7 days in the Rockies

Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 10:57 AM
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7 days in the Rockies

My 17 year old son and I will be visiting Calgary, Bampf and Jasper for 7days/8nights in late June. Is this a reasonable amount of time to see this area? We don't sit around much but enjoy hiking, other nature activities, historical sites and museums.
Any suggestions re: length of stay and itinerary would be appreciated.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 11:23 AM
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2 1/2 weeks in the Rockies wasn't long enough for my husband and me! But, yes, I think that you could divide your time between the two towns, depending on your interests, with a plenty of time alloted for hiking and sightseeing the Icefield Parkway. We most enjoyed the Lake Louise/Yoho/Icefield Parkway area for hiking, but saw the most wildlife on late-day drives near Jasper.

I'll bet your son would love whitewater rafting. There are a number of rivers to run of various difficulty and manyoutfitters; we rafted the Kicking Horse River near Yoho/Field and absolutely loved it!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 12:59 PM
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i'd plan on basing yourself in banff for 4 nights and travel from there for hikes around banff/lake louise. the hike up to the tea house at lake louise is suppose to be nice. then head off for jasper for 3 nights returning to banff for the last one so that your close to calgary for your return.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:17 PM
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Hi Stillhouse, you mentioned historical sites and museums as well as hiking and nature. While you could use Calgary as a base for visiting the Royal Tyrrell Museum (dinosaurs) in Drumheller and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump interpretive centre near Fort Macleod, each of those essentially is a full day trip from Calgary. Consequently, in the time you'll have available it really won't be feasible to do history / museums AND do hiking / nature. Much as I love both aspects, as you apparently do, if I was forced to make a choice I would vote in favour of hiking / nature. I agree with the advice you've already received to do the activities available in the Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper areas. I suggest you use Calgary only as a place to fly into and out of.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 06:29 PM
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Although the Royal Tyrrell Musuem in Drumheller is world class, with only 7 days/8 nights, you won't have time to do it all.

I would suggest one day in Calgary on arrival, then drive to Banff (it usually takes us only 1 hour to drive from Calgary's west city limits to Banff townsite), you could even do that in the very long evenings (sunset at nearly 10 p.m. local time) after spending the day in Calgary, and then the next day you would wake up in the mountains ready to go!!

Spend two days exploring and hiking around Banff and Lake Louise.

After that, take one whole day to drive to Jasper - the Icefield Parkway is spectacular. It doesn't take that long to drive, but there are many interesting spots and viewpoints along the way (Peyto Lake, Columbia Icefields, Sunwapta Falls, Athabasca Falls etc.)

Spend two nights / 1 full day in Jasper.

Return to Banff (on the Icefield Parkway again - there really is no other scenic alternative that doesn't take a whole lot of time).

Spend one last day in Banff (or one night in Calgary) before your flight out.
I think that this works out to 7 days/8 nights, doesn't it?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 06:53 PM
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Thanks for your help. I may have the opportunity to stay 2 more days. How would this affect the suggested itineraries?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 07:23 PM
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With an extra two days, I would suggest using one full day for a day trip to Drumheller (the badlands and the Royal Tyrrell Museum), and the other for either Banff or Jasper (unless you want to spend some time in Calgary where you could visit the Glenbow Museum or Heritage Park).
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:59 AM
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I would consider staying at least a couple of nights near Lake Louise (or Yoho). Although it's less than an hour between Banff and LL if you take the highway, there's a lot to do around (and past) LL, and you may not want to spend that time driving. I would also consider skipping Calgary (and Drumheller) entirely.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Borealis has a wonderful itinerary plotted out for you. The extra two days is a wonderful idea. Our family spent 11 days visiting the same areas this past summer. Some of the activities that we found extremely enjoyable were whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River with Wild Water Adventures, hiking to the Plains of the Six Glaciers Tea House, walking to the Upper Falls at Johnston Canyon and taking a four hour ice walk at the Columbia Icefields. You're going to love the beauty of the area.

Drumheller, if it fits into your schedule, is a fascinating place to visit. Such a difference in scenery from Banff/Jasper. If you're interested in fossils, make advance reservations for the Dinosite Tour at the Royal Tyrell Museum.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 03:19 PM
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Also, the Athabasca Glacier hike near Jasper is a spectacular short hike. Go in the evening when it is cooler and there are fewer people. The falls on the way are beautful, and we saw a bear with her cub enroute.
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