We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Which route

Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
175 posts
74 reviews
Which route

We have about a week to explore the Rockies. We will have a hire car and will leave Vancouver early in the afternoon.

We know what we want to see - and this includes the Icefields Parkway. I can't decide whether to drive Vancouver to Jasper and then drive down the Icefields Parkway, or whether to drive to Lake Louise and drive up the Parkway to Jasper.

We can't leave Vancouver any earlier so we will need accomodation for at least one night.

Can anybody tell me the pros and cons of each route please?

Castlegar, Canada
Level Contributor
946 posts
22 reviews
1. Re: Which route

Driving up to Jasper from Banff and then back down the same road is not uncommon, there is a lot to see and you will get different views going both directions. A lot of people miss Kootenay National park which you can see by driving up from Radium Hot Springs . the hwy is really good and comes out at Castle Jct which is the 1/2 way point between Lake Louise and Banff.

Consider driving south from Golden to Radium Hot Springs and then over to Banff National park.

It is a beautiful drive.

Soup.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
69,129 posts
66 reviews
2. Re: Which route

Hi JudyBriston ~

When are you planning to do this trip? Where do you go after Jasper? Are you planning to return to Vancouver to fly out?

I think you will have a tough time enjoying the Rockies on such a tight schedule. Getting to Banff alone is a 10 hour drive and 1 time zone difference from BC. With a week and a return trip, you would be able to spend 1 night (two 5 hour driving days) on the way across the province, 2 nights Banff, 2 nights Jasper, 1 night returning to Vancouver. Better options if you are travelling one way and flying out of Calgary. We generally recommend 2 weeks for this particular itinerary.

I'd recommend you fly to Calgary, rent a car and spend 3 nights Banff, 2-3 nights Jasper and 1 final night in Banff or maybe Lake Louise, before driving the 2 hours to Calgary airport to fly out.

Edited: 30 June 2014, 06:06
Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
175 posts
74 reviews
3. Re: Which route

Thank you for your message. Unfortunately we cannot spend more than 7 or 8 days in The Rockies. We are staying on Vancouver Island. We are flying home from Calgary. So when we leave Victoria, we have to get to Vancouver, pick up the hire car and set off. We anticipate this will be early afternoon.

I just can't decide whether to drive to Jasper from Vancouver, or whether to drive to Lake Louise. The Icefields parkway is a must and I don't care whether we do it both ways or not. It's getting from Vancouver to that part of the world, which is causing me angst!

Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
175 posts
74 reviews
4. Re: Which route

Sorry I didn't answer your question in full. We will be leaving Vancouver Island about 22nd September 2014. But the date is flexible by a day or so.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
69,129 posts
66 reviews
5. Re: Which route

Hwy 1 between Revelstoke and Lake Louise is generally considered more scenic than Hwy 5/16 to Jasper. So I would suggest you drive from Vancouver to either Kamloops (~4 hours) or to Salmon Arm (~5 hours) for your first night. Then on to Lake Louise (~6 hours.) This way you would get two kicks at the can for the Icefields Parkway, very much a bonus.

Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
175 posts
74 reviews
6. Re: Which route

Thank you - that is exactly what I wanted to know. And that is what we will do.

Very grateful

7. Re: Which route

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 July 2015, 10:46