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Driving from Vancouver to Banff

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Newcastle Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 2
Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Anyone help with ideas for above drive..we have around 13 days from the 29/4/13. Would really like some ideas for stops, drive times and maybe even some accommodation options.

And of course any help with driving on the other side of the road LOL...we are from Australia..in our 60's

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,252
reviews: 54
1. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Welcome to the forum Karen ~

There is some great information to guide your travel plans here on the forums. I will link below the British Columbia Forum. On that forum, look to the Top Questions to the upper right. In that section, you will find 1) Trip Reports and 2) an article for choosing routes to the Rockies, and more.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g154922-i80-Britis…

You will also find some parallel info on the Canadian Rockies, especially their collection of Trip Reports:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g659487-i11598-Can…

It looks as though you are planning a one way drive to Calgary? This would mean a one way drop with a rental car, and the associated one way drop fee. It would be great to have that confirmed. A number of overseas travellers, including Aussies, contact Canadian Affair to see about their offer of no one way drop fee. That might be worth a phone call as I understand they do not book this on the internet.

One area that tourists like to spend a couple of nights in transit across the province of BC is the Okanagan Valley. A second area further east is the Nelson area (Ainsworth Hotsprings, Kaslo, New Denver, Sandon, Silverton) and finally Revelstoke on Hwy 1 and east to the Rockies is considered a scenic route to Lake Louise and Banff.

Your dates are on the cusp of Spring in the Rockies, but full spring on the coast, so there may be some snow fall from the sky without lasting long. The lakes will have ice on until about the first week of June and there will be some trails that will be still "snowed in."

Our BC online tourism website is www.hellobc.com . Search on this website for the "Silvery Slocan Circle Route."

My own suggestion would be about 4 nights Vancouver, perhaps 2-3 nights in the location of your choice on the way to the Rockies (Kelowna > Revelstoke > Banff ... or .... Osoyoos > Nelson > Revelstoke > Banff), and 7 nights in the Rockies, split between Banff/Lake Louise and Jasper. I like to suggest the final night before your flight out at Banff, to position yourself for the 2 hour drive to Calgary International.

Another online tool that is helpful is maps.google.com . This tool allows you to plot cities to find driving routes, driving distances and times.

Edited: 2:17 am, February 23, 2013
Newcastle, Australia
posts: 1
2. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Thank you so much. We will be researching your advice over the next few days.

We are not doing a one way drive, ideally we are hoping to plan a drive for around 12-13 days Vancouver and back to Vancouver. But want to spend a couple of days in a few areas so as to get the most out of that particular region.

Again..thank you

Rob

Newcastle Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 2
3. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Hi people..

Anyone have any ideas to help us plan a 12-13 day drive leaving Vancouver on the 29/4/13. We would like to visit Jasper/Banff/ Lake Louise/Calgary and back to Vancouver.Any configuration would be good.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 12,336
reviews: 86
4. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Have a read through the trip reports; there are two sets compiled, one on the Canadian Rockies forum (2nd in list of Top Questions at right of page) and one in the BC forum (top one in the list of TQs). Although it's not likely that many of the trips are at the same time of year you are planning, it will give you some idea of routes, driving times, where to stop etc.

Would also suggest getting acquainted with google maps which will show you routes, estimated driving times etc. www.maps.google.com .

I think the reason you are getting little response to your question is that it is so broad and yet another variation of a question that is asked over and over again. What works really well is if you do some initial research, make a draft itinerary - even a very rough one will do - and then post it for feedback.

Edited: 6:14 pm, February 24, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,252
reviews: 54
5. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Hi Karen ~

There has been quite a bit of help given already for you to begin to plan your trip, including doubled information to reinforce where to look. Are you aware that all blue printing on TA, including in post #1 can be clicked open to new pages of information, especially for research purposes? In post #1, the first two blue print links will click open to two different sets of Trip Reports that past visitors have left. The third blue link is the BC tourism website and finally as I and krp have posted is a very helpful online distance calculator.

Hello BC: www.hellobc.com

Maps: maps.google.com

Just a heads up about the forums. They are not really the place where local posters organize a complete itinerary for the visitor. I'm afraid I don't know any volunteer on the forums who has that kind of time or interest. But once you have done a bit of research, discovered a bit of what you want to see and do, laid out the most provisional of itineraries, then we can go to work with what you give us. All visitors have received the advice they have asked for on these forums after presenting their tentative itineraries and you are no exception.

What else can you do? You can read the questions being asked and replies being given on the British Columbia Forum by those folks planning to visit here this summer. And you can look on the Canadian Rockies Forum as well. Open and read any pertinent topic titles down the page, and then click through to p. 2, 3, 4, and even 5 if necessary. I am one, for example, who likes to post various google map routes (blue print links) in response to specific questions by visitors. Maybe some of those will be of help to you so look for them. Also look at the Things to Do in the left sidebar and make good use of the Hello BC website linked (in blue print) in post 1. Consider getting a Lonely Planet Travel Guide from the library or bookstore to help you sort out what's what and where what is.

BC Forum topics: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g154922-i80-Britis…

Canadian Rockies Forum topics: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g659487-i11598-Can…

The distance from Vancouver to Banff is 850 km. You mention 13 days. Is that 13 nights as well or 12 or 14? In general, I would suggest spending 1 night in Vancouver, then rent your car, heading for 2 nights (say Kelowna and Revelstoke) on the way to the Rockies, 6 nights split between Banff and Jasper, drive back down the Icefields Parkway for a second time and spend 2 nights on the way back to Vancouver, 2 nights in Vancouver. That's 13 nights. Weight your time in the Rockies, they should be your focus.

I don't think you will have too much trouble driving on our side of the road. Aussies seem to do fine on our highways but say they have to pay attention a bit more and remember to get in on the correct side of the car and shift sides for the control sticks for the turn signals and windshield wipers.

And please tell us your interests. Culture, history, hiking, kayaking, museums, architecture, photography, sightseeing, First Nations. I look forward to helping you fine tune and perfect your plans, but I have no idea what would please you and really you shouldn't leave that in the hands of a bunch of strangers.

I would also suggest you use the same user name. You have 2 accounts and it will be better to keep all your information together by using the same user name. Either Karen v181 or Karen v849.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,029
reviews: 46
6. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

<<Anyone have any ideas to help us plan a 12-13 day drive leaving Vancouver on the 29/4/13.>>

More than we can possibly be bothered to type out with a question like that. So much information in here on that exact itinerary for those who put a teeny weeny bit of effort in to read it.

When you know what you want, please feel free to ask. Open ended "plan my itinerary" type questions don't get too far....

Newcastle Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 2
7. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Our itinerary will be hiring a car on 29/4 and driving to Jasper via Kamloops, maybe 3 days there, then on to Banff then maybe to calgary..then back to Vancouver via the other road ..

Is it ok, weather wise to this drive? I think we'll hire a SUV.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,252
reviews: 54
8. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Hi Karen ~

Thanks for the provisional itinerary. I would research Kamloops and read other threads on the BC forum about visiting the Rockies before committing to stay there. You might want to drive straight through to Clearwater. Research Calgary and Banff/Jasper/Lake Louise as well to make sure you really want to trade days in the Rockies for days in the city. You might look into:

1 night Vancouver

2 nights Clearwater (visit Wells Gray NP and explore for one full day)

3 nights Jasper

4 nights Banff/Lake Louise

1 night Kelowna

2 nights Vancouver

Early June will be cold in the mornings and evening in the Rockies. You could experience some snow, which doesn't last too long. You would only need a regular sedan car. Consider hiring GyPSy Guide for the Rockies:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154911-d1…

Newcastle Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 2
9. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Your suggestions are very close to what I had in mind. But I would like to look further into Sun Peaks. As we are in Vancouver for 5 days before we drive to Jasper, I would rather just add extra days to Jasper and Banff. We probably would prefer to stay just outside the main town of Banff. Any suggestions? I am unable to do a lot of walking (peripheral neuropathy in my legs) so I am looking for easy walking trails as well.

Cheers

Rob

Newcastle Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 2
10. Re: Driving from Vancouver to Banff

Your suggestions are very close to what I had in mind. But I would like to look further into Sun Peaks. As we are in Vancouver for 5 days before we drive to Jasper, I would rather just add extra days to Jasper and Banff. We probably would prefer to stay just outside the main town of Banff. Any suggestions? I am unable to do a lot of walking (peripheral neuropathy in my legs) so I am looking for easy walking trails as well.

Cheers

Rob