Firstly I must say sorry about all the 'Destination Points' in the first set of Google Maps from my first posting. The intention was to highlight a road map, not to stay at those places.
So we've been collating the many replies we've had across the forum posts, and have pretty much decided on a clockwise route to the Rockies.
Question: Driving Vancouver to Jasper - which way?
A few people have mentioned it's worth heading up Highway #1 from Hope, which merges into Highway 97 then to highway 24, and joining back up with Highway 5 at Little Fort.
See Map: http://tiny.cc/CanadaRockiesOption1
Or should we just press on from Vancouver and head straight to Jasper via Kamloops.
See Map: http://tiny.cc/CanadaRockiesOption1
Where would you recommend we stay for a day or two between Vancouver and Jasper? Is it worth spending a day or two exploring Wells Gray Park?
Question: Driving Banff to Vancouver - which way?
What is the most scenic way to travel back to Vancouver from Banff? We'd like to hit the wineries around Osoyoos. Should we go direct and travel directly south via Cranbrook, and then west along the US/Canada border; or should we drive South-West via Glacier NP and Mt Revelstoke NP and finally passing through Kelowna and the down to Osoyoos?
Question: Thanksgiving Day
I should probably put this in the Vancouver forum. It's come to our attention that we are arriving on Canada Thanksgiving Day (Monday October 11th). Is it worth starting the road trip on this day, or spending the day in Vancouver. I'm assuming most things are closed in Vancouver and the day is spent celebrating with families. If we do stay for the day, can anyone recommend some places to stay/eat on this day?
I do partly regret booking our flight over to Vancouver and beginning the road trip there. I think we should of really flown into Calgary and started from West to East instead of doing the loop.
That being said, if there are some 'must see' places to explore on our way to Jasper from Vancouver, we are all ears.
Thank you again for your time and wonderful ideas - you are all great people! We have made sure our rental car has all weather tires, so that's sorted!
Matt & Mel.
Not sure there will be much of a difference in weather between Jasper and Banff, it's not that far and the elevation is obviously the issue. No weather issues in Vancouver other than rain.
Edit: just saw your last post on page 2. Oddly enough we didn't do either, we went through Kamloops. It was a full day's drive to get near Jasper. On the way back we stopped at a place called Emerald Lake. It is along the train line and it was downright beautiful. See if that is along your route.
[ Edit: Edited on 28-Jul-2010, at 04:25 by DaveinMD ]
Tofino was amazing and sooo worth the trip I made there...
Victoria was lovely to spend time in even though there wasn't really that much to see, I just liked the vibe there
In BC go see Thunderbird Park where the totem poles are, it's free!
I WOULDN'T advise seeing Darroch Castle, there's nothing castle-like about it, it's more like a chateau that's changed hands a million times...
Hey Matt and Mel,
Emerald Lake is in between Lake Louise and Golden on the trans Canada highway, FYI (the turn-off is near a hamlet called Field). I agree that it is a beautiful place to stop.
As far as your questions go, Matt and Mel, Thanksgiving is exactly what you thought it was. A holiday spent with family. Many places will be closed, and those that aren't will have limited hours. I'm not sure where you could find a 'traditional' Thanksgiving feast on that day (unless some friends invited you over). I've always spent it with family, though . . . Football (Americano) is another Thanksgiving tradition, so if you want something Thanksgivingy to do, going to a B.C. Lions game might be a better idea than seeking out Thanksgiving food.
Hope this helps.
Living in Alberta my entire life and constantly going to B.C. here are my short suggestions.
Although absolutely breathtaking, Jasper and Banff are very touristy. I would head south from the parks to Kananaskis Country...more wildlife and scenery and I find the parks, lakes, and attractions just far better than the Jasper/Banff area.
Also if interested in small cities/okanagan valley and wineries definitly check out Canada's vineyard country in Kelowna! While on a work trip i had the pleasure of sleeping at the top of a mountain in a newly developing residential area...waking up in the morning parked right beside a hiking trail I was able to hike up to the top and see the sunrise...absolutely gorgeous! (plus my car could get there
The Icefields Parkway, starting in Jasper to Lake Louise, has got to be one of the most beautiful highways in the world. It's 230 kms through the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
We spent 2 nights near Clearwater and the whole day at Wells Gray. This was more than enough to see the main attractions and unless you want to do a lot of walking in Wells Gray I don't think you need a full day if you are short of time.