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From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

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From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

Hey!

We’re planning on starting our trip around the 22nd of August untill early September (two weeks +-).

We will rent a car in Calgary, but should we do a road trip all the way to Vancouver or up to Jasper (the last park if I’m not mistaken, correct me if I am!) and then all the way back to Calgary?

Is there anything to see after the rockies through Vancouver (excluding Vancouver itself).

After the rockies our plan is to fly to a destination in Central America.

Thanks a lot in advance!

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Calgary
Calgary
Alberta, Canada
Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Jasper
Jasper
Jasper National Park, Canada
12 replies to this topic
Penticton, Canada
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1. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

Unless you have accommodation booked for Banff and Jasper or your are looking at tent camping that plan is going to be very difficult if in 2018.

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Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Jasper
Jasper
Jasper National Park, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

Ok, so Banff and Jasper are one of the world's top destinations. Hotels have been reporting 100% occupancy since before last Christmas, and hotel rooms can be as much as $800 per night. Now, that being said, people *are* finding vacancies (they are getting lucky with cancellations) if they are persistent and there *are* places to stay that are closer to $300 p.n. but this is NOT a trip you can do on the fly and it is NOT a trip you can do on the cheap.

Now, the other thing that's a bit odd about your post is that you are trying to decide if you should go to Vancouver or Jasper. Umm, both. First of all, Vancouver is 1000 km away and Jasper is 300 km away from your start point, so your point of reference is a bit odd. Your point about "all the way back to Calgary" is a gorgeous and very pleasant 5 hr drive vs a 2 day drive to Vancouver.

The usual recommendation is

5-7 days in the Canadian Rockies split between Banff and Jasper (and Jasper is going to be the difficult one to book at this point)

2-5 days crossing BC each way

2-4 days Vancouver

Vancouver Island is a common add on if you have 3 weeks, but with only 2 weeks I prefer spending more time around the Kootenay Lakes and the Okanagan instead of racing across to Vancouver Island.

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Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Jasper
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Jasper National Park, Canada
Vancouver
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British Columbia, Canada
Calgary
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British Columbia, Canada
Okanagan Valley
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Oshawa, Canada
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3. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

Are you flying out of Vancouver? Or returning to Calgary?

Renting a car in Calgary and dropping off in Vancouver will have a high drop off fee.

It helps us to know where you are from, we can give specific advise. ie do you have ETA’s? Need a visa to visit?

It is generally recommended that you drive both directions, Banff to Jasper and back to Banff on the Icefields Parkway, it is recommended thT you spend a minimum of 3 nights in Jasper to explore the 10,000+ sq km that make up Jasper National Park. Banff National Park covers more than 6600 sq km. Driving West between Banff and Vancouver there are more mountain ranges than the Rockies, research the Columbia Mountains and the Coast Mountains.

If you are hoping to do this in 2018 you need to try to find accomodation. Most visitors book months in advance and hotels run at 100% occupancy from June until the end of September.

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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Calgary
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Alberta, Canada
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Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Jasper
Jasper
Jasper National Park, Canada
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Banff National Park, Canada
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park
Canadian Rockies, Canada
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Canadian Rockies, Canada
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4. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

Thanks for all the replies!

We are a group of 4, and we will be finishing a summer camp counseling volunteer job and will be coming from Toronto.

We plan a budget trip, so camping with a tent and/or hostels is our expected accommodation. Even with that in mind, do we still need to book in advance (except the car)? Or is it possible to do it all on the spot as we drive along the Rockies?

As to my original question, we definitely plan to go all the way to Jasper, but is it better after Jasper to drive the way back to Calgary or to continue to Vancouver? We don’t have flight reservations for after that yet so that shouldn’t be an issue.

And yes we already have all the required visas.

Thanks again in advance!

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Jasper National Park, Canada
Calgary
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5. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

Tent sites might be difficult to find, you may end up in First Come First Serve lots. But its very possible you will not find anywhere without prearranging an itinerary. Hostels were, like hotels booked months ago.

Hopefully with temp camping you are aware of how to store you items to prevent bear encounters, and are aware that scented body products can pose a problem as well.

You really need to decide whether you want to go on to Vancouver or not. Nobody can tell you what you should be doing. But things to consider, are the extra car rental days, and fuel for the car when confirming the budget. The 1000 km adds up the costs.

Edited: 08 June 2018, 21:13
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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Greater Sydney...
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6. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

It would help to know what passports you are travelling on.

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7. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

We’ll be travelling on Israeli passports.

I had no idea it had to be all re-arranged in advance.

Is it true also to park entrance fees/tickets ( if there are any)?

As far as you know, are there no hostels that are not fully booked and be reserved on the spot (like in East Asia and South America)?

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

The Rockies (Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper) are a top destination and are in great demand. The towns are small, there is a limited supply of accommodation. Demand spills out into neighbouring communities: Canmore, Field, Golden. Last year and this, hotels have for the most part, sold out by March. Campsites opened for reservations last January, I believe, for April 2018 to March 2019. They were snapped up pretty quickly. There are some FCFS campsites which are reserved for people who arrive on the day, looking for a place to spend the night. Sometimes this means arriving early in the day to wait in line to see which campers are checking out that day then hoping to get their spots. Campsites usually have overflow lots which are just that, open spaces. PHAs (Private Home Accommodations) are private suites in an owner's home. Once owners have made their own family plans, most of the PHAs open up for reservations, often by February or March, with some coming online later.

Jasper PHAs can be found here: www.stayonjasper.com

Banff and Lake Louise less expensive accommodation can be found here: www.banfflakelouise.com

It is a good idea to be prepared to make telephone calls to the owners.

Hostels will also be very busy in both Banff and Jasper. You would not be able to book on the spot, but might be able to find space still if you to to the hostels' websites to check availability.

As for Park entrance passes, you can book those online. Parks Canada will mail one to you. Link is here:

https:/…admission

There seem to be 8 hostels in Banff NP: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotels-g154910-c3…

HI Jasper is one hostel in Jasper NP: hihostels.ca/en/…hi-jasper

Edited: 09 June 2018, 02:00
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Banff National Park, Canada
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Jasper National Park, Canada
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Kananaskis Country, Canada
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Oshawa, Canada
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9. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

Yes there are park fees to pay to enter and use the park facilities. If you are staying more than 6 nights it makes more sense to buy an annual pass. You will also be required to pay for a campsite every night, and if you want to have a camp fire, and conditions allow, you must pay for a fire permit.

Staying overnight, even sleeping in your car, not in an approved campground is illegal.

If you are tenting you will need good sleeping bags. It can dip close to freezing in late August and into September.

There are some campgrounds where you line up and hope for the best, but you ate nor guaranteed a place. Over flow lots are like gravel parking lots so not comfortable for tenting.

If you are under 25 renting a car might be difficult and you will incur high “underage” surcharges. If you are under 21 it’s nearly impossible.

banffandbeyond.com/understanding-the-parks-c…

https:/…admission

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10. Re: From Calgary to Vancouver or Calgary back and fort

First of all thanks a lot for the informative replies, much appreciated.

It all sounds pretty depressing, myabe we’re gonna have to give up on this road trip.

But what about RV’s? Are there specific overnight parking lots (with or without running water and dump-sites). And are those also supposed to be booked in advance?

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