I have a wedding in Edmonton on a Wed evening in mid June and have to be back in Edmonton by Fri evening (about 8 PM), so we (going with 4 adults and an infant) basically have Thurs morning to Fri evening. I would like to maximize our day and a half and see as much as we can as we have never been to the Canadian Rockies before. I'm are not sure we'll be able to fly out and come back again to spend the week plus required to see all the beautiful parts of the Rockies.
After spending time researching the vast gorgeous hikes and scenic points, I'm overwhelmed, to say the least, at all the things I want us to be able to see, but am not sure what we can realistically do in the short time frame. We are interested in gorgeous views, scenic yet easy (and short) hikes; no musuems or culture for the short duration we have. We would like to drive from Jasper to Lake Louise/ Banff or vice versa to explore the Icefields Parkway, Peyto Lake, Bow Parkway, Maligne Canyon/Lake, Johnston Canyon, Mirror Lake, Athabasca Falls, Lake Louise, Lake Moraine and Mistaya Canyon.
Realistically, I don't see us leaving Edmonton on Thurs morning until 8 or 9 AM due to the wedding the night before. We know there would be a lot of driving, due to Edmonton being the starting and end point at opposed to Calgary. What do you think we can see and do within this short time frame? If we drive from Edmonton to Jasper, it says it takes about 4 hours, so let's say we get there about 1 PM. Since, it gets dark late, like 10:00 PM, would there be enough time to drive down the Icefields Parkway and see the lookouts,with a short hike or two until it gets dark, reaching Banff/Canmore at around 10 PM? It says it's about a 4 hours straight drive from Jasper to Banff/Canmore, but we want to take in the Icefields Parkway and stop by the scenic lookout points, at least a few of the most stunning ones, since we wouldn't have time time for all.
Then Friday morning, we could leave accommodations by 7:30 AM and do what? Drive back up the Icefields Parkway and get to do some lookouts and hikes we didn't get a chance to do on the way there? Or spend time in Banff, some hiking, Cascade Mountain, Kananaskis and driving back up to Calgary to Edmonton? What is a better idea which utilizes our time more wisely and is a little less driving? We will be packing food to eat on the way, so we can spend as much time driving/hiking; not going to eat out.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and for sharing your advice and opinion!!
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