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7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

Batemans Bay...
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7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

Hi We will be flying into Vancouver in early September and spending 4 nights. At this stage we plan to fly from Vancouver to Calgary and hire a car to drive direct to Banff spending 3 nights. Drive to Jasper for 3 nights then 1 night in Lake Louise before driving back to Calgary for flight to Vegas that evening. I have 1 extra night and not sure where to spend it and would appreciate any suggestions. Do we add an extra night to one of these locations or is there somewhere in between that we should consider? We enjoy scenic easy to moderate walks, sight seeing, nature, culture, eating and drinking!

Batemans Bay...
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11. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

Thanks for those tips. We were already a little worried about driving in the Rockies before reading that!. Now I'm more so! I think we will plan to be up and about early everywhere we go to avoid the crowds and traffic, or alternatively do our sightseeing in the afternoon. Perhaps spend time in and around the towns through the day, or make sure we have already arrived and are on some walks during the peak times.

Vancouver, Canada
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12. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

No need to worry. Most of these roads are wide and easy driving. There's a few narrow tracks to some of the featured sights, which can get a bit sticky with the tour busses, but I'd still say the road to Jenolan Caves is worse!

Calgary, Canada
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13. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

Vacouverite is right - most roads are just fine. It sometimes takes some patience to get around the towns, but that's mostly to do with lots of pedestrians who aren't always looking where they're going.

Takkakaw is probably the trickiest road, and it's fine in a regular car or SUV if you obey the speed limit. It's just getting stuck behind the slow buses that can be irritating.

Most places there's lot of space, so the crowds thin out quickly. I like to get an early start for hiking, but in September it shouldn't be too busy on the trails or in towns. Not quiet by any means, but not the summertime hordes either. You should have a great time!

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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14. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

The busiest time of day at popular sites and attractions is between approx. 11 am and 3 pm, so if you are wanting to avoid the crowds, go early, or go late. "Crowds" are relative, though. There are only a few places in the Canadian Rockies where you will find crowds at peak times of the day, such as the shoreline of Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Johnston Canyon and the Bow Summit/Peyto Lake viewpoint. The towns tend to be quiet during mid-day, when all the visitors head out in all directions but mornings and late afternoon/evenings are busy. Parking can be hard to find in Banff, but the town if compact and walkable, and there is also a local transit system, so leave your car at the hotel and either walk downtown or take the "Roam" bus. Jasper can be a bit confusing at first because one of the main streets downtown is a one-way street but once you have learned your way around, that shouldn't be a problem. It is even smaller than Banff... the entire downtown area is two blocks long, and two blocks wide.

Late September is actually one of the very busiest times of the year for hiking in the Moraine Lake area, due to "larch fever" ... Parks Canada ran shuttle buses there this year on a couple of weekends and asked people to avoid driving there. At times during the larch season, when all the parking is taken at the lake and cars are parked down the road on both sides, the road is closed to further traffic. But if I understand correctly, your timing is earlier in the month, so this should not be an issue.

Most accommodations in Field have minimum stay requirements so it might be tricky to find someplace to book a one-night stay there. Also, Golden is not much in terms of a destination town... there is lots to do in the surrounding area (which is beautiful), but the town itself has not yet developed as a resort town. Most of the hotels are up on the highway bypass, which is visually rather unappealing and other than the sight of the surrounding mountains, could be just about anywhere in Canada (many towns and cities have a similar "strip" of chain hotels and fast food restaurants on the edge of town). With your short stay, I would recommend adding a night to one of your other stays, rather than adding a single night somewhere new.

Edited: 3:08 am, November 21, 2013
Perth, Australia
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15. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

Will you be skiing quite a bit as well? Might be worth it to spend a day at one of the ski resorts nearby Banff instead of actually staying the whole day inside of banff.

Nanaimo, Canada
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16. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

No skiing in September, not even up in the Rockies. Too early.

Jasper, Canada
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17. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

Yes, conditions permitting, ski season starts in mid-November. We had some unusual weather in mid-September... temperatures up to 34C - !!! The normal weather for that time of year would be highs into the high teens of low twenties. NIghts are cool though, and mornings too.

Batemans Bay...
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18. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

Given all the wonderful suggestions and information I think we will spend the extra night in Banff (4) & stay close enough to town that we can leave the car & walk in to town. I think 4 nights will enable us to take our time with trips around the area. In Jasper we like the idea of staying 5 or 10 mins out of town like Patricia Lake or south of Jasper town for a different experience.

19. Re: 7 nights planned - where to spend an extra night?

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