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rocky mountaineer for young folk

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rocky mountaineer for young folk

Hi Guys,

My husband and I are looking at doing the rocky mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff.

I'm wondering if this is the best way to see this area or could someone suggest something else.

Did anyone get bored at all sitting on a train for two days?

I know its magical views, but I'm concerned I might get cabin fever.

Thanks Meg65

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1. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

G'day Meg, and welcome to the Alberta forum.

I am not a big fan of the RM due to the cost factor and the scenery passing continually by, without the opportunity of stopping to "smell the roses". We self drove, after flying into Calgary, to Banff, the magnificent Icefields Parkway to Jasper, then through BC to Vancouver via the Okanagan in June 2008 and loved every minute of it. I would highly recommend you consider self drive.

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2. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

Thankyou Frommy,

We were thinking maybe that would be a good idea, just need to get use to driving on the other side of road.

Thinking going from Calgary to Lake Louise, Jasper and Banff.

How long do you think would be a good time frame to allow for that?

Plus is there anything you think we should really not miss out on seeing or staying?

Thanks Meg

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3. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

Great initial outline, Meg. There is no need to stay in LL as it is only 45 mins from Banff, and Banff has more going for it as far as accommodation variety and restaurants. LL is a fantastic place to visit and could be a simple day trip from Banff to also see Moraine Lake. What time of the year are you considering and what are your interests? There is hiking all over the place, and that would need to be considered regarding time, but I am not not a hiker.

The absolute must is the Icefields Parkway, but there are many other great things to see/do as well in all of this area. Banff gondola, hot springs, scenery everywhere, Jasper Tramway, rafting on the Athabasca River Jasper and much, much more.

As far as time goes I would consider 3 days (4 nights) Banff then 2 days (3 nights) Jasper as a good balance from our experiences. Mate, it is an extremely beautiful area of the world, and well worth the long distance travel we are faced with from here to experience.

Others will provide further advice I am sure, but I hope that the above might be of same assistance.

Happy planning.

Edited: 14 July 2010, 19:47
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4. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

Oh, as to driving on the "wrong" side of the road, just follow the vehicle in front and concentrate more. Our trip was the first time I was faced with this after over 40 years driving here, and I managed. :)

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5. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

The Rocky Mountaineer and a self drive are sort of "apples and oranges". Both are wonderful ways to see the Rockies. The train is awesome - if you're are into luxury, relaxing and sightseeing. It's a decadent way to see the Rockies. Self-driving is great if you are looking to explore a bit more. The freedom of a car certainly opens up all sorts of possibilities to further explore Alberta and B.C. However many days you decide on, give yourself a few more to accommodate for the distance and travel time! Just like Australia, we're rather immense and there's so much to see and do.

banfflakelouise

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6. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

Hi Meg65,

Welcome to the BANFF TRAVEL FORUM.

Apples and Oranges indeed... the Rocky Mountaineer has a reputation of being a bit of a decadent expense (check the prices, and then pick yourself up off the floor)... Truly gorgeous... but not something that everyone can afford.

I say better to see The Rockies by self-driving... Canada is HUGE (you've no doubt figured that out by now)... and the car is king here for getting around... and the best way to absolutely see as much as possible and at your own pace (no one herding you somewhere... linger over a sunset or glacial lake as long as your heart desires).

With the money you save from skipping out on the RM, you'll have a ton more cash that you can spend to extend your vacation, and see even more.

:-) *smile*

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

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7. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

Thanks heaps guys,

Will definitely do the self drive thing. Will give us the freedom and cut the cost heaps.

We will be there at the end of May, so it will be cold for us, but the roads should be ok to drive on, weather wise.??

Thinking we might fly straight into Calgary from New York and skip Vancouver.

Would we be missing much, not going there?

Time is pretty tight, so will make the effort if you think we should, otherwise we will concentrate mainly on Banff etc.

But thanks again for all your advice, I love these forums, it helps hearing from everyone.

Meg

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8. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

Hi Meg65,

You are very welcome... think you'll be happy with the freedom that having a car will give you.

As for seeing Vancouver or not... it will depend on how much time you have to dedicate to this whole holiday... don't believe you've told us that.

Generally speaking, we say one needs 2 to 3 weeks to truly see and explore any Canadian Geographic Region... The Rockies flying in and out of Calgary would consitute one such region... so an absolute minimum I'd say allow 10 Days (and that could feel rushed). Others here will no doubt give you their take on this (and what to expect at the end of May... still very much Spring in the Mountains... so you'll want to dress in layers).

Vancouver, and Southern BC would be a whole other Geographic Region... lots to see there too (although beautiful, I would have to say not quite as stunning... The Rockies can really knock your socks off).

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 16 July 2010, 07:30
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9. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

if time is tight, i'd skip vancouver. i'd say about 8-10 days would be the minimum for a relaxing time in this area. the end of may, the lakes will still likely have ice on them. could still have some snow falling. the drive to vancouver is beautiful but i'd rather do it in september then in may, just because of the weather.

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10. Re: rocky mountaineer for young folk

Meg,

I am posting from work ATM, and lunch hour has just finished. Have a look under my user profile at some photos I took in the Rockies in the first week of June 2008. I will post you some links to my trip report tonight if you would like.