I am thinking of going to Canada next year with 3 of my friends, planning on flying to Vancouver and hiring a camper van and driving across to Toronto then fly home to London.
Unfortunately due to work we can only be away for 2 weeks maybe 2 and a half weeks a most. Will this be too rushed? to drive across pretty much the whole of Canada?
We're hopefully doing this in May 2013 is that an ideal time to go?
Thanks in advance
Just for frame of reference, the last time I drove from Vancouver to Toronto, I took five and a half days.
Day 1 - Vancouver to Golden, BC - 8 hours of driving
Day 2 - Golden, BC to Medicine Hat, AB - 6 hours
Day 3 - Medicine Hat, AB to Winnipeg, MB - 12 hours
Day 4 - Winnipeg, MB to Thunder Bay, ON - 9 hours
Day 5 - Thunder Bay, ON to Sudbury, ON - 12 hours
Day 6 - Sudbury, ON to Toronto, ON - 4 hours
Two weeks will be pushing it. It really depends what you want to get out of it though. If you just want to say that you've driven across the country, you'll be fine. If you actually want to take some time to see some places (for example, you could easily spend a week just in Banff and Lake Louise, AB) you're going to have to put in a couple of long driving days.
As for time of year, May is a great time. You might still see some late snow in the mountain passes, but the worst of the winter weather is over and the temperatures are generally pleasant.
[ Edit: Edited on 28-Aug-2012, at 08:21 by talesbackpack ]
Thanks for the response, I understand what you are saying , I want to take in alot of the scenery and visit the national parks. Its not just for a tick on the list of places i've been. Perhaps i should shorten the route or try and make it 3 weeks?
I don't want every day to be a mass driving day and not actually taking anything in so perhaps im hoping for to much?
Also im planning on renting a Camper van, is it quite easy to find place to park and camp over night?
I drive from BC to NS in three days, well 4 of us took turns and we didn't stop for much other the fuel and food.
If you could make it three weeks you could make it all the way to the east coast. I'm finding it hard to believe that your flying all the way to Vancouver and not stoping on the best coast ;-)
I really think your cutting your self short by not making it to Nova Scotia.
Either way two weeks would be pushing it and you wouldn't really get to explore much of our country. Along the way you will find plenty of places to stop and sleep, camp, etc.
We have decided to change our trip to fly in an out of Vancouver and just stick to the west coast which we will hopefully be able to see quite a bit of.
We Fly out on the 1st and fly home on the 15th of May which im hoping is enough time.
Can anyone recommend a good driving route starting in and ending in Vancouver.
Do you want to stay in the province of B.C or willing to go into Alberta?
I personally would stay in the province and travel up north. Or even the
Sunshine coast. Make sure you go to Victoria Island.
Check the map below for an idea of what you can do. That's the route I took for a two-week trip a couple of years ago. We spent 10 days on the loop over to Alberta and back, then spent 4 days in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island.
It will still be a fairly high-paced trip, but you get to see quite a bit. We made plenty of stops along the way, but if memory serves, this is what we did for our night stops:
1 night - Clearwater
3 nights - Jasper
3 nights - Banff
1 night - Kelowna
1 night - Vancouver
4 nights - Ucluelet
I would say your must-sees will probably be: Banff/Lake Louise, Whistler, Tofino. Make the rest up from there.
[ Edit: Edited on 28-Aug-2012, at 14:41 by talesbackpack ]
Excellent decision to drop the cross-Canada itinerary, that is WAY too far to go in such a short time.
2 - 3 weeks will easily be eaten up by doing a big loop between Vancouver and Calgary through the Rockies, then fitting in a few days on the west coast of Vancouver Island somewhere.
Not to mention your rental costs will be miniscule compared to dropping off the RV on the other side of the country...