Usually, A trip to Canadian Rockies starts and ends between Banff and Whistler, however the nearest airports to them would be Calgary and Vancouver, and takes about 10-12 days. However, if one is short on time, or wants to explore other parts of Canada, they can cover the whole thing in 7-8 days too. However, to most people, It doesn’t do justice to the expensive flights to go for a period of a week or so. What a normal Tour Operator normally does is start at Calgary, drive you to Banff and across the Red line to Jasper. From Jasper to Whistler is a long 16-18 hour drive, and hence they prefer taking an unnecessary stop at Kamloops. Kamloops doesn’t have much to offer, although I’ll be mentioning things about the city in the following post. So thats basically wasting (not exactly waste because the drives are very scenic, but they get a little old with each day) 2 days in driving.
My ideal travel plan would be : Land in Calgary – Drive to Lake Louise and stay at The Fairmont (Which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Sight) – Drive to Jasper and watch the lakes and falls quickly and then drive back to Calgary and fly to Vancouver – Drive and Stay at Whistler for 3-4 days – Fly back to Vancouver. Efficient planning can help you complete it in 8-9 days. (NOTE : This plan is only for those who want to save time, but isn’t something I would personally recommend.)
One of the most memorable things for me for this trip was the roadtrip. The landscapes so majestic, The nature so beautiful and The weather so perfect! This place makes for an amazing roadtrip, where one is looking for peace of mind and gets lost in nature. You will also find a lot of hikes and trails through your journey or camping sites, if you’re looking for some adventure.
Also, One can see grizzly bears and other animals walking/running along the roads. Some flowers and herbs grow only besides the roads, that make a good feast for these bears before they go into hibernation. The most ideal time to go would be between May and July, Although it starts pouring by June and the cold winters start by August all the way upto March. Here’s an overview of our trip there :
The Start :
The most logical place to start a road trip to Banff and Jasper is Calgary. It is well connected domestically and internationally and is only a short 2 hour drive from the fairytale town of Banff. You could choose to spend a night here or head directly towards Banff. I shall be posting a detailed excerpt of all the locations shortly and add quick links for y’all to navigate through it all, so stay tuned.
Places to Visit :
- The Banff Town
- The Bow Falls
- Gondola Ride to The Sulphur Mountain Range
- Short Boat Ride on Lake Minnewanka
- Johnston Canyon
- Emerald Lake
- Moraine Lake
- Lake Louise
Places to visit :
- Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre
- Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls
- Jasper’s Skytram
- Pyrmaid Lake
- Patricia Lake
- Maligne Canyon
Situated at the junction of the North and South Thompson Rivers in the Thompson Valley, Kamloops is the second largest city in the BC Interior with a growing population of 90,000 people. It has a peaceful waterfront and a small artificial pebble beach.
We did not spend much time here, just took an overnight pitstop to break our 13 hour road trip to Whistler into 2 parts. However, if you’re spending time here you can check out their tourism page for more.
Whistler is a town north of Vancouver, British Columbia, that’s home to Whistler Blackcomb, one of the largest ski resorts in North America.
Things to do :
- Fly Over Vancouver
- The Butchart Gardens
- Capilano Suspense Bridge
- Gas Town
- Boating, Fishing and Yacht Charters
- Stanley Park
- Other things
In my following post, I’ll be mentioning my personal experience all throughout the trip. We also took The Alaskan Cruise after covering The Rockies!