We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

From Calgary to Vancouver

Maribor, Slovenia
Level Contributor
817 posts
48 reviews
From Calgary to Vancouver

Hello

We are preparing for our West Canada / Yellowstone trip for 2018. Now we have some questions:

1) as we see it is the best to start in Calgary and finish in Vancouver and than we make a second part from Seattle to Yellowstone. Do you help us how to optimaze our trip if we arrival in Calgary and fly home from Vancouver - very difficult to carry out the trip

2) accomodation cost : as we looked at prices it is pretty expensive, e.g. per night in Jasper 135 CAD$ is already very competitive price - do you any idea where to sleep in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Glacier NP. Where is the most suitable prices to eat on the tour?

3) Prince Rupert to Port Hardy - there is many reviews that this trip by ferry is very beautiful. Where to find prices and how much it cost. What is better to take rental car with or not? Is worth to make this trip and drive from Glacier NP to Port Rupert ?

4) When we rent a car in Canada it is allowed to travel to USA (Yellowstone)? Are there any extra cost for that tour?

5) we want to travel between 10th of June and 10th of July (approx 14 days): how are the road conditions in this region in this period (snow on the road) ? Or is better period September (just option)?

6) do we need any extra reservation in advance (hotel, ferry etc), if yes how long in advance? Do exist any other extra costs (fee for NP etc)

7) do you suggest any destination in this region which is worth to see and would you help us to make an itinerary for this trip, where to start where to finish?

8) is this region crowded in this period of the year?

I would ask you for help as soon as possible, since we would like to make a flight reservatio as soon as possible.

Best regards

Ales

15 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32,265 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

<<2) accomodation cost : as we looked at prices it is pretty expensive, e.g. per night in Jasper 135 CAD$ is already very competitive price - do you any idea where to sleep in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Glacier NP. Where is the most suitable prices to eat on the tour?>>

If you can't afford around $200 pn for your accommodations, then you can't really afford to do this trip yet. You will find better rates in some of the smaller towns, but for Calgary, Banff, Jasper and Vancouver, you need to be expecting to pay $200 to $250 per night unless you are prepared to go to a very unsavory backpackers hostel. The HI hostels are going to be your best low cost option if you want to go that route.

http://hihostels.ca/en/

<<3) Prince Rupert to Port Hardy - there is many reviews that this trip by ferry is very beautiful. Where to find prices and how much it cost. What is better to take rental car with or not? Is worth to make this trip and drive from Glacier NP to Port Rupert ?>>

If you thought the cost of the hotels in Banff were bad!! Ha! Check the ferry. Remember, that's just your passage. Food is extra.

https://www.bcferries.com/schedules/inside/

And anyway, you'd need at least another week to fit that in.

<<5) we want to travel between 10th of June and 10th of July (approx 14 days): how are the road conditions in this region in this period (snow on the road) ? Or is better period September (just option)?>>

14 days for Calgary to Vancouver is a nice trip. A second two week leg for Seattle to Yellowstone is probably doable.

<<4) When we rent a car in Canada it is allowed to travel to USA (Yellowstone)? Are there any extra cost for that tour?>>

The one-way drop charges if you tried to do the whole thing in one car are going to kill you. They could more than double your rental cost. You can almost certainly do Calgary to Vancouver reasonably with a modest one way fee. You can then get a bus to Seattle, but the one way charge to go back over to Yellowstone may be less favourable. Ask on the Seattle forum about that part. You might do better to fly to Montana and do a loop from there.

<<6) do we need any extra reservation in advance (hotel, ferry etc), if yes how long in advance? Do exist any other extra costs (fee for NP etc>>

Yes yes yes yes and yes. DO NOT try to show up in the national parks without a reservation. In fact, if you are trying to book budget accommodations, the sooner the better. Now is a good time to get on that. Parks Canada has passes you have to purchase as well. They were free in 2017 and they don't have the 2018 rates posted yet, but we are expecting them to be reinstated. They were around $20 per day per person.

<<7) do you suggest any destination in this region which is worth to see and would you help us to make an itinerary for this trip, where to start where to finish?>>

We do this dozens of times a day here. There are so many itineraries and plans that you don't have to read too far to find good information to get you started. Perhaps the trip reports would be a good place to start your planning.

https:/…Itineraries.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154922-c…

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
8,182 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

Correction - national parks passes are ~$20 per vehicle per day or $165 per year. You must have valid pass whenever you are in the national park - that includes Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise.

I don't think any of the hostels in the Rockies, at least, are in any way unsavoury. They're all quite safe, though some can be noisier and less tidy than others. You get what you pay for -- some have lots of amenities and private rooms that would be equivalent to some hotels. Others are very basic, but tidy and in stunning locations. Generally private rooms will range from $80-160 in peak season - some will have private toilets/sinks, but I've not heard of any with private showers.

Otherwise, in the Rockies, rooms probably average around $300 per night in the summer months. In Jasper, less expensive options can be found in PHAs (private home accommodations), which are listed at www.stayinjasper.com -- they generally start around $80 or so for a shared washroom, up to $200 plus for a suite with breakfast. In Banff, B&Bs can be less expensive, and the YWCA is the other budget option. Canmore has some less expensive options, albeit things are changing as the larger hostel is now being closed and replaced with yet as unfinished complex that's supposed to include less expensive self catering style private rooms/accommodation. However, no one really seems to know how it will work/prices, and it will reduce the number of overall beds. So it may actually increase the average cost of rooms in the town.

So if you are finding $135 expensive, then you may need a rethink in regards to this trip. Other fees/expenses will be the national parks pass (Canada) and admissions (US), food (not cheap unless you cook yourself), ferry fees (per person and per vehicle, so can add up quite quickly), plus gas, car rental and incidentals.

And yes, you absolutely MUST reserve well in advance for accommodations, and book ferries ahead of time. In places like the Rockies, there is huge demand for accommodation in the summer and almost all beds are filled on any one night.

The more desirable and more budget accommodations tend to be the first to book, so if you are on a strict budget, you need to be looking and booking now. Note that some hotels and many PHAs won't take bookings until early 2018. That can be a bit tricky, but the best thing to do is find something that will work and has a good cancellation policy (all hostels usually have a 24-48 hr cancellation policy). Then if you find something better/cheaper later on, you can cancel your first booking.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32,265 posts
62 reviews
3. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

Thanks for the correcting on the ap arks pass rates. I was thinking about some of the scuzzier Vancoiver hostels. I think the HI hostels are generally better run.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
8,182 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

Yes - certainly some of the city hostels can be less pleasant. I've heard less than positive things about the Hi Hostel in Edmonton. But the ones outside the big cities tend to be quite good.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
67,568 posts
65 reviews
5. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

1) 2 weeks is a good amount of time to travel from Calgary to Vancouver: visit the Rockies for about 6-7 nights. Take 2-3 nights to drive across the province. Visit Vancouver for 3-4 nights. As a EU resident, I think you would qualify to rent a car from the UK company Canadian Tire. They charge a low, or even no, one way drop fee and they include all insurance in the rate. Calgary and Vancouver are qualifying cities.

Link: https:/…car-hire-oneway

2) The Rockies will be expensive to stay in. There is alternative accommodation, more economical accommodation, in Banff and Lake Louise in this website: www.banfflakelouise.com . More economical accommodation in Jasper can be found in this website: www.stayinjasper.com . As far as places to eat, there will be plenty of places, from pizza places, hamburger places to fine dining place.

3) Prince Rupert to Port Hardy by ferry will probably take another week. You have to stay in Prince Rupert the night before the early morning ferry departure. The ferry ride takes about 16 hours. You have to stay in Port Hardy when you arrive because the ferry arrives in late evening. Once you are on Vancouver Island, it would be a very good idea to spend a week there, visiting several locations. For your trip, perhaps this idea is not so practical.

BC Ferries: www.bcferries.com

4) Yes, usually a rental car is permitted by the car company to go to the United States. But you must ask each car rental company if they permit this. It is not possible to leave the car in the US, (Yellowknife) you would have to drive back to Canada again. Any extra costs? Yes, maybe. Sometimes the policy of unlimited kms that you will get in Canada will not be permitted once across the border into the USA. Then the distance is charged per US mile.

Driving from Banff to West Yellowstone takes about 10 hours, so 2 days. Then to drive back to BC, maybe somewhere like Nelson which would be a great destination to go, would take 10 hours. Add a 3 night stay in Yellowstone NP, a couple of nights more to drive back to Cagary Airport and you have used your second week, after the week in the Rockies. It would be very difficult to drive to the coast in 2 weeks if you included Yellowstone. You could do Calgary Airport > Banff > Jasper > Lake Louise > West Yellowstone > Nelson > Revelstoke > Calgary Airport. I would not vote for that trip when BC would give you more excellent experiences.

Here's a map: https://goo.gl/maps/Lc3yp2uu6922

5) Canada Day is on July 1st. This will be a very busy long weekend across the country. Many hotels/motels/B&Bs in the Rockies will expect you to stay for a minimum of 3 nights. There will be no snow on the roads or on the ground. People will be camping. September is a great time to come. The length of the day will be shorter than in June/July. School goes in on the first Monday of September. Although it is still busy in the Rockies and in Vancouver, there will be no families with children on holiday.

Sunrise/Sunset:

Banff: June: 5h30 am/10h00 pm. September: 7h17 am/7h56 pm.

Vancouver: June: 6h10 am/9h21 pm. September: 6h50 am/7h23 pm.

6) Accommodation in the Rockies, maybe 10-11 months in advance. Vancouver, maybe 6-7 months in advance. Hotels in the interior of BC = 4-5 months.

7) Revelstoke for Giant Cedars Boardwalk, Railway Museum, Revelstoke Museum (for great snow and avalanche science included in the exhibits), cycling on the Myra Canyon Trestle system near Kelowna. My suggestion for an itinerary could be:

Arrive Calgary, drive immediately for 2 hours to Banff

3 nights Banff

Explore the Icefields Parkway, the road to Jasper

2 nights Jasper

Explore the Icefields Parkway twice. It is spectacular. See the article about the Icefields Parkway in the Top Questions at the right side of the page.

1 night Lake Louise. This will give you morning and evening time without the many tour coach passengers crowding the pathways around the lake.

1 night Revelstoke

2 nights Kelowna or Penticton

4 nights Vancouver

Fly out of Vancouver.

TOTAL = 13 nights. If you can add 2 more nights, add 1 to Jasper and 1 to Revelstoke.

8) In June/July, yes in the Rockies and Vancouver, fairly busy in Kelowna. In September, yes in the Rockies and Vancouver, fairly busy in Kelowna. Vancouver will welcome many cruise ship passengers between May and September. Booking a Vancouver hotel needs to be done well in advance to get good choice and good value. Once those value hotel rooms have been taken, there will be available only expensive rooms.

Maribor, Slovenia
Level Contributor
817 posts
48 reviews
6. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

Hello

Fisrts thank you to the experts who gave me a lot of infomation. Now we have changed itinerary so it looks so:

1 arrival in Calgary (oversllep or drive near to Banff)

2 Banff

3 Banff

4 Drive to Jasper

5 Jasper

6 Jasper

7 Drive to Glacier NP oversleep in Revelstoke

8 Drive to Vancouver (pickk off the car)

9 Vancouver

10 Drive to Seattle and overnight (pick up the car)

11 Drive from Seattle near to Yellowstone

12 Yellowstone

13 Yellowstone

14 Yellowstone

15 Yellowstone

16 Drive to Reno (oversleep)

17 Drive to SFO

18 Flight to Europe

Now I ask you for your opinion is this itinerary doable or not. About Vancouver - it is worth to stay more in their and why? Do you can optimaize this itinerary. Way from Yellowstone to SFO is for us not so important (have already been in SFO) only mabe short stay on Lake Tahoe and Sacramento (optional).

Best regards

Ales

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32,265 posts
62 reviews
7. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

WHAT??? No. Not even close.

Jasper to Revelstoke in one day is doable, but a long drive with no time for stops. You want to stop and sightsee. Aim for Lake Louise, Field or Golden at the absolute furthest.

Seattle to Yellowstone in ONE DAY? Are you flying? Its a hard two days, if you push it. One day is bonkers.

Yellowstone to Reno to San Francisco in TWO DAYS? It will take you between 12 and 14 hours to get to Reno, depending on if you stop to eat or eat in the car. You might get it down to an 11 hour drive if you are very disciplined about not stopping more than once every 4-5 hours for no more than 20 minutes at a time. If you want to try and do this in two day (WHY? when you are in a rental car anyway. Drop the car and just fly.We've done trips like this, but we've been in our own vehicle, which is different), then you could do back-to-back 8-9 hour driving days, but that would have you stopping in somewhere like Elko, Nevada....

Never mind the one way drop charges and the extra mileage charges you can incur when you go so far out of jurisdiction. Some car rentals stipulate that you get free mileage *provided* you stay within the neighbouring states. For a rental in Washington, that means only Idaho and Oregon are included in the free mileage. You'll be paying for everything outside of that.

If you want to go to Yellowstone, then just fly to Salt Lake City or Billings and do your car rental from there. Your plan to try and drive all of that is just a pointless endurance test. Why drive right past the things you have come to see?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
67,568 posts
65 reviews
8. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

Hi ~

I have to correct two mistakes in post 5. Point 1 says Canadian Tire (which is a retail store here) instead of Canadian Affair. Point #4 says (Yellowknife) which should be Yellowstone. ~~~

I think that is quite a lot of travelling. Revelstoke to Vancouver will take 6 hours. Yes, it is doable but what attractions and activities can you enjoy on the way to Vancouver?

Seattle to Yellowstone is about 11 hours of continuous driving. You would need to take 1 or 2 nights to get there.

Yellowstone to Reno is about 10.5 hours of continuous driving. You really would need to take 1 night to get there.

Too much travelling in the United States to be enjoyable and to stay relaxed. However, Yellowstone seems to be the destination you really want to spend time in. Here is an idea:

A) You could take the train or coach service to Seattle. Seattle is good for a 3 night visit. Then you could fly from there to West Yellowstone with Delta Airlines in about 4 hours, with a connection in Salt Lake City. You could then fly from West Yellowstone to San Francisco with either Delta or United in about 6 hours with a connection in Salt Lake City.

B) You could drive to Calgary, drop the car, spend one night and take an early morning flight to West Yellowstone with Delta in about 4.5 hours, with a connection in Salt Lake City. Then fly to San Francisco from West Yellowstone.

Use Google Flights to show you what flights are possible. Book directly with the airline. https://www.google.ca/flights/

.

Now, may I interpret some English that you have used? It may help to check my understanding of what you have posted.

Day 8. Vancouver. I think you mean drop off the car.

Day 10. "Drive" means you will drive a car. I think you mean take a "coach" or take the "train" to Seattle.

You have used both oversleep and overnight. Overnight is correct when sleeping in a hotel for a night. Oversleep means to sleep too long and be late for work. (However, :-)), sleepover means that your young daughter has friends come over to spend the night, stay up all night talking, make a mess in the kitchen, use 2G of data!!)

Edited: 12 November 2017, 20:23
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
67,568 posts
65 reviews
9. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

Plan A) Day 8. Kelowna

Day 9. Vancouver to drop off the Canadian Affair car and take same day afternoon train to Seattle.

Day 10. Seattle

Day 11. Fly to West Yellowstone, rent a car

Day 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Yellowstone

Day 17. Fly to SFO

Day 18. Flight to Europe.

.

Plan B) Day 8, 9. Revelstoke. It's an interesting a beautiful area which needs time.

Day 10 Calgary

Day 11. Fly to West Yellowstone, rent a car

.... continue as per the first plan.

Maribor, Slovenia
Level Contributor
817 posts
48 reviews
10. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver

I just check information couple days ago, so I am considering to take flight from Vancouver to Salt Lake City (I think better as from Seattle, less logistic problems, and it seems flight tickets proces are almost same) and then rent a car in Salt Lake City and return car at the same place. Then flight to Chicago and Europe.

It seems ok to you?

Now questions about rent a car. I got an enquiry from rentalcars.com (with one way fee 250 CAD + tax - how much is the tax in Canada - - cars rented by Thrifty, Dollar and Alamo ) and biliger-mietwagen.de (there is in instructions that one way fee is included in price - cars rented by Avis). In both enquieries cost rental car (without one way fee ) about 400 - 450 Euros. Now I want to check how reliable is information from billiger-mietwagen.de that this prices include one way fee, I am afraid that at the I will pay this fee also at billiger-mietwagen.de Do you have any information about that? How much cost gasolin at the moment in Alberta and British Columbia.

Best regards

Ales

Reply to: From Calgary to Vancouver
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted