26 Jul The Scenic Route: Kelowna to Banff
When I plan a road trip, I try to make intentional choices about the route we take. Do we want to get there as quick as possible or do we want to take a more scenic route? I usually end up googling routes and often end up on Trip Advisor forums where people make recommendations and share advice for things to see along the way.
For this leg of our Rockies Road Trip, our end goal was Banff National Park. Once we decided (wisely) to break up the 12 hour drive from Vancouver by staying in Kelowna, we had more wiggle room to take the scenic route. We are so glad we did!
Google maps and other GPS devices will automatically pull up the quickest route, which usually means big highways and less interesting landscapes. But I had read on Trip Advisor, that the more mountainous Highway 3 was the way to go to get to Kelowna. We made the adjustment and were rewarded.
Driving Vancouver to Kelowna this way is about 5 hours, 277 miles.
From Kelowna to Banff, the drive is already spectacular. You pass through two epic National Parks, Canada’s Glacier and Yoho. Looking out our window, we were almost moved to tears by the majesty of the mountains.
The scenic route from Kelowna to Banff is around 5 hours and 40 minutes and just under 300 miles.
We also made a quick stop in quaint, downtown Revelstoke on our way to Banff. They have an excellent bakery so we picked up a little snack to fuel the end of our journey. Staying overnight in Revelstoke is another option, if you’re making a slower trip.
When you’re driving for hours and hours, it’s always nice to have something interesting to look at out the window. This leg of our trip from Vancouver to Kelowna to Banff definitely provided wonderful changes in scenery to keep us going. If you happen to be planning a similar trip, we highly recommend this route!
Where to stay
In Kelowna, aim for a place near the riverfront parks and Bernard Ave. This 2 bedroom home on Airbnb is ideally located and an amazing value. Sign up for a new Airbnb account with our referral link and you can get $40 off your first booking: Click here to get your Airbnb discount!
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