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Trip Report Canadian Rockies Trip Report:

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We just returned from a fabulous visit to the Canadian Rockies. Last year, while hiking the Grand Canyon with our friends, my husband and I suggested a trip to Lake Louise/Jasper. We had hiked there in 2004 and really wanted to return. We try to find a new vacation destination each trip--there are so many places we haven't been to--but we were truly awed with the beauty of the mountains, lakes, canyons.

Two couples, were able to join us. My husband and I feel lucky to have such fun friends to travel with. You have to be really picky when choosing travelling companions--good friends don't necessarily make good travel buddies.

We flew into Calgary on Tues. 9/9, arriving at 11:30 p.m. and rented a minivan from Dollar--$156/week with $70 for the extra driver. We actually had 2 full size cars reserved for the 6 of us. They offered us the minivan for the same price. We made sure that the van would hold all our luggage--none of us packed light. This worked out so much better than 2 cars. I had worried that one car would be too crowded and I couldn't find a minivan under $550 for the week.

We drove 2 miles to the Sandman Calgary Airport Hotel. Prepaid reservation from Skoosh $132US inc. tax/7 day cancellation. I found this using www.kayak.com and worried because I had never heard of Skoosh. I googled Skoosh and found an MSNBC article noting it as a reputable travel site with good values.

I requested that our room not be on the ground floor since I had read some reviews on Tripadvisor that mentioned noise. We all had ground floor rooms--the hotel was sold out.

I would recommend this hotel. Good location, clean. We did not have any noise.

The next morning we were off to the mountains. Brilliant blue skies. We stopped in Banff for an early lunch at Coyote Cafe, stopped at the grocery store, bought beer and wine, and were off to Lake Louise.

What a welcome! We walk down to the lake from the parking lot and were greeted with the spectacular sight of Lake Louise in all her glory--it was a picture postcard day.

We headed for th Plain of Six Glaciers Trail, stopping along the way for pictures--beautiful trail. On our last visit, we did the Lake Agnes/Beehives/Six Glacier Trail loop. Great hike--hated climbing the Beehives, but the view was wonderful. We never got to Lake Agnes this year though---I love that spot and wanted our friend to see it. Just have to return someday.

We checked into Paradise Lodge and Bungalows. We had the smallest accommodations, the Wilson Cabins with their 3 nt. hiker special. Lake Louise is expensive--$227CAN/7 nt. cancellation. We loved it here, great location, wonderful view of the mountains out the back of property.

Happy hour and then dinner at the Outpost, the casual restaurant at the rear of the Post Hotel. Great atmosphere and very good dinners.

We love Lake Louise.

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