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Vancouver and the Rockies in May?

Melbourne, Australia
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10 posts
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Vancouver and the Rockies in May?

Hi Guys, my wife and I are due to attend a conference in Vancouver in early May 2012 visiting from Australia with a stop-over in San Francisco. Since we're travelling a long way, we thought we'd take a month's vacation in Canada and Northern USA. All the seasonal weather charts say May is a great time to visit but looking at indicative temperatures for May this year, average temps are 15 C and rainy. We had intended taking the Rocky Mountaineer across to Banff then flying to Toronto, Quebec and then to Boston and NYC. I know we don't have a crystal ball when it comes to long range weather forecasting but we're wondering if after the conference in Vancouver, we should fly down to San Fran Cisco then straight to NYC and do the trip in reverse with a view that by the time we get back to the Rockies and Vancouver, the weather might be warmer as we get closer to June. What do you folks think? Worth the reverse trip or should we just go with the original plan to head East across Canada from Vancouver?


Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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1. Re: Vancouver and the Rockies in May?

Yes, I agree to do that particular plan in reverse. New York City's weather gets pretty tough to take as summer approaches and the Rockies come into their own in June (last of the frozen lakes, last of the snow covered trails.)

Having said that, a month for the parts of North America you are considering may not be enough.

Suggested time frame:

Vancouver - 4 nights

The Rockies - min 8 nights

driving to the Rockies - one over night

flying to Calgary - 1.5 hours, driving Calgary to Banff - 1.5 hours

Toronto - Quebec - 2 weeks

flying Vancouver to Toronto, non stop - 4 hours in the air

driving Toronto - Montreal 6 hours, driving Toronto - Quebec city - 9 hours (no idea for the very good trains they have available)

Boston - New York City - 2 weeks

I would say if you chose either Toronto/Quebec or Boston/New York, your itinerary would be more doable. Some of the time needed for your pure travel days could then be applied to actually visiting fewer places.

My two cents.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
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2. Re: Vancouver and the Rockies in May?

Agree with Mufti do the trip in reverse. Even if we were having better weather May is still too early to really be able to enjoy the Rockies.

I'd allow my time as follows

4 days San Francisco (include day trip to Napa valley)

5 days New York

1 day train NY to Montreal ( one day trip leave 8 am arrive 7 pm get to see some of the countryside and very inexpensive check www.amtrak.com)

3 days Montreal rent car drive to Quebec City

2 days Quebec City

Fly to Toronto

4 days Toronto (include trip to Niagara falls)

fly to Calgary rent car

3 days Banff

1 day Ice Fields Parkway

3 days Jasper

2 days drive to Vancouver via south Okanagan

2 days Vancouver

above is 30 days and assumes you'll have had some time during the conference to see parts of Vancouver.It doesn't include vancouver ISland or Victoria at all. Time allocation really depends if you want more of a city experience or more of an outdoors type trip. Having been to all of the above places this is the time I'd allot if I really wanted to get a taste of all of them. You could easily spend all the time on the west coast and the Rockies. ..or all your time in Eastern Canada. Also knowing what you're interests are would help in suggesting time to spend where.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Vancouver and the Rockies in May?

Thanks so much for your suggestions. My wife has knee problems so our outdoors excursions tend to be short walks rather than active day treks. Looking to take the Rocky Mountaineer from Banff to Vancouver. This would buy us some time to visit Boston from NYC and drive around New England for a few days before flying/train to Quebec to commence our Eastward travel as per your suggestions. So working to this plan would give me 3 days to amuse myself in Vancouver whilst my wife attends the conference in early May and then when we return together in mid June for 3 days together. Given your familiarity with Vancouver, what should we visit?

Visit 1 for me. Ice hockey game, local national parks, quirky pubs

Visit 2 for us both. History, harbor cruise, art, food, church architecture, music.

Appreciate any suggestions.


Vancouver, B.C.
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4. Re: Vancouver and the Rockies in May?

It will be very hard and expensive to get tickets for ice hockey in May. That is the middle of the playoffs. The Canucks should be making a long playoff run again next year but anything can happen. The closest national park is the Gulf Islands which isn't very local. Do you mean a big local park like Stanley Park?

5. Re: Vancouver and the Rockies in May?

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