Vancouver Island and Canadian Rockies: Any Tips?

English Country Garden

I don't know if I've mentioned it here before but we have decided to re-schedule our Newfoundland trip for next year and hit the West Coast instead for two weeks in September. Yippee! I think our main destinations would be the Vancouver Island in British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, so I'm going to get to see the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, all in one trip! Exciting! Mind you, I've never seen both in person before.

I don't know about my travel companions (Troy and his parents), but when I'm travelling, I always try to avoid tourist traps. Unless those tourist traps are places that I really, really want to see, I'd rather not go there. Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia just came to mind -- it was the most touristy place ever, but how could I not see it?

So, if you have any tips on lesser-known places in Vancouver Island and the Canadian Rockies that are way cool and would make my camera beg me to shoot, please let me know in the comment. I know September is still a month and several days away, but I just can't stop thinking about the trip!


  1. yulini
    July 27, 2007

    Hel­lo Fir­da, I could rec­om­mend you to dri­ve along Cana­di­an Rock­ies from Cal­gary — Jasper — that’s what we are gonan do next week. Just check this web­site
    it’w worth vist­ing web­site. Can’t wait to see your shots lat­er on.

  2. Kevin
    July 27, 2007

    You’ll love your trip. Van­cou­ver Island and the Rock­ies are our 2 favorite des­ti­na­tions.
    A lot of Van­cou­ver Island is touristy, but going in Sep­tem­ber will make it a lot less so. We usu­al­ly stay on the east side of the Island at Parksville. The beach there goes out forever when the tide goes out. To get the “real” Paci­fic Ocean you have to go out to Tofino/Uclelet. Tofi­no is the more Touristy, Ucle­let is much less so, it is/was more of a log­ging town the last time we were out. Two of the less touristy Gulf Islands are Gabri­o­la Island (near Nanaimo) and Den­man Island(part of the Den­man, Horn­by area). Most peo­ple dri­ve right through Den­man on their way to Horn­by.
    In the Rock­ies, if you are going to the Columbia Ice­fields (halfway between Banff and Jasper), the BEST place to go is a hike at Wilcox Pass ( , ). This hike takes you above and behind the Ice­fields Cen­ter (MAJOR TOURIST spot, but if you’re there you should go out onto the glac­i­er) to a medi­um hike that will have your cam­era click­ing! You get to see the glac­i­ers from a ridge on the oth­er side of the val­ley and there are near­ly always a herd of bighorn sheep. The­se are a cou­ple pic­tures we took , .
    The only advice for this hike is that the first 20–30 min­utes is uphill and the views are hid­den by trees, but after that it’s pret­ty flat and the views are amaz­ing. Also, because you’ll be in the moun­tains be pre­pared for any­thing from windy/cold to hot.
    Hope you enjoy your trip.


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