11 Finest Stops on a Highway Journey from Vancouver to Banff 


Embarking on a highway journey from Vancouver to Banff? Alongside the best way, pay a go to to a few of the most fascinating locations in British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies, from historical glaciers to beautiful mountain resort cities. 

Road trip from Vancouver to Banff

The 900km drive from Vancouver to Banff is broadly heralded as probably the greatest highway journeys in North America. Whereas following the route, you’ll move by dozens of nationwide parks with snow-capped mountains, quaint resort cities hidden in scenic valleys, and pure wonders that embody huge glaciers, azure lakes, historical cedar forests, and wildlife starting from bald eagles to grizzlies (should you’re fortunate). 

A number of the finest stops on a highway journey from Vancouver to Banff embody world-famous locations like Whistler and the Yoho Nationwide Park. However there are additionally loads of lesser-known hotspots to find, such because the laid-back mountain resort of Squamish and the rapids that traverse the city of Golden. 

Whereas it’s potential to drive from Vancouver to Banff in round 9 hours, I beneficial allocating a minimum of per week to finishing this epic highway journey. That means, you’ll have loads of time to take in the unimaginable sights on this wonderful route. 

The very best stops on a Vancouver to Banff highway journey 

From the heritage museums of Kamloops to the Olympic Park of Whistler, listed here are 11 of my favorite sights and locations to go to whereas driving from Vancouver to Banff. 

1. Stanley Park 

Earlier than departing in your highway journey to Banff, put together your self for the pure wonders to return by exploring Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Due to boasting picturesque landscapes that embody thick cedar forests, sandy seashores and pure vistas backdropped by Vancouver’s skyline, Stanley Park attracts upwards of eight million guests per 12 months. 

Vancouver Stanley Park

Stroll alongside the park’s oceanside footpath to Prospect Level Lookout to take in views of the coast and the well-known Lion’s Gate Bridge.

At Brockton Level, you’ll see 9 intricately carved totem poles which have been sourced from a few of the most distant areas of British Columbia. Maintain your eyes peeled for wildlife resembling coyotes, beavers and even bald eagles – Stanley Park is dwelling to over 500 animal species. 

Stanley Park is unquestionably one of many coolest issues to do in Vancouver.

Stanley Park, Vancouver

In case you’re in a rush in Vancouver, take a look at my information on the best way to see Vancouver in a day to take advantage of your journey.

2. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park 

Only a brief drive from Vancouver is the fascinating Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, the place highlights embody river and canyon views, a dense forest of Douglas fir timber and – because the identify suggests – quite a few suspension bridges.  

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park 

The park’s most well-known attraction is the 140-metre-long suspension bridge that spans the Capilano River, providing wonderful chicken’s-eye views from a top of 70 metres. You’ll discover extra suspended pathways constructed into the granite cliffs on the Cliffwalk attraction and within the tree canopies on the Treetops Journey. It’s scarier than it appears, and positively performs together with your thoughts to stroll over!

I like to recommend setting apart a minimum of two hours to find essentially the most unimaginable sights and landmarks of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Don’t neglect to deliver loads of water and bug repellent! 

3. Shannon Falls 

The primary waterfall you’ll go to in your highway journey from Vancouver to Banff is Shannon Falls. Cascading from a top of round 335 metres, Shannon Falls is British Columbia’s third-highest waterfall.  

Shannon Falls 

From the freeway, it takes simply 5 minutes to succeed in the decrease viewpoint by way of a wood boardwalk. In case you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll be able to hike to the Higher Shannon Falls Lookout to catch a glimpse of the waterfall plummeting down a collection of cliffs from a excessive vantage level. 

Whilst you’re right here, you may need to comply with the 11km Sea to Summit Path, which takes you from an elevation of 35 metres close to the coast to a mountain summit that rises 885 metres into the air. Keep in mind that the Sea to Summit Path takes a median of simply over 5 hours to finish and is taken into account to be a difficult route (the views take the time greater than worthwhile). In case you’d reasonably keep away from the stroll with out lacking out on the views, you’ll be able to trip the Sea to Sky Gondola. 

4. Squamish 

Positioned about midway between Vancouver and Whistler, Squamish is a captivating city with a laid-back ambiance, making it a great place to spend the night time after a protracted day of driving. Along with a captivating downtown space, Squamish boasts over 200km of mountaineering and mountain biking trails. 

Stop at Squamish on your drive from Vancouver to Banff

Within the city of Squamish itself, there are a large of array of espresso retailers, boutiques and eating places, to not point out a variety of public artwork shows that give the city a singular look. Each Saturday, the Squamish Farmers’ Market takes over the streets of downtown close to Cleveland Avenue, supplying you with a glimpse into native life and the prospect to replenish on scrumptious contemporary fruit and baked items. 

After Squamish, your subsequent cease will probably be Whistler, although you may need to pay a go to to the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park on the best way. Right here, you’ll be able to hike a kilometre into the forst to see the Brandywine Falls, which drops from a top of 70 metres right into a bowl-shaped gorge. In contrast to the Shannon Falls, the Brandywine Falls drops straight into the gorge reasonably than down a collection of cliffs, giving it a very hanging look. 

5. Whistler 

Hidden within the Fitzsimmons Vary of the Coast Mountains is the beautiful city of Whistler, dwelling to one in every of North America’s largest ski resorts. Whistler has been a hotspot with snow sports activities fanatics for many years, significantly since internet hosting the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. 

Whistler 

The most well-liked attraction in Whistler is the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, the place skiers can refine their expertise in 16 alpine bowls and alongside over 200 marked trails. The resort additionally boasts an array of pure wonders that embody three historical glaciers. Whereas quieter over summer time, the resort’s Peak 2 Peak Gondola stays open year-round, offering panoramic views of the valley. 

Whilst you’re right here, you may need to go to the 43-metre-tall Alexander Falls, which is located about half-hour south of Whistler. The Nairn Falls Provincial Park is simply 20 minutes away. There’s additionally a straightforward four-kilometre mountaineering route that results in the Prepare Wreck, which has sat within the forest since 1956. 

6. Kamloops 

The small city of Kamloops is probably not as effectively referred to as Whistler, however its pleasant locals, lovely pure splendour and interesting museums make it a worthwhile cease in your highway journey from Vancouver to Banff. 

Kamloops 

A few of my favorite museums in Kamloops embody the Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park, which is devoted to the preservation of Secwepemc tradition, and the Kamloops Museum & Archives, which dates all the best way again to 1937. 

In case you want outside actions, you’ll be able to glide down the slopes of the Solar Peaks Resort on skis, a snowboard or a canine sled. I as soon as visited Solar Peaks Resort on a piece journey, it was superior!

road trip from vancouver

Or, you’ll be able to drive simply over an hour to the Kamloops Lake, essentially the most well-known of the area’s 100+ freshwater lakes that are perfect for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.  

If you need to let off some steam, comply with the Kamloops Wine Path by way of the vineyards of one in every of British Columbia’s latest wine areas.  

7. Revelstoke 

From Kamloops, the simplest and quickest strategy to proceed your highway journey from Vancouver to Banff is to comply with the Trans Canada Freeway. This route takes you all the best way to Banff, and there are many wonderful locations to go to alongside the best way, such because the mountain resort metropolis of Revelstoke.  

Stop at Revelstoke on your drive from Vancouver to Banff

One of the vital fashionable summer time sights in Revelstoke is the Pipe Mountain Coaster, a gravity-powered curler coaster that transports you between glades, by way of a tunnel and over quite a few ski runs. Fancy a dip in a naturally heated pool? Go to the Halcyon Scorching Springs or the Canyon Scorching Springs. For the most effective views of Revelstoke’s mountain peaks, take a trip on the Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s Revelation Gondola, which takes you to an elevation of 5,500 ft. 

Whereas it’s potential to see the highlights of Revelstoke in half a day, I’d counsel spending an evening or two right here to be able to discover the Mount Revelstoke Nationwide Park. A number of the park’s most scenic mountaineering trails embody the Balsam Lake Path and the Heather Lake Path. When you’ve got time, comply with the 15-kilometre Eva Lake Path and look out for wildlife alongside the best way. 

8. Golden 

For views of snow-capped peaks, dashing rapids and huge glaciers, you merely must cease within the city of Golden in your Vancouver to Banff highway journey. In addition to mountaineering, sightseeing and wildlife watching, fashionable actions right here embody snowboarding, mountain biking and whitewater rafting. 

Golden, Canada

Domestically referred to as The Coronary heart of the Parks, Golden lies in the course of six nationwide parks, making it a nature-lover’s paradise. Within the city itself, you’ll discover a wide range of tasty eateries, quaint retailers and historic websites. There are additionally loads of energetic bars that provide a lot in the best way of night leisure. 

Of all of the scenic mountaineering routes in and round Golden, my favourites embody the Lake of the Hanging Glacier and the Mummery Glacier. If visiting for the wildlife, discover the Northern Lights Wolf Centre to rise up cloes and private (as moderately potential) with majestic wolves. 

9. Glacier Nationwide Park 

Positioned on the outskirts of Golden, the Glacier Nationwide Park is a must-visit cease in your Vancouver to Banff highway journey. Whereas I extremely suggest spending the day on this lovely park, you’ll be able to absorb a few of the area’s most spectacular views by driving by way of the park alongside Roger’s Move, which takes you thru alpine meadows and historical cedar forests, backdropped by views of jagged peaks. 

Glacier National Park, a must-visit stop on a road trip from Vancouver to Banff

One of the vital excellent options of the Glacier Nationwide Park is the Illecillewaet Glacier, which covers an space of ten sq. miles. You’ll be able to truly hike proper as much as the toe of the glacier, which makes for a singular picnic spot. Close by are the ruins of Glacier Home, which was a luxurious resort in the course of the Victorian period. 

10. Yoho Nationwide Park 

Whereas not as fashionable because the nationwide parks of Jasper and Banff, the Yoho Nationwide Park is equally as beautiful. Right here, you’ll be able to uncover pure wonders resembling Canada’s second-highest waterfall, a number of towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies and wildlife galore – you may even spot a bald eagle should you’re fortunate. 

Yoho National Park 

One of the vital lovely sights of the Yoho Nationwide Park is the Emerald Lake, identified for its distinctive inexperienced shade. You’ll be able to absorb views of the lake and its surrounding peaks by following the 5.2-kilometre Emerald Lake Path. Alternatively, you’ll be able to take in the park’s pure magnificence by renting a canoe. 

Road trip from vancouver to banff
vancouver to banff road trip

Different fashionable sightseeing spots within the Yoho Nationwide Park embody the Takakkaw Falls, the Laughing Falls and the Pure Bridge, which has been carved into a large slat of rock over 1000’s of years by the Kicking Horse River. 

11. Banff 

On the ultimate day of your highway journey, you’ll full your epic drive to the small mountain city of Banff, which is located within the coronary heart of one in every of Canada’s best-known nationwide parks – the Banff Nationwide Park.

There are many beautiful sights to behold within the nationwide park, from ski resorts to sizzling springs.

Within the city itself, you’ll discover high quality diners, charming bakeries and cafes, a collection of breweries, and present retailers promoting distinctive native arts and crafts. 

Banff National Park 

Probably the most awe-inspiringly tall peaks within the Banff Nationwide Park embody the long-lasting Mount Rundle, Cascade Mountain and Mount Temple. In addition to towering summits, Banff’s pure wonders embody the turquoise-coloured Lake Louise – one of the crucial photographed lakes in Canada – and Moraine Lake, an azure physique of water surrounded by the Valley of the Ten Peaks. 

Whereas the Banff Nationwide Park is a mecca for hikers, those that’d want to preserve their vitality can absorb wonderful views of the park by driving alongside the Icefields Parkway, a 144-mile-long highway that connects Lake Louise to the Jasper Nationwide Park. The Columbia Icefield is positioned alongside the Icefields Parkway. From right here, you’ll be able to embark on a guided tour to the Athabasca Glacier and the Glacier Skywalk. 

The place will your Vancouver to Banff highway journey take you? 

As you’ll be able to see, the highway journey from Vancouver to Banff is without doubt one of the most epic in North America. Alongside the best way, you’ll have the prospect to go to dozens of nationwide parks bursting with snow-capped peaks, charming cities with pleasant locals, and pure wonders starting from glaciers and waterfalls to historical forests. The drive from Vancouver to Banff may solely take 9 or so hours, however you may need to allocate a minimum of per week to this highway journey so that you’ve time to go to all of the highlights on the route. 

Vancouver to Banff road trip

Have we missed any iconic or lesser-known locations that deserve a go to on a highway journey from Vancouver to Banff? Let me know within the feedback under. 

Fast listing of the most effective stops on a highway journey from Vancouver to Banff

  1. Stanley Park 
  2. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park 
  3. Shannon Falls 
  4. Squamish 
  5. Whistler 
  6. Kamloops 
  7. Revelstoke 
  8. Golden 
  9. Glacier Nationwide Park 
  10. Yoho Nationwide Park 
  11. Banff 

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