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

RELATED LINKS

RELATED LINKS

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

Cobb-Lake_0017
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?

info-building_0924
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.

town-services_1091
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.

town-services_1086
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.

sani-dump-athabasca-river
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

RELATED LINKS

RELATED LINKS

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.

cove-prince-rupert_0447
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

co-op-lake_0045
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.

hyder-alaska_0814
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

RELATED LINKS

RELATED LINKS

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.

town-services_1044
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.

town-services_1047
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.

town-services_1059
The only one car­ry­ing propane, locat­ed on north side of Con­naught Dri­ve and Bal­sam
town-services_106120160503
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

RELATED LINKS

RELATED LINKS