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.

Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
28 posts
Save Topic
Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

We arrive in Vancouver mid August relatives in Fort McMurray so heading up that way planning 5 days or so there but want to see Banff, Jasper maybe whistler, Victoria fly out from Edmonton. Can anyone suggest a good itinerary we have a hire car for the entire trip which is 20 days.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
57,809 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

Hi stuy4 ~

If you are saying that you have 15 days outside the time in FMc to drive Vancouver, Victoria Whistler, the Rockies, to FMc, it could be a challenge. I'll lay out what most posters here generally advise:

3 nights Victoria

4 nights Vancouver (4 hours journey between Vic and Van via car and ferry)

1 night enroute to the Rockies from Vancouver, ..... or 2 nights enroute from Victoria .... to either Banff or Jasper, about 850/900 km from Vancouver. Skip Whistler if you're going to the Rockies, it will pale in comparison.

7-8 nights in the Rockies

Jasper to FMc is about 9 hours, stops extra

FMc to Edmonton's an easy 5 hours.

There's about 16-18 days there, but you would have a satisfactory amount of time to actually experience the locations.

Route map is here. It shows the most time economical route, not necessarily the most scenic, for doing your stated itinerary.

http://g.co/maps/ag6xs

You could drive from the coast, and end up in Calgary, take the plane to and from FMc from Calgary. You'd have to pay a one way drop fee for the rental car. I kind of like that idea because you would get the experience of BC on the ground which IMO would be well worth it: 6-7 days on the coast, 2 days driving, 7 nights in the Rockies, fly up north out of Calgary and back.

When you come this far you really don't want to drive 9-10 hours a day. We have scenery and a *few* attractions to enjoy out of the car. However, you could tweak the nights a bit here and there to suit.

My 2 cents.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
57,809 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

p.s. Knowing what you would like to see and do while you're here would help advise on an itinerary. What are your interests?

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
28 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

Thanks for the quick reply, this will be the 4th leg of a global trip and flights are booked already into Vancouver out of edmonton. After reading what you have said, I think we will give Victoria a miss and happy to miss whistler if we can see it all in the rockies. I liked the route you suggested, however, with the deletion of Victoria and whistler can you offer the best route and best stop overs to break up the trip as we don't want to travel anymore then about 5 hours a day. We want to do some hiking kids are 12 and 10 so capable of walks. We would just like someone to tell us what is the best areas and activities to see and do as we have no idea. If you have accommodation idea's aswell, I would like to go into some self contained accommodation if possible. Thanks so much for your ideas really appreciate it.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
57,809 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

I've just been off reading your other threads and was coming back to mention, for the benefit of the others, that there would be kids 10 and 12 on this trip, so I'm glad you have replied.

I think for your BC questions (Vancouver and crossing the province) you need to post your itinerary on the BC Forum. Many of the BC posters do not visit the Alberta forums, such as Jasper, Banff, Canadian Rockies although some of the Alberta posters do visit the BC Forums.

I think you need to pick up a copy of Frommers "British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies." The ISBN is in the following link.

…indigo.ca/books/…9780470591536-item.html

There is an online version of Frommers: frommers.com/destinations/britishcolumbia/

And you need www.hellobc.com

This will be of interest to you: www.icefieldsparkway.ca

Prepare for your trip by checking out the routes to the Rockies on this thread. Use these routes to check out the locations along the way:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154922-c120076/Briti…

Google Maps is a great tool for sussing out routes, driving distances and times: maps.google.com

The best routes and the best stop overs are going to depend on your interests and preferences. You need to do a bit of research on the routes, the cities along the routes, what attractions and things to do appeal to you. By doing this you can narrow down the route you ultimately take. Prepare a sketched in itinerary, for comments. Dropping Victoria will make it easier to drive the whole trip.

Edited: 4:30 am, January 28, 2012
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
57,809 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

Can't edit twice: You could have a look on Hello BC at the Thompson Okanagan region, with a city somewhere in there being a popular mid way point on the way to Banff.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
18,667 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

For the Rockies, I would suggest browsing through the official national park websites - they give a really good overview of each park and what to see and do there (the natural attractions). Go to www.pc.gc.ca and then choose the park you want (Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Jasper etc.) Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks are also en route from the coast to the Rockies, in the Selkirk Mountains - you'll pass through them on the Trans-Canada highway (#1)

For the paid attractions, and accommodations, the tourism board websites are good resources, along with the listings and reviews here on TripAdvisor:

www.banfflakelouise.com

www.jasper.travel

For self-contained accommodation in Jasper, you might want to consider PHA (private home accommodation) which is rooms or a suite within a resident's home www.stayinjasper.com . In Banff, there are some hotels with "condo style" units - check the Banff forum's "top questions" where there is a very good compilation of information about the various hotel districts in Banff, and, if I recall correctly, lists of hotels by amenities (i.e. with kitchens, with pool etc.) Vacation rentals - that is, renting an entire residential home or condo - are not legal within the national parks; with limited land available for development (to keep the parks as wilderness), there are residency requirements for homes, to ensure they are occupied by those employed in the parks.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Lake Louise
Level Contributor
2,946 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

It would be relaxing to drive straight from the airport to Whistler to enjoy a quick day and a half, before making the long journey towards Jasper. It's a beautiful drive from Whistler via Lilloet continueing through to Jasper. You could do this as one long day drive and end your day at Mount Robson for the night. It's an hour outside of Jasper. There's some great cabin-style accommodation there and that way you could check out the local sights before arriving in Jasper. You'll need a reservation. In Jasper, you'll want to spend 2-3 days depending on how much time you have - where you'll also need a reservation.

From there, you'll be heading to Banff and Lake Louise - because you're flying out of Edmonton after visiting Fort Mac, yes? Take a day to enjoy the drive to Lake Louise (the Icefields Parkway) and you might think about spending a couple of nights in Lake Louise. You'll be arriving later in the day, so 2 nights will only give you a day in Lake Louise before continueing to Banff. You can certainly return to Lake Louise if you wanted to visit more of the area. There's lots to see - like Yoho National Park, Moraine Lake and the Lake Louise Gondola - as well as enjoying a day at the actual Lake Louise. You may also decide to stay in Banff for the duration and basing yourself out of Banff instead. Plan on 3 full days in Banff Plus your time in Lake Louise - as this will give you the opportunity to explore and maybe fit in an activity or two.

After that, it's off to Fort McMurray - there's no way to avoid the aweful drive, but I would be tempted to break it up. The quickest way is going to be through Calgary, but if you want to break it up - I'd recommend a scenic drive along Highway 22 from Cochrane to Sundre to Rocky Mountain House. From there you can connect with Highway 2 and maybe stop for the night when you're tired - at any Highway Motel/Hotel that you choose. The next day you'll continue to Fort Mac.

You're 20 days isn't a huge amount of time - with the drive time it takes to travel for Vancouver to Banff - and then Banff to Fort Mac - and then Fort Mac to Edmonton this is a 3 part journey with a LOT of driving. Have a look at your calendar, plot it out and see if you can fit it all in. I would focus on Jasper, Lake Louise, the National Park(s) of Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho and Banff, and of course - the town of Banff. If you want to see the Rockies, I would focus on getting yourself there as soon as possible so you have the time to explore, to sightsee and hopefully, to do some activities like hiking in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
Level Contributor
25,579 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

I should caution you that Hwy 63, between Redwater and Fort McMurray, had the reputation of being the most dangerous highway in Alberta. The highway was being twinned (from two lane undivided to four-lane divided) so the situation may have improved, but I don't know if the twinning has been completed. You might want to post on the Fort McMurray forum for more details.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_Highway_63

Edited: 8:58 pm, January 30, 2012
Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Lake Louise
Level Contributor
2,946 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

Sound advice. I love the Alberta prairies and the rural agricultural landscape - but there's nothing enjoyable about driving from Calgary to Edmonton and then from Edmonton to Fort Mac. Start your day early and pack a picnic and you can get it done in a day and go visit the family.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
41 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Vancouver to Fort McMurray back to Edmonton 20 days

I personally would chose Option A to drive on the link provided in reply 4

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154922-c120076/Briti…

You could stop somewhere around Shuswap Lake (very nice lake). We used to go to Scotch Creek on the Shuswap and there are cottage rentals there. I'm sure there must be more accommodations in the area. It is about a 5 hour drive from Vancouver. Then it is about 5 hours to Banff from there. From there I would head up to Jasper, doing some sightseeing along the way (I love Punch Bowl Falls - it is amazing to see how water can carve rock) You could spend a night in or around Edmonton if you want to break up the drive from Jasper to Ft McMurray.

Victoria is well worth even taking a day trip to. You can walk onto the ferry at Tsawwassen in the morning and catch a city bus to downtown Victoria or the Butchart Gardens from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal. It is expensive taking a car across on the ferry and . If you have a car you can park it for $19 for the day or take a transit bus there. Just putting out another option for you. Anything you want to see in the downtown Victoria area is within walking distance.

Whatever you decide to do I'm sure you will enjoy the beautiful sights and scenery. Enjoy your trip!

Get answers to your questions about Jasper