Jul 11 2005, 06:56 PM
I was hoping for San Diego and the west coast for our anniversary rv trek, which is in 2 1/2 weeks - but my husband has decided it will be too hot and has picked a northern route from Denver up thru Calgary and Banff National Park. While it is not my idea of a romantic trip, it is his choice. Can anyone give me tips on places to stay and things that are a must to see? Thanks
Jul 12 2005, 10:40 PM
You've got to be kidding! You think you're getting second best by going to Banff,etc? WRONG!!! You're getting the most romantic trip you can take! San Diego is nothing but traffic jams, overpriced RV parks (if you can get into them), and rude drivers. We have to go there each year because our family lives there, still...but we wouldn't go there ever again if that wasn't true. You're not missing anything. If you want to go to the west coast, start your trip in Napa, take 101 north and forget So. Ca...nothing left to see there.
Enjoy Banff...we're headed there later this summer, too. (second trip)...Lake Louise is the better location from what we've heard recently...less crowded, so we're planning to stay there for some of the stay.
Anyway...you've got one great trip coming up...you'll remember it forever.
Jul 13 2005, 10:35 AM
Yes Cheryl, we have to agree that you must be misinformed about the trip up into Canada. That area your husband desires to travel is great and you will certainly enjoy each stop. Be sure to stop at the welcome center when you cross into the great country of Canada. We have found all the staff to be extremely helpful and pleasant to deal with plus they have lots of great hints to find areas where you might have interest.
Also use a credit card throughout your trip as you will be given the daily current exchange rate which is usually better than any exchange you will get while doing business throughout the country.
Have fun mastering the exchange rate, use of "Loonies" and "Twonies" , converting from pound to kgs and miles to kilometers. (remember most vehicles sold in the states have kilometers on speedometers along with miles)
Have a great trip
Jul 13 2005, 11:12 AM
Thanks for the tips. I hope it didn't appear that I was bashing Canada when I said it didn't seem like a very romantic trip. I am an ocean and beach type person and my husband is very outdoorsy so when he said Banff, I had visions of forests and hiking and things that don't overly appeal to me. As I told him that I was leaving him totally in charge of planning this trip, I feel that I can't tell him that I am not excited about it but I am sure that it will be fine and we will have a wonderful time.
Jul 14 2005, 09:32 PM
Depending on how much time you have, and how much driving you want to do, if you are wanting warm weather and nice beaches you should try the Osoyoos or Shuswap areas in B.C. - pretty much the hottest spots in B.C., Osoyoos is pretty much dessert like and there are lots of beaches and sand - it's about 375 miles from Banff to Osoyoos. We did a Vancouver to Calgary route last year - through Jasper and Banff - no RV though, so I can't recommend any campgrounds. It was absolutely beautiful - the Columbia Icefield (near Banff) was very neat; snowball fights in the middle of August - in about 30 degree celsius heat - was great! We climbed a lot of mountains - take good hiking shoes - some people were using hiking poles as well, but I really don't think it's necessary. There are a lot of bears in the Banff and Lake Louise area, however, the park staff are extremely cautious and post a lot of signs if there is danger. Enjoy your trip - and Happy Anniversary!
Jul 15 2005, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the info, will be asking hubby to look at your post so he can add that to the itinerary. We are going to be gone 2 1/2 weeks so we should have time to include the beach. Vancouver is the only part of Canada I have ever been to, so I wasn't aware they even had any beach areas there and we weren't in an rv then. This will be an experience but I am sure we will have a wonderful time, just getting away from the rat race together.
Jul 15 2005, 04:24 PM
You will enjoy Banff and I would try to visit Jasper as well. We did that trek 2 years ago, and your best bet is to stay in the national parks. In Calgary we stayed at the KOA, but I think it's not a KOA anymore. It seems like someone posted a review on here mentioning that. Look under Alberta - Calgary. Another neat spot about an hour northeast of Calgary was Drumheller. It's part of the Canadian Bad Lands, and it was "different".
If you make it up to Jasper, take the 1 mile hike at Mt. Edith Cavell. It's about 15 minutes from the Jasper Campground, and was incredible.
I'd call to see about reservations, as I heard they changed the way the system works. When we were there, you didn't need reservations. When you arrived you were put into a no-hookup are if hookup sites weren't available. All you had to do was get up early the next morning ( the earlier the better ), go stand in line until someone with a site like you really want leaves ( full hookup in our case ). I had to wait about 30 minutes at 7:30 am, and I was 3rd in line at 7:30. After that you go move to the full hookup site. We were in a 38' Motorhome, and it looked like the national parks could accomodate anything.
Another thing we noticed traveling in western Canada was that they call RV Parks, Trailer Parks in places. We stated in 2 or 3 that had Trailer Park in their name, but they weren't mobile home parks.
Visit the Columbia Ice Fields and Lake Louise (rent a canoe and canoe on Lake Louise). We saw more wildlife (Elk, Moose, Deer, Bears, Mt. Goats, etc... ) in Banff and Jasper than anywhere! You will have a blast!
Jul 17 2005, 11:17 PM
We travel frequently to the Banff, Jasper and Calgary area and find the area enjoyable, safe, friendly and affordable with the Canadian exchange rate. We particularly like the hot springs at Banff and Radium - very romantic if one goes for the late night sessions.
A note of travel caution - hand guns are not permitted in Canada and long guns have strict handling requirements, particularly in the parks. On our last trip the border crossing personnel even got up and looked on the roof of our living room slide for guns and also checked our under floor laundry baskets.
The people are very friendly as long as you don't make rude comments about their currency. I found it unbelievable how many people would say "funny money" or make disparaging remarks about the lovely paper money or interesting coins. They work just as hard as anyone for their money and are justifiably proud of it.
Kelowna, Kamloops and Osooyos are the hot spots of British Columbia and one can surely find a beach to catch some sunshine in those areas. Take warm clothes, however, as cool nights in the mountainous regions are the norm even in the summer.
Jul 18 2005, 10:44 AM
Ksprague, thanks for the reply. The handgun thing is one of my major concerns about traveling to Canada. We always carry at least 2 handguns when traveling in the rv and will not be taking any because of the Canadian restrictions. My husband and I both have permits to carry concealed handguns and even though those are not recognized by all states, do not worry about the possibility of getting caught with them in the U.S. but I have heard that they can be quite vigalant about their searches in Canada so we will be leaving them at home. Of course, we have never had to use one during our rv treks, but I feel safer knowing they are there.
Aug 30 2005, 01:07 AM
QUOTE(bubbabod @ Jul 27 2005, 11:45 AM)
Hi. My wife and I are planning on going to Bryce and Zion for the first time, and I'm looking to go in late September or October. Can anyone advise as to will it have cooled down by late September? Is that a good time to go? We're also thinking about making a big loop and going from there to Colorado, particularly the Ouray area, one of our favorite areas and hope we don't get into any snow in October. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
Cheryl, I drive it every year. Like one commentor, I agree its a great trip. I suggest Jasper as well, not nearly as crowded as Banff. Try out the hot springs. Camp free at the Walmart in Hinton Alberta, then spend a day or two in the park. You can travel throught the park between Banff and Jasper as well, but winding road. If you go Highway 16, almost like an Interstate, there is a $10 toll on the BC side. Worth it compared to Canada number 1 which is bad.
Aug 30 2005, 10:16 AM
Thanks Dan - originally, we were going to go in August for our anniversary but my husband work obligations got in the way so now we are going next week. I copied your reply into my "travel file" and will make use of it while we are on our trip. Hopefully nothing happens and we actually get to go this time.
Sep 3 2005, 08:45 PM
Cheryl...just returned from a fabulous trip to Jasper-Lake Louise-Banff...LOVED Jasper's Whistler Campground....terrific. 30 amp, sewer, water and large sites, AND elk roaming around. The rut began last week, so was VERY interesting. We'd stay there more than a week next time.
Lake Louise Trailer was good, but only 30 amp power, but lots of interesting things to keep you going for a week. Make sure to see Moraine Lake...just up the road...late morning best time.
We loved it all. In Jasper, the bakery (Bear's Paw...or something like it...just look for the line)...has the best granola!...not to mention breads, sandwiches, etc...
Have a great time...Jan
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