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Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

Toronto, Canada
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Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

Hi, my British parents and I are planning a trip from Calgary to Vancover mid July. We'd like to see Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, and I hear the wine areas around Kelowna are pretty too, en route to Vancouver.

Could anyone recommend the 'best' route (and suggested timings) and good accommodation (Fairmonts would be lovely, but at $700 / night are a little steep, so something a notch down, but still decent. Places with a 1 bedroom suite set up (parents in bedroom, me on a pull out type idea) would be ideal. Not fussed about kitchen facilities, but a nice pool would be a bonus. So far the Best Western Kelowna looks decent - comments?)

Also, we understand the Stampede finishes 14th July, if we arrive around the 18th will it still be crazy busy?

In terms of collecting a car, am I best to pick up at Calgary airport, drive and park at a hotel overnight, or make my way into the city (transit?) and pick up the car downtown? Similar question, but in reverse for drop off in Vancouver.

Many thanks for your help.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

Hi emmaedwards ~

Do you have a time frame for ending up in Vancouver, after arriving in Calgary on July 18th?

In Vancouver, you would be fine dropping the car at a downtown location. Not sure how many days you are planning to spend in Vancouver, but you won't need a car at all, so you could drop it almost immediately when arriving in town. Both hotel and street parking is expensive and public transit/walking is easy and convenient.

Please look in the Top Questions to the upper right where you will find an article about which route to take between Calgary and Vancouver, as well as a collection of Trip Reports that would be great research for seeing what previous travellers have reported about their visits.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

Thanks! Time frame is somewhat open, my parents will arrive before me, and stay after me, so I guess I am trying to decide how long I should take off work - initial thinking is that I would depart Vancover about 10 days after I arrive in Calgary (with maybe 1 night in each of those, possibly 2 in Vancouver).

As to route, across from the Rockies we were thinking of taking the Revelstone route through to Kelowna them to Vancouver, versus the Mt Robson - Kamloops route, but it isn't a very informed choice so input would be appreciated. Also thinking of staying in Banff, and Lake Louise as a visit rather than an overnight stop - maybe afternoon tea at the Fairmont? Again, thoughts appreciated!

I will read some more of the trip reports, I was hoping to take longer over this descision but there is a special flight and car hire offer that expires on Monday that my parents want to use, so have to nail down timing, and pick up / drop off options this weekend! Hotels we have a little more wiggle time on.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

Okay, here's my opinion of a plan that will allow you to experience and enjoy the locations:

3 nights Banff

1 full day on the Icefields Parkway

3 nights Jasper

1 day on the IP from a new and different perspective

1 night Golden

1 night Kelowna

4nights Vancouver

That gives you an idea of a decent visit and you can tweak as your time allows.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

I like Mufti's plan but I might take one night from either Jasper or Vancouver and add it to Kelowna (I also wouldn't stay in Kelowna, but look at somewhere outside the city. Personal choice would be Summerland/Penticton/Naramatta, but you aren't starved for choice around there). This would give you a full day to enjoy the wine growing region without having to pack up and move on.

You might save a bit of tax by picking up a car from a non-airport location at least 24 hrs after arrival. In Vancouver it would be a 17% saving, but I don't know what the rules are for Calgary. I don't think it matters where you drop it off, depending on what works for the car rental company.

As for route specifics, there are a few options depending on preferences. The first part doesn't have a lot of options:

http://goo.gl/maps/IWLlb

Next, you have a couple of good choices - the main highway, or the road less traveled. I'm going to map them as a loop between Revelstoke and Kelowna so you can see them on one map side by side.

http://goo.gl/maps/ocbl8

And again, depending on the amount of time you have and your travel preferences, you have a couple of good options from there to Vancouver.

http://goo.gl/maps/8BWXa

I've left out the fastest option - Highway 5 - which you can see right down the middle and would get you from Kelowna to Vancouver is about 4 hours if you just needed to get there. I've only mapped it to Hope because its pretty straight forward from there.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

Thank you guys, that's great information!

On the Revelstoke to Kelowna, which route would you recommend? Both look interesting.

Current thinking is 2 nights in Banff (Hidden Ridge?), the first day spent on the Bow Valley route, stopping off at places tbd, getting to Banff in the afternoon, then the next day going to Lakes Louise and Moraine and back to Banff for the night, then the next day drive up to Jasper, stopping to do the glacier trip and to see Peytoe Lake (apologies on names, I am doing this from memory!), Then 2 nights in Jasper, going to Mt Robson park the next day, and the tramway. Then the next day back down to Yoho, and a night in Golden. The next day, Glacier National Park and a night in Revelstoke (Sutton Place?). Then on to Kelowna the next, staying somewhere around that area, still looking at options - that's as far as I have got!!!

Between Golden and Vancouver, there seem to be a lot of Motels - are there any hidden gems I am missing?

Thanks again!

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

Hi emmaedwards ~

Kelowna is one choice. From there you could drive the "fast" way west on 97C and down Hwy 5 to Hope to join up with Hwy 1 to Vancouver - in about 4 hours. If you stayed in Kelowna and drove south on 97 to turn west on Hwy 3, it would take you about 7 hours to drive to Vancouver.

Stay in Penticton, about 6 hours to Van. Stay in Osoyoos, about 5 hours to Van on Hwy 3.

The Crowsnest Hwy 3, which crosses the whole southern edge of the province, is scenic and has enough stopping places to make it interesting.

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

At the end of the article you will see hyperlinks that will open to information about each location on the highway, in particular between Osoyoos and Hope. Manning Park is an oasis. You could have a bit of a walk/hike around the Lightning Lakes.

Manning Park: …gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/ecmanning/

You can open the hiking icon to see the variety of hikes in Manning Park.

7. Re: Calgary-Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper-Kelowna(?)-Vancover

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