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Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

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Midginbil
posts: 31
reviews: 14
Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

Hi, we have a car for 5 days only in late May this year and really want to maximise what we see scenery wise. We plan on driving from Vancouver to Whistler via the Sea to Sky Highway which seems to get lots of praise, then on to Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff and back to Vancouver a different way.

Any suggestions please? We realise we'll spend most of the time in the car so not a lot of time on the ground but what would people recommend as must-dos?

And also any suggestions as to a good/pretty place to stay the night between Whistler and Jasper?

Thanks in advance!

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
posts: 6,463
reviews: 69
21. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

posted this on your other thread on the Rockies forum

if you're determined to do this there are a few things you should be aware of.

. You wil have no time to stop and explore. You will basically be doing a road trip which is your choice.

Hwy 99 from Whistler to Lillouet is a narrow winding 2 lane road. You may encounter rain/storms/snow in late May.. not likely but has happened in the past. This road may also be very slow if you are behind an RV.

. Drive time from Vancouver to Whistler 1.5 hrs.. assuming no accidents in which case there can be road closures. Leave at 9 am Whistler 10:30 no stops along sea to sky to actually see things.. most views will be on the drivers left side.

Drive time Whistler to Lillouet 2 hrs..assuming no rv's no bad weather arrive Lillouet 12:30. Have you stopped for gas or to see anything in Whistler or to eat? if so add at least 2-3 hours so arrive Lillouet 3:30

Drive time Lillouet to Little Fort 3 hours. arrive Little Fort 6:30

Drive time Little Fort to Clearwater 1/2 hr. Arrive Clearwater 7pm overnight

Drive Clearwater to Jasper 4 hours lose one hour crossing into Alberta

leave Clearwater 9 am arrive Jasper 2 pm over night Jasper

Leave Jasper 9 am drive to Banff all day Ice Fields parkway. Hope it is clear for views. Hope there is no snow ( in the past it has snowed here in June.).. do you have snow tires or chains for the car in case of this ?

Overnight Banff

Banff to Revelstoke 4 hour drive overnight Revelstoke

Revelstoke to Vancouver 6 hour drive..via hwy 5 the fastest route if you go via the Fraser canyon then add more time.

You will also find the drive times above are optimal with no traffic/no accidents/no bad weather.

Would I do this? Not in a million years. You have your own reasons for wanting to do this trip this way. Not my place to judge.. just hope you have good weather and enjoy road trips without stops because that's what this is.

You may see bears anywhere along this route..but it will be because they're on the road side. ..not because you've got time to stop and do a bear "tour".. probably hwy 99 between Whistler and Lillouet or on Ice Fields parkway will be the best bet. Safe way to see bears is to stay in your car.

Edited: 6:41 pm, February 20, 2013
vancouver, canada
posts: 50
reviews: 51
22. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

We saw a large grizzly on the road from Banff to Lake Louise this summer. Just a quick glance. But they can appear anywhere, you just need to keep your eyes open. Watch for other cars pulled over and people out. There could be something to see. And be careful when you are alongside a busy highway. Watch the traffic as well as the wildlife. I would strongly recommend some travel binoculars.

vancouver, canada
posts: 50
reviews: 51
23. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

Also, on the way home you can leave the Trans-Canada Highway at Kamloops and take the Kamloops-Princeton to Merritt, past Stump Leke, Tulameen (historic ranch country), Nicola Valley, then rejoin the TC at Merritt. A nice little 2 lane diversion, very pretty and only adds a half hour or so to the trip.

vancouver, canada
posts: 50
reviews: 51
24. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

Just in case you are curious, I am at home recovering from a broken femur 3 weeks ago. Skiing at Whistler, season 44 for me. Oops! So, lots of time to chat!

Brisbane Queensland...
posts: 60
reviews: 26
25. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

Interesting reading as I am contemplating a similar idea.

We have 9 full days to get from vcr> sea in late may. Originally thought to hire a car and just browse Vancouver Island and island hop our way south to Seattle.

The prospect of revisiting Banff and the Icefields Parkway in early spring is very tempting though , even with the driving.

We enjoyed a quite magnificent mid winter transfer from Banff Springs Hotel to the Rail head in Jasper many y ears ago and would love to drive it again.

I guess we will just get good wheels and see where the wind blows us.

Option B is to do a one way rental ending up in Calagary and pay the hotter dollars to fly back to lax compared to the easier pricing sea>lax.

decisions decisions... :-)

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,052
reviews: 37
26. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

tgh ~

Yes, it does come down to decisions. If you are wanting some advice for your individual needs, suggest you post a new question. It just keeps the confusion of addressing different trips on the same thread to zero.

vancouver, canada
posts: 50
reviews: 51
27. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

Your original idea to hit Vancouver Island and then down to Seattle is not a bad one. Lots of great islands to visit, you could go down the coast to Cannon Beach in Oregon, then back up to Seattle. In Canada it's the Gulf Islands, in the US, the San Juan Islands. Very beautiful as well. Killer whales, grey whales, etc. Also lots of eagles. Tons of cute little villages. It depends on what you are into. I am very familiar with both these areas and I have lots of time. Just ask if you have questions!

Brisbane Queensland...
posts: 60
reviews: 26
28. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

Yes, it does come down to decisions. If you are wanting some advice for your individual needs, suggest you post a new question. It just keeps the confusion of addressing different trips on the same thread to zero.

ooops.. sorry .. misunderstood the rules..

I though I was just adding to a conversation rather than messing up a "compartmentalised" Q&A system ... my Apologies.

ps thanks v much j_pod ..will check out the options for going a bit south .

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,052
reviews: 37
29. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

Thanks for clarifying. It was my misunderstanding for thinking that you might be wanting advice for your own trip down here at #25. No rules at all. Only a friendly suggestion meant to help you get the best results for your potential question and something that is often suggested on the forums in such cases.

30. Re: Recommendations for most scenic routes - Vancouver via Sea t

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