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Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Austin, Texas
6 posts
Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Hello I have been binge reading the Rockies forum and really happy to see folks helping .. but I need some serious help looks like there are so many beautiful places to visit in Rockies and I cannot decide. This is our first visit to Canada and we are not serious hikers especially with elementary aged kids but we do like outdoors and small hikes are on our mind. To begin with I have 14 days and We are flying from Houston TX to Calgary and back( BOOKED flight) reserved a rental car , booked accommodations in Banff and Jasper . We plan to visit now, June 2018 first week

I need help planning the rest of my itinerary , my initial plan was to visit only the Rockies but my insistent husband wants us to visit Vancouver too . Our itin is as follows

Day 1 Arrive Calgary late flight stay overnight

Day 2 Calgary to banff

3 days in banff

2 days Jasper

2 days wells provincial park/ clear water

2 days whistler

2 days Vancouver

1 day travel from Vancouver see Kamloops stay overnight in Revelstoke

next day drive from Revelstoke to Calgary

Calgary flight back home

Is this itinerary doable ? I know there are some ,long drives but we want to see nature en route and are open to modify our itinerary except ( flights and accommodations booked).

Please Please help. Thank you in advance

8 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
33,611 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Ok, so first of all, is it actually 2 days (3 nights) in Clearwater and Whistler? Because I think that's probably too long for those locations in balance with the rest of the plan.

Personally, I would suggest to your insistent husband that Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Seattle, Olympic National Park, Mt Rainier are just a different two week trip. But if you insist....

First of all, the thing we all agree on here is that it is very much worth driving the Icefields Parkway in both directions both northbound and southbound to and from Jasper. This is the magnum opus of the whole trip, and if you are unlucky with the weather, a second drive on the Parkway provides some insurance. Its the sort of place where you could just drive up and down for the rest of your life and not tire of the magnificent views, but it would be absolutely catastrophic to only plan to drive it once and have low cloud and rain on that one day!

This means you cut out Wells Grey and go to Revelstoke instead. Worthwhile trade off IMO. There's a zoo in Kamloops the kids might enjoy, and then through to Whistler via the Duffy Lake Road and on down to Vancouver from there.

On the way back, aim for Osoyoos or Penticton, then on into the Kootenays around Nelson. Make sure to plan at least one of the crossings on the inland ferries (and if you can talk some sense into your husband, this is the area where you will spend your time) on your way back towards Calgary, perhaps via Cranbrook and Radium.

If you have the time, take the Crows Nest Pass through Fernie and go to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump at Pincher Creek and then around to The Royal Tyrell Museum at Drumheller before getting back to Calgary for your flight. These places are all worthwhile trade offs for hours of driving for two nights in Vancouver.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
6,586 posts
22 reviews
2. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

+1 to everything V67 said above, especially the part about driving the Icefields Parkway both ways.

Austin, Texas
6 posts
3. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Thank you , yes we did intend 2 nights each in Clear water and whistler. You suggest completely bypassing clear water and instead go via kamloops and stay at Revelstoke instead ? Also, do you think its good to visit Wells gray park or not? if we don't stay overnight there.

We also wanted to go whitewater rafting , which place would you suggest we might do that ? I was thinking of

banff or kicking horse

For now Vancouver is still looming , although we might not see a lot there we will just visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park , maybe Check out Stanley Park and Granville Island, and then ogle the views from Vancouver downtown. We are thinking of taking one of those "hop and off" tours there .

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
33,611 posts
62 reviews
4. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Ok, so you are planning this route:


Which is one most of us are a bit 'meh' about. Its ok, if you have to, but we much prefer this option:


I would return to Calgary either this way:


or this way


Austin, Texas
6 posts
5. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Thank you for your insights

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
69,115 posts
66 reviews
6. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

You have a very tight schedule for a round trip, and you could be on the road for 50% of your trip.

It's hard to figure out an accurate itinerary as you have not mentioned your flight in date or your flight out date. As well, I tend to talk about nights because it clearly shows where you will be for the night. You can correct me if I am wrong now --

1 night Calgary

3 nights Banff

One day on the Icefields Parkway

2 nights Jasper

One bonus day on the IP

1 night Golden (4 hours from Jasper, allowing much of the day to explore the IP. Golden is just a strategic overnight to allow that time on the IP but not drive too much)

1 night Clinton (see the Round Up Motel which definitely punches above its weight due to the phenomenal manager/owner. And the Cordial Restaurant.) (4 hours from Golden.) Or Cache Creek (3.5 hours from Golden)

1 night Whistler. ( 3.5 hours from Clinton). River rafting can be done in either Whistler or Squamish: https:/…river-rafting.aspx

2 nights Van. (2 hours from Whistler)

1 night Kelowna (4.5 hours from Vancouver)

1 night Revelstoke (2.5 hours from Kelowna, which is good because there are a number of attractions to see in the Revy area: Enchanted Forest, Revy Railway Museum, Revelstoke Museum with its wonderful exhibit called Land of Thundering Snow which explains all the ins and outs of avalanches from gear, to the science of the snow, to what makes the snow layer up, then shear off to start an avalanche, to avalanche control, Giant Cedars Boardwalk.

1 night Calgary.

TOTAL = 14 nights

You could also skip Whistler and drive straight south from Clinton to Vancouver via Hwy 1. Hwy 1 is striking as it follows the Fraser River with its cliffs and rugged. As well there are things to see, e.g. the Yale Historic Site which depicts in period costume the history of the gold rush in that area. There is Fort Langley Historic Site closer to Vancouver which is a great place for young children to experience life in the fur trade days and participate in some of the school age children's activities.

Then you would have: 1 night Clinton, 3 nights Vancouver, 1 night Kelowna, 1 night Revy and 1 night Calgary.

Austin, Texas
6 posts
7. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Thank you muftiVancouver yes that was indeed a very ambiguous itinerary it was just a overview kind .I am working on structuring the details better thanks for pointing out writing nights rather than days . I am not too Forum savvy . I agree we are trying to mush several stuff and long drives . Hence, We decided to not visit Vancouver this time and explore just the Rockies. Thank you for giving your suggestions we will definitely try to incorporate some in our schedule.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
69,115 posts
66 reviews
8. Re: Help with itinerary June 2018 Calgary -Vancouver and back

Good idea to cut back on the overall miles. You and yours will be able to really enjoy your days when you spend more of them in fewer places.

You will need to find accommodation in Jasper first. It will be the most difficult because it is small and much has been booked at this stage. Here is a website for more economical accommodation in Jasper.

Link: www.stayinjasper.com

Then take on the Banff/Lake Louise area with this website: www.banfflakelouise.com

Canmore is 25 min away from Banff. There may be better availability there.

V67 has suggested Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump and the Royal Tyrrell. Pay attention there and check those out to see if they interest you.

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