Canada Travel

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!

3 thoughts on “Vancouver Island and Canadian Rockies: Any Tips?”

  1. 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 ( http://www.trailpeak.com/index.jsp?cat=hike&con=trail&val=1280 , http://www.onedayhikes.com/Hikes.asp?HikesID=132 ). 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 http://ushko.com/images/WilcoxPassChalet.jpg , http://ushko.com/images/WilcoxPassChalet2.jpg .
    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.
    Kevin

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