Trans Canada Roadtrip
June 2, 2008 11:35 AM   Subscribe

In two weeks I am taking a roadtrip across Canada from Ottawa to Vancouver (I'll be living in Vancouver for the next year). I have 4-5 extra days I can use along the way (i.e. non-travel days). I want to spend these mostly in Alberta and BC. What's awesome in Alberta and BC, where should I stay/visit? I am male, 25, and I will be traveling alone. I will be staying mostly in hostels.
posted by niccolo to Travel & Transportation around Canada (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would say Banff and/or Jasper. Years ago when I did a similar trip I took one day to hike up Sulphur Mountain. The gondola was free to ride down back then but is apparently no longer free. It's a great hike regardless. And Banff and Jasper are both really beautiful if you're into hiking, camping and being outdoors.
posted by GuyZero at 11:53 AM on June 2, 2008

Seconding the Banff area - anywhere in the Rockies, essentially. And feel free to look me up if you pass through Calgary!
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:56 AM on June 2, 2008

Best answer: The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller is absolutely awesome. There isn't much else in Drumheller, but if you dig paleontology, it's definitely worth it.
posted by Nelsormensch at 12:08 PM on June 2, 2008

Thirding Banff - you could hit the hot springs as well. I did a roadtrip from Banff to Vancouver, and went via Kelowna and the wine region. Sulphur's an easy climb, but if you want something more serious you could do Rundle or Cascade (the huge one you can see at the end of Banff ave - although you'll need to get up early to do it all in a day). Or, if you want to do less than Sulphur, hike up Tunnel - it will only take an hour or so to get up and down, and it has great views of the town.

You could also hang out around the lakes (Johnson Loop? Bow Loop? Something like that...), or just explore the national park.
posted by djgh at 12:15 PM on June 2, 2008

Banff is absolutely gorgeous. Right now I'm working in Fairmont Hot Springs and this whole area has some pretty amazing things to check out-- hot springs, rafting, hiking, that sort of thing. There's also a whole lot of good golf if you're into golfing at all.
posted by riane at 12:42 PM on June 2, 2008

While I really, really love living in Calgary I've stopped recommending it to tourists because it just doesn't perform well on that front. But if you're not into nature and rustic quaintness and all the wonderful things about Banff, then Calgary could be a pretty good short stop - there's always something going on. If you're thinking about Calgary, you should mention what you're into and recommendations will be forthcoming. There are at least a few Calgary MeFites who would hang out, myself included. If you need specific advice on cheap places to stay, or any kind of in-town connection for anything, just e-mail me anytime.
posted by chudmonkey at 2:15 PM on June 2, 2008

I've travelled a lot, and my favourite place in the world is still Tofino and Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Maybe you won't get there on this trip, but trust me, don't miss it. If you look up 'awesome' in the dictionary, you'll see this.
posted by dbarefoot at 2:28 PM on June 2, 2008

Best answer: Drive past Banff keep going till you Hit Radium Hotsprings book a spot at the Lido motel and bask in the retro glory then walk up to the hotsprings and rest your road weary bones. From Radium head North to the Bugaboo provincial park and go for the 6 mile hike up to the Conrad Kain hut. A bit out of the way and down some dirt logging roads so get good directions. The place is stupidly stunning and you can hike right into the alpine pretty quick. The chicken wire at the parking lot is to protect your car from porcupines who like to eat rubber things.

Head from here through Golden to Revelstoke, Stay in Revelstoke from there head south to Shelter Bay where you take a little ferry that takes you close to Nakusp where you will find more hotsprings. Drive south through New Denver to Nelson and check out the town and beach. Many people don't leave Nelson and the Kootneys once they visit.

You can make it to Vancouver in a days drive from Nelson if you leave in the AM.

There's a couple ideas.
posted by jade east at 3:12 PM on June 2, 2008

Best answer: Yep, Banff is an obvious go-for. Also, plan your itinerary to take the Glacier highway from Jasper to Banff. Another awesome place to see is Waterton Park, south of Banff. Nelson, BC, is a great town with great people in a superb landscape.

And you must go to Tofino, Canada's paradise!
posted by ddaavviidd at 4:24 PM on June 2, 2008

+1 on Nelson. It's awesome. Random fact about Nelson: "Roxanne" was filmed there.
posted by dbarefoot at 5:20 PM on June 2, 2008

Do you like coffee- I mean really good, artisanal third-wave coffeehouses? Check my blog for coffee recos in Calgary.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:37 PM on June 2, 2008

The Royal Tyrrell Museum has already been suggested. You should go for some hikes in the badlands around Drumheller too. The Rockies get all the attention, but the area east of Calgary around Drum is fantastic.
posted by March Hare at 9:46 AM on June 25, 2008

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