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August trip to Banff, Jasper, and Glacier NP - what do you think?

August trip to Banff, Jasper, and Glacier NP - what do you think?

Old Feb 17th, 2013, 04:21 PM
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August trip to Banff, Jasper, and Glacier NP - what do you think?

Finalized our trip in mid-August to Banff, up to the Ice Fields, Glacier NP in Montana, and eventually to a friends place on Placid Lake in Montana.

One question I have is how to deal with phone service on my iPhone when I'm in Canada. My iPhone is unlocked, can I pick up a pay as you go or prepaid SIM card at the Calgary airport? Or should I just eat the roaming fees, it's really only for 4 days.

Anyway, this is how it came out:

Day 1 (August 13): Flying into Calgary from Philadelphia, arriving around 1:30. Renting a SUV at the airport and staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for 3 nights. This is our real splurge. Lake view, King.

Day 2 - 3: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Canoeing, day trips up to the IceFields, hiking, etc. Need to flesh this part out better.

Day 4 - 7: Many Glacier Hotel in the Glacier National Park. Pretty reasonable for a King with lake view and terrace. Again looking to do a lot of hiking and day trips (e.g. Going to the Sun Road - probably on the red bus). Plus a day to maybe just rest and read.

Day 8 - 12: Staying with my friend at her family lodge on Placid Lake, near Missoula. (I know, how lucky can I get to have such a great friend!)

Day 13: Driving back to Calgary where we're staying at the Delta Calgary Airport Hotel after dropping off the SUV.

Day 14: Leaving for Philadelphia in a late flight.

My husband are in our mid-60's but are fit for our age. We love hiking but are not interested in anything more strenuous at this point. Our big love is actually canoeing and we've done many week-long trips in upper Minnesota and Canada national parks. I'm hoping we can canoe on both Lake Louise and Glacier Lake.

I know this a broad question but any "must see" or hikes at either Banff or Glacier NP. I'm hoping to pick up a guide book or two (again, recommendation?) to bring.

Any general comments are also very welcome. I also plan to cross-post in the US/Montana forum.
ceezee is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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I have neer been to Glacier NP but here are a few sugggestions for the start of your trip.

Day 1: Pick up your car and head to Banff, walk around the town, stop at the Banff Springs Hotel, have dinner and then head to Lake Louise.

You may want to switch these next days. If it is clear and sunny, you may want to drive the Icefields Parkway on Day 2--It might also break up your driving days since you have a long drive on Day 4. How far is that?

There is canoeing on all these lakes too. If you just canoed everyday, you would have a great time. I can easily spend a week or 2 in Lake Louise---but we are hikers. We always have canoeing on our to do list but have yet to fit it in.

Day 2: Hike the Lake Louise lakefront trail or for a longer hike, the trail to Lake Agnes Teahouse or Plain of Six Glaciers. Pick up a picnic at Laggans and eat at Moraine Lake. Walk to the top of the rockpile. There are also many hikes that start here. If you have time, you could drive out to Emerald Lake for dinner, stopping at Takkakaw Falls on the way--beautiful drive.

Personally if I was going to splurge, the Moraine Lake Lodge is the place I would choose. I have never stayed there or even read reviews, but I love the location.

Day 3: Pick up a picnic lunch. Drive the Icefields Parkway, stopping at Peyto Lake and many other stops. I am not sure how far you can make it but I think you could make it to the Icefields Center where you can take the snocoach out on the glacier. We have never done that. We usually just stop and hike along the way.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Check with your cell phone carrier to see if they offer a package with service in Canada. That will likely be your cheapest option.
krp329 is offline  
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