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Planning for next summer's family trip

Atlanta GA
posts: 110
reviews: 5
Planning for next summer's family trip

My family (2 teens) is planning to arrive July 26 2014 for 10-11 nights. We have access to a paid-for accommodation (timeshare) in Canmore for up to 7 nights in the beginning. The most economical way would be to just add 2-3 nights in Jasper and the last night in Calgary. However, after reading on TA, I do not think this is the ideal way to see the Rockies. Would it be worthwhile to give up 2 nights in Canmore and add to Jasper or Lake Louise? We will likely stay at a private home in Jasper (hope to find a nice one with kitchen to cut down cost), and wouldn’t mind splurging a couple of nights in LL(Paradise lodge, Cathedral lodge or Bakers Chalet caught my eye) as long as it’s worthwhile for enhancing the trip. Or would it be better to spend all the extra days in Jasper, as we could go to LL while in Canmore?

We like to do many hikes, but not too strenuous (4-5 hrs max). We have been to Swiss Alps (lived in a private chalet in Wengen) and Alaska (RV) in the recent years. We hope this trip will be at least as exciting as those.

12 replies to this topic
Winnipeg
posts: 341
reviews: 26
1. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

If you're looking for a nice two-bedroom, full-kitchen accomodation in Jasper, try Belle's Mountain Chalet. It's a basement suite within a 5 minute walk of a local grocery store and easy walking distance of everything else in Jasper. Be aware that there is a long weekend (August 2-4, 2014)in your time frame, so book your accomodations well in advance

Banff
posts: 15
reviews: 80
2. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

I'd consider your budget, if your accom in Canmore is timeshare based and taken care of, I would likely take the hour to drive from Canmore to your hiking options in Lake Louise. The Canadian Rockies are quite busy and expensive in July. It is only an hour to get from Canmore to Lake Louise village and with hikes of 4-5hrs in duration, you should have plenty of time to get back before nightfall...the days will be long...though it also depends on how much you like driving!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 27,560
reviews: 37
3. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

One advantage of staying in LL for a night is you would be there morning and evening without the crowds from the tour buses. When the tour buses descend on LL and those in cars arrive mid-morning to afternoon, sightseeing at LL might remind you slightly of the "migration" of people after a Hawks game, just more milling around at LL. The alternative to staying there is to arrive at LL early in the morning while there stll are parking spots available and before the buses in order to spend the day.

Atlanta GA
posts: 110
reviews: 5
4. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

Thank you all for letting me know of the long Holiday and crowds at LL. These combined with how hard it is to wake up teenagers in the morning made me lean towards doing 5/3/2 or 5/2/3 in Canmore/LL/Jasper. The additional cost is a concern though, as LL doesn't seem to have private homes as Jasper does (We will surely check out Belle's Mountain Chalet, looks spacious and lovely). Our teens need their own room (spoiled by timeshare), and those rooms at LL are so expensive. Perhaps we should squeeze some money from activity fees, such as no gondola as we have done plenty in Swiss Alps, and no glacier bus as we have walked several glaciers in Alaska. Decision, decision, decision...

The first decision though, is when to book airfare. I see price at $500 now from Atlanta, sounds pretty good to me, but I have no comparison. KAYAK says to BUY with 79% confidence, so I'm thinking of pulling the trigger. Any guess?

Herts England
posts: 144
reviews: 15
5. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

We stayed at Deer Lodge only a 5 min walk from Lakeshore. You could leave teens sleeping and enjoy LL with no crowds! We also drove over from Banff on July27th arriving just before 9 and it was pretty quiet by the Lake...we then headed to Moraine Lake, just staying ahead of the crowds, so parking was OK.. LL was one of the most stunning places we saw and being able to visit at different times of day is a bonus........also more chances of good weather. My itinerary is on my trip report.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g659487-i11598-k…

Edited: 5:41 am, September 14, 2013
Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 11,265
reviews: 80
6. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

Yes, you're right, there are no private home accommodations or B&Bs in Lake Louise. The "village" has almost no permanent residents ... people work there for a year or two or three, and live in staff accommodations. There is no church, school etc. It's not really a town or village, per se, but more a collection of visitor services. Because of the high demand and the short season, accommodations do tend to be expensive there. The HI (Hostelling International) Alpine Centre does have some private rooms, and that might be an option for your family.

As mentioned, Belle's is a nice private home accommodation here in Jasper. You can find them and others, and search for the ones that have a full kitchen, at the Jasper Home Accommodation Association website: www.stayinjasper.com

$500 for airfare sounds good (assuming that is return, with all taxes and fees included?) I haven't flown as far south as Georgia but on my last trip to NC (RDU), where I have a family member living, I paid more than that - and that was four years ago.

Carroll
posts: 28
7. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

I agree. If the $500 for airfare includes taxes, etc., that's reasonable. I haven't flown into Canada but flying from Ohio to Glacier NP this summer we paid about $530 pp. We booked the same route about a week ago for next summer with plans to go to Glacier then on to Banff and were lucky to get it for $464 pp! Since I booked though, it has already gone up considerably! We fly from the eastern US to the west quite often and I feel pretty good if I can pay close to $500 pp.

Atlanta GA
posts: 110
reviews: 5
8. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

In agreement with the insight from you guy's, the airfare inched up $11 since yesterday. I don't want to take any risk and booked the ticket from 7/26 to 8/6. Thanks for making me decisive (which I am definitely not).

So this leaves us with 10 days in addition to the last night at Calgary airport. I think we will do 6 nts Canmore, drive to Jasper on the Friday before the long weekend (hope it won't be too busy yet), stay for 3 nts, and then 1 night at LL, just to experience some of quietness in the evening and morning during this super busy weekend. I am looking into Deer Lodge (the reviews seem to be mixed) and Paradise lodge (great reviews but pricey), both in great location. We will try to book Lake o'hara bus, probably during our stay in Canmore (to have more days to try).

As for Jasper private homes, there are so many nice choices with 2 br and full kitchen. Belle's, Cottonwood, Jasper Mountain Suite and several others. Any opinion?

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 11,265
reviews: 80
9. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

Re Jasper private home accommodations... what area of town do you want to be in? Does it matter?

Atlanta GA
posts: 110
reviews: 5
10. Re: Planning for next summer's family trip

I have no idea as I don't know anything about Jasper yet. Just want to be able to walk to restaurants and shops in 15 min but not too much street noise. Thanks for any suggestions.

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