posts here so far - way too much if you are actually going to see anything. Reminiscent of the trips my parents took us on back in the '60's & early '70's, where we would drive from Vanc to Banff & back for the weekend, in the days long before the Coquihalla Hwy so the drive was that much longer. (My husband likes to joke that my father would have succeeded where Napoleon failed - he would have taken Moscow!) You won't make Clearwater by 10 pm on the first day. You won't see aything if you drive straight through from Clearwater to Jasper & then down to Banff all in the same day. And regardless of how beautiful the scenery is, it does tend to get a bit boring seen from a moving car with no time to enjoy anything (viz my comments about driving to Banff & back in a weekend). Probably the only part that is doable is Banff to Salmon Arm in one day but after 2 LONG days in the car, that's another long-ish day. What about spending time in Whistler instead? A short-ish trip might be to spend the night in Whistler & then return by going over to Lillooet, down the Fraser Canyon & through the Fraser Valley back to Vanc.

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5. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

Thank you all! I have to change my plan.

As Techboy suggested, this time we just go to Jasper. We will go back Calgary/Banff next year.

Any suggestions? and what is other choice to stay over night to replace Clearwater on ther way back?

Friday 9-3 fly in 2:30 Vancouver Airport. Rent a car leave at 4 pm

Drive 6 hours to ClearWater, stay over night

Saturday 9-4, drive to Jasper, stay over night

Sunday 9-5, from Jasper drive to Clearwater or another good midway, Stay over night

Monday 9-6 from Clearwater to Vancouver,

Fly out at Evening

and looking for the air tickets to Calgary/Banff next year

Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

If you look at a map site such as www.maps.google.com or www.mapquest.com , you will see that once you get past Kamloops on your way towards Jasper, there is not much in the way of "civilization". Clearwater is one hour past Kamloops, and then there are a few small towns and villages... Blue River and Valemount being the two bigger ones (but still pretty small). Kamloops to Jasper is five hours, Clearwater to Jasper is about four hours (plus you need to take into account the one-hour time change when you cross the BC/Alberta border... Alberta is one hour later.)

It might be a good idea to stop in Kamloops on your way TO Jasper, and Clearwater on your way back. As already mentioned, you are coming on a long weekend and your estimate of how long it will take to drive on Friday night may be a little optimistic as there will be a lot of traffic heading out from Vancouver. The quickest route, by the way, from Vancouver to Kamloops is via the Coquihalla highway (there are a couple of routes you can take - the Coquihalla is not as scenic as others, but quicker, especially with long weekend traffic to consider). Once you get to Kamloops, there is only one route to Jasper.

Be sure to book accommodation well ahead for Jasper - summer long weekends are very busy, often a complete sell-out for accommodations of all types. Booking now or very soon is not too early. With all one-night stays, hotels are probably your best bet... B&B's and private home accommodations often have minimum-two-night stay requirements, especially on long weekends.

I would also suggest booking ahead for Clearwater - it is quite a small town with limited accommodations. Kamloops is a bigger centre and not so much of a long weekend/holiday "destination", so you may be able to wing it but it's probably not a bad idea to book ahead there, either.

This is a very fast-paced holiday. If four days of driving through beautiful scenery is what you are looking for, you will enjoy it very much!

Edited: 27 May 2010, 20:20
Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

I would either come to Vancouver and stay around here for the weekend or pay the penalty to change your flight to Calgary and go to the Rockies from there. You could even pay the penalty to simply hold your tickets - usual terms are for a year. Then apply what you've got for tix to a flight to Calgary. Air Canada, United and Westjet all have non stop flights SFO - YYC for under $400 pp. Read the T&C of your tix and see what you can do.

IMO, this trip is made for frustration and lack of enjoyment.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

Let me put it this way... I live in Vancouver, and I''m planning my summer family road trip -- and I'm allowing 5 nights for Banff and Jasper alone, forget travel time there and back.

If you're going to come all this way to see the Canadian Rockies, you owe it to yourself to actually experience them, with some hikes, some rides up gondolas and aerial trams to see the views from the top, and maybe even some horseback trail rides. Simply driving the Icefields Parkway is not enough -- you need to stop, get out, walk the glacier, see (and hear) the waterfalls, and breathe in that sweet mountain air.

The flight to Calgary and a rental car from there will allow you to get the maximum benefit from your trip.

That being said, there are many amazing things to see and do between Vancouver and the Rockies. The Okanagan wineries, the Mountain Parks of Mt. Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho and Kootenay, the Fraser Canyon, etc.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

Thank You!

I will do quick trip this time and be back next year!

10. Re: 3 and half days trip to Jasper & Banff--practicable?

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