We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 posts
52 reviews
Save Topic
Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

I've opted to drive from Vancouver to Banff and would prefer a stopover.

Question 1.

Where do you recommend I stay overnight(s) en-route? 1 stop or 2 stops?

Question 2.

My destination is Lake Louise, do you recommend the Chateau Fairmont LL or any others in the area? Any websites giving good rates?

Question 3.

Is it shorts and t-shirts OR thermals and waterproofs?

Thanks in advance

Issat,

Bradford, UK.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
Level Contributor
25,890 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

Welcome to the TripAdvisor forums, Issat!

1. Most people stay overnight for one night, at Salmon Arm or Kamloops.

2. I can't make any recommendations for Lake Louise hotels. But I would suggest you look at this TripAdvisor Traveller Article, "Banff vs Lake Louise, Canmore, etc.":

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c14815/Banff-…

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

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the only hotel which is located on the lake at Lake Louise; the others are located in the tiny village of Lake Louise. If you're going to stay there, sign up for the Fairmont President's Club to get free wi-fi and other benefits. There is no charge to join the President's Club:

https://www.fairmont.com/fpc/

3. Yes. For details, see this TripAdvisor Traveller Article on clothing for Banff:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c13644/Banff-…

And this Traveller Article is about Banff's weather:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c14017/Banff-…

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,665 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

I usually recommend that people push through to Revelstoke if they only have one night. The reasoning being that the drive from Revelstoke through to the Alberta border is stunning and deserves the time it takes to stop and enjoy it. You also lose an hour of time when you cross into the Mountain time zone before you get to Golden, so you need to allow for that on that leg.

If you have two nights, you might want to detour via the Okanagan and stop in Kelowna, or somewhere between Kelowna and Vernon. The Okanagan Valley is BC's wine country and many award winning wines come from this area.

Calgary
Level Contributor
794 posts
228 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

I would agree with the Revelstoke option. Revelstoke is about 1hr 30min past Salmon Arm though so you need to be able to hold out for about 7+ hours from Vancouver to Revelstoke. That may be too much driving for some... If that's the case go with Salmon Arm.

I have driven Vancouver to Calgary direct before which takes around 11+ hours. Not sure I'd recommend doing anything like that unless you are extremely short of time and used to doing long drives.

There are many interesting short stops between Revelstoke and Lake Louise. Not so much between Vancouver and Revelstoke.

Canadian Rockies...
Level Contributor
633 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

If you're just looking for a room & a place to sleep, I'd hit Revelstoke or Salmon Arm as well. However, if you want to experience some of the beautiful landscape between the two, I'd divert and spend a day or two in the Okanagan or the Shuswap.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Lake Louise
Level Contributor
2,979 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

Some great alternatives in the Lake Louise area are Deer Lodge and Paradise Lodge and Bungalows. The Chateau Lake Louise and these 2 properties are the only hotels/lodges close to the lake.

To browse all of the hotels in the Lake Louise area:

www.banfflakelouise.com

Simply input your dates and browse away.

British Columbia
Level Contributor
127 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

Another option as a pit stop would be Sicamous. It's about halfway between Salmon arm and Revelstoke. It's at the junction of Hwy 1 and 97A to the Okanagan. It's on beautiful Mara Lake. Stop for ice creame at D dutchman dairy. Ben and Jerry's got nothin' on this place. (my opinion) My reason same as every one elses. The drive to Lake Louise is pretty amazing. The drive from Sicamous to Revelstoke has several waterfalls right along the highway. You also drive through three valley gap. Very beautiful lake. There is also a hot spring beside the highway just east of Revelstoke called Canyon hot springs. Not the nicest hot spring but soothing all the same. Take time to stop at the top of the Rogers pass.

The Chateau Lake Louise is an amazing hotel, but it is pricey. The Post hotel has a deservedly good reputation, and is not far from the lake. Of note, the hostel at Lake Louise is one of the best hostels I've ever stayed in. It's also a great place for a cheap breakfast.

Hope this info helps.

British Columbia
Level Contributor
127 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

On hotel prices, try Banfflakelouise.com

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

Many thanks for the replies. Each one was very useful.

I did the direct drive from Vancouver to Lake Louise but NEVER again! However en-route back we stopped over a night at Salmon Arms.

Thanks again.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,665 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

So you did Vancouver to LL non-stop? Wow. Yes, that's a lot. Usually only die-hards who have somewhere to be take that on. (Like when my SIL had to take my niece to a ball tournament in Regina. First stop was Calgary.)

It really is a shame to have to drive through that area and not have the time to stop and appreciate it, but that is the thing with vacation planning: you only have so much time to work with and you have to make your choices. Hope you enjoyed yourselves.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Pitstops from Vancouver to Lake Louise

Yep unfortunately so!

I drove the whole distance from Vancouver to LL stopping briefly at red lights, road works and to refuel!

I'd hired a relatively new BMW but still felt car-lagged on arrival at the Fairmont @ LL.

Had problems at the Fairmont :-( They gave me a key card to a room that wasn't ready - somebody had a late checkout and other lake-facing rooms weren't available.

To say the least I was a bit pi$$ed 0ff - so in typical British fashion I politely complained. Slouching in the chair in the lobby, 30 mins later they upgraded me to their gold suite on the top floor, lake-facing including breakfast and lounge access! Brilliant - made the 9.5 hour drive worthwhile!

The return journey was far more enjoyable, we pulled over numerous times to take some fantastic snaps. In future i'll probably use Calgary as a base than Vancouver.

That's all folks.