Bay Area to Canada Help needed

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sandigray

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Joined
Oct 2, 2021
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10
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Calif
Looking to plan a RV trip from San Francisco to Canada in June. We have a 2023 Rockwood, 35 ft and tow vehicle is a F250 diesel. So far I have us going to Grants Pass, Wilsonville, OR, Deer Park, WA, Cranbrook, BC, Calgary, Sylvan Lake, AB then back through Cranbrook. Might anyone have any tips, better route, suggestions or must see attractions? Are the roads rough in any of these places? We plan to stay in RV resorts as we realize parks will be full. Am a total newbie. Appreciate your help. Thank you!
 
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TonyL

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UK
If you could tell us when you are proposing to go, how long you intend to take and how long you want to spend in Canada, I could probably help having done a three month trip from BC to Ontario this year.
 

sandigray

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Oct 2, 2021
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Calif
If you could tell us when you are proposing to go, how long you intend to take and how long you want to spend in Canada, I could probably help having done a three month trip from BC to Ontario this year.
Thank you!!! We are thinking mid June and wanted to take a 15-20 day trips. Any help or tips is appreciated.
 

TonyL

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is that 15 to 20 days for the total trip from San Francisco return?
 

SC5thWheeler

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Jul 3, 2016
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42
25 ish years ago I camped at Baker Lake State park in WA.

It was the nicest park I've ever seen. The lake is amazing and crystal clear (or at least it was then).
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
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17,413
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St Cloud Florida USA
i suggest taking the coast route to Canada. Along the way there many great places to see. The coast route north of SF is amazing, Point Reyes National Seashore is a nice side trip. The Redwood Highway is great as Redwood NP. Crater Lake is a great side trip as is Mount St Helena is nice and so is Mt Rainier NP. But the best is Northern Cascades NP.
 

Arch Hoagland

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4,244
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Clovis California
July 1st is Canada Day. It's like our 4th of July and you better have reservations way in advance. I learned that the hard way on our first trip to Canada.

You need passports.

No guns nor fruits and vegetables.

Thier roads seemed to be in pretty good condition.
 

TonyL

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Dec 10, 2017
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UK
That makes more sense, leave it with me and I'll list out where we went and campsites we used. Then you can do your research and pick out anything that looks suitable. Do you have an RV with/without toad, Travel trailer or fifth wheel? It just helps knowing what you are using.
 

sandigray

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Calif
That makes more sense, leave it with me and I'll list out where we went and campsites we used. Then you can do your research and pick out anything that looks suitable. Do you have an RV with/without toad, Travel trailer or fifth wheel? It just helps knowing what you are using.
Thank you so much, that is very kind. We have a 35’ 2023 Rockwood TT towing with a F250 diesel truck. We were looking to stay at RV resorts as we realize national parks might be full in June.
 

TonyL

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If you could give me a day or so, and I'll give you a list of places in BC and Alberta that you might like. We don't have much experience with commercial sites in Canada as we prefer provincial campgrounds, and have now done the area 8 times. We managed to book the popular locations like Banff and Jasper in Late February but choice was limited. There are still a few sites that are first come first served and we had no trouble staying at those. We are 34 ft, so you should be able to get in to the sites. We entered via Oreville / Osoyoos and used route 3 to Cranbrook, lovely scenery.
Will post full list soon.
 

sandigray

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Calif
If you could give me a day or so, and I'll give you a list of places in BC and Alberta that you might like. We don't have much experience with commercial sites in Canada as we prefer provincial campgrounds, and have now done the area 8 times. We managed to book the popular locations like Banff and Jasper in Late February but choice was limited. There are still a few sites that are first come first served and we had no trouble staying at those. We are 34 ft, so you should be able to get in to the sites. We entered via Oreville / Osoyoos and used route 3 to Cranbrook, lovely scenery.
Will post full list soon.
You are so helpful thank you
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
It seems a shame to go to that area and NOT see Banff, Jasper & The Icefield Hwy, but you probably don't have enough time to do everything and Sylvan Lake too. Could catch some of the Banff area on your way thru, though. Lots of stuff along the way in the USA too - see Seilerbird's reply.

What do you like to do? We loved the scenery & wildlife, but there are historic spots, museums and the like, boutique shops & restaurants, etc. The Remington Carriage Museum is a treat if you like that sort of thing.
 

sandigray

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Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Calif
It seems a shame to go to that area and NOT see Banff, Jasper & The Icefield Hwy, but you probably don't have enough time to do everything and Sylvan Lake too. Could catch some of the Banff area on your way thru, though. Lots of stuff along the way in the USA too - see Seilerbird's reply.

What do you like to do? We loved the scenery & wildlife, but there are historic spots, museums and the like, boutique shops & restaurants, etc. The Remington Carriage Museum is a treat if you like that sort of thing.
We are in no hurry to get home and this was my first attempt at this trip. I am sure I will need to fine tune it better based on some of the great suggestions I have received. We love anything outdoors, shopping is always fun and of course good food :)
 

TonyL

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Dec 10, 2017
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Location
UK
Gary's recommendation to see Banff, Jasper and the icefield parkway is a really good one.
Below I have listed where we stayed, what we paid per night and what was available, it is quite a list so I apologise if it's too long. Please bear in mind, this is what we did because we love scenery, eating and drinking, we're not into shopping or big cities.
As I said in an earlier post, we entered via Osoyoos, so I'll begin from there, and we started 1st of June, all prices are in Canadian dollars. FCFS (first come first serve site)
Route 3 from crossing towards Cranbrook to join 93/95 North.
We stayed at Boundary creek provincial park Greenwood, $18 per night, Flush toilets, FCFS would stay again.
Nelson, we stayed at Coolwaters RV park, $30/nt, flush toilets, shower, 30amp, water. Adequate site, rustic but functional, cash only. Nelson has good brew pubs, if you have time, do the loop to Kaslo, Nakusp and back through Winlaw.
Free ferry at Balfour across Kootenay lake on to 3A Creston and back on to 3. We stayed at Yahk provincial park, $18/nt, pit toilet. FCFS, Nice campground, would stay again.
Through Cranbrook on to 93/95 North. Wasa Lake provincial campground $30/nt FCFS, toilets, showers, water & dump.
(As on option, you could go from Nakusp up the side of Arrow lake and use free ferry to Shelter bay and Revelstoke. then highway 1 to Golden. It is a stunning drive but there are narrow snowshed tunnels on route 1)
Redstreak campground Radium Hot springs. FCFS, $40.75/nt, water 50amp, dump. Excellent brew pub in town. would stay again.
We took route 93 to Banff to avoid roadworks on route 1
You must purchase a park pass to stay in any of the Alberta parks or campgrounds
Banff Tunnel mountain village 2. MUST BOOK!! $36.80/nt. 50amp, water, dump, flush toilets, showers, bus service to downtown and area, free to go in, $1 return. Have stayed here many times. Loads to see and do, recommend Lake Minnewanka loop. Also short trip to Canmore for the Grizzly Paw brewpub, probably the best we have found.
Following sites and prices include fire permit. That includes free firewood but an axe is advised.
Lake Louise campground $37.38/nt. MUST BOOK! Worst site we stayed in, 50 amp but long walk to showers and a working toilet. Absolutely no maintenance to facilities. Area is stunning, avoid Lake itself but get up early and drive to Morraine lake, and take the short hike to viewpoint, you will not be disappointed. If you don't get there early you have to use the shuttle which is extortionate!!
The Icefield parkway is an absolute must do, we would also recommend the drive through the Bow valley parkway for the scenery and good chance of bear.
Silverhorn campground North of Bow summit $28.2/nt Large pitches but only 2 FCFS sites so strongly advise booking. Pit toilets, no water but available at Waterton Lake campground as is dump. Would definitely use again.
There are several campgrounds along the Icefield parkway but few have pitches large enough for 30ft or longer units.
Must sees on parkway, Peyto Lake, Columbia Glacier (tour available but pricy) Athabasca falls, Edith Cavell Mountain
Whistler campground just outside of Jasper, superb but books really quickly, we couldn't get in so booked Wapiti campground $40.80/nt. Flush toilets, showers, water and dump. Either campground is ideal for the area. Jasper is my favorite place, good dining and drinking, laundry, liquor stores etc. If you have time, thoroughly recommend the drive out to Maligne lake and back. We've never failed to see bear on this road and have also spotted moose. The lake is awesome and boat trips are available, so is canoe hire.
Sorry this is so long but hopefully it might help. If you want any further help, send a PM so I don't have to bore all the other good folks here.
We also travelled to Edmunton and further East, but I don't think you will have the time. We've never done Sylvan Lake, but i do know folks on the forum who live near there.
Good luck
 

sandigray

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Calif
Gary's recommendation to see Banff, Jasper and the icefield parkway is a really good one.
Below I have listed where we stayed, what we paid per night and what was available, it is quite a list so I apologise if it's too long. Please bear in mind, this is what we did because we love scenery, eating and drinking, we're not into shopping or big cities.
As I said in an earlier post, we entered via Osoyoos, so I'll begin from there, and we started 1st of June, all prices are in Canadian dollars. FCFS (first come first serve site)
Route 3 from crossing towards Cranbrook to join 93/95 North.
We stayed at Boundary creek provincial park Greenwood, $18 per night, Flush toilets, FCFS would stay again.
Nelson, we stayed at Coolwaters RV park, $30/nt, flush toilets, shower, 30amp, water. Adequate site, rustic but functional, cash only. Nelson has good brew pubs, if you have time, do the loop to Kaslo, Nakusp and back through Winlaw.
Free ferry at Balfour across Kootenay lake on to 3A Creston and back on to 3. We stayed at Yahk provincial park, $18/nt, pit toilet. FCFS, Nice campground, would stay again.
Through Cranbrook on to 93/95 North. Wasa Lake provincial campground $30/nt FCFS, toilets, showers, water & dump.
(As on option, you could go from Nakusp up the side of Arrow lake and use free ferry to Shelter bay and Revelstoke. then highway 1 to Golden. It is a stunning drive but there are narrow snowshed tunnels on route 1)
Redstreak campground Radium Hot springs. FCFS, $40.75/nt, water 50amp, dump. Excellent brew pub in town. would stay again.
We took route 93 to Banff to avoid roadworks on route 1
You must purchase a park pass to stay in any of the Alberta parks or campgrounds
Banff Tunnel mountain village 2. MUST BOOK!! $36.80/nt. 50amp, water, dump, flush toilets, showers, bus service to downtown and area, free to go in, $1 return. Have stayed here many times. Loads to see and do, recommend Lake Minnewanka loop. Also short trip to Canmore for the Grizzly Paw brewpub, probably the best we have found.
Following sites and prices include fire permit. That includes free firewood but an axe is advised.
Lake Louise campground $37.38/nt. MUST BOOK! Worst site we stayed in, 50 amp but long walk to showers and a working toilet. Absolutely no maintenance to facilities. Area is stunning, avoid Lake itself but get up early and drive to Morraine lake, and take the short hike to viewpoint, you will not be disappointed. If you don't get there early you have to use the shuttle which is extortionate!!
The Icefield parkway is an absolute must do, we would also recommend the drive through the Bow valley parkway for the scenery and good chance of bear.
Silverhorn campground North of Bow summit $28.2/nt Large pitches but only 2 FCFS sites so strongly advise booking. Pit toilets, no water but available at Waterton Lake campground as is dump. Would definitely use again.
There are several campgrounds along the Icefield parkway but few have pitches large enough for 30ft or longer units.
Must sees on parkway, Peyto Lake, Columbia Glacier (tour available but pricy) Athabasca falls, Edith Cavell Mountain
Whistler campground just outside of Jasper, superb but books really quickly, we couldn't get in so booked Wapiti campground $40.80/nt. Flush toilets, showers, water and dump. Either campground is ideal for the area. Jasper is my favorite place, good dining and drinking, laundry, liquor stores etc. If you have time, thoroughly recommend the drive out to Maligne lake and back. We've never failed to see bear on this road and have also spotted moose. The lake is awesome and boat trips are available, so is canoe hire.
Sorry this is so long but hopefully it might help. If you want any further help, send a PM so I don't have to bore all the other good folks here.
We also travelled to Edmunton and further East, but I don't think you will have the time. We've never done Sylvan Lake, but i do know folks on the forum who live near there.
Good luck
Sure appreciate all your suggestions. Happy 2023
 

sandigray

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Calif
So far I have us staying in Cranbrook/St. Eugene KOA, Pinnacle Trails Resort in Yellowhead County, Jasper Gates Resort and Fairmont Hot Springs RV Resort for the Canada portion of the trip. I have marked the suggestions to see Banff while in Jasper so far. I sure appreciate the tips on attractions, we are very excited for this trip.
 
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