Banff in June

Old Mar 4th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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Banff in June

We're thinking about visiting Banff in late June. We haven't found any information on what kind of weather to expect. We would like to hike and golf, among other activities. What would you rate as the top 5 must do/ must see's in the area? Where is the best place to set up home base? Any charming places to stay? Thanks for the help!
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 04:50 PM
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>>>>>>We're thinking about visiting Banff in late June. We haven't found any information on what kind of weather to expect.<<<<<<

Here's a discussion thread that, for all its brevity, pretty much says what there is to say about Banff's weather in June.

>>>>>>We would like to hike and golf, among other activities.<<<<<<

When it comes to hiking, the ideal would be for you to buy a guidebook that shows the hiking trails of the Canadian Rockies. However, for starters, here's a website:

Here is a website about golf courses in the Canadian Rockies. The ones that would be in easiest reach if you located yourself in a relatively "central" spot in the Canadian Rockies probably would be Banff Springs, Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Radium, perhaps even Fairmont and, if you were willing to go further north, Jasper Park Lodge.

>>>>>>Where is the best place to set up home base?<<<<<<

If you're going to be here for a really short time (say up to 5 nights), then it makes sense to set up a single home base. In that case, the spot that is most "central," in my opinion, is Lake Louise.

If you can stay between 6 and 8 nights, I recommend dividing your stay between 2 destinations. The good scenery is spread over a rather large geographic area, and it really is difficult to do it justice from a single base. If you're going to divide your time between 2 base locations, I think Lake Louise and Jasper townsite are good candidates.

Once you get into the 10 to 12 to 14 night range, you can consider 3 or perhaps even 4 locations. Then you might want to add Banff townsite and/or Emerald Lake to the mix.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2004, 04:52 PM
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>>>>>>What would you rate as the top 5 must do/ must see's in the area?<<<<<<

You asked this question earlier in your post, but I've deliberately answered an earlier question first, and postponed answering this one till now. It is REALLY, REALLY difficult to reduce this list to 5. There are umpteen competitors that easily could take the place of my 5, and I would be powerless to argue against someone who came along after me and suggested a whole other list. But, since I'm here first, I get to say:

#1 - Moraine Lake

#2 - Drive Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper townsite. This activity can automatically incorporate another one, a Snocoach ride on the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefields. This is on the Icefields Parkway, about half way between LL and Jasper townsite.

#3 - Boat ride on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island (45 minute drive from Jasper townsite).

#4 - At least one good hike. As valid a candidate as any is the hike from Lake Louise to Lake Agnes Tea House, but there are many other claimants for that slot.

#5 - Johnston Canyon, just off the Bow Valley Parkway or Route #1A, between Banff townsite and Lake Louise

>>>>>>Any charming places to stay?<<<<<<

Judging from your posting history, you're an experienced Fodorite, so I would have expected you to know that it would have helped us if you'd given us a price range and told us if you preferred large or small places. However, since you are an experienced Fodorite, you have left enough of a "paper trail" that I was able to find out you enjoy staying in a wide variety of accommodations. So, here goes:

Lake Louise - Post Hotel

Jasper - Jasper Park Lodge

Emerald Lake - Emerald Lake Lodge

Banff - The Rimrock Hotel is one of the classic high-end suggestions, but might I suggest Canmore instead (20 minute drive east of Banff townsite)? Lady Macdonald Country Inn in Canmore is a charming B&B type place, but a truly special place in Canmore is the Creek House.

Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 04:57 PM
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Oh yes, two quick clarifications.

* I delayed answering your question about the 5 must do / must sees because my 5 could not be done from a single base. My list is predicated on your splitting your stay between Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Which brings me to my next clarification......

* In my earlier posts, I used the terms "Banff townsite" and "Jasper townsite" to distinguish between the towns and the national parks of the same names.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 10:57 PM
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If you are looking for "charming" accommodation, have you looked at Bed and Breakfast places??
Here are some B&B websites that should be useful:


Although we usually prefer to stay in cabins while visiting the Rockies, occasionally we try other types of accommodation, including B&Bs. So I can give you some personal opinions on the one that we have stayed at recently (late winter of 2003).
Eleanor's House B&B is in Banff (townsite) and I would say that this establishment meets my definition of charming, the rooms are spacious with ensuite bathrooms, and each room is decorated with a slightly different (charming) motif, the breakfast was good, and the hosts were great (very helpful when needed but unobtrusive otherwise). It is far enough away from the main street in Banff that it is quiet, but close enough that you can walk there in about 15 minutes.

As for the five "must see's", for a first time visitor to the Canadian Rockies, my list would include:

1. Take at least one of the gondola/cable car rides to the top of a mountain to see the view. There are three to choose from: Sulphur Mountain in Banff, Lake Louise, and the Jasper Tramway. Not long ago there was a thread here on Fodors that discussed all three, but I am not sure how to add it to this reply (try doing a search for "Sulphur Mountain").

2. While driving the Icefield Parkway, stop at the Columbia Icefields and take the SnoCoach tour right onto the glacier. Yes it is expensive, but it is a "guided" tour, and worth it (just dress very warmly including hat and mitts, yes even in June!!!).

3. Walk along Lake Louise, or better still, do the hike that Judy suggested, to Lake Agnes Teahouse, and even beyond to Little Beehive, Big Beehive and the Plain of Six Glaciers.

4. Stop at Bow Summit (on the Icefield Parkway) and walk to the Peyto Lake lookout.

5. Drive up to Mt. Edith Cavell (Jasper), and walk to the toe of Angel Glacier, then up to the meadow above the valley.

Of course there are many other places to see and things to do, but these are the "picture postcard" spots that will "wow" you (unless it is pouring rain ).

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