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Banff vs Yosemeite/Lake Tahoe

North Potomac, MD
4 posts
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Banff vs Yosemeite/Lake Tahoe

I do not know where to post this question, so I am posting here. My husband and I are planning a week;s vacation this summer and we love outdoor activities and natural beauty. We are in our late 40s and have done Zion in Utah and Acadia in Maine over the past few years. We are not sure where to go this summer. We are not campers but do love long walks and moderate hiking, biking, riding and a good dinner and massage etc.Spend time in Banff/Lake Louise or head to Lake tahoe and Yosemite? Any thoughts are appreciated!

Destination Expert
for Seattle
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19,140 posts
108 reviews
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1. Re: Banff vs Yosemeite/Lake Tahoe

I do both as a tour guide so I'll give you my 2 cents worth. Banff and LL are very unique places in the world. While the town of Banff can be quite crowded and touristy once you leave the town it never feels all that crowded. Yosemite you need a tram to go for a walk. It just feels like the whole world is visiting the valley floor at the same time. It doesn't feel all that 'rustic' imho. Lk Tahoe is really beautiful however there isn't a ton to do there once you drive around. The advantage of Lk Tahoe is you can easily spend time in Sacramento, the wine country and do day trip to Virginia City and Reno to see a bit more of the SF area.

I do think the Rockies are much more 'wilderness' and extremely beautiful and there is tons to do in a 5-7 day period.

Vancouver, Canada
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26,692 posts
60 reviews
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2. Re: Banff vs Yosemeite/Lake Tahoe

If you don't already have passports, then you would need to get those to come to Banff; you can visit Yosemite without that extra expense and hassle.

Both places are world class destinations for a reason. Pick the one that calls your heart the strongest. (and you posted in the Banff forum, so we know the answer to that one already. ;) )

Calgary, Canada
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2,148 posts
103 reviews
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3. Re: Banff vs Yosemeite/Lake Tahoe

I found Lake Tahoe nice...especially for skiing, but other then the lake, the "feel" wasnt there for me.

If you have a heathy budget, I think Banff is the no brainer. There are tons of trails, and its not hard at all to avoid the crowds. The is a great feel there...rustic and wild (not including banff!) Banff also has a ton of 3.5 and 4 star accommodations. Rimrock and Banff Springs (4.5 star) are great places to splurge at...with great spas and restaurants. Same goes with Lake Louise...the Chateau is a famous hotel, and has one of the best views in the world, but rooms are average...and NOT cheap. Hikes in this area are awesome...including the tea houses, Moraine Lake, the Ten Peaks, and so much more.

Book early!

Destination Expert
for West Virginia
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2,133 posts
66 reviews
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4. Re: Banff vs Yosemeite/Lake Tahoe

We have been to Yosemite (with Death Valley instead of Lake Tahoe ) and to Banff (with Glacier Natl Park in the US). Both of them were incredible! We went to Banff two years ago, and Yosemite 3, I think. My husband wanted to go back to Banff this year, so we have our plane tickets already. We travel in the fall, so Yosemite wasn't very crowded when we were there. We did not like Banff itself, not really town people, but the national park and ice fields parkway are amazing and not crowded. If you like waterfalls and decide to go to Banff, you should also go over to Tekakkaw in Yoho NP....not a bad drive from Banff, and so easy to get to once you are there.

We spend much of our time hiking, but we are not strong hikers, we just like to walk on the trails.

Here is our trip report from Banff area:


And here is our trip report for Yosemite/Death Valley. (Las Vegas is cheap to fly into and cheap car rental as well).


and the Death Valley part in case that is something you would look at!


Since you live in a border state, thought I'd just add all that!

5. Re: Banff vs Yosemeite/Lake Tahoe

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