You don’t need to travel far to enjoy an epic road trip! Staying close to home can still mean panoramic views, endless outdoor pursuits, and even a chance to rediscover your own history. Check out these fun staycation ideas for road trips near Vancouver and Calgary.

STARTING POINT: VANCOUVER

E. C. Manning park
Less than 3 hours from Vancouver, Manning Park is an outdoor recreation hot spot in the Cascade Mountains. From hiking the numerous trails to relaxing on the beach at Lightning Lake, you won’t run out of things to see and do.

Where to camp:
E. C. Manning park: There are four vehicle accessible campgrounds throughout the park, with some reservable and some first come, first served sites. Split your nights between them for a change of scenery!

Sea to Sky Highway
Always Instagrammable, you’ll be wanting to stop for photos every few minutes along the Sea to Sky Highway, with the panoramic views of Howe Sound, plunging waterfalls, and endless hiking options. Make your way from Vancouver to Whistler, and be sure to check out some hidden gems along the way.

Where to camp:
Cal-check Recreation Site: A first come, first served campground with limited amenities, the Cal-cheak Recreation Site offers 55 campsites in 3 areas between Callaghan Creek and Cheakamus River.
Whistler RV Park and Campground: Open year round and located just south of the village, Whistler RV Park and Campground provides a great base camp for exploring the area.

Coast Mountain Circle Route
The Coast Mountain Circle Route takes you up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, but doesn’t stop there. Carry on through the mountains to Lillooet and then Lytton, carrying on down the Fraser Canyon to Hope, and back through the Valley. The drive can be done comfortably in a weekend, but 3-5 days allows more time to see the sights.

Where to camp:
Nairn Falls Provincial Park: Located near Pemberton, Nairn Falls Provincial Park is a good base camp for exploring the area. Sites are reservable during the main camping season, from May to the end of September.
Sasquatch Provincial Park: Just north of Harrison Hot Springs and the lively beaches of Harrison Lake, the forested campgrounds of Sasquatch Provincial Park are set around a series of smaller lakes.

STARTING POINT: CALGARY

Drive the Boomtown Trail
If north-central Alberta is your destination, hop off the #2 highway and take the scenic Boomtown Trail. Traveling at a more peaceful speed through the prairies, this route is dotted with small towns and pioneer history.

Where to camp:
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park: a secret gem near Trochu, you’ll find scenic views of the Red Deer river valley, and unserviced campsites beneath the trees.
Rochon Sands Provincial Park: Set up camp by Buffalo Lake and spend the day on the beach, in the water, or birdwatching.

Explore the Badlands
Get your fossil fix with a road trip to Drumheller, and then on to Dinosaur Provincial Park. When in Drumheller, take in the views at Horseshoe Canyon, drive the Dinosaur Trail, and see the hoodoos as you head to the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. Once you’ve enjoyed a few days in the Drumheller area, get back on the road and head south to Dinosaur Provincial Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, uncover fossils and hike the hills and hoodoos.

Where to camp:
Bleriot Ferry Campground: a small riverside campground on the Red Deer River, there are 28 first come, first served, unserviced sites.
Dinosaur Provincial Park: offering year-round camping, the Dinosaur Campground is tucked into the valley with over 120 sites.

Tour Bragg Creek and Kananaskis Country
A short distance from Calgary, but a world away. The hamlet of Bragg Creek offers up local coffee shops, restaurants, artisanal shops, and plenty of outdoor activities as you move further into Kananaskis Country.

Where to camp:
Beaver Flats Campground: with many trails for hiking and mountain biking nearby, the campground offers 49 large, well-treed sites in Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area.
Paddy’s Flat Campground: backing on to the Elbow River, and also in the Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area, there are 98 treed sites that are first come, first served.

 

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If these road trip suggestion have you itching to hit the road, click here to book you campervan rental!

We love to see where the road takes you, be sure to share your adventure with us on social media using #GoodCamping and tagging @KarmaCampervans.