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Aussies in Canada

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Naracoorte
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Aussies in Canada

Hi - this will be the first of a few posts for our road trip in June 2015 through Canada and beyond.

Just a bit of preplanning - just wondering about driving to Banff either through Whistler or Meritt.

Is there a better tourist drive between these two. From there we plan to head to Yellowstone via Calgary and Glacier Nat Park and end up back in Vancouver via Seattle.

We hopefully can handle twists and turns with a bit of driving through Aspen last year.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Aussies in Canada

Hi Roadmaster ~

How much time do you have for this trip? No Jasper or the Icefields Parkway in your plans?

You can find suggested routes to Banff/Calgary in a Top Question to the right side of the British Columbia forum.

I am not a big fan of spending time in Whistler when the Rockies are in the same trip. The Rockies will trump Whistler, hands down. Having said that there is merit to take Hwy 99 through Whistler for the scenery and the different ecosystems and landscapes. Take Merritt out of the equation.

So just throwing something out there, here's one option (1) for getting to and experiencing the Rockies, using some interesting places to stay. Vancouver > Whistler > Clinton > Revelstoke > Banff > Jasper > Radium Hot Springs (or Fairmont possibly) > Whitefish, MT. Map of this idea:

http://goo.gl/maps/0fEUK

Another option (2) that doesn't include Whistler and again, just throwing it out there without knowing your time frame. Vancouver > Penticton > Nelson > Revelstoke > Banff > Jasper > Radium > Whitefish, MT. Map for this:

http://goo.gl/maps/hEc0L

These two routes will give you different experiences. Option 1 will give you fab scenery on Hwy 99 up to Whistler, then twisting and turning on the Duffey Lake Road between Mount Currie and Lillooet. This take you from sea level up into the high plateau Cariboo region - scrub growth, ranch/cattle lands, dry, hills and guest ranches. Clinton is a very small town. From Revy to Lake Louise, you've got the scenic beginning again. A chance to get into Yoho NP to visit Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake on the way to LL. Decent population, therefore decent amenities and attractions. This is the original CPR line from the 1880s, so there is a lot of railway history along here. The Spiral Tunnels view point. It (and option 2) allows you to do the Icefields Parkway in both directions. This is a bonus. Then head down the Columbia River Valley to Radium, Invermere, Fairmont HS and on to Kimberley, Fort Steele Historic site, and through the border to Whitefish. How many nights would I want for this? 2 Whistler, 1 Clinton, 2 Revy, 4 Banff, 3 Jasper, 1 Radium or ? ....

Option 2 will give you the lovely Okanagan Valley to explore out of Penticton, a small and welcoming town. Wineries, the Myra Canyon bike path on all the old railway trestles, Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre (pronounced Ink-meep), much more, and the lovely Hwy 3 to get across the province. Nelson is a beauty, amongst forests and lakes with BC history. Then Revy and carry on as before. How many nights would I want for this? 2-3 Penticton, 2 Nelson, 2 Revy, 4 Banff, 3 Jasper 1 Radium or ? ....

Nk'mip Cultural Centre: http://www.nkmipdesert.com/

Kettle Valley Myra Canyon: trailpeak.com/trail-Myra-Canyon-KVR-near-Kel…

Crowsnest Hwy 3. Links to towns to open at the end of the article: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

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

Silver Slocan Circle Tour around Nelson: hellobc.com/driving-routes/22/silvery-slocan…

See what you think.

Naracoorte
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2. Re: Aussies in Canada

That's going to help us immensely.

Thanks so much - sure we will get something from that. Our time is not an issue and that's one of the reasons for not using the train.we will have a couple of months driving around.

Now I wonder if it's all about the destination (Banff etc) and surrounds rather than the drive from Vancouver??

Thanks again.t

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Aussies in Canada

>>Now I wonder if it's all about the destination (Banff etc) and surrounds<<

How about 70% Vancouver, 60% all the communities, attractions, activities on the drive, 80% the Rockies. hahaha. How's my math! Seriously though, the Rockies, in particular the Icefields Parkway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason.

Vancouver Island, 9-10 nights now that you've mentioned time is not an issue.

Naracoorte
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4. Re: Aussies in Canada

Hi MuftiVancouver

at last I am getting excited about some planning. Been procrastinating for some months and nearly took Scotland as an easier option, but you have me back on track.

We are a couple of mid 60's who rather organise ourselves rather than have a bus company do it for us.

I thought it was a must to head toward Kamloops but never had Whistler in my sights. If its anything like Aspen, its just a drive through. Thinking now that we should head for Jasper via Whistler/Kamloops then we could do the Icefields Parkway from Jasper. Not sure what that is but we will find out.

Don't want to backtrack any distance.

Jasper to Lake Louis - Yoho Nat Park - Banff - Nelson - Whitefish - Yellowstone.

Missing Calgary - not sure whether to time this for the stampede or is it a place to steer clear of?? (no pun indended)

Hope you have some thought here.

Thanks

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Aussies in Canada

Yes, I follow the forums. It is always fun planning. You've got a lot of ideas now on your other thread. You will have to do a fair bit of study for the range of travel you are thinking of doing and make some tough decisions. The thing is that there are attractions and activities if you go "this" way and other attractions and activities if you go "that" way. For a big trip like yours, there can be an overwhelming amount of things to consider.

Whistler "opens" for summer business on the Victoria Day long weekend, the 3rd Monday of May. It is a very busy and active place in the summer. Loads of summer activities from mountain biking to ziplining to hiking the alpine (some snow at higher elevations no doubt), ATV riding, river rafting, black bear tours with Michael Allen, cycling the valley floor. The Peak2Peak gondola across 4 km between Whistler Peak and Blackcomb Peak in 11 minutes, golfing. Frommy, our regular Aussie poster, says it's like Thredbo on steroids. I don't know Thredbo, but I have been up to Whistler in the summer. It has the fittest people on the planet, very entreprenurial feeling (it is a resort), natural surroundings, fresh air, views to sing about, food for all budgets and pubs to enjoy, riding the chairlifts up the mountain over the black bears. Outdoor patio eating and drinking. But ..... not a patch on the Rockies. Going or not going to Whistler will be one of your tough decisions.

www.whistlerblackcomb.com

www.whistler.com

It's early days to be saying you don't want to backtrack the Icefields Parkway. Come back after you have read a handful of TRs from the 3 different collections and see what you think then.

The other road that may fall under this proviso is Going-to-the-Sun Road. Not sure it will be open though in June. This year it opened on June 20 or 21. Now that 50 miles (American) has a reputation.

BC has basically 3 highways running east-west across the province. The main one Hwy 1 which more or less copied the CPR rail line originating in Toronto from the 1880s. You may not realize the significance of this but the last spike was pounded in at Craigellachie (west of Revy), about 500 km from Vancouver. The distance from Toronto is 4000 km. The thing is, the rails were begun at both ends and were to meet in the middle. Some middle. It was the geography and topography of BC that caused nothing but drilling, blasting and clearing before laying tracks, but steamrolling across the flat prairies.

Highway 16 is the northern route and Hwy 3 is the route that hugs the border with the US. We are chicken about cold, so most of the population has traditionally gravitated to the southern-most areas of the province. Hasn't worked, the interior of BC gets cold and stuffed with snow. Hwy 3 is a highway with character. There are so many small towns with much history Trail has the mine, Christina Lake and Creston have the Doukhobors, there's Japanese-Canadian WWII history in the Slocan Valley (to name just one place), there's the Kettle Valley, endless southern province things to see and do, even little Hedley has gold mining ancestry.

So that leaves the north-west aspects to consider. We have 4-5 north-west mountain ranges across the province. Northern Cascades, Okanagan Valley, the Monashees, Slocan Valley, Selkirks, Kootenay Lake (valley), Purcells, Columbia River Valley, Rockies. All with mountain passes to drive up and over. All that can keep a visitor busy in a variety of ecosystems and climates, culture and history, scenery and nature for a couple of months. Then there's the north, north of Hwy 16! We are about the same size as S.A.

Carry on. See how you go.

Mufti

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6. Re: Aussies in Canada

If you got the time do Whistler the highway drive is very scenic. I agree Whistler scenery is nothing compared to the Rockies but it is still nice especially if you have the time.

Ice Fields I think are a must.

Skip Merritt agree.

Mufti suggestions are great if you follow them you won't be disappointed. I think Naramata, Penticton, Summerland, Kelowna route should definitely factor into your trip. If you are wine lovers this area is lovely.

Vancouver Island: Take Ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver drive to Long Beach and Tofino return visit Qualicum, Parksville either are lovely spots to visit then head to Victoria and return to Vancouver via Swartz Bay near Victoria.

Ali

Naracoorte
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7. Re: Aussies in Canada

Thanks all for your help. Been looking hard at google maps and based on loads of info plus your ideas hopefully this will get us there.....regardless of what direction we go. We are also doing Yellowstone ++ and amazed how late this park opens so we may have to reverse our itinerary to keep all options open. Thankfully we have no start time so perhaps it may be more opportune to do this late July/Aug/Sept to avoid mayhem.

Anyway - Vancouver - Chillewack - Princeton - Kelowna - Revelstoke - Yoho NP - Jasper - Lake Louise??- Banff - Nelson - Whitefish - then its out of this forum. Sorry Whistler - no Aussie currency for you.

Guessing 2 nights before Revelstoke as we live in wine country. Revelstoke sounds "country" and we love small towns (ours - Population 6,000). Yoho NP sounds appealing but unsure whether accomodation is worth it at the Lake - looking for alternatives. Think we can do Lake Louise either from there or on the way too or back from Jasper. Sounds a very touristy place. Jasper 2 nights?? Banff 3 nights?? Nelson 2 nights (and the cirlce loop is appealing and out of the way of main stream.) Last year we did a 3 month road trip in southern USA and the fact we were out of tourist areas was just fantastic - very friendly people you yanks. :)

Backtracking - not on our itinerary,,,, til now.

Greater Sydney...
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8. Re: Aussies in Canada

"very friendly people you yanks"

Mate, not a well thought out observation as you are posting on a Canadian forum.

Port Moody, Canada
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9. Re: Aussies in Canada

It's OK Frommy ( wave) knew they meant past tense referring to other trips..and we Canadians are also very polite ;) ..and extremely friendly as well LOL

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Aussies in Canada

We'll just yank your chain, if you don't call us Canucks! lol