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3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

Durban, South Africa
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3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

My husband and I are wanting to do a 3 week trip to Canada and Alaska in July/August, we are in our early 30s, from South Africa and we love nature - We know we have a lot to fit in with such a short time frame but we are unfortunately unable to extend the trip any longer. We have researched a basic idea of where we would like to go and understand that we will be on the go the entire time without any time for long stops, but would like to please get some advice/tips on the amount of time we would probably need in each place and which places we could possibly skip, given that we can not fit in everything. We were considering a cruise for the Alaska part to simplify the travels but would love to go to Denali NP, however we are not sure how long we will have for this so would need some advice for this too please.

Below are some of the places we would like to visit:

Calgary, Quick Stop Glacier National Park

Canmore

Banff National Park, Quick Stop Castle Mountain & Lake Louise

Day Trip Columbia Icefield Skywalk

Day Trip Athabasca Glacier

Jasper National Park 4

Day Trip Magligne Canyon & River

Day Trip Lake Maligne to Spirit Island, Quick Stop Mount Robson & Wells Gray Provincial Park

Kamloops, Quick Stop Seton Lake & Lillooet Mountain

Whistler, Quick Stop Brandywine Falls Provincial Park & Shannon Falls

Vancouver

Thanks so much!

8 replies to this topic
Penticton, Canada
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1. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

hi

an Alaska Cruise out of Vancouver with a land portion to get to Denali would take at least 1.5 weeks and almost 2 weeks depends on cruise options. Getting to Denali is not easy if you are going to stay at the lodge which is means a bus ride for the last portion. Best to look at the Alaska forum for the logistics or even read this blog. wmtravellers.com/trip-reports/…

So doing it all in 3 weeks is not realistic. The list you have will take all of 3 weeks even if ran on adrenaline all the time and rushed everything through. so if you come back with what are your top priorities you will get much better answers.

+when you use the web version of TA instead of the app you will find trip reports on the Canadian Rockies forum which will give you an idea what others have done https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g659487…

Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

I agree.

If you want to include AK in your plans you are probably going to have to cut down the list of locations and activities in southwestern Canada. I’ve done Vancouver to Calgary in a week before (well 6 nights, but not with all that in it).

You will get the best responses regarding a cruise and AK land arrangements on that forum. So if that is the priority, get that sorted then see what you have left for something else?

Anchorage, Alaska
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3. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

Alaska portion/possibility...

- if you are only going to get to Alaska once, then do it by land (7 days minimum)

- a cruise is nice, but you spend so little of the time with your feet on the ground doing activities.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

Only faintly possible of you are planning for 2019. If you expect to be able to find vacancies that cater to your exact dates at this late stage you are going to have to be extremely lucky.

Suggest you do 7 days in the Rockies only and back Calgary, fly to Vancouver to board a 7 day cruise with any remaining days in Alaska.

I believe the road into Denali is on a lottery and my guess is you have missed that already.

Edited: 16 May 2018, 08:16
Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

Part 1. One week in the Rockies. Fly to Calgary, drive to Canmore 3 nights. Drive and explore the Icefields Parkway, all day, up to 10 hours, there is that much to see and do and the area is spectacular. Jasper 3 nights. Drive and explore the IP southbound this time, not a repeat performance as the landscape and north face of the mountains will be different between the two directions. 1 night Canmore or Banff or Lake Louise. Back to Calgary, fly to Vancouver.

Part 2. Take a one week, one way cruise to Alaska. Princess Line, Norwegian, Celebrity do one ways and go to one of Anchorage (Whittier) or Seward.

Part 3. Take one week to explore Alaska on land. Fly home from AK.

..

If you wanted to explore some of BC in Part 2 rather than take the cruise, it would mean driving across BC. From Canmore or Banff, head west.

Option 1: One night in Revelstoke, 2 nights in Kelowna, 3 nights in Vancouver. Fly to Anchorage on Air Canada's once a day flight.

Option 2: One night in Revelstoke, 1 night in Cache Creek, 2 nights in Whistler, 2 nights in Vancouver. Fly to Anchorage.

Option 3: One night in Salmon Arm, then drive to Vancouver via Hwy 5 and 1 for 4 nights. Salmon Arm is about half way to Vancouver. Fly to Anchorage.

.

You will have to hurry hard to find accommodation in Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper. Maybe a little easier in Canmore.

www.stayinjasper.com - for B&B type accommodation in Jasper

www.banfflakelouise.com - for accommodation in Banff and Lake Louise

Edited: 16 May 2018, 09:10
Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

Changed my mind!

Option 3: One night in Salmon Arm, then drive to Vancouver via Hwy 5 and 1 for 5 nights which would allow for a day trip to Whistler (2 hours up and 2 hours back, with plenty of time in the middle for exploring a fair bit.) Salmon Arm is about half way to Vancouver. Fly to Anchorage.

Greater Sydney...
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7. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

Just to correct a point made by Vancouverite. Main Denali access is by shuttle bus until the last four days before the park closes in September when a few months before they hold a road lottery with 400 winners each day able to drive their own cars.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: 3 week Canada & Alaska Visit

Thanks Frommy. I wasn't too sure, but just wanted to flag that to access some areas you have to apply in advance and its not always easy to get the access permission. If they are making this big expensive trip to see specific things, then they need to make sure they can actually see them.

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