(I posted this on the Road Trip forum a couple of days ago and got great feedback but it was suggest I also post it on the Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Montana and Wyoming forums to get local expertise and opinion)
Well after a lot of planning and re-planning our family has finally put together an itinerary for our planned family trip summer 2011 for Canada/USA. I would appreciate any comments or feedback or suggestions. I do realize it is a long way out to plan this but we will actually have to start booking some of this in a couple of months.
We are a family of four (Mum, Dad and two teenage boys). We love the outdoors but would not by any stretch of the imagination call ourselves great hikers. We are happy to do a walk up to an hour or so with more easy than moderate terrain – we are just not that fit. We are NOT into cities or shopping – we are interested in scenery esp. something we can’t see at home and really interested in wildlife. New Zealand (home) has great scenery but no native mammals so even a chipmunk is a novelty to us!
We have travelled the USA before so are not novices. This time like previous times we are getting a RV.
Here is the itinerary
Pick up RV and head towards North Cascades National Park (Newhalem area) – stay 2 nights (1 day to explore).
Then East to Omak – then north through the Okanagan Valley - stopping overnight at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park.
Then up to Clearwater, BC – stopping two nights there to give us a day exploring the Wells Gray Provincial Park corridor. Had some great feedback from the BC forum on this area and hope to be able to camp at Lake Clearwater if the RV company allows their RV’s on gravel roads – still waiting hear back about that.
Then onto Jasper for four nights – giving us three whole days to explore this area
Then onto Banff via the Ice Pathway – spending 4 nights in Banff (three days to explore)
From Banff it’s down to Glacier National Park, MT staying three nights (two days to explore). Have had some feedback through the ROAD TRIP forum suggesting that we should take the East side route to Yellowstone and that the 423 miles to Canyon Campground in Yellowstone can be done in a day – rather than my original proposal below. If we did this then we could on the afternoon of our second day exploring - travel around to St Mary (not over the Going to the Sun Road – I see RV’s our size are not allowed on it) and then spend that extra day exploring the east side of Glacier.
ORGINAL PROPOSAL - Then south stopping overnight in Missoula before ending up in Yellowstone for 6 nights – probably staying at Grant Village. (Have now decided after advise on the ROAD TRIP forum to split our stay between Canyon Campground and Grant Village)
Then south again to the Grand Tetons – spending 3 nights (two days to explore).
From there we have to head South to drop the RV back at Salt Lake City (with a overnight stop close to SLC as RV has to be back by 11am – it is the closest place for this that gives us connections with LA that fit our international flight schedule – saves us having to spend a extra night in a hotel. We are also aware of the one way drop off fee but it is worth it to save having to travel all the way back to Seattle – a long way for us. I know none of the mileages are huge but the husband does not want to drive huge mileages in a day and we want to allow for down time to sit and read, enjoy were we are and also allow time for those little chores like laundry.
As I said we would appreciate comments and indication of anything we missed considering our requirements.