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7 Day Road Trip Calgary to Vancouver

One week might not seem like a long time, but it’s more than enough to experience Western Canada’ most stunning natural landscapes. And the best way to do that is by taking a road trip from Calgary to Vancouver. Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

One-way road trip from Calgary to Vancouver

A one-way road trip from Calgary to Vancouver offers endless possibilities for discovery. Book a motorhome in Calgary with roadsurfer and drop it off at our Vancouver station – simple. A one-way trip means you needn’t rush. Instead, you can take your time and enjoy the ride!

About the drive from Calgary to Vancouver

This 7-day road trip from Calgary itinerary takes you from Alberta’s rolling prairies, rugged mountains and turquoise lakes to the lush landscapes of British Columbia and Vancouver. The total distance is just over 650 miles or roughly 1,000 kilometres, which is about 11-12 hours without stopping. Better yet, you’ll only need to make short detours off the Trans-Canada highway to reach each spot. This means more time to explore and less time on the road!

Day 1: Start your journey in Calgary

With an average of 300+ sunny days per year, the largest city in Alberta is the perfect place to start your road trip. Spend a day exploring downtown Calgary and don’t miss the iconic Calgary Stampede if it’s on, Calgary Zoo or Calgary Tower for panoramic views of the city.

Campsite recommendation: Onespot Crossing Campgrounds

Day 2: Be blown away by Banff

If you want to see bears, witness Western Canada’s snow capped mountains in all their glory and soak in hot springs, Banff is an absolute must on your Calgary to Vancouver road trip. It’s only a 1.5 hour drive from Calgary and you can easily spend a day exploring Banff National Park.

Campsite recommendation: Tunnel Mountain Village 1 Campground

Day 3: Discover Canada's most popular lake

Next stop is Canada’s most photographed lake – Lake Louise. Jump on the 31-mile-long Bow Valley Parkway, enjoy the scenic drive and arrive with your camera or phone fully charged. Named after the daughter of Queen Victoria, its turquoise waters and surrounding glaciers are a sight to behold

Campsite recommendation: Lake Louise Hardsided Campground

Day 4: Indulge your inner outdoor lover in Golden

Golden is a quintessential Rockies town surrounded by National Parks and endless outdoor activities. Take a break from driving and spend the day hiking, mountain biking or whitewater rafting before settling in for a night of starry skies and peaceful vibes.

Campsite recommendation: Golden Municipal Campground & RV Park

Day 5: Visit the 'houseboat capital of Canada'

Shuswap Lake is known as the ‘houseboat capital of Canada’ and it’s easy to see why. Sandy beaches, towering cliffs and over a thousand kilometres of shoreline make this lake perfect for boating. Enjoy watching the sunset over its tranquil waters then retire to the nearby town of Sicamous for a restful night’s sleep.

Campsite recommendation: Sicamous RV & Cabin Resort

Day 6: Try out the famous Harrison Hot Springs

Your 7-day road trip from Calgary to Vancouver isn’t over yet! Take a short, 20-minute detour and experience the healing powers of Harrison Hot Springs. Soak in the natural hot springs and take a scenic hike before heading to your final destination.

Campsite recommendation: Springs RV resort (5 minutes from Harrison Hot Springs)

Day 7: Returning to Vancouver

You made it! We hope you feel refreshed, inspired and full of unforgettable memories from your road trip. Arrive in Vancouver and return your roadsurfer van before exploring the city’s many attractions, including Stanley Park, Granville Island and Gastown.

Activities on road trip from Calgary to Vancouver

A road trip from Calgary to Vancouver is laden with unique activities. Here a just a few of our favourites:

  • Watch the world’s best rodeo riders in Calgary
  • Hike the scenic Larch Valley trail in Banff
  • Relax in natural hot springs near Golden
  • Visit the famous Spirit Island on Maligne Lake
  • Try your hand at fishing on Shuswap Lake
  • Check out the vibrant art scene in Vancouver’s Granville Island

Packing tips for a road trip from Calgary to Vancouver

When embarking on a road trip from Calgary to Vancouver, here are some indispensable tips for a smooth journey:

  • A reliable GPS or app with the option for offline maps for areas with spotty network coverage
  • Consider buying a Discovery Parks Pass before starting your journey if you plan on visiting more than 5-6 National Parks in the week
  • Layers of clothing and rain gear to adapt to the changing climates from prairies to mountains
  • A power bank to ensure your devices stay charged during long days of exploration
  • Reusable water bottles for staying hydrated with safe drinking water

Traffic and camping rules to be aware of during your road trip from Calgary

  • All vehicles in Canada drive on the right hand side of the road, so UK drivers… take note!
  • Canada also uses the metric system, but distances and speeds are measured in kilometres and kilometres per hour, respectively
  • When camping along your road trip, be sure to follow all posted rules and leave no trace behind. Remember to always properly dispose of garbage and respect wildlife
  • It’s illegal to use a handheld device while driving in Canada. Use a hands-free device for navigation
  • Be aware of wildlife on roads, especially in National Parks. Follow speed limits and be cautious when driving at dawn and dusk
  • The best time to road trip Canada is between June and August, when the weather is warm and the days are longer

Insider tips for travelling from Calgary to Vancouver

Worried about blowing your budget on fuel? Keep your expenses low with this valuable tip. Get the GasBuddy app to locate the most affordable petrol prices along your journey and save your money for fun-filled activities.

There you have it. Everything you need for the ultimate 7-day road trip from Calgary to Vancouver. This itinerary balances awesome adventures with opportunities to chill and enjoy the moment. We hope you have an amazing trip!

Discover Western Canada from Calgary to Vancouver!

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