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motorhome route to include kootenays?

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birmingham england
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motorhome route to include kootenays?

have read so many forums but still cant plan a route. we pick up the motorhome in Calgary after having 2 nights there, and have it for 15 nights dropping it off in Vancouver then have 3 nights in the city. We obviously want to do Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper but then unsure to continue to Wells Gray Park, 100 Mile House and Whistler before 4-5 days on Vancouver Island Or, the Kootenays then eventually onto to Vancouver island.

Not bothered on the big towns as i live in a big city in the UK and will have time in Calgary and Vancouver at either end . Our trip starts the 28th August . any help as always appreciated, the excitement is now starting to kick in!

Calgary, Alberta...
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11. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

Camping_Girl, I love the information you've provided about travelling through the Kootenays and Okanagan. I clicked on the NOMINATE button, because I believe this thread would be valuable for future reference.

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12. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

Happyanna, I believe you're justified in having reservations about what you're trying to accomplish in the time that you have available. I also agree with onward's comments about the pacing of your trip.

I believe it would help you if you could skip the day that you were planning to spend in Calgary. If you could change your RV reservation so that you could collect the RV a day sooner and get up into the mountains ASAP, that would give you a bit of a head start.

Also, much as it pains me to say so, I agree with onward's suggestion that you cut Vancouver back from three days to two days. I like Vancouver very much, and I am reluctant to suggest that anyone spend less than three days there. However, if you're well organized, you can cover the highlights of Vancouver in two days. Indeed, it's even possible to see the centrally located landmarks in one day, as people often do just before or after a cruise to Alaska.

But I think you're going to have to make a choice, and it's going to be a tough one. Either you're going to be able to travel through the Rockies, Kootenays and Okanagan at a leisurely pace but at the cost of visiting Vancouver Island OR you're going to be forced to do the trip from the Rockies to the coast at a quicker pace so that you can "buy" some time in which to visit Vancouver Island.

The problem you face is that both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Vancouver Island is an awesome place. But you have to decide what your preferred travel style is. You also have to remember that you'll be RVing. There are some extra chores associated with RVing, and an RV is a bit slower than a regular car. So I feel you need to allow a little extra time for the RVing factor.

Another thing about travel, and this is a purely personal observation, is that I like to travel at a pace that is sufficiently slow that I can connect with local people. If I have to choose between covering lots of ground superficially and covering less ground in more depth, I prefer to go for depth. But everyone's travel style is different. Some people like to keep up a quick pace.

In the next post I'll suggest an itinerary that cuts a day from each of Calgary and Vancouver, more or less follows Camping_Girl's suggestions through the Kootenays and Okanagan, and includes Vancouver Island.

Then I'll suggest another itinerary that follows your original Wells Gray - Whistler scheme.

Calgary, Alberta...
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13. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

ITINERARY #1

This itinerary leaves out Jasper. My thoughts are that you would drive as far up the Icefields Parkway as is feasible on one of your Lake Louise-based days.

1 – Take delivery of RV, drive to Banff, buy groceries (although you could buy food in Banff, I think Canmore would be a better place for grocery shopping), settle into your reserved camping spot. Use what time is left to explore the Banff area.

2 – Banff

3 – Lake Louise

4 – Lake Louise

5 – Lake Louise

6 – Radium Hot Springs

7 – Cranbrook / Kimberley area

8 – Nelson

9 - Travel to Kelowna

10 – Kelowna

11 – Travel to Victoria

12 – Victoria

13 – Travel to Tofino

14 - Tofino

15 - Tofino

16 - Tofino

17 - Travel to Vancouver (by means of the Nanaimo – Horseshoe Bay ferry route or the Nanaimo - Tsawwassen ferry route, depending on which ferry terminal is closer to your RV drop off point -- I rather suspect that Tsawwassen will be closer, because I think several of the RV companies are located relatively close to the airport, which is in Richmond, to the south of Vancouver)

Another itinerary is coming up in the next post.

Calgary, Canada
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14. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

Judy ~> Did you mean that it pains you to agree with me?

Calgary, Canada
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15. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

Judy ~> How many days did you leave for Calgary and Vancouver?

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16. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

ITINERARY #2

Like the previous itinerary, this one assumes you will have been able to expand your RV trek by dropping a day from each of Calgary and Vancouver.

1 – Banff

2 – Banff

3 – Lake Louise

4 – Lake Louise

5 – Lake Louise (with a visit to Radium Hot Springs and perhaps even beyond from your LL base)

6 – Jasper

7 – Jasper

8 – Jasper

9 – Clearwater

10 – Pemberton / Whistler

11 – Drive Whistler – Horseshoe Bay, catch ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo, drive to Tofino.

12 – Tofino

13 – Tofino

14 – Tofino

15 – Drive to Victoria.

16 - Victoria

17 – Catch ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, drop off RV and proceed to Vancouver.

Well, happyanna, I hope these ideas help.

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17. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

Hi onward,

Sorry, I did not see the messages that you posted between my two suggested itineraries.

LOL, I absolutely did not mean that it pained me to agree with you. Sorry if I expressed that poorly. I meant it pained me to suggest that anyone cut a day they had been planning to spend in Vancouver.

To answer your question about Calgary and Vancouver, I've suggested that happyanna spend only one night in Calgary before continuing to the mountains. I do realize that will mean she essentially will not see Calgary. I've also suggested that she cut the three days in Vancouver down to two.

I based those suggestions on the fact that happyanna had stated she was not overly interested in cities, or at least that's how I interpreted her original post.

I would love to be able to recommend to happyanna how she could see Calgary, the Canadian Rockies, the Kootenays, the Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Vancouver all at a leisurely pace. Working with the amount of time that she has available, however, I do not know how to suggest fitting all of that in.

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18. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

Judy ~> No problem. I knew you wouldn't have said that, but I had to rib you a bit anyway.

You're correct to suggest what you have. I don't believe that tourist understand the size of the area in which they will be traveling some times. Anna this means your questions are really good. Unfortunately I don't think you'd want to spend your time just running about and not enjoying the scenery.

birmingham england
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19. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

unfortunately all the accommodation/motorhome is all booked. may have to do banff, jasper ,lake louise then revelstoke etc working towards vancouver, in order to have a days on the island. i think if we allow 10 days perhaps on the mainland and 5 on vancouver island then back to vancouver. i want to have a rough idea of the itinerary but part of the idea of the motorhome is the flexibility. we will just have to save up and come back another time. thanks for your suggestions.

birmingham england
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20. Re: motorhome route to include kootenays?

somehow missed seeing all of your posts judy, thank you so much for all the plans and time you have spent. as i said we are stuck now with the number of days we have, the rv is because we fly into canada on a saturday, have to have 1 night to recover and there is a huge fee to pay to pick it up on the sunday. have booked the appartment in vancouver at the end. i will print them all off and take a good long look but may end up deciding once we are there. it sure is a country in the uk we can only drive 600 miles from top to bottom !