2019 Canada Trip Help

Discussion in 'Canada' started by dpt, May 6, 2018.

  1. dpt

    dpt Hard Yards

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    Hi,
    I enjoyed all the posts people put up from there Canadian Ski Trips this year.
    We are planning on heading there for 3 weeks in January, I am after Ideas, we would like to spend about 5 days in Sun Peaks as we have always wanted to Ski there,
    We would also like to see Niagra Falls any other suggestions. We thought of flying in to Toronto seeing the falls then flying to Calgary hiring a car and head to SunPeaks via Banff and Lake Louise. we would then drive to Vancouver and fly home from there. We did discuss flying into New York however I think we would be pushing it for time.
    Would love some feedback.
    Dave
     
  2. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    FWIW it might not be the best time of year to see the falls.

    3 weeks is enough time to do New York, LL and sun peaks
     
  3. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    That's a lot of extra flying to see a waterfall! But the basic plan is sound. Your road trip from Calgary to Vancouver takes you past some other fine resorts like Revelstoke and Kicking Horse. Your time is short, but don't be forced into a strict schedule when winter driving is involved. That road passes through some of the snowiest areas in Canada and can quickly humble vehicles and drivers. If you haven't already, have a read of the Driving in Canada thread.
     
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  4. LDJ

    LDJ Hard Yards
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    After doing 3 weeks in Canada in Jan this year my tip is don’t book accommodation. It’s really easy to find and gives you the flexibility to change your plans based on weather or if you like/don’t like a particular place.
     
  5. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Upstate New York is pretty, even in winter. You could spend a couple of days in NYC, take a couple of days to drive up to Niagara Falls and do a week in each of Banff/Lake Louise and Sun Peaks. Niagara is impressive, even in winter, but things like the Maid in the Mist cruise and (I think) the lift down to the base of the Falls don't run in winter.
     
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  6. dpt

    dpt Hard Yards

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    Hi thanks for the Advice, LDJ when say don't book accommodation do you mean when we are on the road travelling as I would think we would have to book hotel in Vancouver Toronto ect?
    Any recommendations for Accommodation in Sun Peaks and any where else?
     
  7. PG2736

    PG2736 Hard Yards

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    Dave, we have regularly travelled to Canada for ski trips. We like to fly into LA or Vancouver...spend 3-5 days in either of those cities in a nice hotel and go and watch a basketball/ice hockey/nfl game do a bit of shopping and just generally relax after Xmas/flight. We are a family of 4 and in our experience you just can’t beat Whistler. I would have 10 days in whistler and then head across to SunPeaks.
     
  8. dpt

    dpt Hard Yards

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    Wow 10 days in Whistler, its our first overseas trip in 20 years so would like to sees few things, my wife is keen on seeing Niagra falls in winter, than thought we would make our way across to SunPeaks via Lake Louise, still in the planning stage though.
     
  9. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Niagara is a real shit hole. Worth looking at the falls, but everything around it is the worst of absolute tacky tourist trappery. A place to pass through.
     
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  10. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room
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    booking accommodation in SP is getting a bit more tricky as supply/demand is getting less ideal, so recommend you get this sorted as soon as you can.

    try some of these


    If you use this link, you get a 10% discount on their published prices:
    http://topofthemountain.ca/a/garnik?page=/discount/


    www.sunpeaksresort.com/plan-your-trip/accommodations/
    www.3klicksaway.com/vacation-rentals-homes.asp?cat=4741
    www.sunpeakscondos.com/
    www.alluradirect.com/
    www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/canada/british-columbia
    sunpeaksdirect.com/
     
  11. PG2736

    PG2736 Hard Yards

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    Agree - Niagra promises a lot but delivers very little. It’s a long way out of the way. Banff is stunning but is equally painful as you have to travel to the resorts (ie LL, Sunshine) everyday.
     
  12. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us
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    3 weeks is reasonable time for a trip to Canada, but it's a big country, so do an area that appeals, then go back another time and visit other areas. Real winter travel via road, rail or air is fraught with delays and missed connections, due to weather. If you're going to ski/snow holiday stick to those areas.
    Do Qebec, Niagara etc when it's warmer and you can be outside for more than 15mins.
     
  13. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    There are a few trip reports from this season which covers a bit of what your looking at, I know Lady P and I did similar trips between Vancouver and Calgary.

    Sly Karmas comments on winter travel can not be underestimated! We woke up to 20cm of fresh snow on our travel day from big white to Lake Louise! But as we had followed his advice we had zero stress so didn’t rush and had zero dramas.

    We did get stuck at Revelstoke, no surprise, so just checked into a hotel. This goes to the comments on booking hotels. Book at the main resorts and as you arrive but on travel days don’t put the pressure on yourself.

    Three weeks sounds like a lot but if you take say a week around Banff, Plus sun peaks then that leaves only a week for the starts and end of your trip.

    As others have suggested I would reduce the long flight to and from Toronto and leave that for a different trip and get in some of the scenery around The West coast. You can easily do three or four days in Vancouver, a couple in Calgary plus Victoria is stunning.
     
  14. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room
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    As suggested to me by a few others, instead of Banff itself, consider Canmore. Not a ski resort , but close-ish to a few different ones, looks outstanding and is a bit cheaper
     
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  15. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    Canmore is a little further down the road (about half an hour or so) and yep it would be cheaper but......

    Banff was stunning. Canmore is nice but not as stunning and if the plan is to use it as a base I think Canmore is a bit further from LL so the drive would be long. If staying at LL for a few days that resolves that issue.

    But in bad weather that drive to Canmore wouldn’t be much fun.

    It also depends on the person, for me Banff is a Mecca for the outdoors, it is a pilgrimage for the adventurous so loved staying there.

    I know Banff also offer the bus system to the local resorts not sure what Canmore offer
     
  16. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Agree re Niagara. We stayed in Niagara for only a night or two as part of a 12 day loop of the NE in Spring including NYC, Vermont and upstate NY. Flying all the way to the east coast of Nth America just to see Niagara in Winter is a whole lot of hard work for very little pay off. If you go that far you may as well stay on that side and ski the NE (Vermont or NY). Otherwise, stick to the Rockies and BC. Fly into either Vancouver or Calgary, and out of the other at the end. I'd stay in Banff, not Canmore, for what it's worth. The drive from Banff to Sunshine is nothing, and even Lake Louise is only 45 mins away; it's like Jindy to Perisher.
     
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  17. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Don't agree re Niagra. Go for it. It's awesome in winter with the mist coating everything. You only need to stay there a night or two, you can take a drive into the US and look around NY state or head down to Pennsylvania and try the suicide wings at Quakers Steak & Lube. Check out the Amish communities. There's plenty of interesting stuff if you look.

    The rest of the trip sounds great as well. Enjoy!!
     
  18. dpt

    dpt Hard Yards

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    Hi, Nearly finalised my itinerary for our trip next january:
    4 nights Vancouver, 3 nights Whistler, 6 nights Sun Peaks, 3 nights Banff and 3 nights Calgary and then Fly out from Calgary for Sydney.
    Any Thoughts?

    dave
     
  19. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Too long in Calgary (unless you plan to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum)
     
  20. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    Add more time in Whistler, less in Calgary.
     
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  21. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    A tightly plotted schedule with a lot of driving for less than 3 weeks. Road conditions can vary wildly in January. Don't fall into the trap of having to make a multi hour drive on a specific day, you forfeit your most potent winter driving tool: the ability to get off the road if conditions are severe.
     
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  22. dpt

    dpt Hard Yards

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    Not Much to see in Calgary? we would like to see Olympic Park and do aBobsled ride.
     
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  23. SnowRabbit

    SnowRabbit Hard Yards

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    Yep That's one day:)
     
  24. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    Leave Whistler for next time (and see Niagra in thw winter then if one must) and add nights to Banff is my suggestion.

    A couple of hours at Niagra Falls is plenty but also stop and take a look at the rapids below the falls. Long way to go just for that though.
     
  25. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Too may nights on the book ends in my opinion. Unless you have someone in your party who doesn't really ski, and who you have to build in 'city' time for, then there's too many wasted nights in Vancouver and Calgary. We've done this trip 4 or 5 times and in our experience you need to maximise your time on snow; this looks a lot like a ski holiday, so ski! One night Vancouver (and I love Vancouver, but, ski holiday!), one night Calgary. That's 5 extra nights on snow. Apportion at leisure, but you cannot touch Whistler in two days of skiing, so I'd weight that. Same Banff but to a slightly lesser extent.
     
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  26. LDJ

    LDJ Hard Yards
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    :eek: 1 day maybe to see Olympic ski jump if you have never seen one before but other than that use the extra days to ski
     
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  27. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local
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    I was thinking similar re Whistler - 3 nights, you'll barely touch it and if conditions are good you'll be screaming. Maybe take 2 nights in Van though. Such a beautiful city. I'd do 2 nights Van, get an early shuttle up the Sea to Sky Hwy and then add an extra night or 2 in Whistler and perhaps cut back Calgary as well to 1 night.
     
  28. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    The distances are serious. Aussies understand distance, but not in winter though the mountains of BC. Depending on route, the Vancouver to Calgary drive crosses at least five and as many as ten passes. Quite possible that there could be snow on the ground for the entire 1000 km.
     
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  29. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local
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    absolutely - a couple of nights stranded on the Coquihalla could really screw your trip. The frequency with which mountain passes are closed during winter here has become abundantly clear after a couple of winters here.
     
  30. TOFF

    TOFF All bits and giggles
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    1 night in Calgary is plenty
     
  31. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    I did this drive several trips ago. I wanted to amend the way we did our trip after getting there and a bit of inexperience with it. I wanted to drop my car hire off in Kamloops , cancel the Vancouver to Kamloops flight but AC were going to cancel my entire remaining ticket if I no showed. So I drove from Banff (close enough to Calgary) to SP, dropped our gear off in the apartment, cos no one was in it and they allowed us to, headed into Vancouver with a night bag to catch our flight early the next day to be back in SP that afternoon. That drive was the hardest I have ever done in Canada and I guess at times it might have been dangerous with the snowy conditions. I would never do it that way again.
     
  32. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    If you'd been able to stay put that day and let the storm move on through, it probably would have been a different story. But you had a schedule, and the schedule forced you to be on the road at a time when it would have been better for all if you'd stayed off the road. Not knocking you Chunky, just using the story for illustration. Most of those truckies we see on Highway Through Hell are on a schedule too, and it leads them to make stupid decisions like not chaining up on the Coq, or heading out on a run despite weather info showing storm conditions already happening. It's an old cliche, but it's true in winter driving: if you're not part of the solution, you're probably part of the problem.
     
  33. dpt

    dpt Hard Yards

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    Thanks for all your advice, you have read roughly what we would like to do for our trip can anyone suggest a rough Itinerary.
    We have the 3 weeks, we are keen on a few days in Vancouver, Ski Whistler and Sun Peaks plus see BanFF and fly out of Calgary.
     
  34. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    2 nights Vancouver, 7 nights Whistler, 6 nights Sunpeaks, 5 nights Banff, 1 night Calgary
     
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  35. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    Banff is not overly exciting (in winter) so possibly spend more nights in Vancouver if you have not seen the city before.
     
  36. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    If just seeing Banff rather than using it as accommodation to ski two or three of the hills then not much point, nor Calgary.
     
  37. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    Mmm I dunno about that. Half the world comes to Banff to see it and the mountains that surround. Amazing historic hotel, hot springs, etc etc.
     
  38. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    True but not in winter an esp when it means adding extra days of winter driving (with all the uncertainty that involves) when there is only three weeks overall. It seems to me that @dpt is looking to add a degree of sightseeing (e.g. Niagra Falls) to a ski vacation which would be best accomplished with a separate trip. Do that in mid October would be my suggestion: Crowds down, weather cooler and roads generally still Ok and autumn colours Back East. Otherwise allow more time.
     
  39. Sbooker

    Sbooker Hard Yards

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    I think Banff is a must do but only if you're going to sample a day at Sunshine and Lake Louise. Too far out of the way just to check out the town and surrounding scenery. One night in Calgary is plenty.
    I reckon Crystal has the best itinerary - and the one I would go with.
     
  40. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    ^^^^^This is the most salient point and one which has always been part of our planning. No schedule.
    Been to Canada heaps of times and never pre-booked rooms at ski resorts. We travel when the time is right with an eye on the weather. This way you can make the road and the weather work for you. Get to the next resort the day before the big storm etc.
     
  41. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    That's pretty much bang on @Crystal. Bear in mind though it's a long drive from SP to Banff; long but stunningly beautiful, we love that drive. If you're not going to ski Banff (Sunshine and Lake Louise), you might consider doubling back to Vancouver via Silver Star or Big White, or Red if you're particularly rad.
     
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  42. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room
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    That may not be a perfect solution

    You would never get into SP over xmas/ny without a prior booking

    If you are travelling with a larger family/group its harder to find large accommodation.

    And that approach would also need you to be quite flexible on your requirements around cost, quality and location
     
  43. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    That's understandable Gareth, but people need to consider giving up a night at SP if the weather is coming in fast. Better to drive to the coast the day before than stick doggedly to the schedule and find yourself ploughing through snot all the way.
     
  44. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Gareth, I've done it many many times and there's more resorts in Canada than SP.
     
  45. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local
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    They reckon Apex has some nice terrain :D
     
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  46. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    Our experience of winter weather throwing a spanner into the works of a planned itinerary was not even to do with driving but Kamloops being fogged in all day meaning we were delayed until next day missing the pre booked and paid for accommodations and rental car we had arranged in the Bay area and Lake Tahoe for a few days sightseeing on the way home. Luckily just ended up out of pocket for one night at a cheap motel and had a couple of nights in Vancouver and San Francisco but I was lucky to get a refund on the non-cancellable prepaid car rental. The next time we were delayed leaving Kamloops by a snow storm Back East which had a cascading effect in BC and had another day in Vancouver, luckily AC paid. Not that I see us ever returning (having to watch out pennies now retired) but if so no way I would count on transport arrangements going to a fine schedule with no slack.
     
  47. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room
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    Really? And I thought SP was the only one?

    Ifthe OP is planning a christmas trip then I am merely providing data to be considered.

    I dont want to be that person driving around after dark looking for something that may or may not be suitable.
    Mwe just choose to roll differently
     
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  48. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    This does not happen. However, when it happened to me we took a Greyhound down to Vancouver. It is why I always plan for a couple of days in Disneyland, or somewhere else on the West Coast, before the long haul home.
     
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  49. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    As usual I don't understand the brevity LA. It did happen in our experiences, and in yours too going by the second sentence.
    [​IMG]
    Legalese or Jesuitical perhaps?
     
  50. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    It's terrible and quite dysfunctional...don't go there ;)