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Driving through the Rockie Mountians

Hobart, Australia
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Driving through the Rockie Mountians

Hi there, We have two weeks from 10th May with a rented campervan and are planning to travel from Vancouver through the Rockies and back down to Vancouver. We would appreciate any suggestions on 'must see' areas. Or, in fact any suggestions at all!

Cheers

M&T

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

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

Keep in mind that May is very early season in the Rockies. It will be very cold for camping, with temps getting around 0C overnight. You should check the Canadian Rockies forum for what will be open in mid-May. Most things won't open until after Victoria Day, which is the 3rd weekend in May.

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

Welcome

Firstly, the drive from Vancouver to Banff/Jasper and back includes a number of different mountain ranges. The Rockies is the range furthest east and straddles the BC/AB border. I'd suggest you also post this in the Alberta or Canadian Rockies forum to get feedback from folks familiar with Alberta.

Two weeks is probably the bare minimum to do this drive without spending more time driving than enjoying the sites. You are coming early in the season, so there is always the possibility for some wintry weather up at higher elevations (Icefields Parkway in Alberta, for one).

You are unlikely to have delays, but it's possible; the more obvious issue will be that the higher elevation areas (Icefields) will still be under snow, so any hiking will be limited to around the townsites and most lakes will still be frozen or just starting to thaw (i.e. Lake Louise, Maligne Lake). Seasonal roads to places like Moraine Lake, Edith Cavell area and Takkakaw Falls will still be shut. And it can be chilly - temps can easily still dip below freezing in the mountains at that time of year.

One issue to consider is that May 17-19 is a holiday weekend, and prior to that weekend, there will be fewer tourist sites and campsites open. This will be particularly true in the Alberta Rockies where only a couple of campsites for campervans are open in the 'winter' season, primarily in or near the townsites (Jasper and Banff). As you will be in the national parks, you can only park overnight in designated areas,

First though, you need to figure out a route - probably some sort of loop starting in Vancouver, going to either Jasper or Banff, then along the Icefields Parkway and back the other way. That will maximize what you get to see and do.

Greater Sydney...
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3. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

G'day mandie, and welcome to the TA forums.

Good advice above. In regard to the temperatures, the Rockies will be similar to Tassie in mid winter and you may have to burn the gas (propane) heater all night. Combine that with the very limited number of camps open (you cannot free-camp), and I think a car and hotels would be a far better option, as well as quite less expensive.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

I would definitely suggest you look into a one way rental starting in Vancouver and ending in Calgary as late as you can make it. Fly in to Vancouver, fly out of Calgary. The coast will be fine, the Okanagan Valley will be fine, the Rockies will be cold and a bit snowy, but the two weeks will spin out much better for you with a one way rental.

Aussies and Kiwis on the forums have used the UK company Canadian Affair, which do not charge a one way drop fee.

http://www.canadianaffair.com/en/car-hire/

Have a look in the Top Questions to the right of the page. There you will find choosing a route and the collection of Trip Reports.

But, as I cannot resist! ...

3 nights Vancouver

Via Hwy 3 to

2 nights Penticton in the Okanagan Valley

Via Hwy 3 to

2 nights Nelson in the Slocan Valley

North alongside the Arrow Lakes to

1 night Revelstoke, scenic Hwy 1 to ...

3 nights Banff

One full day on the Icefields Parkway

2 nights Jasper

One bonus day on the Icefields Parkway

1 night Banff area

Drive to Calgary airport for your flight out.

----

There's an "any suggestion at all!"

Crowsnest Hwy 3: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

Slocan Valley: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

Okanagan Valley: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

www.hellobc.com

Kootenay Rockies...
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5. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

I agree with the post of MuftiMixandmatch however you most likely want to return to Vancouver to drop off the RV because of the Drop Off Fee you will have to pay for if you drop it off in a different location. So……….. if you have to head back to Vancouver and you are in the Banff area take Hwy 1 and then at Kamloops Hwy 5 to Hope and then back on Hwy 1 into Vancouver. in the RV you can easily do it in 2 days.

Drop one day off of your Vancouver stay at the beginning and drop a night in Banff near the end and there are the two days you need to blast back to Van.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

Mandie ~

When you look at the Canadian Affair website linked in post 4, look at Canadream (tab at the top) which is offering a 50% savings for a two week, one way, RV rental. On the other hand, Fraserway (tab at the top) charges for a one way rental.

You may be set on an RV, or in light of the information offered about the temps, climate and weather in May, a car/motel type of trip with no one way drop fee may now appeal. My post was defo geared for the latter. Don't know, but the info is out there anyway.

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

Hello!!!

WE(3 adult people) are going to drive to Canadian Rockie Mountains from July, 4 -July, 13 2014. We will fligh from Minneapolis to Vancouver, then rent a car and go to Canadian Rockie Mountains. Any suggestions, advises will be very helpfull.

I'd like to spend couple days in Vancouver, 1 day in Victoria Island, and the rest of days spent from Vancouver to Calgary... I need your advise reagrding itinerary.

I like itinerary above for 14 days, but I need advise how to spend 9 days instead off 14.( I like to spend some time on Lake Louise, IceFields...) We like hiking...

Jasper, Canada
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8. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

Getting from Vancouver to Victoria Island will be a problem ... Victoria Island is in the very high arctic! I think you must be meaning Vancouver Island, which has BC's capital city of Victoria on it.

Your itinerary is a very, very popular one and there are gazillions of trip reports posted that can help you with the basic information you are seeking. Have a look at the top right of this webpage (assuming you are on the full site and not an app) - the very first in the "Top Questions" links to a compilation of trip reports. There is also another compilation similarly linked in the Canadian Rockies forum.

It would be best if you posted your own thread, rather than tagging on to someone else's, especially since the timing of your trip is completely different to the OP's (original poster's). We can help you best if you do a bit of basic research first, and then post a draft itinerary. We'll be happy to answer your specific questions and help you fine tune it.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

Welcome to the forum, Anna ~

Just a heads up that you have tagged your question for quite a big trip onto the end of an old thread for someone else. Doing so is to your disadvantage because your post is hidden down here at #7. As well Mandie may get notified of further activity here and come back to find it has nothing to do with her trip.

You would be much better off to use the "Ask a Question" button on the BC Forums main page where the list of topics is. This way your travel question will be seen and tailored advice will be given you.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Driving through the Rockie Mountians

(i did not read right to the end of post 8. Sigh)