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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Canadian Rockies sigtseeing trip to Lake Louise and Jasper

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My Husband and I would like to take the train from Chicago this Fall if possible to Lake Louise AL CA. Does anyone have recommendations on how to do this? Either that or take Amtrak to Toronto and then go from there. We would like to see The canadian rockies Jasper and the Lake Louise/Baniff areas. Is there a train tour once you get to Lake Louise that does that sort of thing? I have checked into the Rocky Mountaineer and found that particular line to be way out of our budget. We prefer a train ride through the scenery and not rent a car.

Any information at all would be very helpful.

Thank you
B

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    The Rocky Mountaineer is the only train that goes to Lake Louise or Banff. There are no regular passenger rail routes in Southern Alberta or between any of the prairie provinces and the US.

    The Trans-Canada ViaRail route from Toronto to Vancouver passes through Jasper with 2-3 trains per week in each direction. However, the train route goes quickly through the Rockies, not in the Rockies (the mountains run north/south, the train goes across east/west).

    Once in Jasper, you either have to rent a car or take a packaged tour to get anywhere else and to actually really see the Rockies. The Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Lake Louise is considered to be one of the most spectacular drives in North America, if not the world. It's a 'must do', and to only go through Jasper via train would be to miss 99% of the Rockies.

    Essentially, while trains are a great way to see some parts of the world, they are not a good way to see the Rockies. At least part of the trip will be in the dark, you will see only a fraction of scenery and miss the best parts. I strongly suggest doing the Rockies by car or at least taking the train to Jasper and then car from there.

    Also, what do you mean by fall? Be aware that in the Rockies, winter arrives quite early. Peak fall colors - though not as spectacular as those in areas with more deciduous trees - are in mid September to early October, depending on the elevation.

    Our Thanksgiving (mid October) tends to mark the end of the tourist season. By early October, snow is not unusual at all in the higher elevations (it snows year round here!) and November is full on winter. Ski resorts open in late November, conditions depending.

    The trains run even less regularly after mid October. Seasonal roads and attractions start shutting in early to mid October with higher hiking trails starting to be in wintry condition sometime in October to early November.

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