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Vancouver to the rockies and return road trip - timeframe?

(14 Posts)
pachyderms Thu 29-Jan-15 12:28:44

We are planning a 5 week trip to Canada next summer. We're going to spend two weeks in Vancouver, one on Van Island and then probably a two week RV road trip to Jasper, Banff and back. We have 3 kids who will be 5, 8 and 10. We lived in Vancouver 12 years ago so we want to spend a good chunk of time in the city and surrounding area as we have lots of places we want to revisit.

We also did a road trip to the rockies, but it was pre-kids, and we mainly focused on good walks, and the weather was awful i can't remember too much about where we went and how long it all took (we cut the trip short in the end as it just poured with rain every day). Think we did Vancouver, okanagan, revelstoke, kicking horse, Jasper, Banff - and then planned to do Mount Robson but came home instead). Have you been? How long would you plan for the trip to take? Any recommendations on places to go with the kids? I looked into flying back to the UK from Calgary instead of Vancouver to reduce driving time, but it seemed to be double the price (as opposed to return from Vancouver).

Any help very gratefully received.

mummymeister Thu 29-Jan-15 18:49:14

is it the Calgary stampede the week you want to fly back? we flew into Vancouver then back from Calgary last July/August (post stampede) with air Canada and it was cheaper. we did a similar road trip with our 3 - over three weeks. basic outline of our trip was - flew into Vancouver, took ferry to Sechelt, stayed there 5 nights, then 4 nights in Van city, one night in Kamloops en route to Jasper, 5 nights in Jasper then 6 nights in Golden. we stayed in some lovely self catering places and if you pm me I will send you the info. we also found a fantastic place on Van Island but felt it was pushing it to try and do any more in 3 weeks. if you are hiring an RV remember that a lot them wont ensure you if you go off the main roads. and as you probably already know, a lot the places you might want to visit are off the main roads. also we came across a lot of roads where they said no RV's and people were left parking some distance away and walking. Also RV's are complete gas guzzlers. we found in the summer that a lot of the camp grounds were full. I think you have to book pretty far ahead to get places to stay not like the UK where you just turn up and get in. Happy to send more info if you message me. don't want to bore everyone else reading my gushing about Canada post!!

pachyderms Thu 29-Jan-15 19:13:36

Thank you mummymeister - I have pm-ed you.

Grah0SoontobeaFatty Fri 30-Jan-15 23:08:15

If you want touring advice from Brits that have moved there try britishexpats the Canada forum. Will probably get you some contacts, especially if you can squeeze in some of their favorite food parcels.

With that number of kids sounds like going over there you could have 50lb or more spare. If I was in that area would sure like to know a delivery of beans, bistro and cheese was coming for some advice or parking space.

Don't forget don't take any parcel you didn't buy yourself.

pachyderms Sat 31-Jan-15 18:15:02

Thanks - will look it up.

rookiemere Sun 01-Feb-15 21:15:17

Hi, we've booked a 3 week Canada summer trip for July 2015 starting from Vancouver then flying from Calgary. We're doing Tofino, Whistler, driving up to Lake Louise ( haven't decided where we'll stay enroute yet) Banff, then Jasper.

Like you we did a pre DC trip and we're mostly repeating the places we went to before. Things that we think DS (who will be aged 9) will enjoy are sea plane trip at Tofino, canoeing Tofino, zip wiring at Whistler. We haven't planned out many other activities but we'll try to focus on some white water rafting, cycling, maybe canoeing at Lake Louise and the short hike at LL to the tea shop ( hopefully with bears).

I've booked most of our accomodation based on not having to share a hotel bedroom with DS so if you want me to PM through what we've gone for I'd be happy to do so.

pachyderms Mon 02-Feb-15 19:03:05

Much appreciated rookiemere - I've sent you a pm smile

mummymeister Mon 02-Feb-15 19:22:16

Rookie and Pachy - we went in July last year and I started booking places to stay about now and found it really hard to get the right things especially as some places in Jasper and Golden shut over the winter and only vaguely answer e mails. if you have a trip mapped out can I advise that you book your places to stay. we had no idea how popular Canada was until we started trying to book. pm me rookie if you want the same info that I sent pachy.

pachyderms Mon 02-Feb-15 20:01:03

That's useful to know mummymeister, thanks for the tip.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Mon 02-Feb-15 20:12:39

Don't stay at the Fairmont Lake Louise, it's very overpriced. There are lots of nice lodges in Canmore. We've stayed at Rundle Cliffs - nice 2 bed self catering suites.

Do not stay at Num Ti Jah Lodge at Bow Lake. Maybe I'm biased but when we stayed there they had a power cut - so no water and the emergency lighting on our floor didn't work. Trades on the view and its history, but IMO a dilapidated death trap waiting to happen.
Lots of nice places in Jasper - Alpine Village being one of them.

What time of year is your trip?

MooseBeTimeForSnow Mon 02-Feb-15 20:16:36

TBH I'd probably rent a bigger and more comfortable vehicle and stay in SC suites rather than rent an RV.

If you go to Jasper, Mount Edith Cavell is a nice walk for littles, up to the Glacier. There's also a trail off to the side that leads to a meadow, with a good chance of seeing Marmots.

The Athabasca Falls are also good. White Water Rafting can also be done with children your ages.

pachyderms Mon 02-Feb-15 21:10:02

Thank you Moose. I have heard Canmore is a good place to stay, so I will look up Rundle Cliffs. I will steer clear of Num Ti Jar! We're going for the school summer holidays next year, so end of July and August.

Yes, I think we are going to do as you suggest with regards to the RV. I loved camping last time, but we had a tent and all our camping gear then, which we wouldn't have this time.

I'll make a note of the walk - they'd love to see marmots. We saw pikas when we were in Jasper last time - very sweet.

I can't wait to go back - it was the best year of my life. We did an amazing kayaking with killer whales trip to the Johnstone Strait, which was an unforgettable experience, but not one we would do with the kids. I'm looking forward to showing them some of the wonderful places we visited.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Mon 02-Feb-15 22:24:14

There's a Western Canada Mn'ers page on Facebook. A few of us in AB and BC to offer further advice smile

pachyderms Tue 03-Feb-15 10:24:22


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