Category Archives: Travel Tips

A Pacific Coast Road Trip Planner

Intro­duc­tion

If you have dreamed of find­ing a way to save up enough vaca­tion time and mon­ey to final­ly explore the beau­ti­ful regions of the west­ern part of the Unit­ed States and Cana­da, one of the biggest frus­tra­tions is choos­ing where to vis­it. The Grand Canyon looks beau­ti­ful, but so do the Cas­cade Moun­tains in Wash­ing­ton. The prob­lem, of course, is that they´re sep­a­rat­ed by sev­er­al thou­sand miles.

Instead of choos­ing one des­ti­na­tion and fly­ing there and fly­ing back, it would be a much bet­ter use of your time to plan a trip to vis­it sev­er­al dif­fer­ent nation­al parks dur­ing a west coast road trip. While you might not be able to fit both the Grand Canyon and Glac­i­er Nation­al Park in Mon­tana into the same trip, it is entire­ly pos­si­ble to see sev­er­al eco­log­i­cal­ly and geo­graph­i­cal­ly dis­tinct regions dur­ing one trip.

There are dozens of dif­fer­ent routes that you could take, but our favorite and most rec­om­mend­ed trips is to dri­ve up the Pacif­ic Coast from north­ern Cal­i­for­nia into west­ern Cana­da. Below we offer a sug­gest­ed itin­er­ary and some need­ed tips to make a road trip of the life­time.

How to Plan for Your Trip?

Obvi­ous­ly, you first need to see how much time you´ll be able to get off from work. There is huge dif­fer­ence in how far you´ll be able to trav­el and what you´ll be able to see if you only have a week of vaca­tion as com­pared to three weeks. While a longer time frame might be most desir­able, not every­one has the need­ed flex­i­bil­i­ty. Below we offer an itin­er­ary for a three week trip. How­ev­er, you eas­i­ly break the trip into sev­er­al small­er seg­ments if you feel that three weeks is out of your pos­si­bil­i­ty.

You´ll also need to con­sid­er your bud­get. If you plan on vis­it­ing sev­er­al nation­al parks, it´s prob­a­bly a good idea to get a Nation­al Park Pass (avail­able at every nation­al park). While this is a larg­er upfront invest­ment, it will save you mon­ey if you plan to be vis­it­ing sev­er­al parks. Also, bring qual­i­ty camp­ing gear if you plan on avoid­ing the hotels.

Overview of the Itin­er­ary

Week 1: Fly into San Fran­cis­co and spend three days explor­ing Yosemite Nation­al Park. From Yosemite dri­ve North to Red­wood Nation­al Park to enjoy some of the most pris­tine old growth for­est in the Unit­ed States.

Week 2: Dri­ve from Red­wood Nation­al park to Crater Lake in Ore­gon and hike the rim trail around the U.S.´s most spec­tac­u­lar vol­canic lake. Then dri­ve up the beau­ti­ful Ore­gon Coast until you get to Mount Rainier Nation­al Park in Wash­ing­ton. If you´re up for the adven­ture, con­sid­er hik­ing the per­pet­u­al­ly snow­capped peak of Mount Rainier

Week 3: After a quick dri­ve up to the North Cas­cades in north­ern Wash­ing­ton, cross the bor­der into Cana­da and head west to vis­it Banff Nation­al Park and Jasper Nation­al Park where you´ll end your trip

Review of Some of the Places to Vis­it

This road trip will take you into some of the most beau­ti­ful, pris­tine areas of the North Amer­i­can Rocky Moun­tains. While it is obvi­ous­ly a long trip, the dis­tances between each stop­ping point are rea­son­ably spaced mean­ing that you´ll be spend­ing much more time out in Nature as opposed to stuck in a car.

Yosemite Nation­al Park and the Red­woods

The first stop on our route takes us into one of the U.S.´s old­est and most appre­ci­at­ed parks. The geog­ra­phy of Yosemite is sim­ply spec­tac­u­lar, and you can even enjoy adrenaline-racing moun­tain climb­ing trips up the sheer gran­ite cliffs of El Cap­i­tan and Half Dome. While we can’t cov­er all of the dif­fer­ent things to do in this mas­sive Nation­al Park.

The Red­wood forests of north­ern Cal­i­for­nia take you into a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent ter­rain. Instead of the wide open panoram­ic vis­tas of Yosemite, you´ll find your­self enclosed in some of the thick­est old growth forests with mas­sive, thou­sand year old trees.

Cosmo Dream Yosemite National Park

Redwood National Park

Crater Lake and Mount Rainier

Crater Lake is a mas­sive for­ma­tion cre­at­ed by a mas­sive vol­canic erup­tion mil­lions of years ago. The hike around the rim trail of Crater Lake offers spec­tac­u­lar views of the lake from dif­fer­ent angles.

Mount Rainier offers one of the most reward­ing moun­tain hikes in the world. The per­pet­u­al­ly snow capped peak of Mount Rainier might require some tech­ni­cal gear to get you to the top safe­ly. Nonethe­less, the pris­tine forests and pure moun­tain lakes lead­ing up to the mas­sive peak are well worth the hike.

Crater Lake National Park Oct 05, 2014

Mount Rainier National Park

Banff and Jasper Nation­al Parks

Once you make your way into Cana­da, you def­i­nite­ly will want to check out two of the trea­sures of the Cana­di­an Rock­ies. Banff Nation­al Park and Jasper Nation­al Park both offer some of the most spec­tac­u­lar scenery of the North­ern Rock­ies. The moun­tain lakes of Banff Nation­al park are sim­i­lar in col­or to an island in the Caribbean.

At Jasper Nation­al Park, you can explore every­thing from the glac­i­ers of the Colom­bian ice­field to steam­ing hot springs. This UNESCO world her­itage site is also one of the best places for wildlife sit­ing as you should be able to eas­i­ly find every­thing from cari­bou to black bears to bighorn sheep.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park (Alberta, Canada)

Plan Your Trip Now

Even if you only have a few days of vaca­tion each year, instead of spend­ing that time being lazy or vis­it­ing the same state park you´ve been to 100 times already, find a cheap tick­et and explore any one of these fan­tas­tic nat­ur­al areas. If you would like to learn about more Wild Adven­tures, see our friends at www.LiveOnceLiveWild.com for more info.

This arti­cle sub­mit­ted by: Scott Moses ©2017

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Travelers need to know three

RV series three

Maps. Locations, Attractions...

We found that maps were one of the greatest help and I don't mean online maps nor GPS for that matter. Physical, printed out hard copies, the ones you can buy at some petro stations and books stores. And you can get free ones at the information kiosk. This download link has an old map that is still some what valid, just the dates are old. Jasper National Park Map

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Free maps are great from the tourist outlets

A back country map book is very handy specially when in British Columbia (BC) with a RV. It maps out all the recreational sites where you can plan your next sleep and for FREE! Don't everyone like things for free?

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The information centre located at Miette Ave and Connaught Drive

Points of interest is good to know before you arrive at your destination, it might just be along the route you take to arrive in Jasper. Take your time and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us locals everyday.

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One of two public washrooms available in Jasper

My suggestion is to explore this site for all the attractions and points of interest. Use the search tool to navigate this photo rich site, the menus or tags works just as well, if you cannot find what you are looking for, don't hesitate to send us a comment.

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One of two public washrooms available in Jasper, this one attached to the Friends of Jasper store

Here is a point of interest, a sani dumps for your RV! One in town, located at the Stan Wright Industrial Park, one along the 93a close to the Athabasca river and Wapiti and Whistlers Campground.

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One of two Sani dump in the town boundary, this one located between Alpine Village and Tekarra Lodge

The other sani dump is much closer in town located at the Industrial park just across from the RV parking lot on Hazel Ave.

Thank you for checking out our RV series. Did we miss something for the recreational vehicle travelers? Leave us a comment and we can try and cover it. Cheers and happy RV-ing!

#gorving #travelfree #livelifeontheroad #camping

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Travelers need to know two

RV series two

Camping, parking...

Traveling in the off season, is not the best time to travel if you like to take in all the attractions and activities. Many of the services were closed even the tourist information outlets! Lucky for you, the Jasper info centre does stay open year round.

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Photo from Cove Bay Recreational Site, Kitamaat, B.C.

Jasper is a national park and it is no different though the seasons, campgrounds close, but there is one site (Wapiti winter) open year round, almost.  For up to date information about those off season camping. Here is the web link: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/activ/ete-summer/camping/info-camping.aspx

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Off season camping can encounter frozen lakes

Here is the sad news, when in Jasper, all the RV sites are fee based, unless you don't mind those rest areas along the highway, there are time limits on how long you can rest for. If it is just for a couple of hours, nobody in their right mind will give you a hassle on taking a rest and park. It is definitely safer for you and me both.

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The glacier behind is Bear Glacier, on the road to Stewart B.C.

When in town, there are several large parking lots that  can accommodate larger motorhomes and you can park all day FREE and enjoy the town activities, restaurants and shops. Some trailheads do not accommodate RV's like the Edith Cavell road, if you are over 7 meters (23feet), there is a parking lot for those large RVs prior to the 14km (8.6miles) road to Edith Cavell.

What to do when your water tanks are full? Follow us @ExploreJasper for the next RV series coming soon...

#hellobc #myjasper #gorving

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Travelers need to know one

RV series one

Services, Fuel

On a recent recreational vehicle(RV) trip to plot out attractions and must see areas in north west British Columbia (BC). The purpose of the trip was a work combined with some fun in the process. The insight we gathered on how travelers find their way around new destinations was quite an eye opener. When you live in a tourist town, you tend to forget how the visitors need information that is second hand to a local.

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Located on the south side of Connaught Drive and Hazel , No propane

What's this got to do with Jasper? Well, we have neglected to tell you about certain services that are available to RV travelers that visit Jasper, like the simplest things like fuel.

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Located on the north side of Connaught Drive and Hazel, no propane

Propane is use for BBQ and for motor vehicles, and there is only one outlet in town, the Petro Canada on Balsam Ave, and of course after a certain time, they stop pumping, pretty safe to get help on working hours, if they are short handed, forget getting about your vehicle getting filled. Diesel, there was only one until last summer of 2015 all three gas stations retro fitted their pumps to include Diesel, so we are good there. Hint on this is, if you are visiting on a long weekend, make sure you fuel up before you find your camp spot for your vehicle, as it has been known that the tanks at the station run dry. You will thank us for this tip.

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The only one carrying propane, located on north side of Connaught Drive and Balsam
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Located on north side of Connaught Drive and Balsam, only one with propane

There are only four campsites with power hook ups, follow us on our next article to find out more on traveling with a recreational vehicle.

#myjasper #gorving #gorvnow #rvfamilytravelatlas

More on the RV series

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