We are thinking of going to southern British Columbia in mid to late September for a couple weeks and are looking for route and travel suggestions.
Since we will only have a couple weeks, we would rather not spend all that time trying to see "everything". Instead, we would prefer to make a moderate length loop (maybe ~1000 to 2000 Km) though the southern part of the province that allows us time for hiking and/or canoeing/rafting along the way. We are not interested in city activities and prefer to not stay at RV parks.
We were thinking of not going to eastern BC due to the increased road time to get there (we are in central Oregon) and have been looking more at Vancouver Island, the Sunshine coast, and the south central part of the province.
Due to the added expense, since we will have our travel trailer (25') we wouldn't want to make too many ferry crossings.
Also, any suggestions on where to find a good map (something equivalent to a Gazetteer) would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for you thoughts, comments, and suggestions;
You will need ferries to get on and off VI and the sunshine coast, no way around it. We will be going east on highway 3 then north and west through Kaslo and Nakusp and back to the Okanagan, will have ten days so will take our time.
If you want to do the Island, cross at Anacortes to Sidney then on to Comox. The old highway 19 north of Parksville is a beautiful drive. Back to the mainland at Powell River then south to Vancouver. There are two more ferries but one fare covers both. Spectacular trip.
Not sure how far east you are willing to travel, I live in Nelson and it's a small city that I wouldn't trade for anywhere else, located on Kootenay lake, look it up it's worth the drive. About 71/2-8 hours from Vancouver on the Crowsnest highway
AND, we also feel the Kootenays has some of the best of B.C.
Drive time isn't that long ... it can easily be accomplished in two days from the Lower Mainland. One long day if you wish; we sometimes drove/ferried from Vancouver Island to Nakusp in one long day just to enjoy the hot springs. Hope you have time to include the Kootenays in your travels, or plan it for a separate trip.
The Kootenays also has some of the best drycamping and boondock spots in B.C.
Plus the ferries across the lakes in the Kootenays are free!
Thank you all for the great suggestions. I am feriously working the maps at this end. Please keep them comming.
Just did the math on the ferries, to do a loop of Vancover Island and the Sunshine Coast would cost $615.00 (US/Cd). Doeable but...???
OK, you twisted my arm. Please tell me more about the Kootenays. We have been to the Lake Louise / Banff area (in 1989 when we last went to Canada...to canoe the Yukon R.), but found it too developed for our tastes. We like undeveloped country, mountains, rivers, rugged coastlines....you get the idea.
Steve, I am told that Backroads Mapbooks has the best topo products -- I have just ordered their BC and Alberta chip for my Garmin handheld GPS, which will include a free computer download. (I am awaiting delivery, so I can't comment yet on the quality of the software.) The sales rep that I talked to said that the software was 1:24,000, while the paper products are only 1:50,000.
These things are not cheap -- but I was unable to find a less-costly substitute, and I am also planning some backcountry adventures in BC this summer, so I need as much "ground detail" as I can get. Judging by your post, my guess is that you want the same type of detail.
There have been several threads of late about visiting BC. Check the ones started by the poster worrying about buying a VHF.
A Sunshine Coast Vancouver Island loop is nice, but will feel as developed as the Oregon coast or the Rockies parks. Though with some effort, and attention to good maps you can get away from the crowds.
But I agree with others that straight up US97 is a good choice for you. Continue north in BC you pass through a developed orchard, vineyard and vacation land. To the west is Manning Prov Park, and the upland ranch and forest land around Merrit. Beyond that the canyons of the Fraser and Thompson.
To the east are the Kootenays, and the Rocky Mtn Trench. You could return to Oregon via US95 and/or US395.
* This post was
edited 06/15/12 01:04pm by paulj *