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Old 04-28-2014, 09:25 AM   #1
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Seattle to Banff, What to See?

We have planned 10 days to travel between our leaving Seattle and arriving at Banff National Park. That's a big stretch of road through some beautiful scenery. Can anyone offer some ideas on what to see on our first trip though this area? Since we haven't been here before hearing about major attractions as well as the little known spots would be appreciated.

We will have spent time already in Seattle and have a week planed at Banff when we arrive, so I'm hoping the 10 days will allow us to get a feel for the area in between. Also anything you'd care to share about Seattle and Banff will be welcome too. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:28 AM   #2
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Ok , for us locals , that's only a day and 1/2 drive , and I'd be looking to be off the highways on the weekends, if your traveling in the summer months. Trans Canada; Highway 1 ; is a nightmare all summer! Can you give us a break down of things you like to do or areas you'd like to see.
Golf , hiking , fishing, other National Parks, hot springs.
By , planned, have you got reservations in Banff?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:21 PM   #3
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Summer on highway 1 is unavoidable unless you locals can clue me in on a RV friendly alternative. We obviously have the time.

As for what we enjoy most in order of preference.

Easy hikes in beautiful scenery preferable in national parks and other nature preserves.
Historic towns and attractions.
Great Vistas
Local cultural and points of interest.
Railroad museums
Antique shops.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #4
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By , planned, have you got reservations in Banff?

I missed this question the first time.

We have reservations in Canmore at Spring Creek RV Park for a week. We plan to use the toad to visit the park and surrounding area.

I'm not sure why DW wanted to stay at an in town park for this part of the trip, but my contribution to the discussion was limited to; "yes dear, if that's what you want."
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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Tons to see. When coming east on Hwy #1, at Merrit, take the highway to Kelowna, BC. Lots of Wineries in the Okanagan Valley. Great tours available. Okanagan is beautiful (we live there) Your drive on Hwy 97 back to TransCanada Hwy is all along lakes. Beautiful scenery. Google "Okanagan Valley" BC.

Also see Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Columbia Ice Fields along the way.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:02 PM   #6
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Tons to see. When coming east on Hwy #1, at Merrit, take the highway to Kelowna, BC. Lots of Wineries in the Okanagan Valley. Great tours available. Okanagan is beautiful (we live there) Your drive on Hwy 97 back to TransCanada Hwy is all along lakes. Beautiful scenery. Google "Okanagan Valley" BC.

Also see Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Columbia Ice Fields along the way.

Thanks, I'll goggle map it, and check allstays for campgrounds.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:06 PM   #7
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We have reservations in Canmore at Spring Creek RV Park for a week. We plan to use the toad to visit the park and surrounding area.
my contribution to the discussion was limited to; "yes dear, if that's what you want."
Good that you have the reservations.
And after 44 years; well enough said on the rest.

Seattle area, I try to avoid , rush hourS there remind me too much of L.A.
Olympic Peninsula , is a very nice area. always meant to spend more time there. Instead of rushing through like I normally do.
Personally , for the first part of your trip, I'd stay in the USA, cross the passes over to Highway 97 and enter Canada at Osoyoos.
Fill up before you cross the boarder, $$$, you may be able to do the whole tour if your only going to Banff on one tank full.
Pick up Highway 3 East after you cross the border, the first 10 miles is the worst climb on this route , but I've done it towing a 30' 5th. wheel and in my coach .Greenwood , has a historic town site, and may have things of interest for you. Stay on #3 to Castlegar, then 3A to Nelson and onto Balfour. Kaslo is an area I enjoy, but I'd leave the coach in Balfour and go there in the toad. Free ferry from Balfour to Crawford Bay, and many attractions there. Then down to Creston to pick up #3 again. Over to Cranbrook , then a stop at Fort Steele , historic site . Think of it as a large, clean Oatman. On to 93/95 north through Fairmont Hot Springs ( the Canadian edition ) Invermere, the Lake Havasu, of the north, Radium Hot Springs, Highway #93 to the junction of #1 and onto Canmore. Fuel is cheaper in Alberta than B.C. so if you decide to go south to Montana from there you can add a little if necessary.
There are mountain passes every where in B.C. so don't think I'm just testing you by showing you this route. This route also allows you to travel using #1 for the least amount possible , it's 2 lane and THE major truck route . Highway #3 through Manning Park , I didn't include that , the area has been decimated by the pine beetle and for those of us that remember it in the early days, it's a painful drive.
Travel safe.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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Thanks Skip. I will go over that in detail over the next few days and post any questions I come across. Do you mind if I PM you?
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:40 PM   #9
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Thanks Skip. I will go over that in detail over the next few days and post any questions I come across. Do you mind if I PM you?
Any time , I lived in Kelowna for 55 years , and moved because I couldn't afford to retire there,( and they wouldn't name a street after me ) so I've been on every road in southern B.C. Including a whole bunch I'd never take an RV on.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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I'm agreeing with the Wenatchee route up through Osoyoos and up the Okanagan Valley to
Vernon. Visit Lake Chelan area on the way up to Osoyoos - beautiful country there. Stop at the Tsillan Cellars winery another spectacular vista and outdoor restaurant. While in West Kelowna a must see is the Mission Hill Winery. Unbelievable vista overlooking the lake with a nice outdoor garden type restaurant. On the highway #1 to Banff be sure to stop at the Revelstoke railway museum - very highly rated!
In Banff take the Sulphur Mountain Gondola for a great view of the valley, same can be said of the gondola lift in Lake Louise. Both offer amazing views!
You're coming to the most spectacular scenic areas in Canada. Have a great trip !
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:51 PM   #11
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Go up to Vancouver (by passing it) and go up Highway 1 - Fraser Canyon (stop at the Elvis Café ) and continue on. You will turn east at Cache Creek - highway 1 - and drive straight to Banff.
Do not go up the Cocahalla highway.
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:54 PM   #12
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Go up to Vancouver (by passing it) and go up Highway 1 - Fraser Canyon (stop at the Elvis Café ) and continue on. You will turn east at Cache Creek - highway 1 - and drive straight to Banff.
Do not go up the Cocahalla highway.

Thanks, but I already made reservations the other directions based on the earlier suggestions. I'm excited by the locations I learned about.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:00 PM   #13
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Here is another route for your consideration.
Take U.S hiway 97 to Osoyoos. Then take Crowsnest hiway ( hiway 3) to Cranbrook. Get on Kootenay hiway (hiway 93) to Trans Canada hiway to Banff.
Lots of great views and small towns to see.
Enjoy your trip
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:35 AM   #14
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Just in case you don't already have them .
Links to B.C. and Alberta road reports.

DriveBC
511 Alberta
Safe travels
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