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Thread: Canadian Rockies-recommendations?

  1. #1

    Canadian Rockies-recommendations?

    Heading off for about 3 weeks to the rockies in August....
    Anyone got any top-tips? Includes 3-4 days in Vancouver and a hired 4x4.
    Was thinking of Banff and Whistler and Icefield highway but looking for any other recommendations
    Cheers all
    Goat

  2. #2
    Master senwar's Avatar
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    I went last year. The best holiday I’ve ever had. Flew to Vancouver, drove straight up to Whistler as we’d been to Vancouver before (great city). Had been to Whistler for the day previously and always wanted to go. Lovely place.

    We then stayed in Canmore. Was told previously this was less touristy but easy to get around the rockies. The drive up from Whistler to Canmore was nothing short of stunning.

    Absolutely adored Canmore and so glad we did that instead of Banff. Was basically smaller, cheaper and just as beautiful. Went to Banff a couple of times and did like it but was very busy.

    Stayed in a fantastic place in Canmore and our Whistler accommodation was excellent too. Happy to recommend if you wish.

    If you like a walk, walking in a whistler I can recommend a walk to the train wreckage in the woods. Very strange to see and has become an art installation

    Best tip in the rockies is go to Lake Louise first then Moraine Lake. The latter is truly a stunning location and takes your breath away. Louise was lovely but not a patch on Moraine for me and as we’d gone there first we kept comparing. Moraine is a lot smaller than Louise though. Some of the walks are just phenomenal.

    Also take the free shuttles from the parking area as opposed to driving up there yourself. Parking fills up extremely early (by 7am) at the lakes so the shuttle service is great. Old yellow school buses and it’s free.

    So much to see and do in the Rockies I can’t wait to go back. Going for my 50th in 2yrs.
    Last edited by senwar; 9th June 2019 at 10:22.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    17 years since we went so no doubt lots of things have changed.... we did 4 days in Vancouver (amazing) and 10 days skiing/ boarding in Whistler...... highlight was the boat plane trip to Vancouver Island... just awesome :)

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    If you are feeling adventurous give superfly ziplines in Whistler a try.

  5. #5
    Master
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    My biggest regret was not staying longer in Jasper when we went 15 years ago. Personally I found whistler too commercial and busy and wished Iíd stayed longer in Jasper instead. We broke up the journey from jasper to Vancouver with a couple of days in kamloops, itís old Indian country and very rural and quiet which we like.
    I will second the comment about Moraine lake.., truly stunning!!

  6. #6

    Canadian Rockies-recommendations?

    We did Seattle->Vancouver->Jasper->Banff last August.

    We did Stawamus Chief north of Vancouver. Very tough, but amazing views of the Howe Sound from the top.

    Jasper and Banff where both great but a brutally expensive places to stay. Think £400/night absolute minimum, maybe a tadge cheaper in Banff. You have to plan very carefully or stay further out (thatís what we did) to keep the accommodation cost expensive, rather than stratospherically expensive. Trouble is, that adds more driving, to what is a lot of driving anyway.

    Last August there where recordnumbers of wildfires across BC. We had some clear days in Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise, but did the Icefields Parkway twice and couldnít see in front of our nose. That was really disappointing.

    Lake Louise and the hike up towards the glacier was absolutely spectacular. We also watched a grizzly bear eating berries from a tree while we were parked at the side of the road. That was my youngest sons highlight.

    A lovely part of the world, as long as you have (very) deep pockets, as August is an insanely popular time to visit, as the season all across BC and Alberta is so short.

  7. #7
    Master Xantiagib's Avatar
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    we did that for our hiney-moon

    been saving to go back ever since....

    enjoy!

    Lake louise and the Ccolumbia icefields will stand out in my memories for a long time... but we were lucky with the weather - clear blue skies and high twenties temperature. Vancouver is amazing - make sure you go to the food market and Victoria is stunning.

    A friend of mine went some years later got sleet and slush in summer and crashed his hire car into a fallen tree!

  8. #8
    Master
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    Steer clear of Edward street in Vancouver, unless itís changed as there were lots of persistent / aggressive beggars there 15 years ago

  9. #9
    Master
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    We did this back in 2012, CmdrBond who moved out there was very helpful on my thread https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...nada+honeymoon

  10. #10

    Canadian Rockies-recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Glover View Post
    Steer clear of Edward street in Vancouver, unless itís changed as there were lots of persistent / aggressive beggars there 15 years ago
    Yep, anywhere east of Gastown is very scary. Iíve been to loads of US cities and I found Vancouverís homeless area as bad as any Iíve seen, and much closer to the tourist hotspot than their US city counterparts.

    If you had a triangle from Gastown to Stanley Park to Granville market, then stay in that triangle.

    Outside that triangle there was nothing to see, and from my hire car it was pretty drab.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    just got back from 3 weeks in vancouver to see family.

    High points were:
    Grouse mountain - you can hike up or get the 'gondola' once up the top there is a bird show, a lumberjack show and fantastic views - helicopter rides are also available.
    Granville Island - lovely place to walk around - similar to Camden without the weirdies - infinitely better tourist tat than gastown and the food market is wonderful.
    Science museum - great for kids - adults too if that's your bag.
    Steveston fishing village - great living history museum of the fishing and cannning industry
    Burnaby village museum - preserved 1920's village with working blacksmiths.

    Avoid:
    Capilano suspension bridge - lyn canyon is better if you like that kind of thing.
    Gastown - tourist trap for cruise patrons.
    Lonsdale Quay - see gastown.


    On the drive to whistler / sea to sky highway
    Horseshoe Bay - lovely scenery
    Britannia mining museum - worth it for the train tour and inside of the 'the mill' alone.
    Shannon Falls - amazing waterfalls

    Whistler is OK not amazing unless you are into whatever sports are in season there.

    hope that helps.

  12. #12
    Craftsman Tifa's Avatar
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    Vancouver Island, especially Tofino on there on the Pacific.
    Victoria is lovely too.

    Didn't find Gas Town too bad, bought some cowboy boots from there

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Weíre lucky to have had about 5 trips that way covering most of the sights between Vancouver and Calgary. Will write a full post tomorrow with recommendations!


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    A few tips from spending about 10 weeks in that area over several trips... One summer we drove essentially from Seattle to Banff and back. Convertible Mustang etc, it was epic.

    Vancouver: great for a couple of days. Cycle around Stanley Park. Our favourite hotel is Fairmont Pacific Rim. Not cheap but beautiful rooms and nice views over Coal Harbour and the float planes.

    Whistler: The Sea to Sky Highway is great fun. We nearly always stay in Nita lake Lodge, which is outside of Whistler Village. That means it's a bit quieter and cheaper, but there are free shuttles in and out every hour. The bar and restaurants at Nita are ace too. Beware some of the hotels in the village are way over priced, and quite dated. Make sure you eat at the Red Door Bistro next to Nita Lodge if you go - best bouillabaisse in the world! The Nicklaus club golf course also have a lovely outdoor terrace seating area for great salads etc. There are some nice easy hikes and bikes from Whistler, depending how adventurous you're feeling. For a gentle ride from the village, the Lost Lake is a nice route. Beyond that it's everything up to full face helmets and ski lifts to the peak to ride down the ski runs.

    Banff: We've had great bear sightings in Banff. Icefield Parkway is a good drive. You should drive the dirt tracks and scenic roads up to Lake Minnewanka and that area too. Lots of wildlife. Melissa's Missteak is quite famous in Banff too.

    We usually stay in Canmore in an Airbnb for Banff visits. Very reasonable and very spacious.

    Lake Louise: I wasn't blown away by LL, but only because we were spoilt by so many smaller, quieter lakes. We stayed at the Fairmont Chateau, lake-view suite etc but it felt like a creaky old property and food and drinks were eye watering prices, even with discount and being on honeymoon! Moraine Lake is beautiful but also gets busy as it's so accessible. Emerald lake was nice too, but that's nearer Field.

    Revelstoke: For a quiet stopover, we spent a couple of nights here. There is some lovely hiking, we did one to Eva Lake above Meadows in the Sky Parkway. It's beautiful and we saw 2 other people all day.

    Vancouver Island: Our friends just got back from Tofino. They can't get enough of it. So much wildlife to see.

    Kicking Horse: Another good stopover option, also with more hiking, bears, bikes, and very reasonably priced accommodation.

    Highway 99 in to Whistler from the North (coming from the East) is a brilliant drive too. So varied and beautiful.

    So much to add but I forget lots of it and will end up filling up the thread!

  15. #15
    Journeyman ELD1970's Avatar
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    Weíre off to Vancouver and the Rockies for three weeks this September so any other advice is appreciated


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Journeyman
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    Also worth booking onto an icefields tour where you can hike on the glacier. You'll need to book it in advance online as it sells out on the day. It's a surreal experience!

    Check out lake maligne in Jasper, where you can go on a boat to spirit island. This was made famous by Kodak back in the day due to an iconic picture being taken there!

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