The preparation of our 23-day motorhome tour Western Canada and Vancouver Island took a lot of time. Because we had reserved all the camping spots in advance, we had more time on site to enjoy the beautiful nature of Canada and we didn't have to worry about finding camping spots. Usually the parks of British Columbia and Alberta are fully booked during the high season. If you have not booked in advance, you cannot help but stand on the overflow parking lot or pay a lot for a generally uninviting private campsite. It is therefore best to book the reservation of a Parks Canada campsite in advance.
Camping in the National Parks
The places of Parks Canada in British Columbia and Alberta are in great demand during the high season. They are, in my opinion, together with the places in the Provincial Parks, the most beautiful in Western Canada to spend the night. On the Parks Canada website you can clearly see from which date AND time you can reserve these places. Within the hour, from the possibility of booking, all the pitches of Parks Canada are reserved for in the high season. Being rap is really the message here! Through the Parks Canada website you can reserve places in the National Parks.
Camping in Provincial Parks
The locations in the Provincial parks can only be booked later. These places are similar in size and location, but you can only book 4 months before arrival. The "problem" when booking in these parks is if you want to spend the next several days in the same park, you have to make the reservations day after day. It is therefore possible that you have to go to a different location for several days, because someone else was too quick for you when booking and booked "your" place. You can place in the Provincial Parks Through this link to reserve.
Ready steady GO!
You should actually be ready behind your laptop or computer on the hour from when you can make a reservation. Usually that is at 8u00 local time in British Columbia or Alberta. In Europe it is then 8u or 9u later and therefore 16u00 or 17u00. Are you already home from work? Have children been picked up from school? Do they have to go to the sports club? In the case of the Provincial Parks I would not panic to reserve that beautiful place on the water a little later. But for one of those few places in the National Parks it is best to put your finger on the book button to get 17u00 (or sometimes 16u00) punctual!
Cheap flight to Vancouver YVR
It had been a few years since we wanted to make a trip through Western Canada, but the price of the flight was always too expensive. The month before I bought the tickets I had requested a quote from Tioga Tours, but the price of the flight on the quote was 5500 euros for 4 people from Brussels and 3276 euros from Amsterdam. The price for the Mobilhome was OK, but due to the high cost of the flight I had put the tour on hold again. A month later and after some searching about campers, camping sites, the transfer to Vancouver Island, fuel, food, etc ... it happened to be that ... the price had dropped enormously!
We could book the flight very cheaply through Lufthansa. Flights to Vancouver and Calgary are always very expensive, but this time I was early and lucky. In November 2017 I searched for cheap flights to different destinations in Canada on momondo. In the best case, a flight in that period usually costs around 850 euros per person. At that time the price dropped to 1658 euros for 4 people! I found it hard to believe. Had I set the search engine incorrectly for 1 or 2 people? Checked again, but it was indeed the price for our 4 together.
All hands on deck! Called Jessica asking if she could get leave in August for 3.5 weeks. The day after, the price could have been adjusted and then it might again become too expensive. After waiting for two hours, I received the redeeming answer. The leave request was approved and we were able to book. Since the price was the same at Lufthansa, I booked directly with Lufthansa. The first step was taken. Later I heard that her boss had bought the same cheap tickets to Vancouver that day, but before July.
The price of a flight ticket changes every day
The bizarre thing was that the flight that we booked was exactly the same flight that was in the quote. So waiting a little can do wonders! Through this link you can search flights with search engine momondo or via this link you can book directly with Lufthansa.
Forget about traveling to Canada ETA (Eletronic Travel Authorization) not to be requested! You absolutely need that to enter Canada. It costs 7 $ CAD per person and you can here .
West Canada tour
Our "round trip Western Canada & Vancouver Island" lasted a total of 23 days and I thought it could take a little longer. There are always places where you want to stay a little longer or where you want to take it a bit easier, but that is just about the only disadvantage of recording everything in advance.
Below is a summary of our tour of breathtaking British Columbia, Alberta and Last but not least Vancouver Island! Excursions and sights are further elaborated with tips on some days.
You can read the daily reports of the Western Canada tour and at the end of Vancouver Island at the bottom of the map by clicking on the "Read more" link or on the accompanying photo of the description. We made the camper trip in the summer of 2018 with an 25 foot long Diesel Navion Mobilhome that we rented at Traveland RV Rentals in Langley BC. With a few exceptions, we stayed at Parks Canada and Provincial Parks of British Columbia and Alberta.
Via this link you get a practical overview of all daily reports.
Tour Western Canada - Route and places of interest Map
Day 3: Manning Park
Ride from Hope to Okanagan Lake North Provincial Park via Manning Park (240 km / 150 mi)
On the way: lunch in the park after which we took a walk of 4.5 km (Lightning Lake Loop) around the lake in Manning Park.
Camping: Okanagan Lake North Provincial Park - Quiet campsite for 1 night - No electricity - Swim and played with the frisbee - You can hear the road a bit
Day 6: Walk Brook Trail & Meeting the Waters
Drive from Revelstoke to Kootenay National Park (270 km / 167 mi)
On the way: Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk (30 min) Located 43 km from Martha Creek Provincial Park + Giant Cedar Boardwalk (30 min) Located 2.6km further.
Walk Brook Trail and Meeting the Waters Trail
Camping: Kootenay National Park - Redstreak Campground
Day 14: Whistler Mountain
Short drive from Nairn Provincial Park to Whistler (35 km / 21mi)
RV parking in Whistler. Little to look for. Best to fix parking in the GPS in advance. We stood on Lot 3 (20 $ all day).
Suspension Bridge on Whistler Mountain
Peak to Peak to Blackcomb Mountain
Ziptrek Ecotours - Zipping with Eli
Camping: Riverside Resort Full Hook Up (71 $)
Day 15: Vancouver Island - Pacific Rim National Park
Saturday - Transfer to Vancouver Island
Ride from Whistler to Picific Rim National Park (300 km / 186mi)
On the way: Transfer Horseshoebay (100 km) to Nanaimo
Camping: Green Point Campground (Long Beach Area) in the Pacific Rim National Park - 1th night 23
Day 21-22-23: Ferry Vancouver Island - Cultus Lake
Friday (Day 21)
Ride from Miracle Beach to Cultus Lake via the Ferry (Nanaimo-Horseshoe Bay) (260km / 162mi)
Camping: Cultus Lake Provincial Park (Place E20)
Saturday (day 22)
Ride from Cultus Lake PP to Traveland to bring the Mobilhome back
Camping: On the plane (Day 23)