I am travelling to western Canada in August for two weeks. We will fly from Toronto to Edmonton and then rent a vehicle and drive towards Vancouver. I am planning to visit Jasper, Banff, Kelowna brfore reaching Vancouver.
So what will be the best method to create my route in Nuvi 765? I wish to create routes with most scenic routes. I will appreciate your advice.
Go from Edmonton to Jasper, then take the Banff / Jasper skyway to Banff. You're backtracking a bit but that's ok. From Banff, head west on the Trans Canada until Sicamous, and head South to Kelowna. From Kelowna, drive to the Coquihalla connector.
Vancouver, here we come!
Thanks for your advice. I was wondering how to create a route in my Nuvi.
My pleasure. It's a beautiful drive down Hwy 93! One that many never take the time to see.
Watch out for radar in Field, Golden, and Revelstoke, BC. High ticket areas.
When I build a route I use Garmin's mapsourse. It may take a bit of trial and error to learn how to use it effectively but it is much better than the older versions. I decide what roads I want to travel and then force mapsourse to follow the route using waypoints. Make sure you zoom in on the point you want to turn on to place the marker or you could end up in a field. Once the route is transfered to the GPS, it has to be "imported" from a data file. This done on your Nuvi. Once loaded I use the simulator to view the route. I keep a copy on my computer so I can make changes as needed. Each time I reload I remove the old file first.
I was wondering how to create a route in my Nuvi.
You can do it in Mapsource as JFCTexas suggested, or use Google Earth to visualize where you'll be traveling, and then create the route on the GPS.
People here say that importing a route from Mapsource gets messed up, as the nuvi rearranges it to the way it likes.
Another way would be to just add the cities as favourites, and then route to them when your ready to travel to them.
I wish to create routes with most scenic routes. I will appreciate your advice.
Set up a route with Edmonton as your starting point and Vancouver as your end point; then add individual locations as your waypoints. I spent many days back in the 60s and 70s hitchiking that route and have always admired the scenary. Unfortunately there are so many beautiful things to see that any list of sights would always leave something out! Here are a few of my favourite sites:
The drive between Edmonton and Hinton is pretty mundane. But once you get to the Jasper Park entrance, take your time and enjoy the trip! Jasper townsite is quite impressive and completely different than Banff. Watch out for the elk and the mountain goats - they OWN the town
You can drive the Icefield Parkway south to Banff in three hours or three days - there are so many beautiful spots! Check out the Parks Canada web site at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/visit/visit14.aspx. You can slect spots for way points from their interactive map. The only commercial area (food, lodging, souveniers) on the Parkway is at the Columbia Icefields, about halfway between Jasper and Banff.
Banff town site is nice, but not one of my favourite places. It does have the Banff Springs Hotel and the Upper Hot Springs - and a LOT of tourist junk. Travel Highway 1A from Banff to Lake Louise. It's much slower but so much more beautiful than the TransCanada route. Spend some time in the Lake Louise area - the Chateau and the Lake are beautiful, and so is the short trip up to Moraine Lake (the back of the old $5 bill).
Then take the back road down to Field BC - you cross over the Continental Divide and pass close to the Spiral Tunnel. But make a side trip at Field to Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake - two beautiful spots often bypassed by people heading east and west!
Head west to Golden; I hear the skybridge is quite a sight, but the road east of Golden is still quite treacherous (lots of switchbacks and drivers have a choice between a rock wall and a 30 meter drop. Then up through the snow sheds to Rogers Pass (you have to stop to get a picture) and on to Revelstoke. Further west, I recommend you stop at Three Valley Gap, the Enchanted Forest and Craigellachie to get a picture at the Last Spike! These are all hokey places but all wonderful stops (and very cooling in August).
Then you enter the Shuswap of Sicamous and Salmon Arm. Although you COULD head south through the Okanogan, I recommend heading west through Kamloops to Cache Creek, and then south down the Fraser Canyon. Once again, a much slower route but much more beautiful In addition to beauty, you have a lot of history in places like Spences Bridge, Lytton and Boston Bar. And you also get a chance to see Hell's Gate (take the tram, it's scarey !). Then down to Hope (check out the Hope Slide a little east on Highway 3.
Then you are into the Fraser Valley. If you want the quick route, head straight into Vancouver on the TransCanada. Alternatively, you could head up on the north side of the Fraser River on Highway 7. It's not the freeway that the TransCanada is but it has itsown picturesque locations. Check out Harrison Hot Srings, if you have time.
So there's my recommendations on where to go and what to see on your trip to Vancouver. Remember, the road less travelled has its own rewards!
I'll add to what DanielT said and suggest you make a detour to Radium Hot Springs. It still leads you to Golden on the other side, but it's a great drive.
You can also avoid the Coquihalla, and go south heading to Princeton, BC. Another beautiful drive.
But let's face it; you have a plethora of choices, and you won't see everything!
Thank you all for your suggestions. Daniel, thanks for your detailed tips. I really appreciate it.
One more question. Do I need to keep "Toll Road" avoidance ON brcause I heard there some toll roads on this route.
The Coquihalla toll booths were taken down over 2 years ago, and unless they have some new tolls in the Vancouver area, you should be fine.
The Coquihalla Highway runs between Kamloops and Hope, and was built in the 1980s for Expo 86. The Okanogan Connector - as the name implies - comes in from Kelowna at Merritt. It was opened as a toll road to pay off the construction cost.
It is a four lane highway with speed limits of 110 km per hour. The whole purpose of the Coke is to get you to the Fraser Valley QUICKLY! It does that job fairly well but is otherwise pretty boring. If you want a scenic route, I still recommend the Fraser Canyon.
Thanks again for your great advice.
Spend some time in the Lake Louise area - the Chateau and the Lake are beautiful, and so is the short trip up to Moraine Lake (the back of the old $5 bill).
One more question. What is the name of the back road you suggested to take to Field BC?
The Chateau Lake Louise is actually a couple of miles "up" from the TransCanada and the Lake Louise townsite. Just south of the Chateau is the Highway 1A WEST turnoff. That is the picturesque backroad that crosses the continental divide and comes out by the Spiral Tunnel, east of Field BC.
The road doesn't seem to appear on Map Source, but it's still there on Google maps and Google Earth. It's a backroad but it is paved and easily travelled by car - we take the road every couple of years when up that way.
Thank you so much for your advice. I have copied your instructions into my phone for reference. When travelling with my Nuvi, I can change routes as per your recommendations because Nuvi is going to pick up standard fast route only.
Thanks for your tips for the trip. Very useful tips which made our trip really exciting. My Nuvi was very helpful on the trip to find places. I made coustom route from Edmonton as a starting point and Surry BC as ending point. Then added waypoints. I added Columbia Icefiled as waypoint from Edmonton. But Nuvi started going on a strange route. then I cancelled it and just put Jasper as destination to correct the problem. After that I just just point to point and no issues. But your suggestions were really helpful for sightseeings. We took more than 550 pictures and 11.5 gig s of standard definition video.
I'm planning on a trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks later this year. DanielT's post has a lot of info but I have to weed out the extra places that rookie8155 plans to visit because they're not in my plan.
I plan to fly into Calgary or Edmonton, rent a car and drive to the national parks. I will spend about 7 days (arrival on Saturday and departure on either Saturday or Sunday the following week).
This is going to be my first visit. I have no clue what to see, how to find affordable places to stay etc. I'm into photography (not a pro but serious hobbyist). I'd like to take landscape photos (lakes, mountains, flowers/vegetations and anything those national parks have to offer). I'd appreciate it if someone can give me recommendations.
There are any number of places for spectacular pictures between Banff and Jasper. From Calgary you can just drive west on Highway 1 directly to Banff. About half way there you'll go from basically prairie into the mountains and then the fun begins.
On the road into Banff you will have the opportunity to see long horn sheep, elk, deer, bear etc. along the road. Like in Yellowstone Park, if you see vehicles parked along the road, there is some animal near by waiting to have it's picture taken. Just don't get between a mother and her young ones, no matter what wildlife you come across.
You could spend days in Banff and the surrounding area and unlike one poster here, there are lots of places to stay other than the Banff Springs. They are for the most part not on the main road through town however, so do your research before hand (tripadvisor.com will help).
Lake Louise is really beautiful. Tour the hotel and walk around the lake. You'll need an extra card for your camera after that. Other places to stop are Johnston Canyon, and Lake Peyto which is the most beautiful lake in the world IMHO. Google these 2 places and look at the "images".
Continue on the Icefields Parkway all the way to Jasper. Lots of mountains, glaciers, and wildlife to see along the way. You have to stop at the Icefields and take the trip up the glacier. Nothing like walking on thousand year old ice.
I'm not as familiar with Jasper as I am Banff (used to live near by) so I'll leave it to others to suggest places to see there. Remember that if you fly into Edmonton you'd probably want to go to Jasper first and then take the Icefield Parkway south to Banff. From either end you can make the trip a "circle route" by going from Calgary to Banff, and Jasper then to Edmonton and back down Highway 2 to Calgary. Or from Edmonton just make the trip in reverse order.
Hope you have a great trip. As I proud Canadian I say you have picked the most beautiful part of our country to visit.
Thank you t923347. I've heard of Lake Louise. It's a popular tourist destination. I've never heard of Johnston Canyon, and Lake Peyto. That's 2 more places of interests I'm going to visit. I google those places. The pictures are spectacular. As a matter of fact, I saw images of Banff about 5 years ago. They're the reason why I want to visit Banff/Jasper NP.
I search this site but there's no POIs for Banff/Jasper NP, is there?
Here are a couple I found doing a search of POI files on POI-Factory:
They are both POI files of National Parks. The first one is for NP's in US and Canada. The second one is Canadian National Parks. I'm sure both of them will have Banff and Jasper.
Here is a great site for details of the trip from Banff to Jasper (or the other way around):
and here are some of the wildlife you may see along the way:
Also good information and links at:
Those are lists of national parks. I can't visit that many in a week I'm looking for POIs for a specific national park. List of places worth a visit at Banff, for example. I can't find that info here.
Those links help. Thank you.
I'm planning to stay in Canmore, AB. It's not that far from Lake Louise. However, Columbia Icefield is roughly about 200 km from Canmore. I suppose there are no hotels along Hwy 93 or anywhere inside Banff or Jasper national parks, am I right?
If I want to stay closer to Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Falls, where should I stay?
There isn't a lot of places right on the Icefields Parkway to stay, if I recall correctly. Most of them will be in Banff, Jasper or Lake Louise and in the summer they are going to be a bit pricey but using your US dollar will bring the price down 10 to 20%
About the only place I can think of is at the Saskatchewan River Crossing. Here is a link:
Both the town of Jasper and Banff are inside their National Parks so there is no problem finding accommodation near those locations. Lots of the places, at least in the town of Banff, are away from the main street so you get more of a feeling of being in the mountains and trees yet your still near the facilities of the town. Try looking through the hotels listed at:
and for Jasper:
We have stayed at Patricia Lake Bugalows in Jasper a couple of times and really liked it there. Away from town but right on a really nice mountain lake with great views.
Have never stayed near Athabasca Falls but here is a link of the hotels in that area:
Wow, thank you! That looks like a perfect location to stay. It's right in between the places I plan to visit.
One other question, admission fee at US National Parks is good for 7 days. Is it the same in Canada? I heard we either pay daily or get an annual pass. If we pay by the day and we drive in/out of the parks, do we have to pay multiple times on the same day?
Daily passes are available which allow access in and out of the parks from the time of purchase until 4:00pm the next day. Here are the rules as I know them:
As you will see this link is for Yoho National Park, which you may pass through, and I think how it works is that purchasing a daily pass when entering any of the parks listed on the above website will allow you access to all of the parks listed until 4:00pm the next day. At that point you'll need to purchase a new pass I aasume.
I found the info at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/pass.aspx but wasn't sure of the following:
"Valid until 4:00 p.m. on the day after purchase"
I called Banff visitor center to ask but couldn't get a hold of a real person.
Your first sentence clears this up. Thanks again.
MapSource and your Nuvi will each calculate a route independently. So even if you create a great route in Mapsource, Nuvi may find another route between your waypoints. Always check first before driving.
There have been lots of suggestions on where to go, but I thought the question was how to create a route. The current Garmin routing software is BaseCamp http://www.garmin.com/en-US/shop/downloads/basecamp
This replaces Mapsource, and it's really worth getting to know this program if you want to make complex routes and planning. Many of us who ride motorcycles have gotten good use out of the program. If you are just starting out, or want to actually get good at it, I recommend you download this AGENDA for learning the program: http://www.newenglandriders.org/Learn_BaseCamp.htm
BaseCamp can serve to store different sets of favorites (waypoints) and routes, and is a way to share routes with others. Give it a try.
A few post ago no one would have thought I would say BaseCamp is great.
It is by far better than Mapsourc, just a little harder to learn it.
After you learn it it is a very good maping, routing, poi way to go.
I just returned from the Canadian Rockies trip. This info is for others who plan to visit the park.
You're correct. When we enter the park, we must purchase daily pass which is CAD $9.80/person. It is good from the time of purchase until 4 PM the next day. The receipt must be attached to the lower left corner of the windshield.
If we stay inside (Banff and Jasper) parks longer than a day, multiply the entry fee by the number of days. I spent 6 days inside the park so the total cost is very close to CAD $120 ($9.80 x 2 persons x 6 days). That's far more expensive than US national parks entry fee but worth every penny of it. By the way, if we stay in the park with an expired permit, we'll be ticketed, that's what I was told.
I still can't get my mind off the scenery in the parks. It's breathtaking! I can scratch this place off my bucket list now but really don't mind revisiting the Rockies.
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