Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: West Yorks
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
BC The Rockies and Vancouver Island
We were fortunate last year to spend about 4-5 weeks doing a tour helped by family on Vancouver island.
We hired an RV through Trailfinders (who also sorted out our flights and the odd hotel etc). We started in Vancouver and then took the southern route following the US border through Hope and Manning Park to Princeton. staying overnight in the campsite next to the river and the railroad. (There's alot of campsites by the river and the railroad and the trains are long and noisy) Then into the Okanagan Valley visiting a couple of wineries, The Dirty laundry Vineyard and the Hillside Winery where we had an excellent lunch and immediately retired to sit in the sun and look at the view.Then north threough the Coldstream Valley and onto Revelstoke ( a super railway museum) nd over Rogers Pass to Golden.
Then we headed south along the Columbia River and the wetlands to Radium Springs before turning east and north through the Kootenay park and onto to Banff. I think we had 3 nights here in the Park Campsite to see all the things to see inc black bear, chipmunks and caribou and of course Lake Minnewanka ( they pronounce it in a certain way to not cause offence). Then we moved up to Lake Louise, stunning but very commercial and we went up the chairlift at the ski centre, wonderful views and snow in June. The drive up the Icefilds Parkway is just full of stunning views of lakes and mountain scenery. Lots of trees as well. We did the tourist things at the Icefields centre went on the Glacier Bus, a huge 6 wheel monster with 6 ft high tyres and also on the Skyway walk ( a glass walkway over the canyon). We had another 3 days in Jasper, Maligne Canyon and lake (although it poured down) and we saw nesting Bald Eagles and Black Bears. We went to the Athabasca Falls and had a walk in the foothills although we werent really prepared for walking, we needed bells to make more noise. We later learnt that a mother Grizzly and two cubs had been seen that morning where we went for a walk in the afternoon!! Apparently its the British that get eaten (attacked) we're too quiet trying to see the wildlife whereas the wildlife likes to here people coming so that they can get out of the way. All the Canadians and Americans can be heard a couple of miles away!
We headed west to pass Mt Robson (Canada's highest peak) then south driving along the Fraser and North Thompson valleys and headed to Sun Peaks a new resort. That was abit of a waste, nothing much interesting in a half shut down resort, too late for snow, too early for any real summer activities. Next big town was Kamloops which had a fascinating history (Hudson Bay company main trading post). Then into the hills to Logan Lake, a town created by copper mining both old and new. The campsite surrounded a lake formed from old workings and the following day we passed a huge working mine and even bigger tailings dam stretching for miles. Up and over then to Lilloet and on to Whistler. Whistler was very theme park, lots of big hotels and expensive shops and in the summer a mountain bike heaven esp downhill. Squamish was next an interesting campsite overlooking the bay through the trees with our own rock to sit on and we visited the Britannia Copper mine now closed and now a museum. then it was back into Vancouver and we handed the van back after a busy 15/16 days on the road.
We crossed to Vancouver Island on the ferry and we were met by family who live in Nanaimo, the second town on the island. My nephew and I managed to get an old car going and we had transport. We visited various places around Nanaimo and had a coule of overnight trips as well. We visited Saly Springs Island by car ferry, a very hippy type island, lots of scented candles and soap, and beads etc for sale in the huge market and an isolated community. Protection Island in nanaimo Bay was well worth an island walking tour 2-3 hours. Where else does a sea eagle share its preffered day time roost with the sea plane refuelling dock and where two seals beg for food from the floating jetty from the fisherman/crab fishers. We had an overnight stop in Victoria, a super town and the capital of BC and the history and architecture are amazing. ( I also got a replacement Tilley Hat under the lifetime guarentee, cos mine we looking rather worse for wear when we went into the Tilley Store). The harbouside and the little cafes and restaurants are great.. We had another overnight trip to Tofino and the Pacific Rim, an amazing place with the views and the wildlife and the remoteness a 3 hour drive from Nanaimo on narrow twisty roads. On the way back we stopped at cathedral Grove where the big tree is 76m tall and its girth is just enormous.
The last place was Vancouver City worth a couple of days sight seeing.
So we had a fantastic time, Canadians are lovely friendly people if a bit too cheery for a grumpy Lancastrian who's laboured as a missionary in Yorkshire for about 45 years
Our RV was a 4 berth (for the 2 of us) a free upgrade with a huge auto V8, and an even bigger Petrol tank, yes petrol, it guzzled but hey its only once ( but now we want to go back again)
We had a wonderful time and would thoroughly recommend it
cheers alan & sue
Last edited by scouter; 28-04-2015 at 23:21.
Reason: More Detail: Can probably supply details of campsite locations but everything was done off cuff no booking