Enjoy some of the highlights of Banff National park combined with the beautiful lakes, rivers and towering mountains of the Kootenays. Observe the mountain lifestyle and artistic residents in mountain towns like Revelstoke, Nelson, and Creston with this spectacular itinerary. 

Day 1: Calgary to Banff (150 km)

Pick up the RV in Airdrie in the morning and head west on Highway 1 towards the mountains. Upon your arrival in Banff, you can park in the designated RV parking lot near the train station and explore the village on foot.

Pedestrian bridge just outside of downtown Banff

Arrive at your campsite in Banff National Park in the late afternoon.  

Nearby campsites: Tunnel Mountain Campground, and Two Jack Campground

Highlights

  • Gift and souvenir shopping on Banff Avenue 
  • Stroll along the Bow River 
  • Cave and Basin National Historic Site 
View of the Bow Valley near the Hoodoos viewpoint in Banff

Day 2: Banff 

The entire day will be spent exploring the many highlights in and around Banff. Start the day with a visit to Bow Falls just outside of town, followed by a gondola ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Here you will have a breathtaking 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountains and the valley below. After lunch drive to Surprise Corner for a spectacular view of the Banff Springs Hotel, also known as Banff’s castle in the mountains. From here continue to the Hoodoos just up the road.  

End the day by driving the Minnewanka Loop, with stops at Two Jack Lake and Minnewanka lake.  

Nearby campsites: Tunnel Mountain Campground, and Two Jack Campground

Highlights

  • Bow Falls
  • Sulphur Mountain boardwalk
  • Minnewanka Lake 

Day 3: Banff to Revelstoke (300 km)  

Depart Banff in the morning via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) towards Lake Louise but leave the highway to merge onto the Bow Valley Parkway just west of Banff. The 48 km Bow Valley Parkway runs parallel to Highway 1 but provides visitors a more scenic and leisurely route between Banff and Lake Louise. Along the way, you can stop for a hike at the Johnston Canyon and take a photo at the Castle Mountain viewpoint. Visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

A couple enjoying the view at Lake Louise

Shortly after departing Lake Louise in a westbound direction, you will arrive in Yoho National Park, where you will visit Emerald Lake and Natural Bridge. On your way to Revelstoke, you do not want to miss the stop at Information Centre at Rogers Pass. Upon arrival in Revelstoke, you can visit the Revelstoke Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Canada.  

Nearby campsites: Revelstoke CampgroundLamplighter Campground, and Snowforest Campground 

Highlights

  • Hike at Johnston Canyon
  • Lake Louise and Moraine Lake
  • Emerald Lake 
Upper Arrow Lake

Day 4: Revelstoke to Nelson (250 km)  

Travel south from Revelstoke and board a small ferry for the 20 minute crossing of Upper Arrow Lake. Nestled deep within the natural beauty of the Kuskanax Valley you will find the Nakusp Hot Springs. There are two pools fed by water from natural mineral springs originating from the forest a short distance away. 

After a relaxing soak in the hot spring pools, you will drive along the shoreline of Slocan Lake to arrive in Nelson in the afternoon.  

Nearby campsites: Davis Creek or Lost Ledge campgrounds  

Highlights

  • Upper Arrow Lake ferry ride
  • Nakusp Hot Springs 
  • Views of Slocan Lake 

Day 5: Nelson to Fernie (325 km)  

Cross the Kootenay Pass, one of the highest highway accessible points in Canada to make your way to the Creston Valley. Explore the town of Creston or enjoy one of the many outdoor activities like canoeing or hiking, or a visit to one of the local wineries.

Vineyard in the Creston Valley

You will arrive in Fernie later in the afternoon, where small-town charm meets adventure in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  

Nearby campsites: Fernie RV Resort or Mount Fernie Provincial Park 

Highlights

  • Kootenay Pass
  • Downtown Creston
Fort Steele Heritage Town

Day 6: Fernie to Invermere (225 km)  

Travel to Invermere, with stops at the Fort Steele Heritage Town, Columbia Lake Provincial Park and Dutch Creek Hoodoos. The past lives and breathes at Fort Steele Heritage Town. This well-preserved town is perched on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains since its gold rush beginnings in 1864.

According to K’tunaxa legend, the Hoodoos represent the rib cage of a huge sea monster known as Yawuʔnik̓.  

Nearby campsites: The Raven’s Nest Resort or Fairmont Hot Springs Resort  

Highlights

  • Dutch Creek Hoodoos
  • Fort Steele Heritage Town 

Day 7: Invermere to Canmore (175 km)  

Travel the Banff-Invermere Highway, which will take you through the Sinclair Canyon and to the impressive Kootenay Valley viewpoint, where you will have breathtaking views of the Mitchell and Vermilion mountain ranges.

Sinclair Canyon along Highway 93

The highway continues through Kootenay National Park, the least visited National Park in the Canadian Rockies, opting to go for a 1.6 km walk at Marble Canyon.  

Nearby campsites: Bow Valley Campground or Three Sisters Campground 

Highlights

  • Sinclair Canyon
  • Marble Canyon
RV parked at the campground in Canmore

Day 8: Canmore to Airdrie (125 km)  

Depart Canmore in the morning. When you enter Calgary, on the west side you can stop at the Calgary Olympic Park, one of the venues of the 1988 Winter Olympics that took place in Calgary. Return your RV to Fraserway RV in Airdrie before 11:30 am. 

Travel Inspiration Guide

Explore Canada coast to coast with these 20 RV itineraries.

Fraserway RV Travel Inspiration Guide

DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this itinerary is the sole property of Fraserway RV LP. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Travellers are advised to confirm with each third party prior to arrival. The inclusion of any suggestions does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.