My husband, myself, our 5 year old son, and 3 year old daughter traveled from Oregon to Ontario via British Columbia and Alberta. I had wanted to drive the Trans-Canada Highway for at least the ten years prior. It was everything that I hoped for and more!
We looked out the window and stopped when whenever we wanted.
Here are 5 unexpected things that we loved while traveling from Salmon Arm to Banff.
Are you kidding? Revelstoke is amazing!
It is like a mountain oasis on the banks of the Columbia River.
In 2016, when we were there, Revelstoke apparently had a population of just over 6,700 and by 2019 that increased to over 14,000. As far as I can tell, that is for good reason.
The town is full of local cafes and shops. Food options are endless. Whether you are looking for organic, homemade, local, vegan, vegetarian, grass fed, or just delicious, you will find what it! People are friendly and kind.
The mountain resort is modern and has views for miles. The mountainside lodging in June was too much of a deal to pass up. We signed on for a slope side 2 bedroom with a kitchen and patio. I recommend bringing food and drinks from town if you are staying more than a night but the room will not disappoint!
You will see bears if you are lucky. The mountain coaster is super fun. The views are remarkable.
2. Spiral Tunnels along the Trans-Canada Highway.
I had never even heard of a spiral tunnel. When we saw our first one we were amazed. Then we wanted to learn more!
There are two view points. One along the Trans-Canada Highway just over 7 kilometers east of Field.
Basically, an train leaves Field going eastbound and goes through two tunnels, under the highway, across the river and into the Lower Spiral Tunnel. The train spirals up and exits the tunnel higher than where it started. It crosses the river again, goes under the highway, and into a second tunnel. It exits that tunnel higher yet.
You have the opportunity to see each end of the train at different altitudes at the same time. Does that make sense? It does when you see it!
The kids were ready to stretch theirs legs. This was near the highway and so popped in.
The staff are kind and obviously care for the animals. The kids like it and I continue to find wolves kind of creepy.
It’s a nice stop and welcome rest break on the way east bound to Banff.
4. National Parks along the Tran-Canada Highway.
Mt. Revelstoke, Glacier, and Yoho are all packed into a short piece of the Trans-Canada Highway. I will let these parks speak for themselves. Stop at each one, especially Yoho. You won’t be disappointed.
5. Via Feratta,Banff.
Via Feratta is Italian for “iron way”. It is a climbing route with cables, ladders, and fixed anchors.
This is the view of Banff from the Via Feratta.
6. Banff: The Less Crowded Side.
Here is a picture of an afternoon away from main street, tour groups, and hotels parking garages. This side of Banff isn’t hard to find.