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Drive Calgary to Vancouver

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Owen Sound, Canada
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Drive Calgary to Vancouver

Hi!

My girlfriend and I are planning to drive this summer from Calgary to Vancouver and have allowed about 5 days to travel. Initially we wanted to head north to Jasper via banff and Lake Louise and then down through Kamloops and possibly Kelowna before ending in Vancouver. We are comfortable with lots of driving however I am just wondering if this itinerary is too much? Should we just cut from Lake Louise over through Golden and Revelstoke? Also, what route is more scenic?

Thanks,

Nick

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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1. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

The Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper is the most scenic route in the area, so it's well worth doing if you can fit it into your itinerary. Let's have a look:

Plan A:

Day 1: Arrive Calgary, drive to Banff (2 hours) or Lake Louise (3 hours). Explore Banff or Lake Louise area if any time remains. Top up fuel, get snacks and a box lunch for the next day.

Day 2: Top up fuel, spend the day driving to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway, taking time to see the many scenic stops along the way. (4-5 hours).

Day 3.: Explore Jasper area.

Day 4: Drive from Jasper to Kamloops via Hwy 5. (5 1/2 hours)

Day 5: Drive from Kamloops to Vancouver (4 hours)

Here's that route on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/lWJyb

Plan B:

Day 1: Arrive Calgary, drive to Banff (2 hours) or Lake Louise (3 hours). Explore Banff or Lake Louise area if any time remains. Top up fuel, get snacks and a box lunch for the next day.

Day 2: Top up fuel, spend the day driving to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway, taking time to see the many scenic stops along the way. (4-5 hours).

Day 3.: Drive from Jasper to Lake Louise / Golden along Icefields Parkway. Different views southbound and insurance in case the first day was too cloudy or rainy to see the views. (3-4 hours)

Day 4: Drive from Lake Louise / Golden to Kamloops along Hwy 1, stopping to see sights in Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park, and Mt Revelstoke National Park.

Day 5: Drive from Kamloops to Vancouver (4 hours)

Here's route B on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/VQp2e

Plan B is much more scenic, in my opinion.

Edited: 11:41 am, March 19, 2014
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

Its a shame you only have five days. The Rockies alone deserve 5 days; you will be missing many of the highlights of this stunning area in a rush for the coast.

Which ever way you go, I wouldn't shoot for Kamloops for your overnight stop. If you come along highway 16 from Jasper, I would only go as far as Clearwater so that you have time to enjoy Mt. Robson Provincial Park as you drive away from the Rockies. Clearwater is about a 7 hour drive from Vancouver and also the launching point for Wells Grey Provincial Park, which you may have a couple of hours for.

If you leave the Rockies via highway 1, then I would aim for Revelstoke, which is also about 7 hours from Vancouver. Revelstoke is a great little town with a couple of highlights worth spending some time on, so I would personally rather have a shorter driving day with a couple of hours to spend in Revelstoke and then just press on for Vancouver the next day.

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

I second Revelstoke as a stopping point. Also, very conservative numbers to Banff from Calgary is 1.5 hours (1 hour for me doing the flow of speed at 120km/hr), and max 2 hours too Lake Louise. I do this drive skiing every weekend in 1 hour, 45minutes....in the winter. Small details, just thought to add them, thats all.

Owen Sound, Canada
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4. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

Thanks for the replies! I think we are going to opt for the advised more scenic route (Calgary-Lake Louise-Jasper-Golden-Kelowna-Vancouver) -Note we are spending a night in Kelowna to be with family. I just hope we gain more sight seeing this way opposed to seeing Mt. Robson via 16/5. The more research I do the more time I wish I had! Now wishing I would have allowed more time to include Whistler/Squamish! - I'll have to plan to come back.

Edited: 11:18 am, March 21, 2014
Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

Good news is it will all be here for you when you return. You have set a rather punishing pace for yourselves, but you will see the best of it.

Glen Head
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6. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

Since the car rental drop off rate is so prohibitive, using Plan B for this tour, how long would a round trip Vancouver back to Vancouver take?

Does Canadian Affair rent cars to people with American drivers licenses?

7. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

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Removed on: 1:56 pm, March 23, 2014
Edited: 1:56 pm, March 23, 2014
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

Rig, best to start to your own thread as mentioned on the other thread. It's then "yours" and keeps your discussion in one place. :-))

9. Re: Drive Calgary to Vancouver

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