Banff Bears and hotels

Old Jun 24th, 2005, 10:45 PM
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Banff Bears and hotels

How worried should we be about bears in Banff, especially Moraine Lake area? We had planned to stay at Moraine Lake Lodge and get outdoors much of the time, especially hiking and walking. Is that not feasible?

Would be be safer staying in town? Would we be able to get out and walk more?

Is Moraine Lake lodge luxurious, since the prices are so high? Is service wonderful?

Would you chose Baker Creek Chalets or Moraine Lake Lodge? Or Emerald Lake Lodge?
Best view? Best service?

hyacinthcourt2 is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2005, 01:44 AM
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I believe when they say trails are being restricted, they're actually saying they are still open, but that you just hike in groups of 6 or more.
(Someone here could correct me, however, as things might be different this year.)

It's sometimes hard to join up w/ be sure! It's been discussed here previously...and, I still wish Parks Canada could have ranger-led hikes offered, just a bit more...esp. when there are such circumstances as bear activity. (esp for those of us who really don't try to 'slide by' the rule...initially joining up w/others...only to find everyone is getting separated, as you really don't know these people after all) ;-)

But, alas, like parks everywhere...budgets are just too constrained for this. So, it's an 'honor system' pretty much.

I really don't believe you'd find MORE trails to hike on from which you'd feel you could just throw all caution to the wind. Sure there are some in town, but if you're talking true nature trails.

Sounds like the bear bluff charge that occurred this week was off the Bow Parkway (which leads to Banff the town), not Moraine or Lake, one just never knows.
Baker Creek actually would be closer to this area. I've never stayed there, but have had interactions w/the staff there, & they seemed esp. pleasant & helpful.

And, the grizzly attack this month which was fatal actually happened practically *in* a town, from what I gather. (Canmore...not far from golf courses, and the like)

So, even tho' this sounds discouraging, what I'm trying to say is I wouldn't alter at all where you hoped to stay. The bears are constantly ranging...and so, it's hard to predict if trails will still be on restriction by the time you hit the area.

And, if they are...again, you could try to join up w/others, etc. And, there are other things to do there too, which don't involve hiking.

Taking a canoe out on Moraine Lake or Lake Louise is a fun activity! (and sooo beautiful) A neat way to experience the lakes. No risk w/the bears there. ;-)

Also, I don't want to write too much, but have stayed at several of the lodges you mention! Will save that for now, as others will no doubt contribute, but if you have any further questions, I'd be happy to reply.

One cool thing w/Moraine Lake Lodge, altho' I'm bummed about their summer rates (vs. the rate we got in Fall there) is they DO lead guided walks...their staff does.
So, you're guaranteed groups of 6...usually.

If they can't get a group together w/that number...then, yes, hikes can be cancelled. But, this time of year, I can't imagine that happening! (last time we there...we've stayed was the very last day/night they were open for the season, so things were getting quiet)

Anyway, that's one nice way to feel assured that you'll have someone to hike & explore with!! They generally lead a 2-hr hike in the morning...and offer afternoon ones at well, that are a bit more challenging. The hikes & canoes are included in the lodging price.'s tough to choose between Moraine Lake Lodge & Emerald Lake Lodge. I'd say after our first trip there to both, that I had a preference for Emerald Lake Lodge.

The main lodge building where the restaurant is, has some old-world charm which I enjoy. Moraine Lake Lodge is less historic in style, altho' some love its architecture. And, most of Emerald Lake is not the historic arch. style, anyway.

I later found out we were upgraded about 3x over at Emerald Lake on that first trip, so that coloured things to be sure! Knew we'd had an upgrade...just didn't realize the extent of it. Anytime you get that, you're sure to have a more unique experience.

After our last trip, when we were back into a more regular room at Emerald Lake...I can't say for sure if it necessarily 'beats' Moraine Lake, as a place to stay. Really they both are just stupendous locations!

Okay...I'm done now. Guess I did provide feedback on the lodges, after all. Best of luck to you!

Ps. I have to say the prices are not necessarily reflecting luxury...the rooms are fairly simple at both lodges. No, they are more reflecting supply & demand...and having the chance to stay right 'on top of' such gorgeous lakes!
WanderingRose is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2005, 02:33 AM
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If ylou encounter bears during your trip is dependend on your travel time. The prop. is quite hiogh during spring and fall time, as bears migrate done into the valleys.

I always visit the park centers before I start with my daily hikes. The park rangers maintain lists with resent bear sightings and they give advice to the visitors to reduce the risks for bears and visitors.

Don't be afraid, but carefull. I never saw a bear on a hiking trail in Jasper & Banff.
tom22 is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2005, 11:23 PM
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They do tend to be around the Moraine Lake area a bit more than other spots, so that area often has the 6-person minimum requirement. (not for along the lakeshore, but for other hikes there)
WanderingRose is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 06:39 AM
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We have stayed at both Baker Creek Chalets and Emerald Lake Lodge. We stayed at both of them many years ago on our honeymoon, but then have returned since then to Baker Creek and in fact have reservations for next summer as well. Emerald Lake Lodge was very nice, much more pampering in style than Baker Creek. Baker Creek does have a lodge now though, so those rooms could be like that, but I do not know first hand. We have stayed in the cabins and adore them. They are fairly basic, but comfortable. We have enjoyed the cabins, location, and the staff so much that we are getting our extended family to join us next summer.
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