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July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

Alyth, United...
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July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

Husband and I planning trip for next July, flying to Toronto 3 nights, taking in Niagara Falls flying onto Calgary for 3nights 2 full days at stampede, hiring car for 7/8 days to tour delights of Rockies, keen hikers.

In July we don't want to base ourselves in a couple of towns but would rather move in a big circle to take in the sights, how easy is it to book accommodation in private properties nearer to the time or as we drive as it will be peak season? If we base ourselves we will always to repeating bits of the journey.

Park prices for 2 is it better at a daily rate or annual pass for 7/8 days?

Calgary stampede, would like to spend to days taking in rodeo and chuck wagons, stampedes website not show prices at moment but I know tickets are available from 1st October, can anyone give us ideas on prices must sees in Calgary?

Niagara Falls in a day using bus, is the boat worth it?

I am reading a lot of info on the forums to gather ideas but would thank you if you could help with advice and information.

SE Ontario
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1. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

For your Toronto and Niagara Falls questions you need to go to those forums. Canadian Rockies and Calgary are a long way away from Toronto & NF.

Jasper, Canada
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2. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

I am unclear what your itinerary is (your "big circle"), so if you could give us either a verbal description, or plot it on www.maps.google.com , we would be able to give you more detailed information.

I'm not sure what you mean by "accommodation in private properties". In the national parks, vacation rental homes are not legal, but there are B&Bs (in Banff) and in Jasper, B&Bs and "private home accommodations" (like B&B - rooms or a suite within a residents' home, but without any breakfast provided) - and when I say "Banff" and "Jasper", I am referring to the townsites in the national parks (not the parks of the same name) ... all private housing in the parks is located in the townsites. Lake Louise is a small visitor services centre with no private housing, so only commercial accommodation there. Outside of the townsites, there are a very few commercial accommodations - cabin resorts and similar, and also several HI wilderness hostels (along the Icefields Parkway, highway 93N), but other than these, you will find accommodations in the townsites, and the rest of the park area is wilderness.

So these development restrictions (designed to preserve the park wilderness) and the fact that there are days' and days' worth of things to do and see from the townsites, make them the logical bases for vacationing in the area. However, if you do want to move along every day, that would be possible too - but again, more details on your overall route and what you would like to do (car-based sightseeing, hiking?) would enable us to give you better info.

You can find Banff B&Bs (as well as hotels, cabins etc.) at www.banfflakelouise.com and Jasper B&Bs and PHAs at www.stayinjasper.com .

July is peak season, so advance reservations are recommended. If you don't reserve ahead, you run the risk of not finding accommodation to your liking or within the budget range of your choice. If you are not picky or don't have particular needs/wants, or if you have a flexible budget, "winging" it would be fine, although it would be adviseable to arrive and be looking for your accommodation earlier in the day, rather than later. Another consideration in regards to booking ahead or not, especially with smaller accommodation operations like B&Bs, guest houses, or PHAs is that many of them have minimum stay requirements, typically 2 nights, but some are in high enough demand that they set 3 or more nights as their minimum. However, here in Jasper at least, the more modest PHAs, especially the ones with a bathroom shared between two guest rooms, are in less demand. Here in Jasper, there is a PHA daily vacancy report posted at the Visitor Centre, with courtesy phones provided - this, or the online vacancy report at the site mentioned earlier, would be your best bet for booking single night stays, or last minute, at PHAs.

If the tiny hamlet (pop. 300) of Field, BC is part of your plans and you want to stay in private guest house or B&B accommodation there, I would definitely book ahead - there are not very many. www.field.ca

Park passes come either as a daily pass, or an annual pass. If you will be 7 or more days in the park, the annual pass is cheaper. A daily pass is valid until 4 pm the next day. So once you have your itinerary set, you can figure out how many days you will be in the national parks, and do the calculations. Any of the national park web sites have a list of the fees. www.pc.gc.ca/banff www.pc.ca/jasper www.pc.gc.ca/yoho

Edited: 1:43 pm, August 15, 2013
Alyth, United...
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3. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

When I said a big circle, I meant to start off driving from Calgary to Canmore, Banff, Moraine Lake, Lake Louise area hikes, Yoho, Icefield Parkways, Jasper, we really enjoy walking up to 30km. We want to enjoy the splendour of the countryside in the countryside and not always sitting in the car. Driving must be done, possibly up to 200k a day? but we also want to enjoy being in the great outdoors. Allhelp greatly appreciated.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

For your Niagara question: yes you can do it in a day by bus as long as you do not plan on packing in too much while you are there...the boat, Maid of the mist, though under a new provider next year is worth it...

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

I think you will find the shape of your travels more of a I shape than a circle route. You could consider splitting your nights primarily between Banff and Jasper and break off sideways at the foot of the I for Yoho National Park (Field) and at the top of the I for Mt. Robson Provincial Park. Doing a circle route would involve going well into BC west on Hwy 16, then south to Kamloops on Hwy 5, then east to Lake Louise on Hwy 1. Doing the shaft of the I in both directions would be a special bonus. That part between Lake Louise and Jasper is called the Icefields Parkway. Many people take a very full day to see the points of interest along that route. Here is a map of your destinations with the locations listed in the sidebar to the left and with the driving times.

http://goo.gl/maps/TBFem

We have so much here in the way of N-S mountain ranges, that the roads are few and run down the N-S valleys between peaks.

You will indeed be able to be in the great outdoors. Here is a map showing the points of interest on the Icefields Parkway. Click open the PDF link underneath the image you will see for a better map rendition.

pc.gc.ca/eng/…visit38.aspx

Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

Typed a long response for you last night while waiting for dinner to cook... and lost it by inadvertantly hitting my browser's "back" button ;-P , so here's another try...

If you can hike 30 km in a day, you will be able to cover some spectacular areas! Most "moderate" hikes are 10 - 15 km, with 300 to 700 m of elevation gain, but you can loop some trails together (Lake Louise's Plain of Six Glaciers/Big Beehive/Lake Agnes or Moraine Lake's Eiffel Lake/Wenkchemna Pass/Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass) or do some longer routes that are more often overnight trips (such as Molar Pass or North Molar Pass, near Bow Lake).

So, if I am understanding you correctly, you want to avoid any backtracking as you go, and prefer out-of-town accommodation - ? With that in mind, here are a few comments about accommodation in the places you have listed. Do keep in mind, with out-of-town accommodations, that there is often only one on-site option for dining. In some cases, they are notable (have heard wonderful things about both Storm Mountain Lodge and Baker Creek Chalets...) but in others, it's more "captive market" pricing and quality. The restaurant reviews section here on TripAdvisor should be helpful in that regard.

Canmore - I don't know this area really well. There are a number of B&Bs in town, and some vacation rentals too (also timeshares). Some vacation rentals are legit (legal, as per town zoning laws); some are not. There are also outlying areas, Harvie Heights and Dead Man's Flats (but am not sure what is there in terms of accommodation), and I have heard "Banff Gate Resort" mentioned here on the forums, although I am not clear what its location is. Mt. Engadine Lodge may appeal to you.

Banff - there are B&Bs in town. Outside the townsite, there are a number of cabin accommodations, all listed on www.banfflakelouise.com - Storm Mountain Lodge, Johnston Canyon Cabins, Castle Mountain Chalets, Baker Creek Chalets are a few.

Moraine Lake - the only accommodation there is Moraine Lake Lodge, a luxury lodge.

Lake Louise - the only accommodation at the lake is the gigantic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. A short distance away is Deer Lodge, and about 1 km from the lake is Paradise Lodge. The rest of the accommodation is in the "village", in the valley adjacent to the highway.

Yoho - there are a number of guest houses as well as a hostel in the very small hamlet (pop. 300) of Field, BC. Other accommodations in the park are Emerald Lake Lodge (a luxury lodge) and Cathedral Mountain Chalets. www.field.ca

Icefield Parkways - aside from various campgrounds and the HI wilderness hostels, there are four accommodations along the Icefields Parkway: Num-ti-jah Lodge (Bow Lake), The Crossing "Resort" (ahem, motel) at Saskatchewan Crossing, Glacierview Inn (upstairs in the Columbia Icefields visitor centre) and Sunwapta Falls Lodge (at Sunwapta Falls, 55 km south of Jasper townsite).

I have never stayed there, but am intrigued by the history as well as the location, and it sounds to me like Num-ti-jah Lodge may be your "cup of tea". There are also some great hikes nearby - Helen Lake, Cirque Peak, as well as the Mosquito Creek/(North) Molar Pass trail.

Jasper - there are a number of outlying accommodations, including Beckers Chalets and Jasper House Bungalows just south of town on the Icefields Parkway, Patricia Lake Bungalows, Pyramid Lake Lodge, Alpine Village, Tekarra Lodge, Pine Bungalows, Pocahontas Bungalows and Miette Hot Springs Bungalows. Since Pocahontas Bungalows sits right beside the busy TransCanada/Yellowhead highway #16, I would not recommend it for a peaceful experience... there is lots of large truck traffic 24/7/365, since this route is one of the three major transportation corridors that crosses the Rockies.

I would suggest backtracking from Jasper back to Calgary (a five hour drive), or you can split the drive back, stopping overnight in Banff, Canmore of Lake Louise. You could also make a loop by heading west from Jasper, down to Kamloops and then east back to Banff and then Calgary - but with only 7 days and having said you are "keen hikers", I would concentrate instead on the "I" route as described by Mufti.

Another website that may be helpful for B&B/PHA/guest house accommodations is www.bbcanada.com - it's a national directory, so includes Canmore, Banff, Field and Jasper.

Hope this is helpful!

Edited: 12:16 pm, August 16, 2013
Alyth, United...
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7. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

To krp329 & muftimixandmatch,

Wow that's loads of information and help with how to go about our trip, although its not till next July we really want to make the most of this amazing opportunity to visit Canada, and as its only for 14 days we want to get it right. I have a lot of home work to do with this new information and I will no doubt have more questions! Many thanks for all your help

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

Have you had a chance to browse the Trip Reports that previous visitors have left? You can find them in the Top Questions to the right of this page.

Alyth, United...
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9. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

yes thanks, have been checking out the forum which is a great asset, its just trying to fine tune the trip to our needs

10. Re: July 2014- Scotland to Toronto,Calgary,Rockies,Calgary

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