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Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?

Bridge City, Texas
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Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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We will be traveling from Seattle to Vancouver via train on 6/4/2015 to travel to Jasper for several days. Our original plan was to travel on to Calgary for our return trip home, but it was too cost prohibitive. I am looking for suggestions on which course to take for the trip from Vancouver to Jasper and the trip back to Vancouver. I'd like to take different courses to see as much as possible; however, we want to spend at least 3 days in the Jasper area which means only spending 1 night somewhere on the trip up (maybe Kamloops?) and 1 night on the trip back.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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I was hoping someone would chime in however you may wish to try posting on the Alberta forum since the Rockies are in Ab vs BC. 7 days is totally unrealistic to do this as a round trip, without doing marathon driving days. Jasper is nice however if thats all your going to see of the Cdn Rockies your missing some of the major highlights which would include the Icefield Parkway, Athabasca Glacier, Peyto Lk, Lk Louise and Banff. Flying thru Calgary is the best way but from Seattle or Vancouver you normally would spend 2 days driving each way, so thats 4 days without any sightseeing.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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Hi. Kamloops wouldn't be my choice for a stopover. I would take highway 3 east through Manning Park, Osoyoos ect. It's a beautiful route with mountains, lakes and scenery. You might think of overnighting around Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Salmo or Creston. If you have the time the next day it's a beautiful drive up through Kaslo & New Denver. If not, go through Cranbrook, Kimberly and Radium Hot Springs to Jasper or Banff. On the way back take highway 1 through Revelstoke and perhaps stay around Salmon Arm or go south through Vernon and the Okanagan. It's a pity you don't have two more days for your journey. Those are fairly long driving days any way you slice it. It's not like driving through Texas ! Have fun.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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I think you need to fly SEA -YYC, rent a car, drive 2 hours to Banff for 3 nights, Jasper for 2 nights, Lake Louise or Banff again for the final night before your flight back to Seattle.

Agree with David, the original plan is unrealistic. As well, it is quite early in the season in the Rockies. Some of the roads and trails may be under snow.

You say a flight out of Calgary is cost prohibitive? That seems odd that a flight from Vancouver to Texas is okay but a flight out of Calgary is not? Or do you mean to head back from Vancouver to Seattle to fly out from there?

However, to answer your question.

Vancouver to Clearwater for 1 night. Via Hwy 1 and 5.

Clearwater to Jasper for 3 nights. Via Hwy 5 and 16.

Jasper to Lake Louise or Banff for 1 night. Via the Icefields Parkway.

LL or Banff to Vernon or Kelowna for 1 night

Vernon or Kelowna to Vancouver, 5.5-4.5 hours, via Hwy 97C and 5, early arrival by noon to return the car and catch the afternoon train to Seattle. Or fly out, or stay Vancouver?

TOTAL = 6 nights

Bridge City, Texas
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4. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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My daughter will be in Seattle which is why the trip will originate in Seattle/Vancouver. We had originally planned on renting a car in Vancouver and traveling through the Rockies and flying out of Calgary. Since my original post, I did discover the airfare is the same regardless of where the return flight comes from ... the only difference is the additional drop fee for the rental car. My time frame remains the same however, 7 days for the total trip. Would this change your recommendation? Would you suggest paying the additional drop fee and flying out of Calgary to give us extra time in the Rockies?

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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The drop fee might be a consideration for sure. One thing you might look into is a flight from Seattle to, I guess Houston?, via Calgary. Use the multi city choice instead of one way or return. It's called an Open Jaw flight. plug in Seattle to Calgary with your dates, then in the next fields in the template and 7 days later plug in Calgary to Houston. The fare should be more reasonable than booking separate flights.

Or you could indeed take the train up to Vancouver for 1 night. Scenic, relaxing, comfortable. Consider the small fee to upgrade to Business class. Morning train arrives about 11h40 giving you a half day, an overnight, another half day before getting to the airport for a different Open Jaw flight (Vancouver > Calgary ; Calgary > Houston). Take a 3h00-ish flight for 1.5 hours to Calgary (leave downtown Van about 2 1/4 hours ahead of your flight time) rent and drive to arrive Banff by about 7h30 latest. 2 nights Banff, 2 nights Jasper, 1 night Banff or Lake Louise, then drive the 2 hours to Calgary to fly on to Texas. Only you can decide if this idea suits you. But there would be no drop fee for the car, opportunity to have a glimpse at Vancouver and probably have an airfare that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Otherwise, head for Calgary to rent and return, for 3 nights Banff, 2 nights Jasper, 1 night Banff or Lake Louise, then drive the 2 hours to Calgary airport to fly to Texas. IMO, this would give you a good experience of the Rockies, with no marathon drives.

Edited: 6 years ago
Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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Given your short timeframe I'd definitely consider a one way drive to Calgary and fly back to Vancouver (or the opposite). Perhaps 2 nights each in Banff and Jasper and two nights travelling through BC. Then you won't have to be in such a rush.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?
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Best option - fly into Calgary, tour by road from there.

2nd - drive from Vancouver to Calgary via following route: Vancouver>Clearwater (1)>Jasper (3) >Banff (3) >Calgary

3nd - Vancouver > Jasper (3) > Banff (3) > Revelstoke or Salmon Arm (1)

The Rockies are in a different time zone to the coast. Its a long way. You can do Vancouver to either Banff or Jasper in one long day of driving, but you can expect around 8 - 11 hours of driving with no stops. It depends on how you like to travel. Doable in 7 days as a loop, but wholly unsatisfying at you race past some beautiful places that you don't have time to stop and see.

8. Re: Vancouver to Jasper roundtrip in 7 days ... recommendations?

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