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How long to travel through mountains?

Winnipeg, Canada
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How long to travel through mountains?

We're planning a 3 weeks long trip this summer from Manitoba to Vancouver Island. We'll be driving all the way. I'v driven to Edmonton before, and my partner has driven as far as the Okonogan Valley. He is comfortable driving through the mountains but says it will be a lot slower, as we will also be pulling a tent trailer. Can anyone who has done this on a regular basis, (or at least more than once) tell me how MUCH longer this could be? I calculated that from Canmore AB (where we will be stopping to see relatives) to Kamloops BC it is about 351.51 km as the crow flies. I'm figuring that through the mountains we may be only driving about 80 km so it could take us 4-5 hours to get this distance. Am I close?

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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1. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

When I use Google Maps, I find the distance closer to 7 hours and a bit more than 500 km along Hwy 1. You would then need to adjust for stops and for hills. I think there will be a difference between as the crow flies and the actual distance of the turns and curves on Hwy 1.

MapQuest comes up with a bit more than 500 km and 6.5 hours to drive.

http://g.co/maps/zbw9j

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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2. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

If your tent trailer has water tanks and/or sewage tanks, make sure that they are empty before you go through the mountains - you want to be as light as possible.

calgary
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3. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

From Calgary to Vancouver its about 10 hour drive.

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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4. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

For Canmore to Kamloops, I would allow 7 hours (assuming you want to stop a couple of times to visit the loo and pick up some snacks).

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

It would be a real shame to rush this bit. I realize that you have to push through to Vancouver Island and its all about making choices, but if you could add a night in Revelstoke, it would take the pressure off a bit so that you can enjoy this beautiful bit of country.

We've been this way a couple of times recently, but we didn't go the whole way from Banff to Kamloops in one leg, so I can't tell you how long it was. We did drive from Revelstoke back to Vancouver in one leg and didn't leave Revy until about 3 pm and got home before 11 pm.

The speed will depend on how much weight you are towing and how much power you have. We did it with a Subaru Legacy station wagon towing a smallish tent trailer and it managed just fine through the passes.

Kamloops, Canada
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6. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

A couple of points to consider.

Summer holidays as you know will be busy with kids out of school. The majority of the trip from Canmore to Kamloops is single lane(one lane each way) with some areas of three lanes(two lanes up hill and one lane down hill) and a few small areas of four lanes(two and two). With the summer holidays expect slower travelling with LOTS of RV traffic from the prairies travelling to the Okanagan(notice the spelling) and Shuswap for boating, swimming and regular holiday activities. This traffic is also mixed with transport trucks. The end result is LONG slow travel mixed with periods of high anxiety when some idiot decides that they cannot wait for a passing lane and decides to pass on a blind corner or double lane. Distance is about 500km and probably about seven hours of straight travel, add more for fuel stops, slow travel eating site seeing etc. Near Rogers Pass you will gain an hour due to the time change. If you can also do one thing for the rest of us tourists is to keep an eye on your rear-view mirror, if you are slowing down traffic please pull over at a safe location and let the traffic pass.

PS in the rockies the crows have trouble flying in a straight line, the valleys are too crooked and flying up and over the mountains too takes a long time.

Enjoy your trip :0)

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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7. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

The worst times to drive in the mountains, for traffic, are Friday afternoons, Saturday afternoons, and the Monday of a long weekend. If you're travelling on a long weekend, Sunday is your best bet, if at all possible.

Making an early start can be very helpful as most vacationers find that difficult to manage.

And, just for the record (and because I'm an RVer), not all RVs are slow and underpowered. But it only takes one...

Edited: 07 February 2012, 15:12
Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Lake Louise
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8. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

A trip to Kamloops will take you longer than this. While the Trans Canada Highway is an easy drive - it has the potential to be busy and quietly stressfull all day, every day in the summer. It's loaded with folks just like you who have never driven in the mountains, people are driving slow and sightseeing. At the opposite end of the scale you have a major truck route and other folks who know the road well and drive it agressively. Throw in some "road maintenance" and you've got the picture. In other words, it's "summer driving in the Canadian Rockies". Start your day early, pack a picnic, plan on taking all day and shift your mindset onto "pleasure cruise". It can be a wonderful drive.

Don't forget to budget enough time to see the National Park(s) surrounding Canmore. Your time is well spent in Banff, Lake Louise and the surrounding areas. You'll want a minimum of 3 days just to enjoy the sights.

9. Re: How long to travel through mountains?

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