View Full Version : San Francisco to Seattle - Vancouver to Banff in April 2010
03-04-2010, 03:26 AM
In September 2008 I drove from San Francisco to Yosemite - Bristlecone Pine National Park - Death Valley - Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - LA - San Francisco and loved every minute of it.
This time I am in Dallas for work in April and have two weeks to sight see from 9th April to 24th. I am thinking of doing San Francisco to Seattle and then Vancouver to Banff/Jasper. Visiting Giant redwoods, Olympic National Park, Lake Louise etc.
I love the national parks and want to spend as much time as possible seeing the world rather than the cities.
I am worried about driving in snow though, we don't get much of it in Australia where I live.
I have had to cross visiting Yellowstone off the list as the seasons aren't right and am wondering how the seasons will affect my proposed route.
Any suggestions on ways to avoid the dreaded one way rental car fees are also appreciated.
03-04-2010, 05:35 AM
Trent, not sure if you are aware, but there is no way you can rent a car in the US and drop it off in Canada. In fact, you would need to check with the rental company if you are permitted to take it across the border. Doing so without permission will invalidate your rental contract. As for how to get around the one way drop off fee, if you ever find a way, let us all know. lol
As for snow, you are not likely to see it going up the west coast next month. Travelling across to Banff. Lake Louise and Jasper however, could be a completely different ball game.
Lifey in Melbourne
03-04-2010, 08:26 AM
Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !
I am presuming that as you have listed your trip as a two part journey you are dropping the car in Seattle and collecting another in Vancouver to avoid the drop off problem? Are you flying to San Fran as you say you are working in Dallas but "doing SF to Seattle" as driving would add a lot of miles to your journey.
For road conditions in the Canadian rockies keep an eye on Alberta motor associations road report. (http://www.ama.ab.ca/road_report/Mountain.htm)
Very unlikely you will get away with one way drop fees and as Lifey said, if you do let us know.
03-04-2010, 05:57 PM
Yep, shoulda been clearer. Planning on training it from Seattle to Vancouver.
I am at a conference in Dallas and could go anywhere in the USA but would also like to see some of Canada so it sort of makes sense to either go up the west or east coasts. I've sort of decided for no real reason to go the west coast. I will fly from Dallas to SF and meet my wife there who will be coming from Australia.
I'm thinking that if I pick up a car, drive from SF to Seattle and then back and fly to Vancouver then the flight costs (for two people), extra fuel, extra time would make the one way charge $250-$300 a better option.
There are a few stops on the way from SF to Seattle that interest me. Crystal Lake, Mt St Helens but am not sure if they will be accessible in mid April, does anyone know?
Thanks for your replies so far
03-04-2010, 06:00 PM
Wow, just had a look at that link Southwest Dave provided. It has webcams and there is hardly any snow around the Banff and Lake Louise Cameras.
Global warming? LOL
03-09-2010, 04:27 AM
Thinking I might fly into Seattle and then do a loop, Total holiday is fly in 9th of April and out on 24th
Something like Seattle, around Olympic National Park, down to Astoria, across to Portland and up to See Mt St Helens, and back to Seattle.
Catch a train to Vancouver and then do Vancouver to Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise and back to Vancouver. Still working on this one but if I get the USA part down then I can work out how many days I get in Canada.
Is it worth going down to Portland? Do some shopping, look around. Is Mt St Helens an impressive sight? will I see vampires and werewolves in Forks (my wife told me when I showed her the map on Google maps).
More importantly is there something in the area that I should do that I don't knwo about yet? The aim is to see the natural wonders and do a bit of shopping, unnatural wonders like walmart etc will also be visited.
thanks for your replies
03-09-2010, 06:53 PM
My wife and I did a trip to Portland and surrounding area last fall, and although I'm no big fan of cities there were a few things that would make a run by there well worth it. Historic: Astoria and the mouth of the Columbia in general is where the Lewis and Clark expedition reached the Pacific, and the restored Fort Clatsop (http://www.nps.gov/lewi/index.htm) is well worth a visit. Au Naturel: there are several 'clothing optional' beaches on the east shore of Sauvie Island (http://sauvieisland.org/) just northwest (downriver) of Portland. Botanical: Portland is known as the Rose City and there are several formal gardens in Washington Park. We particularly enjoyed our docent led tour of the Japanese Garden (http://www.japanesegarden.com/). Scenic: The drive up the Columbia River Gorge is spectacular, especially if you take the Historic Columbia River Highway (http://www.traveloregon.com/Explore-Oregon/Mt-Hood-Columbia-River-Gorge/Trips-We-Love/The-Historic-Columbia-River-Highway.aspx). Be sure to take several walks (they're all short) to some of the many waterfalls off the highway to the south. You just have to park and cross the road to get to the spectacular Multnomah Falls (http://trips.stateoforegon.com/multnomah_falls/). Twilight: If your wife 'knows' about the vampires of Forks, she's seen the movie "Twilight". But one of the most romantic and climactic scenes of that movie was actually filmed in the Columbia River Gorge. If you really want to surprise her, plan on being in Corbett, just a few miles east of Portland, at lunch time and stop for an alfresco meal at the View Point Inn (http://www.theviewpointinn.com/).
The first crossing of the Columbia upriver from Portland is at Hood River, but rather than trying to get to Mt. St. Helens, I think I'd just continue up the Columbia past The Dalles and take US-97 north, US-12 west and WA-7 north back to Seattle and enjoy the views of Mount Adams and Mount Ranier.
03-10-2010, 04:17 AM
Thanks AZBuck, that drive looks like something we would like to do, might be a bit gold for the nudist beach though, maybe I'll just take my binoculars LOL
04-21-2010, 05:51 AM
i got here googl-ing for some information about a possibile SanFrancisco-to-Seattle roadtrip I could be doing this summer (after I had big time fun doing SanFrancisco-Vegas-LA 3 years ago and the wonderful whole Route66 last summer), and I already found what you posted useful.
Unluckily this time I will be alone, so I have to be careful about costs. Can somebody give me an idea about the drop-off fee? Last year from Chicago to LA was 500 bucks (even if at the end we had a special deal at 250).
trentski, I see that you should be back in these days... I would really appreciate if you could tell me\us a little more about your trip.
Every suggestion from you, and from everybody else, is welcome!
04-21-2010, 05:47 PM
In the end I flew into Seattle and hired a car there. Drove around the Olympic National Park and down the coast a bit, crossed over to Portland and then drove up the Columbia Gorge to The Dalles and back to Portland and then to Seattle. I'm currently in Savona BC on the way from Jasper to Vancouver.
When I was looking the drop off fees were $250 to $300 depending on who you rented with, there was a short time special for $1 a day one way from Seattle to San Francisco but I couldn't take advantage of it.