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fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

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Durham, North...
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fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Dear destination experts etc,

In the first half of august we have 12 full days to spend between Vancouver and Calgary, but we need to fit in a visit to Drumheller because of a dinosaur aficionado in the family.

After reading the various links, including the forum on possible routes from Vancouver to Calgary, I was thinking of this route

Vancouver, sea to sky, cache creek, Kamloops, salmon arm, lake louise, jasper, Banff, Drumheller, Calgary.

http://goo.gl/maps/Cvoea

I’ve got several fine tuning questions, and I realize the pertain to different forums, so I will post both in rockies and in BC:

Here is the proposed itinerary:

Day 1: arrive late pm Vancouver

Day 2: Vancouver (visit to Island on a day trip?) overnight Vancouver

Day 3: Vancouver (other sightseeing, suggestions welcome) overnight Vancouver

Day 4: En route, overnight: ?

Day 5: En route, overnight: ?

Day 6: arrive Lake Louise, overnight

Day 7: Jasper, overnight Jasper

Day 8: Jasper, overnight Jasper

Day 9: drive to Banff on the parkway, overnight Banff

Day 10: Banff, overnight Banff

Day 11: Banff, overnight Banff

Day 12: Banff and drive to Calgary, overnight Calgary

Day 13: daytrip to Drumheller, overnight Calgary

Day 14: depart from Calgary

Does this make sense? I think it puts me at 7 different places to stay, which is a bit daunting:

Vancouver, 3 nights

En route? 1 night

En route? 1 night

Lake Louise 1 night

Jasper 2 nights

Banff 3 nights

Calgary 2 nights

Any way to reduce the number of stops? Also, any suggestions on the best places to stop en route overnights would be very welcome.

Thanks so very very much for your time and guidance

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

First off, I would not attempt to visit the Island just for a day. 8 hours of that day would be in transit, getting there and back. Not worth it. Spend a week or two just on Vancouver Island on your NEXT trip!

Whistler and Sicamous/Salmon Arm area would be my two choices for overnights. And yes, Whistler won't seem like much when you are going to be experiencing the Rockies anyway, but I'd rather be in Whistler than Cache Creek or Kamloops!

If you were up for the drive, you could drive all the way from Whistler to Lake Louise. Or maybe Revelstoke could be one of the overnights. It doesn't look like much from the highway, but the town is actually very nice, and lots of history there.

You may want to see about staying overnight in Drumheller one day instead of Calgary. Lots to see there besides the museum.

Have fun!

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Hi Judith ~

Day 2: A day trip to Vancouver Island will be a long day. 4 hours downtown to downtown, repeat to get back. Any visiting time in the middle there. Will you drive over? It's doable but a long day.

You could stay 1 night in Whistler, then 1 night in Revelstoke (a 6 hour drive from Whistler) which is a picturesque town. Do you have a specific reason for going to Whistler e.g. mountain biking, hiking in the alpine? or because you've heard it's the place to go? It will pale in comparison to the Rockies, so you could reduce the number of overnights by driving Vancouver to 1 night Kelowna (4 hours from Van), 1 night Lake Louise (5 hours from Kelowna) for a more balanced pair of driving legs. Stopping in Revelstoke to visit for a couple of house.

Edited: 4:48 pm, June 28, 2013
Durham, North...
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3. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Thanks to both of you. Sounds like we should skip the island. Is there another interesting trip sailing around Vancouver that would be worth it?

I was thinking Whistler route because I wanted to see the sea to sky road. Is that not supposed to be beautiful? and the route from whister on?

Or should we rather drop the whistler route and go via Hope instead and maybe hten spend one of the vancouver days driving on the sea to sky road?

Thanks so much

Durham, North...
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4. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Thanks to both of you. Sounds like we should skip the island. Is there another interesting trip sailing around Vancouver that would be worth it?

I was thinking Whistler route because I wanted to see the sea to sky road. Is that not supposed to be beautiful? and the route from whister on?

Or should we rather drop the whistler route and go via Hope instead and maybe hten spend one of the vancouver days driving on the sea to sky road?

Thanks so much

Nanaimo, Canada
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5. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

You could do a day trip to Whistler, and that way you can experience the Sea to Sky highway. And YES, it is indeed a beautiful drive. The road past Whistler is nice too. After Pemberton you start to climb, up and up and up this long hill. Another beautiful drive. It is all about choices!

But you only have two full days in Vancouver. You will have to make some choices of what to see there as well, so you may not want to spend a day driving to Whistler...

Make sure you get on the Vancouver forum page. Lots of information on the right hand side of the page for things to see and do in Vancouver, including Grouse Mountain, Capilano Canyon, Lynn Canyon, the museum out at UBC, STANLEY PARK!!! Gastown, and Granville Island. More choices!

Durham, North...
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6. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Very helpful. yes, that's why I thought going through Whistler on the way might to good. So if we don't do a day trip to Whistler, is it better to take the Whistler or Hope route? I was suggested an en route stop in Salmon arm. If we want to stop between salmon arm and vancouver, which stop would be best for the whistler route and which would be best for the Hope route?

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

1. I like your route as planned, except I would go directly from Banff to Drumheller, spend the night and return to Calgary the next day.

2. Its tough to know where to direct you to stop on the way between Vancouver and Banff. The towns and places I particularly like are all east of Salmon Arm. While I completely agree with Joan that Cache Creek and Kamloops aren't much in the way of places (although there's nothing WRONG with them if they fit in your plan, and Kamloops is quite large), they are at a comfortable distance to allow you to enjoy your drive up the 99 and experience the scenery. If you get an early start you could probably push through as far as Salmon Arm.

I much prefer Revelstoke to Golden, but its only a couple of hours of driving past Salmon Arm. However, there's a lot to see in this area and so you won't be starved for other things to see and do. Putting a short driving day in there might be a good idea anyway. Otherwise, push through to Field or Lake Louise.

There are a couple of alternate routes to you plan, and unfortunately they are really nice too. This means, which ever way you go, you'll be missing something. Throw a dart or draw from a hat, and just go with it.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Its pretty easy to get out on the water around Vancouver. You could book a cruise up Indian Arm or a wildlife watching trip out of Steveston, or take the ferry to Bowen Island, which is a commuter island off North Vancouver.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Have a think about dropping Victoria, which would have so much more value as an overnight. Stay in Vancouver and do a day trip up to Whistler and back. A two hour drive, the scenic part is along the water of Howe Sound to Squamish (45-60 min). Then continue on to Whistler for a visit of 3-4-5 hours. Take the Peak2Peak across the valley between Whistler peak and Blackcomb peak. Walk some of the alpine trails. Visit the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, bike the valley floor trails, shop, eat, have a Cows ice cream. Drive back to town over ~2 hours. Read the following article from the Vancouver Forum's Top Questions for the trip up and/or down:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154922-c91086/Britis…

Then look at departing Vancouver on Hwy 1 and 5 and 97C for Kelowna for 1 night and off to Lake Louise, with a good stop at Revelstoke to enjoy that town and environs. Here's the map, showing two fairly equal driving days on the way to Lake Louise.

http://goo.gl/maps/MOeKM

Durham, North...
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10. Re: fine tuning vancouver to Calgary

Very helpful, thanks. Do you recommend any of those other the others?