Beautiful blue lake surrounded by evergreen trees with rugged mountains in the background on a blue but cloudy day
Stas Moroz/

Road Trip from Vancouver to Jasper

Published by Dianne Titos on January 18 2024

There are a few road trips in the world that are as scenic as the drive from Vancouver to Jasper, where you will experience beautiful towns and pristine Canadian wilderness in one go. This road trip is dotted with vistas of towering mountain peaks, and turquoise lakes as you make your way to Jasper National Park.

The 790 km road trip from Vancouver to Jasper will take 8 hours and 20 minutes to drive. On the way you can visit Bridal Veil Falls, Kamloops, Clearwater, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Revelstoke, Golden, as well as Kootenay, Glacier and Banff National Parks.

This is the ultimate Western Canada road trip for anyone who wants to explore the best sights in the Canadian Rockies. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, top highlights, best places to stop, and the best seasons to travel.

How to drive from Vancouver to Jasper

The map below shows two great route options for your road trip from Vancouver to Jasper. Click on the star icons for headline details, and scroll down for much more information below.

* Always remember that drive times can be impacted by traffic, closures, weather and other conditions. It's best to double-check while planning and before starting out on your trip.

Comparison of road trip routes between Vancouver and Jasper
RouteDistanceDriving Time
Kamloops Route790 km8 hours 20 minutes
Banff Route1,260 km14 hours 20 minutes

How far is Jasper from Vancouver, and how long will the road trip take?

The Kamloops Route is the direct route option, taking around 8 hours and 20 minutes to complete and covering a distance of 790 km without accounting for any detours.

The Banff Route is longer, spanning 1,260 km with a driving time of approximately 14 hours and 20 minutes. The stunning scenery on this route will more than make up for the extra mileage.

While it's possible to complete each route in about two days, the wealth of sights and experiences along the way will make you want to travel slowly. We suggest taking 4 to 5 days for this beautiful drive from Vancouver to Jasper.

A highway cutting through the town of Jasper with cloudy mountain views in the distance
Jasper is a lovely town that sits on the foothills of rugged mountains providing stunning views.
Tatsuo Nakamura/

Best road trip route from Vancouver to Jasper

While both the Kamloops and Banff Routes offer spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies, they are quite different from each other. Which route you choose will depend on what destinations interest you the most and how much time you have to spare.

The Kamloops Route is the direct option for travelling from Vancouver to Jasper, taking you through the heart of the Canadian Rockies in the fastest way possible.

This route not only offers plenty of scenic photo opportunities and overlooks but also leads you to the renowned vineyards of Kamloops. It's the perfect choice if you want a shorter drive without compromising on picturesque mountain views.

The Banff Route, though longer, takes you deeper into the stunning views of the mountains, and will take you to world-famous sights like Banff National Park and Glacier National Park. You will also get to visit Kootenay National Park. This route is a dream if you love nature and adventure.

You can relax in Kelowna and then enjoy skiing in Revelstoke or Golden. One of the highlights, Banff National Park, is an unmissable destination on this journey, offering diverse activities like hiking, skiing, biking, or simply relaxing.

Kamloops Route

Start the Kamloops Route by heading east towards Abbotsford. Next, you'll reach the natural beauty of Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, ideal for a scenic hike.

Continue along the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) towards Silver Creek and Hope past Harrison Hot Springs. Here, you'll take BC-3 and then BC-5 through the towering snow-capped mountains.

As you journey further, the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park and the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area offer breathtaking mountainous landscapes, making them perfect for outdoor enthusiasts before you reach Merritt.

Entering the city of Kamloops, take time to explore its cultural charm, including a visit to the Kamloops Museum and Archives.

From Kamloops, head north on BC-5 towards Clearwater, where you can marvel at Spahats Creek Falls. Driving north, you will soon reach Pyramid Creek Falls Provincial Park.

Soon, you'll merge onto BC-16, passing through Jackman Flats Provincial Park, Tete Jaune Cache, and Rearguard Falls Provincial Park, before ending your scenic journey in Jasper.

Kamloops, Canada with the pretty city in the foreground, a river running alongside it and the mountains in the distance with a dramatic sky at sunset.
Kamloops is a beautiful town in the Thompson Valley that is home to the famous Kamloops Wine Trail, a highlight of the Kamloops Route.
Ng Wai Chor/

Banff Route

You will follow the same route as above until you reach Merritt, which is where the routes diverge.

Travelling further through the mountains, your next major destination is Kelowna, a city famous for its stunning lakeside setting and vineyards. As you head north-eastward, you'll pass by the Sicamous Lookout by Shuswap Lake.

The journey then takes you to The Last Spike in Malakwa, a historic site marking the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Approaching Revelstoke, explore the Enchanted Forest and visit Mount Revelstoke National Park, known for its stunning vistas and hiking trails.

Further along, you'll pass through the awe-inspiring Glacier National Park, where rugged mountains and ancient glaciers dominate the landscape.

The route then leads to Golden, where you can enjoy outdoor activities at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Continuing on, you'll soon reach Radium Hot Springs. Head northeast on BC-93 and enter Kootenay National Park, home to the magnificent Stanley Glacier.

As you proceed and merge back onto Trans-Canada Highway, the iconic Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park provides an excellent hiking opportunity, leading to mesmerising waterfalls.

After your visit, head to the town of Banff, set against a backdrop of majestic mountains. From Banff, it's a short drive to the world-famous Lake Louise. Your journey concludes as you reach Jasper after driving through the scenic Icefields Parkway.

Wooden walkway with rock cliffs on both sides, and turquoise waters below
Johnston Canyon is one of the best places for a scenic hike in Banff National Park.
Chase Clausen/

Best places to stop between Vancouver and Jasper

This region of Canada is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful parts of the world. To make sure you don't miss out on any of the amazing places to explore on this road trip from Vancouver to Jasper and to recharge, we suggest staying in one of the incredible destinations below.

A relaxing stay in Clearwater

Clearwater is an ideal overnight stop on the Kamloops Route, approximately 5 hours from Vancouver. Situated directly on the highway, it's a perfect midpoint between Vancouver and the majestic Canadian Rockies.

One of the main attractions of Clearwater is its proximity to Wells Gray Provincial Park, a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Here, you can explore the dense forests and rushing waterfalls, including the mesmerising Spahats Creek Falls.

Beautiful waterfall on a rock cliff, evergreen trees cover the top of the hill above the waterfall
If you are looking for some awe-inspiring scenery while visiting Clearwater, we highly recommend heading to the stunning Spahats Creek Falls.
Harry Beugelink/

For your stay, we highly recommend the highly-rated Hummingbird Bed and Breakfast. This cosy B&B, located just outside Clearwater, offers a home-like atmosphere with a beautiful fireplace to relax by in the lounge.

The rooms are not only comfortable but also feature small seating areas, perfect place to unwind and enjoy your favorite book after a long day of driving or hiking in one of the nearby parks.

Before you set off the following day, make sure to sample the delicious home-cooked breakfast on offer. When you are ready to explore around the hotel, Wells Gray Provincial Park is just a 10-minute walk away, offering easy access to breathtaking natural beauty.

Views to last a lifetime in Banff

Banff is an amazing stopover option on the Banff Route, located about 11 hours into the drive. This must-see Canadian landmark, nestled by Banff National Park in Alberta, offers stunning mountain vistas and opportunities for both adventure and relaxation.

Key attractions in Banff include the Banff Gondola, providing panoramic views of the Rockies, and the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, known for its hot springs.

Large elk walking through long green grass in emerging from woodland
Banff is the perfect gateway to Banff National Park, which is not only home to beautiful scenery but also fascinating wildlife.
Regien Paasen/

For your stay, consider the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs. This historic hotel, reminiscent of a castle, offers a luxurious experience with its amenities and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

Its location is ideal, not only for the breathtaking views from every window but also for its proximity to the town of Banff and exceptional local skiing. There's shuttle service to nearby ski resorts, including Mount Norquay Ski Village, Sunshine Village Ski Resort, and Lake Louise Ski Resort.

The hotel features a great lap pool and a fabulous outdoor pool, along with an on-site spa boasting several treatment areas for various massages and beauty treatments - we highly recommend treating yourself to a well-deserved pampering session!

Near the hotel, you can explore Bow Falls, just a 5-minute walk away. Also, the Banff Gondola is an 10-minute drive from the hotel, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Canadian Rockies.

Where to stay when you reach Jasper

Jasper is a great gateway to the breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures of the Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park. Known for its low-key and outdoorsy vibe, Jasper offers year-round outdoor activities, from hiking and skiing to wildlife watching.

At the heart of Jasper's attractions is Jasper National Park of Canada, a vast wilderness area boasting incredible mountain scenery, pristine lakes, and wildlife.

Beautiful aurora borealis over Spirit Island with female traveler on canoe at Jasper National Park
The time you spend in the magical Jasper National Park and will stay with you for a lifetime.

For a unique perspective of the park, the Jasper SkyTram will whisk you up to high altitudes, for panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

When visiting Jasper, consider staying at the homey Jasper East Cabins for a unique experience. Tucked away in the rolling hills near Jasper National Park, these cabins offer an escape from the crowds, allowing you to relax in the natural beauty of the Rockies.

Each cabin has a river stone gas fireplace. You'll also enjoy the convenience of a private kitchenette and the comfort of queen-sized beds. The cabins are designed to blend seamlessly with the natural environment, making you feel like you're glamping.

For dining, you will find Folding Mountain Brewery nearby, offering an extensive drink menu complemented by breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Things to see on a road trip from Vancouver to Jasper

With so much to see and do on this Vancouver to Jasper road trip, you're going to want to start planning your ultimate road trip. To help you out, we've included our top highlights below.

Kamloops Route

  1. Abbotsford Castle Fun Park - A family-friendly amusement park offering a variety of attractions including mini-golf, go-karts, and an arcade, making it a perfect stop for fun and entertainment.
  2. Cultus Lake - This popular recreational destination features a large, warm freshwater lake perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming, surrounded by beautiful mountainous scenery.
  3. Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park - A picturesque park known for its spectacular waterfall that cascades down over smooth rock faces, creating a veil-like effect, surrounded by lush forested areas ideal for picnicking and hiking.
  4. Harrison Hot Springs - A resort community famous for its natural hot springs, offering visitors a chance to relax in therapeutic waters amidst stunning mountain views.
  5. Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park - Features the impressive Othello Tunnels, a series of old train tunnels and bridges through a rugged canyon, offering scenic views and a glimpse into the area's railway history.
  6. Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area - A popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking and snowshoeing, with panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and diverse wildlife.
  7. Kamloops - A vibrant city known for its unique landscape of hills, valleys, lakes, and grasslands, offering a range of outdoor activities and cultural experiences.
  8. Kamloops Museum and Archives - This museum offers insights into the rich history and culture of Kamloops, with exhibits ranging from natural history to indigenous heritage and local art.
  9. Clearwater - A gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park, this town is known for its stunning natural beauty, offering opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking and canoeing.
  10. Spahats Creek Falls - A striking waterfall within Wells Gray Provincial Park, where Spahats Creek dramatically plunges into a deep canyon, creating a breathtaking natural spectacle.
  11. Pyramid Creek Falls Provincial Park - Features a magnificent waterfall where Pyramid Creek falls over a series of lava layers, creating a stunning visual display in a forested setting.
  12. Jackman Flats Provincial Park - Offers a unique landscape of sand dunes and pine forests, providing a serene environment for hiking, bird watching, and nature photography.
  13. Tete Jaune Cache - A small historic community offering a glimpse into the early days of railway and fur trading, set in a scenic location at the junction of the Fraser and Robson rivers.
  14. Rearguard Falls Provincial Park - Known for the Rearguard Falls, where the Fraser River narrows and rushes over a rock ledge, offering a spectacular view and a chance to spot salmon during spawning season.
  15. Mount Robson Provincial Park - Home to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, this park offers stunning vistas, diverse wildlife, and numerous hiking trails including the famous Berg Lake Trail.
Calm morning sunrise over the calm lake, with a wooden pier in view
You might need to set off early, but Cultus Lake during sunrise is quite the meditative experience on the Kamloops Route.
Pierre Leclerc/

Banff Route

  1. Fort Langley National Historic Site - A historical site that brings to life the era of the Hudson's Bay Company and the fur trade, offering interactive exhibits, costumed interpreters, and heritage buildings.
  2. Abbotsford - Known for its rich agricultural land, Abbotsford offers a blend of urban and rural charm, with attractions like farm tours, wineries, and cultural festivals.
  3. Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park - A stunning natural site featuring a cascading waterfall that creates a veil-like effect, surrounded by forested areas ideal for picnics and walks.
  4. Kelowna - A vibrant city on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is famous for its wineries, orchards, and cultural events, along with outdoor activities like boating and golfing.
  5. Sicamous Lookout - Offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a popular spot for photography and sightseeing.
  6. The Last Spike, Malakwa - A historic site commemorating the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, featuring a monument and interpretive displays.
  7. Enchanted Forest, Revelstoke - A unique attraction featuring a magical forest with handcrafted fairy-tale figures and structures, ideal for families and children.
  8. Mount Revelstoke National Park - Known for its meadows full of wildflowers, scenic drives, and hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the Columbia Mountains.
  9. Glacier National Park - Features rugged mountains, ancient glaciers, and dense forests, offering opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and exploring historic sites.
  10. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort - A premier mountain resort offering world-class skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking, along with stunning alpine views.
  11. Columbia Wetlands Adventures - Provides unique opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing in one of North America's largest wetlands.
  12. Kootenay National Park - Offers diverse landscapes including dramatic mountain ranges, hot springs, and a variety of hiking trails, showcasing the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies.
  13. Banff - A picturesque town set in the heart of Banff National Park, known for its mountainous surroundings, wildlife, and a variety of outdoor activities.
  14. Lake Louise - A world-renowned lake known for its turquoise waters and stunning backdrop of glacier-clad peaks, offering activities like canoeing and hiking.
  15. Banff National Park - Canada's first national park, known for its unparalleled mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities.
Scenic plains covered in snow with mountains in the background on a sunny day
Kootenay National Park is especially breathtaking, shrouded under a fresh layer of snow.

Best time to go on a road trip from Vancouver to Jasper

Jasper, a stunning destination in the Canadian Rockies, offers a wonderful experience with each changing season. When planning a road trip from Vancouver to Jasper, it's important to consider the seasons to fully enjoy what Jasper and the journey have to offer.

Spring in Jasper sees temperatures ranging from 0 to 13 degrees Celsius. The melting snow reveals wildlife and blooming valleys, making it the perfect time for nature enthusiasts.

While driving through the Canadian Rockies, roads are generally open but may have occasional closures due to late snow showers. Visitor facilities in national parks may have limited availability, so checking in advance is recommended.

Mother bear and cub among a field of yellow spring flowers
Spring means the reawakening of Jasper National Park, and you never know who you might run into during your visit!
Henryk Sadura/

Summer in Jasper boasts warm temperatures between 15 and 24 degrees, perfect for exploring Jasper National Park's vast wilderness. This season offers excellent driving conditions along both routes. On the Kamloops Route, the Kamloops Wine Festival in June shouldn't be missed.

Autumn in Jasper is crisp, with temperatures from 0 to 17 degrees Celsius. Roads generally remain open, but always be prepared for early snowfall and check before traveling in case there are closures.

Late summer to early autumn, the town becomes a hub of activity, with the Jasper Folk Music Festival in September being a highlight.

The Jasper Dark Sky Festival in October/November is an extraordinary event celebrating the night sky's beauty. On top of this, both routes provide a scenic drive through the fall foliage, adding a touch of magic to your trip.

Winter turns Jasper into a snowy wonderland, with temperatures ranging from -15 to -1 degrees. This season requires cautious driving, as roads may be affected by winter storms.

However, the effort is rewarded by winter festivals like the Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise in January/February on the Banff Route and the Golden Sound Festival in February.