One day, you decide to take a trip from Toronto to Vancouver. You’ve never been on the road before and are not sure what you’re looking for along the way but want advice about where to go in Canada.
The “driving from toronto to vancouver without entering us” is a road trip that will take you through the United States and Canada.
A road trip from Toronto to Vancouver spans virtually the entire length of North America, from the beaches of Lake Ontario to the coast through the Strait of Georgia, passing through breathtaking woods, mountain ranges, and national parks along the route.
It takes at least 40 hours to drive 4,300 kilometers from Toronto to Vancouver. Lake Michigan, Great Falls, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone National Park are among the highlights, as are Gary, Seattle, Montana, Rapid City, and Banff.
This is a really spectacular journey with a plethora of sights to see along the road, so be sure to read all the way to the end to learn more about them – as well as where to stay and when to go.
What is the distance between Vancouver and Toronto, and how long will it take to get there?
Road trip routes between Toronto and Vancouver are compared.
|Route||Distance||Time to Drive|
|The Straight Path||4,550 kilometres (2,826 miles)||42 hours|
|Route of the Lakes||4,465 kilometers (2,787 miles)||45 hours|
|The Canadian Highway||4,380 kilometers (2,720 miles)||45 hours|
A road drive from Toronto to Vancouver is a really epic adventure that takes at least 40 hours and covers a minimum of 4,330 kilometers (2,700 miles).
To put the distance into perspective, your trip might take you through up to five Canadian provinces and eleven US states.
It goes without saying that this is a tour that has to be spread out over many days in order to make the most of the stops. We suggest allowing at least a week to finish the route, which equates to little about 6-hours of driving every day.
However, depending on whatever route you choose and how many things you want to see along the way, this excursion might easily be stretched out over two weeks.
Because all of our suggested itineraries (save our Canadian-only tour) require crossing the border from Canada to the United States, be sure you have the proper papers and identity. Always check closer to the deadline for the most up-to-date criteria.
One of the numerous points of interest on this road journey is Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, which offers a magnificent perspective.
From Toronto to Vancouver, the best road trip route
A road trip from Toronto to Vancouver is an extraordinary experience that can be approached in a variety of ways. There are so many alternative route choices, in fact, that we’ve started three new excursions for you to choose from.
Despite offering very different routes, our three options more or less cover the same amount of miles, with The Straight Path being the quickest and taking just 42 hours of non-stop driving to complete.
That said, the quickest might not be the best. Route of the Lakes offers a great opportunity to take in the rarely visited upper peninsula and all five of the Great Lakes. Meanwhile if you’d prefer to stay within Canada, our final route options offers fantastic views of Manitoba and Alberta.
If you choose Route of the Lakess you’ll get the opportunity to visit Chicago, a city famed for its bold architecture.
The Straight Path
Follow Highway 401 west until it meets with Highway 3 and enters the United States. Once you’ve crossed the border, travel I-96 through Detroit until you reach I-94 west.
You’ll take this route all the way to Gary, Indiana, near the southern tip of Lake Michigan, where you could consider stopping for the night before continuing west on the I-90.
Because you’ll be spending the majority of the following 3, 425 kilometers (2,128 miles) on the I-90, the next leg of your travel will be exceedingly simple, but also quite lengthy. Consider a visit to the Lake Traverse or Pine Ridge Reservations, as well as an overnight stay in Rapid City.
A important diversion after you get at Ranchester is Yellowstone National Park. To get there, take US-14 west out of town, towards the Wyoming-Montana border, and continue it to the park.
Simply continue US-191 north until you re-join I-90 and drive through the Kootenai National Forest before landing in Seattle after your stay. Take I-5 north to the Canadian border, where it will become Highway 99, which will take you all the way to Vancouver.
Route of the Lakes
Our second route takes us through all five Great Lakes and via Michigan’s stunning upper peninsula, which is seldom visited.
Set off west on Highway 401 once again, but this time change to Highway 402 outside of London to cross the border into America. Then take I-94 for a short distance before changing to I-69 and passing through Flint Township, Michigan, before connecting I-75 north.
Continue on this road until you reach the Mackinac Bridge, a 26,372-foot long bridge that links the upper peninsula to the lower peninsula. There’s a lot to see in this stretch of the road, so take a break and visit some of the neighboring sites.
From here, go west on US-2 to Blaney Park before heading north on M-77 to Seney. Then follow M-28 west for a long time until it rejoins US-2 in Wakefield. Visit Ottawa National Forest, midway between Seney and Floodwood, from this stretch.
Continue west until you reach Floodwood, where you’ll transfer on MN-200 and go through several charming communities before turning south on MN-34. You’ll travel 110 kilometers (68 miles) to Detroit Lakes, which is noted for its fishing lakes.
Next, take US-10 west to Fargo, North Dakota, where you may take a diversion to Sheyenne National Grassland. Once in North Dakota, re-join I-94 and continue it to Glendive, Montana, for a total distance of 625 kilometers (388 miles).
Take exit 211 for MT-200S and continue it all the way to the end. Turn left in Circle onto MT-200 and continue west to Grass Range, where it will connect with US-87.
Just south of Great Falls, the route will join with US-89, providing another excellent overnight stay option. After there, take the route to Browning, just outside Glacier National Park, before rejoining US-2 and heading west to just north of Seattle.
From here, it’s just a question of traveling north on I-5 and following it all the way to Vancouver after it becomes Highway 99 and crosses the Canadian border.
Driving into Vancouver is a tremendous delight; this amazing city has so much to offer and so much to see and do.
The Canadian Highway
If you are less interested in seeing American sights, our last option enables you to complete the adventure without ever leaving Canada.
Take Highway 400 north until it meets the Trans-Canada Highway outside of Nobel. Consider taking a detour to Algonquin Provincial Park and La Verendrye Wildlife Reserve from here.
Continue north on Highway 17 for around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) until they split at Nipigon, at which point you should continue on 17 to Thunder Bay and consider visiting Wabakimi Provincial Park, which has beautiful lakes and animals.
When you reach the provincial boundary, the route becomes Trans-Canada Highway 1, which you’ll follow through Manitoba and Alberta, going via Winnipeg and Riding Mountain National Park, as well as Calgary and Banff National Park. All are deserving of a visit.
Keep driving on Highway 1 until you reach Kamloops, British Columbia. From here, travel Highway 5 south through North Cascades National Park until it connects with Trans-Canada Highway 1, which will take you the rest of the way to Vancouver.
If you choose The Canadian Highway then your trip will pass the Riding Mountain National Park, a beautiful wild landscape.
Between Toronto and Vancouver, the Best Places to Stop
Depending on the route you choose and how many days you decide to spend traveling from Toronto to Vancouver, there are a plethora of cities, small villages, and intriguing things to see.
These are our best picks for each route out of all the amazing locations to see along the journey.
Discover and relax at Rapid City.
If you have chosen The Straight Path, then Rapid City is an absolute must stop. This beautiful city, surrounded by some of the most amazing locations in the country, is about halfway from Vancouver and perfectly positioned to visit some spectacular attractions.
Former presidents’ distinctive and stunning faces may be seen at Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination in the United States.
From Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monuments, to national parks and historic towns, Rapid City is a location you could spend weeks at and still not have seen everything this South Dakota city has to offer. An absolutely idyllic place to stop and explore the landscape surrounding Rapid City is Black Forest Inn Bed & Breakfast. Just 35 minutes drive from Rapid City and only 10 minutes from Sheridan Lake Marina, this hotel is set within beautiful ground and includes free parking.
After a long trip, you’ll find it difficult not to rest and decompress in rooms with oak ceilings that give the feeling of a beautiful hideaway, balconies, and spa tubs. There’s also a hot tub, a friendly lounge, and lovely grounds to explore. This hotel nicely blends elegance with a fantastic location.
Great Falls has a lot to offer.
If you’re taking Route of the Lakes to Vancouver instead, Great Falls is another delightful community that benefits from its beautiful surroundings and is a great place to spend the night.
Make a trip to Glacier National Park for breathtaking beauty; you will not be disappointed.
Great Falls, located around 800 miles from the finish of the journey, is not only a great place to stop after a long drive, but it’s also a great place to see places like the Lewis and Clark National Forest, Glacier National Park, and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Staying at the Heritage Inn is an excellent decision since there are so many lovely places around. The Heritage Inn is a hotel with a historic decor and contemporary facilities, including an indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub, as well as free parking and a restaurant. There’s also a casino for individuals who want to have some fun.
This hotel in Great Falls enables you to get into the spirit of your surroundings without compromising the conveniences you’ll need after a long road journey.
Banff will take your breath away.
Our Canadian Route includes numerous wonderful overnight stops, including Calgary, but our top choice has to be Banff, which is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Banff, Canada, contains mountains and lakes and is one of the most stunning places to shoot.
Banff is a place full of stunning lakes, wide woods, and snow-covered mountain peaks that will make you feel like you’re living in a movie. It’s located in the Rocky Mountains and is just over a day’s drive from Vancouver.
Banff, which is surrounded by national and provincial parks, is a must-see destination for anybody who enjoys wildlife or beautiful landscape at any time of year.
With your surroundings in mind, a stay at the Royal Canadian Lodge is the ideal way to cap up your trip. There is no better way to feel like Canadian royalty than to stay at this luxurious hotel, which has an indoor mineral swimming pool and spa facilities.
The beautiful vaulted ceiling of the lounge room, replete with blazing fire and mountain background, is just as remarkable as the wonderful setting at the Royal Canadian Lodge. While this is a pricey alternative, it is impossible to beat a stay at this magnificent hotel.
What To See On A Road Trip From Toronto To Vancouver
Given the distance and travel possibilities between Toronto and Vancouver, there are many beautiful, historical, and cultural attractions to see along the way.
You could easily spend more than a month seeing them all, but if you’re short on time, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best:
On at least two routes
- The Great Lakes are the world’s biggest set of freshwater lakes by area, consisting of Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie in that order. All routes travel through at least three, with Route of the Lakes passing through all five.
- Seattle, Washington (Reuters) – The state’s biggest and most populated city, accessible through either American route, is famed for its world-famous space needle and for being the origin of grunge music.
Seattle is the biggest city in Washington, and from here you can view Mount Rainier in the distance.
The Straight Path
- Detroit, Michigan – The state’s biggest and most populous city, recognized globally for its automotive sector heritage and for being the origin of the Motown music style.
- Chicago, Illinois is the most populous city in Illinois and the third most populated in the United States.
- Wall Drug – A wild west-themed tourist attraction containing stores, restaurants, and a drug store, among other things. It also has an art gallery and a Brontosaurus sculpture to illustrate the area’s history.
- Badlands National Park is a nearly 1,000-square-kilometer (621-mile) national park known for its ancient sites, fossils, fauna, and spectacular rock formations.
- Rapid City is the state of South Dakota’s second biggest city.
- Wind Cave National Park is known for its uncommon and distinctive boxwork and frostwork formations and is one of the world’s longest cave systems.
- Bear Country USA is a drive-through wildlife park where you may observe black bears and a variety of other animals in their natural environment.
- Deadwood is the biggest wild west town that is still in business today.
- The Sturgis Motorcycle Festival is the world’s biggest motorcycle rally, occurring annually on the first weekend in August and celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020.
- Crazy Horse Monument – When finished, this monument honoring the famed Native American war leader will be one of the world’s biggest sculptures.
- Mount Rushmore is a world-famous monument in South Dakota that has the faces of previous presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt carved into the Black Hills.
- Devils Tower is a well-known butte that has appeared in art and culture for decades.
- The Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark is located in the Bighorn National Forest, which was one of the first regions in the nation to be declared as protected lands.
- Yellowstone National Park is America’s oldest and most renowned national park, as well as the second biggest in the contiguous United States. It spans three states and is home to a diverse range of species, natural beauty places, and historic sites.
The spectacular rock formations of Badlands National Park are well-known.
Route of the Lakes
- Mackinaw City, Michigan – This historic city, located on the northern point of Michigan’s lower peninsula and directly across the lake from Mackinac Island, is a popular tourist destination.
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The only national park in the country named after a person, this park honors Theodore Roosevelt for helping to establish the national park system as we know it today on properties he personally ranched on.
- Great Falls, Montana is the state’s third most populous city.
- The Lewis and Clark National Forest is a beautiful, expansive forest with plenty of animals, named after America’s two most renowned explorers.
- Glacier National Park is a national park near the Canadian border recognized for its diverse variety of animal species as well as natural features such rivers, lakes, and the glaciers from which it gets its name.
The Canadian Highway
- Pukaskwa National Park is a lovely national park on Lake Superior’s northern coast, famed for its woods, animals, and breathtaking vistas.
- Isle Royale National Park is the biggest island on Lake Superior and the least visited national park in the contiguous United States. It’s known for its many shipwrecks, collection of smaller adjacent islands, and peculiar wolf-moose interaction.
- Winnipeg, Manitoba – Manitoba’s capital and most populated city. For its connection with the railroad and being the final major city before reaching Calgary, it is known as Canada’s gateway to the west.
- Calgary, Alberta – Calgary is the biggest and most populated city in Alberta, as well as the fourth most populous in Canada.
- Banff – The oldest national park in Canada and the continent’s second oldest (behind Yellowstone), Banff lies high in the Rocky Mountains and is known across the globe for being one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet.
From the shores of Great Lake Superior, the magnificent Pukaskwa National Park in Canada.
When is the best time to travel from Toronto to Vancouver?
A road journey from Toronto to Vancouver is such a big task that you’ll want to plan every aspect down to the last detail, including choosing the best time to go.
Because Canada is known for being cold, especially from November to March when average lows are 36 degrees, and many of the sites along the route are outside, it’s critical to go when the weather is at its finest.
With that in mind, the best time to go is between the months of July and August. Highs in Vancouver range from 70 to 86 degrees, making them the hottest months of the year. Despite this, it does not become too hot, giving it a pleasant atmosphere in which to travel.
If you visit Vancouver outside of the summer, you will find that it has plenty to offer. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs from late March to mid-April, allows visitors to see the gorgeous pink blooms that line the streets. Along with the traditional Japanese holidays, there are also art activities.
If you like music, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival is one of the city’s most popular summer events. This event, which takes place in late June and early July, takes over the city for 12 days and attracts artists from all over the globe.
However, keep in mind that hotels are likely to be crowded and at a premium throughout the summer months, particularly during major festival weeks, so plan accordingly and book before.
The “toronto to vancouver road trip reddit” is a travel blog that discusses the best ways to get from Toronto to Vancouver. This blog also has some good tips on how to save money and make it easier on your wallet.
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