Explore the highlights of the Canadian Rockies on this 8-day RV trip to Banff and Jasper National Park from Vancouver. Marvel at spectacular glacier-fed lakes like Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Peyto Lake, and admire snow-covered mountains in every direction. Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled on the side of the road to spot animals like black bears, grizzlies, moose and elk!
Day 1: Vancouver to Revelstoke (575km)
Pick up your RV in Delta in the morning and travel east on Highway 1. Once you pass the town of Hope you will leave the Fraser Valley and the Coquihalla Highway will start climbing into the mountains. Notice how the landscape is changing from dense forests to a wide-open valley once you pass the Coquihalla Summit and start descending into the Nicola Valley.
Near Salmon Arm the highway will start following the shoreline of Shusawp Lake, providing you with some spectacular views along the way. Visit the ghost town and train museum at Three Valley Gap in the afternoon. Just before Revelstoke you can visit Craigellachie, the location where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. Arrive in Revelstoke in the late afternoon.
- Shuswap Lake
- Three Valley Gap
- The Last Spike
Day 2: Revelstoke to Lake Louise (250km)
Continue east on Highway 1 and stop at the Rogers Pass Visitor Information Centre, where you can visit a great interpretive display of local wildlife or go for a short hike nearby. In Golden you will have the option to explore the new Skybridge, the highest suspension bridge in Canada.
Keep an eye out for Bighorn sheep on the side of the highway after you depart Golden for Yoho National Park. This is the smallest of the four National Parks in the Canadian Rockies, but it is spectacular nonetheless! In the park you will visit Emerald Lake and Natural Bridge. Arrive at the Lake Louise village in the afternoon.
- Rogers Pass
- Kicking Horse River
- Emerald Lake
Day 3: Lake Louise to Banff (150km)
Depart your campsite in the morning for the short drive to Lake Louise. After visiting Lake Louise continue to the nearby and even more spectacular Moraine Lake (seasonal).
In the afternoon you will visit Bow Falls at the base of Sulphur Mountain in Banff, followed by a visit to the Banff Gondola for a spectacular 360 degrees panorama of the surrounding mountains. End the day by driving the Minnawanka Lake loop to Two Jack and Minnewanka Lake.
- Lake Louise and Moraine Lake
- Sulphur Mountain
- Downtown Banff
Day 4: Banff to Jasper (325km)
The 48-km Bow Valley Parkway provides visitors with a scenic and leisurely route between Banff and Lake Louise as an alternative to the busier Trans-Canada Highway. Here you may see elk, moose or wolves, while summer provides you with an opportunity to see black bears and grizzly bears. Option to hike to the Johnston Canyon and the Castle Mountain viewpoint.
- Johnston Canyon
- Peyto Lake
- Athabasca Glacier
Day 5: Jasper (150km)
Today will be spent exploring Jasper National Park. Visit Medicine Lake, Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon in the morning. The road to Maligne Lake is one of the best places in the Rockies to see wildlife, including bears, moose and elk.
Day 6: Jasper to Clearwater (325km)
Depart Jasper in the morning via the Yellowhead Highway towards Valemount. Pull in at the Mount Robson parking lot to admire, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
Stop at the Visitor Information Centre in Valemount to see the salmon spawn in the nearby river (seasonal). Explore Wells Gray Provincial Park in the afternoon, home to a total of 41 named waterfalls. Spahat and Helmcken Falls are two of the easily accessible falls in the park, or you can hike to one of the more remote falls instead. Don’t forget your mosquito spray during the summer months!
- Mount Robson
- Spahat Falls
- Helmcken Falls
Day 7: Clearwater to Hope (350km)
Today you will continue to travel westbound with an optional stop in Merritt, the country music capital of Canada, and famous for its murals. Stop at Othello Tunnels for a short and easy hike to the old railway tunnels and bridges of the former Kettle Valley Railway.
Hope is known as the Chainsaw Carving Capital of Canada with impressive pieces of art throughout the town. Hope is also the location where Rambo: First Blood was filmed in the fall of 1981. Fans of the movie can still visit many of the film locations today!
- Downtown Merritt
- Othello Tunnels
- Downtown Hope
Day 8: Hope to Vancouver (150km)
Return your RV to the rental station before 11:30 am.
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