2 weekend days (21st April) in Banff

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Apr 17th, 2012, 08:59 PM
  #1
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2 weekend days (21st April) in Banff

Hi all. I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death but I'm new here and I don't think I have a lot of time to plan much. A quick business trip is taking me to Calgary on the 24th April which might last 2 days. Since the flights at this last moment are insanely expensive, I plan to arrive in Calgary by 12pm on the 21st (Saturday).

During my casual browsing through the interwebs, I came across the Banff city/National park and the pictures were breathtaking. I'm a nature/outdoorsy person and this immediately appealed to me. Could you please suggest a couple of things I could do on the 21st & 22nd of April. Suggestions on where I could stay the night would be greatly appreciated too. I plan to rent a car from the Calgary airport upon landing on the 21st. Thanks!
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Apr 17th, 2012, 09:03 PM
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Oh,I forgot to mention that I'll be traveling alone and if it matters, I'm 25...
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Apr 17th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Do you downhill ski? There's great spring skiing conditions with close to record snowfall this year:

http://www.skilouise.com/
http://www.skibanff.com/
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Apr 17th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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Ah, thanks for the reply SheeliDawn... Unfortunately, no, I don't ski... Actually, I haven't tried skiing yet... If it's worth the time, I could learn to ski but I think it'll take a great investment of time
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Apr 18th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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This time of year, you won't be able to do any hiking (too much snow), but you may be able to do some snow-shoeing if that appeals. I think you can rent snow-shoes at Chateau Lake Louise and trek around the lake and other trails. If not there, I'm sure there's a number of places in Banff and Canmore where you could rent some.

Other ideas:

Sulphur Mountain Gondola: http://www.explorerockies.com/banff-gondola/

Banff Upper Hot Springs (the reason the park was created): http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/voyage-trave...nff/banff.aspx

View Lake Louise (both the lake and the chateau)
View Banff Springs Hotel (including Bow Falls)
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Apr 18th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Thanks Shelli. Snow-shoeing sounds great. I'll try that, I prefer snow & cold to the heat anyway... I'll look around for snow-shoe rentals. Is it safe to hike alone in these areas? I read your other post about bear encounters, any precautions I should take other than the ones you mentioned? I'm guessing the colder temperatures wouldn't allow me to glimpse the famous turquoise blue waters of the lakes...? How long are the trails/hikes around Lake Louise & Bow falls? I've seen a lot of people talk about them and they're definitely on my list... Also, any suggestions for a good B&B in Banff? Else, I might just stay in Calgary and shuttle up-down...
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Apr 18th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Sorry, I don't have any accommodation recommendations; I live in Calgary and usually do day trips or camping trips in the mountains. However, I would suggest you stay in Banff or Canmore and save yourself the driving to/from Calgary. It's not the longest drive, but with your limited amount of time, it would be a waste. It's shoulder season now so you may be able to get better rates than those that come in the summer or winter.

Yes, all the lakes should still be frozen so, you won't see the colours the lakes are famous for. On the plus side, I think the mountains look their best in winter with all the snow on them.

The bears are just beginning to wake up and there's been a few reports of bear sightings in the last couple of weeks, but shouldn't be too big of a concern.

I'm not that familiar with the snow-shoeing trails as I'm a cross-country skiier myself. Check with the vistors' centre in Banff or Lake Louise; they'll have the latest information on bears and also what shape the trails are in and can advise you which would be good for you.

Hope you have a great weekend!
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Apr 21st, 2012, 06:22 AM
  #8
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Thanks Shelli, I'll check-in with the info centre in Banff first. I came across a tour group called the Great Divide Hikes... Since I'm new & pressed for time, maybe a half-day hike or a snow-shoe hike would be ideal than exploring on my own... I'll decide based on their availability... A grizzly sighting would be awesome though! I'm also looking into staying at Canmore using airbnb, I don't have anything concrete yet but something should work out... Bummer that the lakes would be frozen though, hopefully they'll thaw/melt out to give me a peek for the weekend I'll come back and post my experience once I'm through... Thanks for your advise and help...
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