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Planning our first visit to the Rockies, 2015

Rushden
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122 posts
34 reviews
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Planning our first visit to the Rockies, 2015

We know it's quite a while away, but have to get budgeting!!!

We are planning our first trip to Canada for 2015 and have come up with an itinerary. There will be four of us travelling, myself and husband in our mid 40’s and my parents 69/70. My husband is a keen photographer so it’s all about the scenery. Perhaps some gentle walks, though nothing too strenuous. Would be grateful for any thoughts/suggestions regarding our itinerary. Have we missed any “must sees”. If anyone has any recommendations for accommodation in any of the places listed, would be good to hear. With regards to when we visit, exact dates will be determined by availability of cruise dates for our third week (Vancouver-Alaska inside passage), but are debating whether to visit June and perhaps avoid the worst of the crowds or July when perhaps the weather would be better?

Day One

Fly into Vancouver, overnight stay.

Day Two

Collect hire car, overnight stay in Clinton. Visiting Whistler en route.

Day Three

Drive from Clinton to Clearwater for overnight stay. Visit Wells Gray National Park.

Day Four

Drive from Clearwater to Jasper for two night stay. Visit Athabasca falls, Miette Hot Springs, Columbia Icefield.

Day Six

Drive from Jasper to Banff/Canmore for a week’s stay. Looking for self catering apartment that we can use as a base to explore the surrounding areas. Perhaps visit Lake Louise, Johnsons Canyon, Mistanya Canyon, Lakefields Parkway, Banff Gondola, Calgary.

Day Thirteen

Drive to Revelstoke.for overnight stay

Day Fourteen

Drive to Kamloops for overnight stay

Day Fifteen

Drive to Vancouver

Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks.

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1. Re: Planning our first visit to the Rockies, 2015

Hi JulieD ~

I would say that from mid-June on in the Rockies, the lakes would be free of being covered in ice and a number of trails would be free of snow. It will still be close to freezing overnight though.

I'm glad your not planning to stop over in Whistler. It is generally agreed that it is a poor sister to the mountains in the Rockies, but the drive up from Vancouver is scenic and the Duffey Lake Road from Pemberton to Lillooet climbs up the mountain side in twists and turns from sea level to the high plateau.

Your suggested itinerary will take you through a variety of ecosystems and landscapes. The Clinton area will be high plateau country and quite dry, cattle country. Hwy 5 up to Tete Jaune Cache is arguably one of the less scenic and more isolated routes but it would give you an experience of what rural BC is really like.

I think you might want to consider spending a night more in Jasper and a night less in Banff.

From Banff to Vancouver, I would look into driving Banff > Kelowna (5.5 hours, stops extra) > Vancouver (4 hours, not a lot of opportunity for stops).

Are you mainly interested in comments about your given itinerary because you've researched hard to choose it and to get it set up or are you wanting other itinerary suggestions to look at as well? I personally very seldom send a traveller up Hwy 5 and 16, choosing instead the more scenic Hwy 1 (in both directions for a portion of it) and areas south of Revelstoke. The Icefields Parkway could easily be done in both directions with big rewards.

You could consider 1 night Vancouver > 2 nights Revelstoke > 4 nights Banff > 3 nights Jasper > 1 night Golden, BC > 2 nights Nelson > 1 night Osoyoos > 1 night Vancouver. This route is not isolated and has many attractions of interest.

I'm just looking at that last part "Day Fifteen Drive to Vancouver." Are you thinking you will drive directly to your cruise ship, or spend a night in Vancouver before you sail?

For choosing a cruise, have a look at this terrific article about that, from the Alaska Forum:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28923-c194064/Alaska…

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Rushden
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122 posts
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2. Re: Planning our first visit to the Rockies, 2015

Thanks for such a detailed response.

We are open to suggestions as there is only such much to pick up in a guide book. The best advice comes from those who are local or have done the journey. I'll definitely look into your suggestions. As to the cruise ship, defninitely a stay over in Vancouver before catching the ship the following day.

I'll have a look at the Alaska forum, thanks again.

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3. Re: Planning our first visit to the Rockies, 2015

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