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Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

London
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Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

Hi - me & my wife are hoping to travel from Vancouver to Calgary across the Rockies in a hire car in mid to late May 2019.

We are both 60 and reasonably fit although I can’t see us being a threat in any future Olympic Games !

Does this make sense ? Fly into Vancouver - Hope - Penticton - Revelstoke - Golden - Banff - Jasper - Canmore - Calgary - Home - allowing 2 to 3 weeks ?

Are there any glaring mistakes or changes anyone would suggest. Although we’ve done our research any “don’t miss” hints or tips you’d add would be great.

Many thanks for your help - Kev

Mentioned in this post
Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Calgary
Calgary
Alberta, Canada
Penticton
Penticton
Okanagan Valley, Canada
Revelstoke
Revelstoke
Kootenay Rockies, Canada
Banff
Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Jasper
Jasper
Jasper National Park, Canada
Canmore
Canmore
Kananaskis Country, Canada
6 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

I like your routing and your timing as a start. I don't know if I would bother with an overnight in Hope. Just go directly to Penticton and enjoy more time there. its the sort of place where you can easily enjoy 2-3 nights. Again with Revelstoke to Golden to Banff. No need for the stop in Golden after Revelstoke. However, depending on your interests, you may want 1-2 nights in Field with which to explore Yoho a bit before moving on to Banff.

Hard to suggest "don't miss" stops when we don't know what you might enjoy. History and museums? Nature and outdoor pursuits? Food and wine? Lots of all of the above.

If you have closer to 3 weeks, then I might spend more time in the Kootenays (Slocan Valley area around Kootenay Lake - towns are Nelson, Kaslo, Nakusp, New Denver) and also some of the Alberta Badlands around Drumheller and Brooks. Add those in if you have extra days to fill after you get the raw plan put together.

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Penticton
Penticton
Okanagan Valley, Canada
Revelstoke
Revelstoke
Kootenay Rockies, Canada
Banff
Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Nelson
Nelson
Kootenay Rockies, Canada
Denver
Denver
Colorado
Alberta
Alberta
Canada
Drumheller
Drumheller
Alberta, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

Oh whoops! forgot to mention the main point! Often the lakes in the Rockies (you know, those iconic pea green lakes that everyone goes to see?) are totally under ice until early June. Push this trip into the first couple weeks of June for the best conditions that way.

London
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3. Re: Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

Wow - thank you so much for your prompt reply. We love nature and wildlife / have been known to have the odd glass of wine / we’re not brilliant hikers but quite like a nice walk - hope this helps & thanks again.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

Yep, it does. Hey, guess what? You caught me feeling generous with my time today!

Arrive Vancouver, spend 3 nights from a downtown hotel. Don't rent a car yet. When you are ready to hit the road, get the car:

Day 1:

https://goo.gl/maps/nG29gmvzJGD2

Pack a picnic lunch and head for Manning Park. Drive up to the top of the alpine (that road should be open by June) where you can have a nice gentle walk with mountain top views.

https://goo.gl/maps/RzQY21NaJbu

https://goo.gl/maps/hswTSMTP4mJ2

Drive on through Princeton, Hedley and Keremeos. There's the Hedley Gold mine tour, but that takes several hours, so you should stop here if you want to do that and carry on to Penticton the next day. There's the Grist Mill in Keremeos and also lots of fruit stands, but it might be early for fruit.

There's some really nice B&Bs on the Naramata Bench heading out of Penticton on the west side of the lake. That's where we go. There's the Kettle Valley trail which has fantastic views, Munson Mountain Park also looks over the lake. Take a day to drive down to Osoyoos and back, book a driver for a wine tour, or rent bikes so you can at least avoid driving and tasting (cycling and tasting is bad enough, but at least you are off the road and the only person you are going to hurt is yourself).

After a couple of nights, head on to Revelstoke, but go via the ferries this way:

https://goo.gl/maps/mV2EBehUh3F2

The ferries add a good two hours to the journey and I fear they could be getting busy because we keep sending people that way, but the scenery is beautiful and if you don't mind taking a full day, the ferry trips break the driving up nicely. If you like hot springs, you'll find a few around Nakusp, so maybe you make that your stop.

I really like Revelstoke. It has a lot going on and its a pretty little town. The Railway Museum and the National Park are the main draws. Try the mountain coaster if you are feeling adventurous. Easily spend two nights here.

Next day is on through to Banff, unless you like the idea of a night or two in teeny tiny little Field.

https://goo.gl/maps/B3SNX3xtfPx

Lots of scenic stops. I'd have lunch in Field rather than Golden myself. Sorry Golden... The one thing Golden does have going for it is white water rafting if that's your thing.

If you stop in Field, go to Jasper next. If you go to Lake Louise or Banff, you will then head up to Jasper, and come back down again, so decide how you want to split up your time in Banff. You could easily enjoy 4 nights in and around Banff/Lake Louise, but maybe you do one night now and three afterwards.

Jasper is also good for 3-5 nights. You want to do the Icefields Parkway twice, northbound and again southbound for several reasons, but the most important one is weather insurance. If you get crappy weather on your one northbound journey, that's it, you see nothing. Getting a second shot at it a few days later gives you better odds that you will have great views. And its totally different southbound anyway, so seeing it again is no chore.

Now you could head to Canmore for a few nights, end in Calgary for your flight out, tacking on a trip to the Badlands if you have a few extra days.

Get your hotels in Jasper, Banff, Penticton and Vancouver booked before the end of January, sooner is better for best selection and price. We've already got our 2019 Penticton reservation in place!

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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Penticton
Penticton
Okanagan Valley, Canada
Munson Mountain
Munson Mountain
129 Reviews
Penticton, Canada
Osoyoos
Osoyoos
Okanagan Valley, Canada
Revelstoke
Revelstoke
Kootenay Rockies, Canada
Banff
Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Jasper
Jasper
Jasper National Park, Canada
Icefields Parkway
Icefields Parkway
1,491 Reviews
Banff National Park, Canada
Canmore
Canmore
Kananaskis Country, Canada
Calgary
Calgary
Alberta, Canada
London
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5. Re: Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

Brilliant. It’s sometimes worth remembering that you can’t save time - you can only spend it, and you’ve spent some of yours helping me so thank you very much.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Vancouver to Calgary itinerary advice/opinions please

Given that you like wine, I'd drop by one or some of the wineries in the Similkameen Valley, near Keremeos:

Here's a story a few years old but paints the picture. I'd make that the activity when you head east of Manning Park: https:/…

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