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Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

Leura, Australia
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Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

Hello, my wife and I will be visiting the Pacific Northwest in Sept '13. We have rented a SUV in Seattle and want to travel through northern Washington state into Alberta to visit Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper etc. From Jasper we want to travel to prince Rupert and take the BC Ferries' ship to Vancover Island. We want to spend about two weeks to get to Prince Rupert then another one and a half weeks before we end up back in Seattle, staying on Vancouver Island. We would appreciate any help and advice re routing, accommodation, special places to visit etc.

Thanks,

David.

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

Welcome to TripAdvisor!

That's a pretty ambitious plan. Let's look at a trial itinerary.

Day 1: Arrive Seattle. Rest, explore Seattle.

Day 2: Drive to Spokane, WA. Driving time (not including stops for food, fuel, and washrooms) 4.5 hours.

Day 2: Drive to Cranbrook, BC. Visit Fort Steel Heritage Town. Driving time: 3.5 hours

Day 3: Drive to Banff, stopping to see sights in Kootenay National Park along the way. Driving time: 3.75 hours.

Day 4-6: Explore Banff, Lake Louise area.

Night of Day 6: Top off gas in SUV, arrange box lunches for the next day..

Day 7: Get an early start. Drive Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper, stopping at all the lakes, waterfalls, and other points of interest along the way to take photos.

Day 8-10: Explore Jasper area.

Day 11: Drive Jasper to Prince George. Driving time: 5 hours.

Day 12: Drive Prince George to Prince Rupert. Driving time: 9 hours.

Day 13: Catch Inside Passage ferry to Vancouver island.

Here's that route on Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/TYQ39

You'll want to post your question on the British Columbia forum, too, since much of your travelling is in that province. I don't have much to suggest for places to see in BC along your route.

tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g154922-i80-British…

You might also want to post in the Washington state forum for suggestions on what to see on your way to Spokane.

tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g28968-i73-Washingt…

For places to see in the Canadian Rockies, check out this TripAdvisor Traveller Article, "Must-sees of the Canadian Rockies":

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g659487-c112507/Canad…

Traveller Articles are written by TA members like you and me, in response to popular forum questions.

Whitehorse
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2. Re: Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

In September, the ferry from Prince-Rupert to Port Hardy is on even-numbered days at 0730 AM.

Leura, Australia
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3. Re: Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

Hi, many thanks to 'Country Wife - Calgary' and to 'Etrafal'

We said two weeks but a few days more is not a problem if you think that we are biting off more than we can chew. We live in Aus and in days gone by (when I was young and in my prime" etc) driving from Sydney to Shute Harbour on the Barrier Reef in two days was possible, if a bit stupid. Now that we are old and grey (well I am - the lovely Jennifer is not so) we try to limit to 4 hours driving per day as being comfortable. We have a total of 4 weeks for the Seattle to Seattle part of the trip and want to rent an apartment in Victoria for the last week of the jig. This leaves 3 weeks for the rest of the journey. More questions please - re accommodation en route we would prefer not to have to work to a too tight schedule in case we really enjoy somewhere or get over tired along the way so do you reckon that we would have difficulty in finding motels/hotels along the way? In the places such as Banff and Lake Louise we could pre book of course. In Aus we have motel chains such as Best Western which provide good mid quality accommodation at reasonable rates and we know that we can just drive into one of their places and be satisfied. Do such chains exist in the areas we want to travel? We could access sites on the Ipad as we go and book the day before etc but will we get internet access in all the areas?

Re the boat trip - is it a scenic voyage? I note that there is an overnight voyage but would we be missing all the spectacle if we slept through? Also how imperative is it to pre book the boat for the day journey? Thanks - David.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

Questions about the Inside Passage ferry are best asked on the BC forum, as the folks there are much more familiar with it. For what it's worth, I hear that it is a very scenic voyage and you probably want to make a reservation, possibly quite soon.

Best Western and other possibly fairly familiar hotel chains operate here in Canada. However, one of the reasons that I gave you a long day of driving between Prince George and Prince Rupert is that I doubt you'll find any accommodations of quality similar to the Best Western in between the two. And I have heard that there isn't much in the way of scenery either--mostly trees. Again, the folks on the BC forum would be more knowledgeable.

You should also note that the first weekend in September is a long weekend (the Monday is Labour Day), and reservations are strongly recommended for that weekend.

Don't rely on getting internet access as you travel. Many hotels will have it, but if you're counting on accessing a 3G connection while you're on the road, think twice. Not only are data plans pretty expensive here, but many of the places that you're going will not have mobile connections--including the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper and probably much of the route from Jasper to Prince Rupert.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154922-i80-k60906…

From the BC Forum.

6. Re: Driving trip Seattle to Prince Rupert in September 2013.

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