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Rockies Tour

Toronto
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Rockies Tour

Hi,

I am planning a trip to the Banff/Jasper area for a week (ending in Banff) and was wondering where should I start (after I pick up a car in Calgary), where should I go, what should I do, where should I sleep, etc. In a nutshell - a basic from which I can start.

Thanks!

Calgary, Alberta...
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3,855 posts
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1. Re: Rockies Tour

Hello seder,

When will you be coming to the area? It makes a difference whether or not the lakes are thawed, for example. Also, the time of day at which you'll land and the time of day at which your trip will end make a difference. In the case of a person taking off from Calgary, a noon flight means they can spend their last night in the mountains whereas a morning flight means they have to spend their last night in Calgary.

You've said your trip will end in Banff, which is unusual. Perhaps you'll be attending a conference after sight seeing or perhaps you'll be catching the Rocky Mountaineer train to Vancouver.

Also, when you say a week, does that mean 7 days? Does the day on which you land count as Day #1?

Do you like to drive, look at scenery, stop at scenic lookout points, and do a few short walks? Do you like hiking? Would you be interested in other outdoor activities like whitewater rafting and horseback riding?

When you ask where you should sleep, do you want us to suggest in which towns you should stay and how much time you should consider spending in them, or would you welcome suggetions regarding accommodation?

If you want suggestions regarding accommodation, what is your price range? Are you interested in large hotels, small inns, chalets, or bed & breakfast establishments?

The more context you can provide for us, the more useful our suggestions can be.

Toronto
13 posts
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2. Re: Rockies Tour

Hi Judie,

I thought about arriving on May 23, around noon to Calgary Airport and then proceed. I have to end the tour in Banff due to a conference (28-20). I assume I'll be touring Banff also while the conference takes place.

I guess that the best two places to sleep in are Banff and Jasper and to use them as bases for touring around them.

I am looking for rather modest places to spend the night, mainly in terms of cost.

I assume hiking is an important part of the Rockies experience so that is certainly something I will be doing.

Thanks!

Toronto
13 posts
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3. Re: Rockies Tour

Sorry - Judy. oops.

Calgary, Alberta...
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3,855 posts
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4. Re: Rockies Tour

Hi Seder,

I suggest the following:

May 23 - Land in Calgary. Drive past Banff to Lake Louise or a half hour further west, to the hamlet of Field, British Columbia. Consider staying at Lake Louise Inn or at a B&B in Field.

Instead of staying on the TransCanada Highway (Hwy #1) between Banff and Lake Louise, turn off onto the Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy #1A), and walk into Johnston Canyon, at least till the Lower Falls.

Assume half an hour for getting your luggage off the carousel, since you'll be coming from Toronto and won't need to clear immigration and customs. Assume 3 hours to drive from Calgary to Lake Louise, not counting stops. Assume an hour to walk to the Lower Falls and back at Johnston Canyon. Even if you take an extra hour to stop and have an afternoon snack somewhere, e.g., Banff townite, you should easily make it to Lake Louise by dinnertime.

Spend the 24th and 25th exploring the Lake Louise / Moraine Lake area (assuming the road to Moraine Lake will have just opened for the season, which I'm guessing it will have done). You can also do a triangular drive from Lake Louise westwards through Yoho National Park to Golden, BC, then south to Radium Hot Springs, then northeast through Kootenay National Park, and back to Lake Louise again. Include a stop at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. I believe it will have thawed by then. Ask the park wardens at the tourist information office in Lake Louise village for their recommendations regarding hikes that are reasonably clear of snow and accessible.

On the 26th drive up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. It may be touch and go as to whether or not you can get into the parking lot to view Peyto Lake. I believe you have a good chance of doing so. Consider riding a Snocoach onto the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefields. Stop to look at Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls. I don't know how accessible hikes along the Icefields Parkway, e.g., Parker Ridge will be at that time of year.

Jasper has several home accommodations (like bed & breakfast establishments, but without breakfast). It also has several true B&Bs (that include breakfast). You can earch for them here:

http://www.discoverjasper.com/WheretoStay/

On the 27th, you could ride the tramway up Whistlers Mountain. After that you could walk in Maligne Canyon. Finally you could drive to Maligne Lake and, if the lake is thawed, take the cruise across it to Spirit Island. I believe Maligne Lake will be thawed by then.

I'm guessing you need to register for your conference on the evening of the 28th. If that's so, you can take a leisurely drive back down the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise and then turn southeast to Banff. Jasper to Banff nominally takes 4 hours, but you could stretch it out by stopping at scenic lookout points and doing walks that you'd missed on the way up.

Going up the Sulphur Mountain gondola just outside Banff townsite is a good thing to do. You most likely would have time to do it after arriving in Banff and before registering for the conference.

My website has more information on the area, as well as links to other websites that provide heap and heaps of information:

…msn.com/CalgaryandCanadianRockiesTravelTips/

Hope that helps.

Toronto
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5. Re: Rockies Tour

Hi Judy,

That is incredible!

Thank you so much.

Dan

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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6. Re: Rockies Tour

Hi Judy,

The Discover Jasper website has a lot of good information about Jasper, but their listings for home accommodations and B&Bs are incomplete and very out of date. Many of the home accommodations or B&Bs listed have been out of business for five or six years or more!

For complete and accurate listings, the Jasper Home Accommodation Association website is the place to go - www.stayinjasper.com. All the homes listed there are government inspected and licensed. Another site with good info is B&B Canada at www.bbcanada.com. This directory is across Canada, including the Rockies. For Banff and Canmore, the Canmore Bow Valley B&B Association website is at www.bbcanmore.com.

Calgary, Alberta...
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3,855 posts
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7. Re: Rockies Tour

>>>>>>The Discover Jasper website has a lot of good information about Jasper, but their listings for home accommodations and B&Bs are incomplete and very out of date. Many of the home accommodations or B&Bs listed have been out of business for five or six years or more!<<<<<<

Thanks for the heads up, krp329. I just got the site by doing a Google search. I'll bookmark the better sites that you recommended.