Thursday, July 18, 2024

11 Greatest Stops on a Street Journey from Vancouver to Banff 


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

Road trip from Vancouver to Banff

The 900km drive from Vancouver to Banff is broadly heralded as among the finest street 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 (for those who’re fortunate). 

A few of the greatest stops on a street 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 doable to drive from Vancouver to Banff in round 9 hours, I really helpful allocating at the least per week to finishing this epic street journey. That method, 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 street journey 

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

1. Stanley Park 

Earlier than departing in your street journey to Banff, put together your self for the pure wonders to come back 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 number of the most distant areas of British Columbia. Preserve your eyes peeled for wildlife equivalent to coyotes, beavers and even bald eagles – Stanley Park is residence to over 500 animal species. 

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

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Should you’re in a rush in Vancouver, take a look at my information on methods to see Vancouver in a day to benefit from your journey.

2. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park 

Only a quick drive from Vancouver is the fascinating Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, the place highlights embody river and canyon views, a dense forest of Douglas fir bushes 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 peak 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 at the least two hours to find essentially the most unimaginable sights and landmarks of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Don’t neglect to carry loads of water and bug repellent! 

3. Shannon Falls 

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

Shannon Falls 

From the freeway, it takes simply 5 minutes to achieve the decrease viewpoint by way of a picket boardwalk. Should 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 sequence of cliffs from a excessive vantage level. 

Whilst you’re right here, you would possibly wish 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 mean 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). Should you’d slightly keep away from the stroll with out lacking out on the views, you’ll be able to experience the Sea to Sky Gondola. 

4. Squamish 

Situated about midway between Vancouver and Whistler, Squamish is an enthralling city with a laid-back ambiance, making it a perfect place to spend the night time after an extended day of driving. Along with an enthralling 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 spread of public artwork shows that give the city a novel look. Each Saturday, the Squamish Farmers’ Market takes over the streets of downtown close to Cleveland Avenue, providing you with a glimpse into native life and the prospect to replenish on scrumptious recent fruit and baked items. 

After Squamish, your subsequent cease will probably be Whistler, although you would possibly wish 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 peak of 70 metres right into a bowl-shaped gorge. In contrast to the Shannon Falls, the Brandywine Falls drops straight into the gorge slightly than down a sequence of cliffs, giving it a very placing look. 

5. Whistler 

Hidden within the Fitzsimmons Vary of the Coast Mountains is the gorgeous city of Whistler, residence to one among North America’s largest ski resorts. Whistler has been a hotspot with snow sports activities lovers for many years, notably since internet hosting the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. 


The preferred attraction in Whistler is the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, the place skiers can refine their abilities 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 season, the resort’s Peak 2 Peak Gondola stays open year-round, offering panoramic views of the valley. 

Whilst you’re right here, you would possibly wish 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 might not be as effectively referred to as Whistler, however its pleasant locals, stunning pure splendour and interesting museums make it a worthwhile cease in your street journey from Vancouver to Banff. 


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. 

Should you favor 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.  

While you wish to let off some steam, comply with the Kamloops Wine Path via the vineyards of one among British Columbia’s latest wine areas.  

7. Revelstoke 

From Kamloops, the simplest and quickest strategy to proceed your street 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 standard summer season points of interest in Revelstoke is the Pipe Mountain Coaster, a gravity-powered curler coaster that transports you between glades, via a tunnel and over quite a few ski runs. Fancy a dip in a naturally heated pool? Go to the Halcyon Sizzling Springs or the Canyon Sizzling Springs. For the perfect views of Revelstoke’s mountain peaks, take a experience on the Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s Revelation Gondola, which takes you to an elevation of 5,500 toes. 

Whereas it’s doable to see the highlights of Revelstoke in half a day, I’d recommend spending an evening or two right here to be able to discover the Mount Revelstoke Nationwide Park. A few of the park’s most scenic mountaineering trails embody the Balsam Lake Path and the Heather Lake Path. In case you have 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 have to cease within the city of Golden in your Vancouver to Banff street journey. Apart from mountaineering, sightseeing and wildlife watching, standard 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 quite a lot of tasty eateries, quaint retailers and historic websites. There are additionally loads of energetic bars that provide loads 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 stand up cloes and private (as fairly doable) with majestic wolves. 

9. Glacier Nationwide Park 

Situated on the outskirts of Golden, the Glacier Nationwide Park is a must-visit cease in your Vancouver to Banff street journey. Whereas I extremely advocate spending the day on this stunning park, you’ll be able to soak up a number of the area’s most spectacular views by driving via 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 really hike proper as much as the toe of the glacier, which makes for a novel picnic spot. Close by are the ruins of Glacier Home, which was a luxurious resort through the Victorian period. 

10. Yoho Nationwide Park 

Whereas not as standard because the nationwide parks of Jasper and Banff, the Yoho Nationwide Park is equally as gorgeous. Right here, you’ll be able to uncover pure wonders equivalent to Canada’s second-highest waterfall, a number of towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies and wildlife galore – you would possibly even spot a bald eagle for those who’re fortunate. 

Yoho National Park 

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

Road trip from vancouver to banff
vancouver to banff road trip

Different standard sightseeing spots within the Yoho Nationwide Park embody the Takakkaw Falls, the Laughing Falls and the Pure Bridge, which has been carved into an enormous slat of rock over hundreds of years by the Kicking Horse River. 

11. Banff 

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

There are many attractive 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 

Essentially the most awe-inspiringly tall peaks within the Banff Nationwide Park embody the enduring Mount Rundle, Cascade Mountain and Mount Temple. Apart from towering summits, Banff’s pure wonders embody the turquoise-coloured Lake Louise – one of the 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 favor to preserve their power can soak up wonderful views of the park by driving alongside the Icefields Parkway, a 144-mile-long street 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 street journey take you? 

As you’ll be able to see, the street journey from Vancouver to Banff is likely 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 would possibly solely take 9 or so hours, however you would possibly wish to allocate at the least per week to this street journey so that you’ve got 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 street journey from Vancouver to Banff? Let me know within the feedback beneath. 

Fast checklist of the perfect stops on a street 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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