Since we started to research everything related to Canada, we discovered a destination well known to Canadians, which are the Canadian Rockies that are located in the province of Alberta and British Columbia. The highlight of this place was the many lakes that impressed by the incredible varying shades of blue. Since then, this place has been one of our dream destinations.
Then we decided to increase this dream by realizing another, which was to travel from RV. When we researched, we saw that the idea was super possible, because many people traveled from RV to there.
In this first post, I will detail the whole organization of this trip that was the most amazing we did.
ROAD TRIP IN CANADIAN ROCKIES
When to go
We opted to go in the summer because with the warmer temperatures it would be nicer to do the rides. However, to our surprise even at this time, several times we had to turn the blouses and trousers to leave because the temperatures varied much throughout the day and being a mountainous region surrounded by lakes was colder.
Tip 1: Even if you go in the summer, make sure that in your bag there will be more trousers and sweatshirts/knitting, as we take more summer clothes and we go cold.
The parks are open all year round, so the choice of when to go will also vary according to the scenery you want to find, either by the change of coloration in autumn or by snow in winter, for example.
It is worth mentioning that in winter not all places are open for visitation and it may be that you find the lakes frozen and/or partially covered with snow.
Plane ticket to Banff
Banff’s nearest airport is in Calgary, Alberta province and the price of the ticket will vary from the time and the city of origin of the flight.
Rent a motorhome
The Motorhome was the one that gave the most work to close because we started to research in April, on a trip that would be held in July and the difficulty was found in finding cars available. There were cases I called in the morning and when I returned the afternoon of the same day, the car was no longer available.
With this, we were very fortunate to still get a car for our trip on top of the hour, because the recommended is to book the Motorhome for at least 6 months in advance.
The company that closed the motorhome was the Fraserway and we love it. The car looked very new, it was super clean and we had no problem with it.
-Contact with FRASERWAY: For those who lives in Canada or in the USA the contact with FRASERWAY is by phones on its site. For those who lives in other countries, contact can be made via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Experience with motorhome
I found it very practical to travel by RV having a “home” coupled in the car has its advantages, but there are also a few points to consider.
-Practicality to have everything handy. If the weather changed, we would just go in the car between a place and another and change clothes.
-Having a stove and refrigerator inside the car allows us to eat fresh and/or warm meals.
-to spend the entire trip without having to do and unpack, as we would have to do in a hotel.
-Almost all the places we visited had public bathrooms, but as is to be expected, the smell was not pleasant at all, with this, having our bathroom clean inside the car was great.
-The motorhome is obviously much larger than the ride car, so it gives a little fear of driving and requires more attention.
-On average every 2 days, we needed to fill the water reservoir (which supplies the taps and shower of the car) and dump the dirty water that went into the other reservoir. And even though it’s a simple thing to do, it was annoying to get tired and have to do these things
-Our bathroom was very small and was not comfortable to bathe, besides, the more water picnic, the more we would have to do the process of water exchange in the reservoirs. That’s why we chose to take a bath in the campsites.
-In the places of the visits, there were more vacancies in the car park for rides than for motorhome. But we had no problem with that, we always found a vacancy (except in Lake Louise and the Raine Lake that was crowded and we had to change the time of the visit)
-Motorhome Leasing: CAD $170,00/day
-Convenience Kit: CAD $95,00/person (this item is not mandatory)
-Cleaning fee: they do not charge
For 7 days Rental + Convenience Kit for 2 people + pack with 1,500 km + 200km extras we exceed + fees, we pay in total CAD $2,001.52.
Tip 2: Lease the Motorhome well in advance will give you more chances to guarantee a better promotion and/or price.
Tip 3: Even if it is not mandatory I recommend paying for the kit that included a set of pots, crockery, cups, cups, cutlery, pillows, blankets, salt, pepper and several other things that will save you from taking them for the trip.
The campsites are exclusive to motorhome and people who go camping in tents.
Important: RV is a “motorized house” but you can not park anywhere to sleep, then you have to book a camping to park and sleep. In addition, the campsites offer structure to dump the dirty water from the car and replenish clean water from the motorhome, which is very important. Check on the official website the availability and values of the campsites
Just like the RV, I recommend booking in advance the campsites, because you choose the best locations and do not need to keep changing camping.
We reserved the last available and so we had to keep moving from one to the other, not that it was a problem, but it influences the script. Even so, we have nothing to complain about, they all had good infrastructure, which included water to fill the reservoir of the motorhome, access to sewage to dump the dirty water from the reservoirs, taken to connect the energy of the car, bathrooms and even Kitchens. Of the 4 campsites that we stayed, only 1 had no shower, but as we had a shower in the motorhome was not a problem.
-Whistlers Camping: CAD $32.30/per night + booking rate of CAD $11.00
-Village 2 Camping: CAD $32,30/per night (not charged booking fee)
-Trailer Court Camping: CAD $38.20/per night (not charged booking fee)
-Wabasso Camping: CAD $32.30/per night + booking rate of CAD $11.00
For 7 days of travel being 6 nights in the campsites, we paid CAD $222.70
Entrance to the parks of Banff and Jasper
This year, Canada has completed 150 years and to celebrate throughout the year 2017 the entry into all national parks of the country will be free, for those who requested the business card on the site.
With this, we pay nothing to enter the parks we visited (BANFF, Jasper, and Yoho), but if you plan to go from the coming year is worth checking the prices from September/2017 on the official website. Just as a reference I saw that last year the entry for each park had the value of CAD $19,60/per car being that this value is per day.
The entrance gives you the right to visit all the points of the parks and to make trails. (stay in camping, chalets or hotels is not included in this price)
Banff National Park, Jasper, Ohio, and others are in a rocky region of Canada, in the middle of the forest, where bears, cougars, foxes, reindeer, and others live. We didn’t know what kind of approximation we would have with the animals and I can say it was more than I thought.
In Banff almost all the road is surrounded by screen, which prevents the coming of the animals to the roadside, but does not prevent you to see them on a trail on the way to a destination, in the middle of the city as we saw in BANFF or even in the camping you go to sleep.
Already in Jasper, there are no such screens so with a good frequency you see animals on the roadside and I will not deny that on some rides that had fewer people I was tense for fear of appearing some animal.
Beware of animals
In 2 of the 3 campsites, we were alerted at the entrance to take care of food out of the car because in the morning people had seen bears walking inside the campsites. In one of them, I could hear a howl that looked like a wolf and then we saw signs informing that coyotes could be seen inside the campsite.
Also, there was a tense moment that happened on the road, in which a woman was on horseback in the woods and the front had a reindeer helluva horned staring at her and she was panicking trying to find a way out of there.
We did not get premature for any contact with the animals and in some ways, I think we were a little reckless because today knowing that animals can appear anywhere even, I recommend you read all the necessary care and what attitudes to take if Find one of these animals.
For example, I imagined that we should walk in the forest making the smallest noise possible and if I found a bear to run as much as he could but arriving there we find that it is totally backwards, we must be making noise, because the bear can never be Taken by surprise and among the various actions to be taken the only one we can not do is run. Therefore, I recommend reading these warnings on the site of the parks that give some tips on how to act when meeting with the animals.
Throughout the journey, we saw on the road 4 black bears, many reindeer, family of goats of the mountains, besides the howling of the coyote. But it is worth noting that animal attacks are not common in the region and due to the presence of visitors on the rides is also not common that they approach, but it is always good to prevent;)
Structure of the Parks
The roads besides being an attraction to the part of so beautiful, are great to drive, with very wide and well-signaled tracks. There are always signs signaling the visitation points and also the places for those who want to make tracks.
In none of the tours you will find park staff accompanying the tourists and each one is responsible for where you will walk.
The whole structure of the parks is designed to protect the animals and try to the minimum possible to disturb their routine, leaving them free to walk wherever they want. There are also signs of which animals can be found in each stretch.
All the sights were free parking or retreat on the shoulder to park and there were also bathrooms.
-I suggest taking repellent because at least at that time we saw very mosquito;
-The air there is very dry, so taking a good moisturizer can help prevent dryness of the skin;
-There are no gas stations on the roads, so enjoy the trips to the city center of BANFF and Jasper to keep the tank full.
I hope these tips can help you in planning your trip to the national parks of Canada and be sure to follow the next posts, where I will detail all of our roadmaps.