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Thread: Help with planning Canada Ride

  1. #1
    Registered User DickNCA's Avatar
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    Help with planning Canada Ride

    Hello everyone.....

    My summer riding buddies are planning this year's ride to British Columbia and Alberta in late July. None of us has ever ridden in Canada. We have a route planned for 3-days in Canada riding about 300 miles a day. The route includes in Canada Hwy 95, 93 to Banff, then Hwy 1 to Jasper, Hwy 16 to Hwy 5 south, Hwy 5A, Hwy 3, entering the U. S. again near Oroville, Washington. Here is a link to our whole route if anyone would like to look at it [URL="http://goo.gl/maps/lmTVq"]

    The roads tentatively selected are considered scenic according to Rand McNally and Google Earth confirms that the country is beautiful. Does anyone have suggestions for alternate highways that might be less traveled and more scenic. Looking for those special motorcycle roads that we might otherwise miss. We want to do all our ride on pavement.

    Now the real need for help. Where to stop at night. We like to stay in town within walking distance to good restaurants and maybe for some fun places to quench a thirst after a long day of riding. I would appreciate any suggestions about places for our evening stops from those of you that know this part of the country.

    We are excited about our trip and visiting Canada. Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Cowboyatheart
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    Neil
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  3. #3
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    Hwy 5 and 5A are not very good riding roads (read strait). See if you can change your plan to include Hwy 6. take in Nelson, Kaslo, New Denver and Nakusp. to Vernon.
    Welcome to overnight at my place also.
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
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    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Highway 93 - the Icefields Parkway - is absolutely gorgeous. Plan on a full day there, especially if you stop for pictures and/or take the snowcat ride up the Athabasca Glacier (cold but fun!).
    Banff is Big Bucks...
    93 takes you to Jasper - "1" is not involved there...
    South side of Jasper has a couple of decent campgrounds; Jasper has a couple of motels (haven't tried those).
    93 has NO motels or camping (as of last time I was there, just a few years ago) - just a primitive hostel intended for bicyclists.
    5 just south of 16 is Yalemont - best motel I found (after checking out 3) was the little place on the west side of the street; the diner across the street had positively AWFUL service (maybe because of my black leather and grubby beard?) but the bar next to them had good dinners.
    Revelstoke (along 1) has several hotels & motels; some are obviously high-end and some are obviously trash; I stayed at a place (forget the name, darn it; 2-story building) that catered to skiers and it was quite acceptable and included a hearty buffet breakfast.
    BMW shop is on the north side of Kelowna; good folk.
    Shouldn't be any trouble at all finding a decent cheapo motel in Golden, Kelowna, Vernon, Princeton, Kamloops...
    I was horrified at "Billboard Row" just south of Kelowna...

  5. #5
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    The BMW dealer is now south of Kelowna, in Westbank.
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
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  6. #6
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Thanks! It's been a coupla years...
    While looking for it (Southwest Motorrad), I pulled up next to a gal in a Bimmer - yes she knew where it was!

  7. #7
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Dick:

    You'll get a variety of suggestions for your trip, but here is what I suggest, for your 3 day Canada section:

    Instead of 95/93 to the Trans Canada Highway, take 21 (from Porthill), 3A, 31, 31A, 6, and 23 to Revelstoke. This route, through the Kootenays, is some of the best riding in Canada. Stay at the Leland Hotel in Nakusp, which is one of the most fun places around.

    From Revelstoke, ride the Rogers Pass east to Golden and Lake Louise, and then go north to Jasper on 93, skipping Banff; as you don't have enough time. And if you've been to Lake Louise and Jasper, you've been to Banff.

    Your route from Jasper to Oroville has good scenery, but if you have time, take 33, the Kettle Valley Highway, from Kelowna south to Highway 3.
    Last edited by rinty; 03-15-2013 at 04:27 AM.
    Rinty

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  8. #8
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinPH View Post
    The BMW dealer is now south of Kelowna, in Westbank.
    And different folks, but still good. They put me in their shop ahead of bookings to look after a busted sump on my F800GS a couple years ago.

    My suggestion is to skip Highway 1 whenever possible for other options. It's a busy highway in the summer months and never much fun to ride. You will be forced to get on it some, no way to completly avoid it if your going to Banff. I highly reccomend some time in the West Kootenay region south from Revelstoke on highway 23 to Nakusp, over to Kaslo or Nelson, or take highway 6 across to Vernon (heck, just go over it as far as Cherryville and back to Nakusp, you'll love the road). That area is some of the best riding in all of BC. If your inclined to venture onto gravel, then the possibilities become nearly endless.

    FYI, your map link is not working, it would easier to give more precise direction if we could see your route.
    Last edited by MCMXCIVRS; 03-14-2013 at 01:55 PM.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
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  9. #9
    Registered User DickNCA's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I will spend my evening looking at your suggestions. I appreciate your input. I am sure after I have digested your suggestions I will probably have more questions.

    Thanks again.

    Dick

  10. #10
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    +1 for the Nakusp/Revelstoke neighborhood - beauty!

    BTW, the ferries are free, since they are considered to be part of the road system. Not much waiting and zero issues for bikes. Enjoy!

  11. #11
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickNCa View Post
    Thanks everyone. I will spend my evening looking at your suggestions. I appreciate your input. I am sure after I have digested your suggestions I will probably have more questions.

    Thanks again.

    Dick
    Dick:

    As Ed says, the Trans Canada Highway is no fun in the summertime. So here's a little tip for the Rogers Pass (Revelstoke to Golden) section. From Nakusp, plan on getting to the Galena Bay Ferry early; the 6:30 or 7:30 am northbound departure. That will allow you to run the Pass early, before traffic builds. Also, there are usually fast movers early in the morning, and you can use them as scouts. Have breakfast in Golden, and after that you have just a short ride until you get to the junction with the Icefields Parkway at Lake Louise, and leave the TCH madness behind you. Before you head north, there, stop in at the Lakeview Lounge at the Chateau Lake Louise, and have a drink while you enjoy the stunning views:

    http://www.fairmont.com/lake-louise/media/photos/

    A final note on the TCH: as much as we Westerners love to hate it, for someone who has never ridden it, the Rogers Pass section is pretty scenic.
    Last edited by rinty; 03-16-2013 at 03:31 PM.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  12. #12
    Registered User DickNCA's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all your suggestions. Planning is half the fun of the ride. My riding buddy is anxious to book rooms for each night of our ride, so we have selected destinations for each of 4 nights in Canada. We have decided to slow down a bit so we can enjoy more of the sights and scenery on our first ride to Canada for all of us.

    Day one Coeur d'Alene to Nakusp. http://goo.gl/maps/2HQ80

    Day two Nakusp to Golden http://goo.gl/maps/rbuuR

    Day three Golden to Jasper http://goo.gl/maps/AgX4F

    Day four Jasper to Kamloops http://goo.gl/maps/olUu0

    Day five Kamloops to U.S. http://goo.gl/maps/sghaq

    We have tried to include as many of the roads you guys have suggested as possible. Have I missed any must-see roads? All of you have commented on TCH Hwy 1. Day two of the route planned looks like it inlcudes a couple hundred km of this road.

    Rinty says

    From Nakusp, plan on getting to the Galena Bay Ferry early; the 6:30 or 7:30 am northbound departure. That will allow you to run the Pass early, before traffic builds. Also, there are usually fast movers early in the morning, and you can use them as scouts. Have breakfast in Golden, and after that you have just a short ride until you get to the junction with the Icefields Parkway at Lake Louise, and leave the TCH madness behind you.
    On day two we were thinking about lingering in Kootenay area and arriving in Golden later rather than earlier. That day I think is about 302 miles (486 km). I don't think we have much choice about running Rogers Pass early in the day. TCH seems to be the only option?

    Dick

  13. #13
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickNCa View Post

    On day two we were thinking about lingering in Kootenay area and arriving in Golden later rather than earlier. That day I think is about 302 miles (486 km). I don't think we have much choice about running Rogers Pass early in the day. TCH seems to be the only option?

    Dick
    Good idea; you can have a nice ride into Monashee Pass and back, as Ed suggested.

    Sorry no other option than the TCH, but you'll enjoy the scenery. Take some pictures at the arches at the summit.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  14. #14
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    The only change I'd suggest is for the last day. If you take the 5A out of Kamloops all the way down to Princeton, then across on highway 3 to your border crossing, you'll find its a much better motorcycle road. Probably not a great deal of time difference as the Vernon to Kelowna area is congested and slow. Your route choice does redeem itself south of Kelowna with the choice of highway 33 which is a nice trip too.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
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  15. #15
    Registered User DickNCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCMXCIVRS View Post
    The only change I'd suggest is for the last day. If you take the 5A out of Kamloops all the way down to Princeton, then across on highway 3 to your border crossing, you'll find its a much better motorcycle road. Probably not a great deal of time difference as the Vernon to Kelowna area is congested and slow. Your route choice does redeem itself south of Kelowna with the choice of highway 33 which is a nice trip too.
    Ed, do you think that taking 5A to Princeton, then 3A and 97 back north though Kelowna to catch 33 would be worth the extra time?

    Dick

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