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Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

Surfers Paradise
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Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

Can anyone tell me if 15 days is enough to drive in a motorhome from Calgary up the Canadian Rockies to Jasper then across to Vancouver. We are travelling end of April into May?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

Yes it is a good amount of time for the Rockies, the drive across the province and then time in Vancouver. It will be winter in the Rockies at that time with a high chance of snow on the road, especially the high mountain passes which can range 1000-1100 metres in elevation. There is a good chance of a few hours delay for avalanche control on Hwy 1 near Golden and a good chance of an avalanche just coming down, creating delays while the hwy is cleared.

The National Parks will not be up and running for tourists at that time of year, most of the lakes will be covered in ice and most of the trails will be snow bound. But the mountains and the area will be spectacular all the same. The temps for Banff are here:

www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3…

On the coast it will be a different matter. Lots of cherry blossoms in April in Vancouver. The Okanagan Valley will be feeling spring like, and Vancouver Island will be full of blossoms and showing new growth on the trees.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

Actually, the towns in the Rockies are at 1060m and 1450m (Jasper and Banff respectively) - that is considered "low elevation" here; the high mountain passes are considerably higher. And the national parks are up and running for visitors year round; in the winter, there are some roads and attractions that are not open, but the parks are open with plenty of activities and services for visitors.

Late April/early May is a transitional time: late winter/early spring in the valleys, and still winter up on the mountains. The Jasper and Lake Louise ski areas usually close after the first week of May, and Sunshine Village near Banff, which is higher, is open until after the third weekend in May.

There are not very many campgrounds open at that time of year in the parks, but each park has at least one. You can check on the camping pages of each park for detailed info: www.pc.gc.ca/banff and www.pc.gc.ca/jasper .

Fifteen days is enough time - it's a one-way trip, right? Nights are still chilly then, so I'm sure you'll be happy with a unit with a heater, and some very warm bedding.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

lol I should have said "our" mountain passes. The high mountain passes needed to be driven to the coast will be Rogers Pass 1330 m near Golden, or the Coquihalla Pass at 1244 m between Merritt and Hope or the Yellowhead Pass in Jasper NP at 1100 m. Mountain passes are typically the lowest elevation amongst the mountain peaks that the engineers can find to put through a road or in BC a rail line. Any ground above 1100 metres inland, especially the western slopes, will pretty much be magnets for snowfall in April.

Blind Bay, BC
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4. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

Hate to burst your bubble BUT Very VERY few campgrounds are open at that time of the year to say the least.. You will need heat in the motor home to keep warm in the mornings & evenings by either electric OR propane heat. TRUST me they aren't known for their heat keeping abilities..

You'll be much more comfortable staying at hotels & B&B'S.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

Suiteasitgets, I thought interior BC warmed up earlier than Alberta did?

In Alberta (Banff/Jasper/Calgary), you'll be making frequent propane stops to keep your furnace running, as overnight temperatures will still drop below freezing most nights. Also, it's not clear whether you will be able to use the RV's water systems, as there is the chance that water lines may freeze at night and then burst. When I've RVed at that time of year, I have kept my RV winterized (plumbing antifreeze in all the water lines). Since I can't use the regular water systems, I bring jugs of water for drinking and washing, and jugs of plumbing antifreeze to flush the toilet with. Of course, that assumes you can find an all-weather sani-dump for your grey and black water tanks; I know that Tunnel Mountain campground in Banff has a year-round sani-dump, but I don't know of any other places.

Failing that, you can use campground toilets and showers rather than the RV's. But as Suite has pointed out, many campgrounds are closed at that time of year, so do your research well in advance to see what's open.

6. Re: Calgary to Vancouver via Jasper in a Motorhome

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