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Travel advice needed

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england
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26 posts
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Travel advice needed

We are considering a vacation to the Vancouver area and would apperciate expert advice.

We are looking at flying to Vancouver in September and staying there for about 4 days, then off to Whistler for a night, Kamloops 1 night, Jasper 2 nights, Lake Louise/Banff 1/2 nights then Calgary for 4 nights before we fly home. Ideally the Rocky Mountaineer looks better but the price is putting us off and we think this may be a way to see these places but at much less cost, is this itinerary feasible, are there better places to stay and see or should we bite the bullet and splash out for the train? Over to you experts.

Vancouver BC
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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8,713 posts
182 reviews
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1. Re: Travel advice needed

Whistler is not on the way to Kamloops if you go by train. If you are set on the destinations you have listed you'll need to rent a car.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Travel advice needed

The Rocky Mountaineer is pricey for sure, you just have to decide if their itinerary meets most of your "wants" and satisfies you for the price.....

england
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3. Re: Travel advice needed

Sorry I should have said that we do intend to hire a car and basically drive from Vancouver to Calgary via those destinations.

Vancouver, Canada
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24,175 posts
59 reviews
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4. Re: Travel advice needed

You do not have enough time in Banff and Jasper. Usually recommendation is 5 - 7 days, so 2-3 nights in Jasper and 3-4 nights in the Banff/Lake Louise area. You will regret it if you cut this short.

I don't know Calgary at all, have not been there, but I have yet to see anyone recommend 4 nights in Calgary, esp when you are only looking at 3 nights in the Rockies. You have this part completely backwards.

Have you read this article?

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154922-c120076/Briti…

For a one-way trip, my personal recommendation is to use highway 1 over highway 5 & 16. There is some disagreement on this, and like most of these things, its a matter for personal preference. I would argue that the scenery through Revelstoke, the Purcell Moutains, Roger's and Kicking Horse passes is much better than most of highway 5 through Clearwater. Highway 16 is wonderful, but I would not choose that and miss the route through Roger's Pass, IMHO.

Going this way also allows you to drive the magnificent Icefields Parkway twice. This is very much worth it. You will not see anything like this area anywhere in the world I don't think. Its jaw-droppingly beautiful and different heading north and then south. Again, I have seen a couple of posters on here who felt that the mountain scenery got boring after a couple of days, or wasn't any better than the Yorkshire Dales…well, to each their own I guess. I never tire of it.

As for the train, its important to note that it doesn't go along the Rockies, it crosses them. In order to travel along the mountains in a north/south direction, you have no choice but to drive. Its a hugely popular trip and people do rave about it, but personally, I think it doesn't afford you enough flexibility to see this magnificent area.

calgary
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5. Re: Travel advice needed

Cut your nights in Calgary down to 1 and put the other three nights between Jasper/Banff. Plus your one night in Calgary should be the night before you catch your flight home (presuming you're flying out of Calgary to get home).

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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6. Re: Travel advice needed

I have been to Calgary. It's a great town with wonderful food, but it's not the Rockies. Vancouverite67 is right. You have it backwards. Everyone else is also right about spending more time in the Rockies. The mountains are unforgettably beautiful, and you would be making a terrible mistake to cut your time there short.

england
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26 posts
211 reviews
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7. Re: Travel advice needed

Now THATS given us something to think about.If we decide to go through Revelstoke then would it be better to miss Whistler altogether or is it worth a visit from Vancouver? We have obviously heard of Icefields Parkway and how beautiful it is and being so close we would be silly not to see it, and, is it better to go Vancouver Calgary or the other way round?Thats why we are asking for your advice it really is invaluable, many thanks

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
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10,926 posts
136 reviews
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8. Re: Travel advice needed

Most people feel the views from west to east are best so yes vancouver to calgary.

look at canadian affair for one way car rental without drop fee.

Whistler can be done as a day trip from vancouver if you're into montian biking, rafting zipline peak to peak chair then it can be "worth" it.. really your call as you need to read about what is there to do and decide if it fits your interests.

Skip Kamloops as an overnight instead look at Revelstoke.. more to do/see there and closer to the Rockies.

Go up one to the BC forum and check the article about driving Vancouver to Banff/calgary it will give you route options and what to see/do along the way.

I've spent time in Calgary ( even lived there long ago) and it's a great city but it's still just a city the Rockies are like nothing else and that's where you want to spend your time.

Car is much better than train as you can stop and see many things along the way.

4 nights Vancouver

1 night Revelstoke

3 nights Banff ( do Lake Louise as a day excursion it's only 45 minutes from banff.. much more iBanff re restaurants etc

drive Ice Field Parkway

3 nights Jasper

drive IFP

1 night Lake Louise

drive to Calgary for flight home

above is just 12 nights so you could add 2 nights Kelowna or 2 nights Nelson or 4 nights each Banff and Jasper or 1 night Calgary if you have early flight out.

or you could even add one night Whistler then drive hwy 99 to Lillouet then across to Revelstoke.. many options but spend the time in Banff and Jasper you will not regret this choice

Vancouver, Canada
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59 reviews
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9. Re: Travel advice needed

Whistler is a "maybe" thing when you are also going to the Rockies. I really love Whistler and I feel so lucky have a world-class destination like that available to me as a day trip or quick weekend getaway. But you'll have to weigh it out against the other things you have going on and decide if it is a good use of your limited holiday time. Many people say that Whistler pales next to the Rockies (I would just say it is a completely different experience - the Rockies is more about the scenery, although the scenery in Whistler is very good, but Whistler is about the lifestyle and the experiences.)

It is an easy day trip from Vancouver, and its also not a huge detour to go around through Whistler and the Duffy Lake Road and come out at Lytton to rejoin highway 1 for the trip west. That loop up highway 99 is also very scenic, and a more remote mountain road than the rest of the routes you are taking. Only you know if you have the time to fit it all in.

10. Re: Travel advice needed

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