The Full Mounty: Vancouver to Montreal
This is the epic cross-continental journey from the east coast of Canada to the west, taking you from the Franco-Canadian cities and maritime cultures of the Atlantic coast through the mountainous middle region to verdant Vancouver and the wild waves of the Pacific. Give yourself plenty of time; you will no doubt fall in love with unexpected places and dawdle under the starry Canadian skies, as you should. No matter what season you are traveling in, pack warm layers for the chilly nights and plan on slowing down just a little bit. You can travel this itinerary in either direction, but there is something about heading west on a road trip that just feels right, like chasing the setting sun.
Immerse yourself in all the diverse beauty of Canada. Attend a street festival in Montreal and make friends with the performers. Eat a seafood feast in Kingston and survey the kingdom of Toronto from the top of the CN Tower. Take a boat ride at the bottom of Niagara Falls, and test your road trip skills as you travel through Middle Canada. Get some R&R at Lake Louise, hike until you can’t breathe at Banff, and play with the wind at Jasper National Park. Skinny dip in a glacial stream in Glacier National Park, and finally arrive back to civilization in Vancouver: eat, drink and be merry!
Starting Point: Montreal
Ending Point: Vancouver
Time Frame: 3 Weeks +
You will basically be taking the Trans Canada Highway, or Highway 1, across the continent with various side trips and detours for national parks and other sites of interest. Choose your route wisely, and remember in Canada the going can be slow, so plan extra time to get from point A to B.
From Montreal head east on 401 to Toronto, stopping in Ottawa and Kingston and then doing a detour to Niagara Falls from Toronto if desired. Head up Highway 11 to Algonquin National Park, and then travel east on Highway 17 through Sault Sainte-Marie and Thunder Bay into Winnipeg. Continue east on Highway 1 to Regina and Moose Jaw, and then go north toward Saskatoon and on to Edmonton, Jasper National Park, Lake Louise and Banff before dropping down into Calgary (or you can skip Saskatoon and Edmonton and head straight towards Calgary, cutting up to Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise). From there it’s off to Yoho National Park, on west to Revelstoke, Kamloops, and finally ending up in Vancouver!