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myomy Jun 18th, 2007 03:28 PM

4 nights to explore Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper area.
We can fly into Calgary and stay there for a special rate, but can we sightsee these areas from there? How much can we see in 4 days, esp. want to see the icefields, all scenery we can fit in. Better to fly into Calgary and spend two nights in two locations closer to Lake Louise, etc.? Thanks!

ShelliDawn Jun 18th, 2007 04:11 PM

It's very doable to see Banff and Lake Louise as day trips from Calgary. Banff is about an hour's drive and Lake Louise is another half hour.

I know people who also done the Columbia Icefields as a daytrip, but it's a very long day. Jasper would be a 4-5 hour drive (without stops) so would not recommend doing it as a day trip from Calgary.

Judy_in_Calgary Jun 18th, 2007 06:39 PM

I agree with ShelliDawn that it is very feasible to do a day trip to Banff and Lake Louise from Calgary.

However, I would not want to use Calgary as a base and do repeated day trips from there (here).

The driving time to Banff depends on your starting point in Calgary. If you were staying at the very western edge of Calgary, it might take an hour to drive to Banff. If you were staying in a fairly central location in Calgary, it would take 1.5 hours to Banff. If you were staying in the northeast quadrant, near the airport, it would take 2 hours.

There is a tremendous amount of construction taking place on many of Calgary' roadways at present, and this is having an effect on driving times.

If you drive the <b><i>exact</i></b> speed limit between Banff and Lake Louise, it takes 39 minutes to get from one to the other. In reality it has often taken us 45 minutes to drive that stretch and sometimes 50 minutes.

So, if you drove back and forth from Calgary, and depending on what your starting point in Calgary was, you could spend between 2 and 6 hours driving every day just to explore the stuff in the Banff / Lake Louise area (never mind Yoho National Park and the southern reaches of the Icefields Parkway, the road that leads to Jasper).

As ShelliDawn said, it would be unrealistic to visit Jasper on day trips from Calgary. But, with only 4 days at your disposal, it might be better to skip Jasper even if you were staying in the Banff / Lake Louise area. There is enough to see in the Banff / Lake Louise / Yoho area to occupy your time. If you were to stay in the Banff / Lake Louise / Yoho area, you could devote one of your days to driving part way up the Icefields Parkway, probably about as far as Sunwapta Falls.

myomy Jun 18th, 2007 07:22 PM

Thanks for the replies. Now, if we stay in Banff area, any recommendations on accomodations for a 60ish couple on a moderate (3*) budget?

Judy_in_Calgary Jun 18th, 2007 08:20 PM

&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;Now, if we stay in Banff area, any recommendations on accomodations for a 60ish couple on a moderate (3*) budget?&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

* Banff Caribour Lodge

* Buffalo Mountain Lodge

* Banff Ptarmigan Inn

* Banff Park Lodge

bob_brown Jun 19th, 2007 06:34 PM

I would certainly stay as close to Lake Louise as possible because you will lose a lot of time commuting. An hour?

Depends on traffic and where from to where to. Certainly not to Lake Louise.

Banff has many more motels and hotels in it than does Lake Louise.

I have been there several times and always enjoy it, but commuting between the two has not been something I wanted to do.

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