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Canadian Rockies trip

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Canadian Rockies trip

We're trying to plan a fly-drive trip through the Canadian Rockies, starting in Vancouver and driving to Calgary in June (what's the weather like then, we've heard it's likely to be wet). We'd be really grateful if anyone could advise us on the best route to take, how long we should stay in each place and if there any sights/places we should definitely not miss. We have ten nights/eleven days for the journey. We're a couple in our 'young' fifties and would like to experience some of the off-the-beaten-track places as well as the more popular resorts. We like moderate walking/hiking and nice places to stay.

Any help gratefully received as we don't really know where to start!

Banff, Canada
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188 posts
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1. Re: Canadian Rockies trip


In my opinion, 10 nights is a bit tight to see Vancouver, drive and enjoy the Okanagan along the way and then the Rockies as well. I would consider either a couple of nights in Vancouver and then flying to Calgary, renting a car and then touring the Rockies for a week, or

if you really want to drive from Vancouver to Banff/Jasper, then maybe 2 nights Vancouver, 2 nights along the way in the Okanagan (Kelowna/Peachland) area and then 6 nights split between Banff (3), Jasper (2) and Lake Louise.

June should be nice in Vancouver/Okanagan, it can be wet in the Rockies. It can also be lovely and sunny, very spring like, unpredictable. One bonus is that is the best time of year to see wildlife in the valley bottoms and touches of snow in the alpine.

There is so much fantastic hiking/walking available in the Rockies that it is overwhelming. You won't be overrun with other visitors at that time. Everyone has their favourite hikes depending on the conditions and time of the year.

The Parks Canada Info Centres are a great resource, just pop in and tell them how long you want to be out, what your fitness level is, what you would like to see (lakes, viewpoint etc) and they can recommend a number based on the early season conditions.

I also love the book - "Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies - An Opinionated Guide" by the Copelands, they have all sorts of hikes listed for different seasons.

Accommodation depends on your budget. There are some quintessential Canadian Lodge experiences available in the Rockies - on your own lake, canoeing, hiking with a guide, great meals etc - like Moraine Lake Lodge, but they are in the $400 range per night. Great if your budget allows multiple nights, or even for a splurge.

Otherwise it's off season, so you should be able to get mid range hotels for around $150-$200 and budget motels or bnb's for $100-$150.

Because you like so many others are travelling independently by car I will again recommend a GyPSy Guide - it's a device that you rent and automatically plays commentary (through your stereo) on the surrounding scenery, stories of past explorers, geology, wildlife, wineries, folklore etc. Have 4000 points across Western Canada. It will point out a lot of things that others miss, lots of local favourites/recommendations.

Tripadvisor review page - tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

Hope that's good for a start.

banffinfo - Banff Lake Louise and Jasper Reservations.

Kimberley, Canada
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290 posts
35 reviews
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2. Re: Canadian Rockies trip

please include us in your plans;

www.kootenayrockies.com - BC has the warm side of the Rockies. See links to "Hot Springs" - Lussier Hot Springs - "au natural" + Whiteswan Provincial Park - setting as "fantastic" as any mountain lake in the World - come and see for yourself?

Less travelled side - take the World's longest free ferry ride near Nelson, B.C.

Friendly folks, here.

Phoenix, Az
4 posts
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3. Re: Canadian Rockies trip

My niece and I are planning a road trip to Anchorage from Phoenix in mid April. She starts a summer job on May 1.

What weather and road conditions can we expect and what should we be prepared for along the Alaskan HWY?

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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25,890 posts
86 reviews
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4. Re: Canadian Rockies trip


Welcome to the TripAdvisor forums!

I'm concerned that you won't get a response to your question about the Alaska Highway by posting it under a forum thread headed "Canadian Rockies trip" in the forum for the Canadian Rockies. May I suggest that you post your question on the Yukon forum:


and the British Columbia forum:


To post a new question, just click the gold "Add a new topic" button near the top of the page.

In Alberta (which is not usually considered to include the Alaska Highway), April is early spring; the road conditions should be good, but there is still a chance of late-season snowfalls which may require winter driving skills. You may wish to read this article on winter driving in Canada:


Phoenix, Az
4 posts
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5. Re: Canadian Rockies trip


I've posted under the other forums each telling me to post somewhere else. I'll start a new thread and see what happens.

BTW I grew up in New England and lived in Reno/Tahoe. Winter driving isn't an issue. I just need to know what type of vehicle we should rent. My little sports car won't cut it.

I used Tripadvisor last year to plan a summer treck across Europe and both TA and the trip were wonderful.

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21 posts
10 reviews
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6. Re: Canadian Rockies trip

We have sorted an itinerary for mid June.

Flying from Manchester to Calgary,overnight in Calgary, pick up hire car then on to Banff for 4 nights, Jasper 4 nights, Kamloops 1 night ,Vancouver 4 nights where we drop the car on arrival then fly back to Manchester from Vancouver.

Some of the car hire co's charge a fee for single route drop-offs the co we've hired with don't though.

I realise this route is the opposite to the way you are doing it but you could adjust it to suit yourselves.

We looked at the made up tours but decided we wanted to explore the Rocky National Parks a bit so opted for our own itinerary and all booked through our local travel agent.

Don't forget that you'll probably need a national parks pass to do the National Parks i think these are around 80 C$ for admission to all parks.

Hope this is of some help

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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19,024 posts
113 reviews
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7. Re: Canadian Rockies trip

Yes, you do need a park pass to visit the parks. For two people, it's $19.60 per day (valid until 4 pm the next day), or if you are staying seven days or more, an annual pass at $136.40 is the way to go.

Here is a page that explains it:


8. Re: Canadian Rockies trip

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