I'm a Vancouverite thinking about going on a cross Canada trip. I've never been outside of BC and want to see the rest of this country, especially the East coast. I looked into rail and it looks like I can get an unlimited pass for 60 days for $1000 dollars but that seems like a bad deal. Would it be better to do a road trip? Has anyone done a cross Canada trip before? Which cities would you recommend visiting? What did you like to do? Share your experiences if you have them.
I'm just finishing up a cross canada trip. In yellowknife at the moment.
I started in toronto and headed west to vancouver. Took me 3 weeks since i was taking grey hound busses and stopping in every major city along the way. I couchsurfed and used hostels to save money. If you are doing the same, trying to actually see as much as possible no matter how boring I highly recommend te train pass. I spent far, far too much on shitty greyhound busses.
>it's 1000 dollars and everyone tells me our train system is awful
It's not awful. People go to Europe, then are disappointed about it here. But Europe has 20* the number of people in a area less than half of Canada. The trains are clean and not too slow. The problem is all the stations are far away.
The time of year is really important for trains, in terms of daylight and what you get to see.
You could do Vancouver-Edmonton-Winnipeg-Churchill-Winnipeg-Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Halifax. If there's a cheaper one month get that, and then fly back from Halifax.
If you think $1000 is expensive for that, then look at how much individual tickets cost.
Wouldn't it be easier to get a car and do a road trip? If you wanted to see the natural beauty (which is the best thing about Canada imo), then a car is the only realistic way of seeing everything you should see. I've only really spent time in Alberta so I don't know too much about the country, but I'd definitely recommend that you visit Jasper National Park, the Icefields Parkway, and Banff National Park. Fairly touristy (though by no means excessive), but probably the most beautiful landscapes I've seen. I have no idea what there is to see after you head east from Alberta, but I'm sure there's something interesting before Toronto.
dont listen to this guy. I have done cross country road trips in canada (I am also from vancouver) overall it is a very enriching experience getting to know your country better. I would recommend going up north for a bit and then coming back down through NWT to alberta. there really is not much to do there the citys are not all that interesting except for Dawson CIty but its gorgeous. The prairies are kind of dull but good for some driving introspection. Winnipeg is a neat city check it out. Hit all the spots in southern Ontario like niagara falls, toronto and ottawa. Quebec is great. Go to strip clubs in Montreal (best in the country) and quebec city is really nice too with their older infrastructure. And finally the crown jewel of Canada the maritimes. Check out each province but imo especially PEI. Go deep sea fishing and chat shit with a local islander.
Good places to check out:
Banff and Jasper AB
Drumheller AB if you like dinosaurs
and many more!
just avoid brooks alberta it smells like shit
Don't take the train. Drive through the prairies and along the Great Lakes it's beautiful. Went 33 hours from Saskatoon to Toronto driving, slept in car and smoked darts, was a fun solo trip
Are you seriously suggesting that traveling in Canada is on the same level as traveling in the United States?
Bump. Thanks for the advice so far everyone.
So it looks like i'll probably road trip it based on the suggestions.
When I did a Canadian and US Rockies trip, I absolutely loved Jasper and Banff. The towns, but especially the parks and the wildlife. We drove from Vancouver Island to Jasper and then down to Banff. We also went to see Kootenay and Yoho national parks. Absolutely stunning, one of my best travel experiences ever. Sadly, I haven't been further east than that as we crossed back into the US at Waterton Lakes National Park to see Glacier and Yellowstone in the US.
Stay at the Banff springs hotel. Because, uh, fuck it, spend $400 for a single night
To all the people saying OP should go to the States instead. Now is not the time to go there for us Canadians. The dollar is expected to near an all time low. It went from 80 cents US to under 70 cents in a few months. Some say it might dip down to 59 cents. Canadians will not be traveling to the US for the next 2 years until our currency bounces back.
OP, I can't give you many suggestions but the way Canada is shaped it's not very convenient to make cross-country trips. Basically traveling back and forth on the same road is the only option. Going through the prairies might be somewhat boring but you can go through there quite quickly in a car. BC/Alberta and Ontario/Quebec will have the most to see.
True BUT the Alberta -BC corridor that passes through the Rockies (the yellowhead trail) is the most beautiful stretch of road in the country, if not the world.
Also, the prairies are flat and speed traps are rare, you can average 180 going through. 2 driving days will get you from Edmonton to Winnipeg, put your hours in and you'll make it to Thunder Bay.
Worst part imo is T'bay to Sudbury. Boring, winding, isolated, and so so SO long. Like, you wont believe a stretch of road could be so long. It IS beautiful and pristine nature, its just so low population that you'll nod off, but so curvy and narrow that you can't really floor it.
I feel like I posted this in the wrong thread.
Okay so my advice is to take the 1 until it turns into the 5 just past hope. Take the 5 up past chilliwack until you hit the tete jaune turnoff. You WILL NOT REGRET THIS. it's breathtakingly beautiful. If you have the budget stay at the tete jaune lodge. Switch to the 16 and continue on to edmonton. It's a killer trip, watch out for moose.
Continue on the 16 (watch out for the breath check in lloydminster, it WILL be there) till you hit saskatoon, jump south on the 11 to Regina. You can FLY here, top out your car as its wide open road. At Regina you'll be back on the 1, again you wont hit many speed traps but definitely if they're there, they're in Brandon, so keep it at 120 when you're near there. Next is Winnipeg, and its shit, not even worth slowing down.
Keep on the 1 till thunder bay...
That's as far as I'll get right now, its my bus stop. Ill Write more later tonight.
By chilliwack I mean kamloops kek.
God damn it this is my third attempt writing all this but fuck it, lets go again.
You're not going to fuck around with getting to southern Ontario, you'll get there on the way back. Instead, take the 11 all the way to North bay, its nicer, flatter road, more places to gain speed. Dont stop for photos, it is beautiful pristine forest but there's over 1000 k of it to drive. In North Bay, jump back on the trans Canada back to Ottawa and civilisation. From there take the 417 (which is a 6 lane zoo) to Montreal. Continue along the St Laurent by taking the 40 (its a bit smaller roads but much more scenic/smalltowny than the trans) to quebec city. Jump on the trans canada to riviere du loup (french ONLY if stopping here) then skip gaspé and get on the 85. Gaspé IS beautiful but way out of your way, skip it. Turn off to the 85 (which turns into trans Canada "2" and take it through edmunston, Fredericton, and Moncton. Congratulations you have passed 80% of Brunswick's population.
Continue on the 2 which turns into the 104 until you hit Truro, grab yourself some lobster. Cape Breton is like gaspe meets trailer park boys, again pretty but vacant and out your way. Instead jump on the 102 to halifax, and congratulations, you've driven across Canada.
Now, were going to take a completely different road back but I'll write about that later on tonight.
Okay so the way back is going to have some gaps because you'll be passing through the states. I don't know anything about the states, havent been there in a decade. Maybe >>1072048 or >>1071518 can fill in the blanks.
Anyways you're going backtrack to moncton (this is the only backtracking youll do), going exactly the way you came. If you are dying to check out cape breton or Sydney, do so now. In moncton, switch to the 1 and follow the coast through saint john into Maine.
Ask an American what to do in New England, you could actually squeeze in Boston but end up at the thousand islands bridge somehow. Take the 137 until you Jump on the 401 and take it all the way through Toronto, being prepared for some horrible traffic and Asian drivers there. Continue on the 401 until you hit Hamilton and switch to the QEW. Take that all the way to Niagara Falls, where you'll stop off and have a beer with me :). From there you should go through the states in Niagara Falls NY, ask a yank for more details but it'd be New York, Ohio, northern Michigan (beautiful!) And North Dakota. Again, however you do it, end up in Portal, and take the 37 up to moose jaw, you can absolutely drop the hammer here. Top out the car, it's flat and empty.
The final leg is a good one that goes through the badlands, alas its going to have to wait till my lunch break.