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Banff/Lake Louise accommodation and must do's.

Banff/Lake Louise accommodation and must do's.

Dec 16th, 2017, 09:55 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
Banff/Lake Louise accommodation and must do's.

We are a group of 4, ages arranging from 50 to 70, all fairly good and healthy adults visiting mostly Banff and Lake Louise in August 2018. At this point in time, we have 4 or 5 nights available coming straight from Calgary and will hire a car. Should we stay 2 possible 3 nights in Banff then 2 in Lake Louise or can someone recommend accommodation to stay in for the nights we have as a base to explore both around $300/ AUSSIE dollars a night, can pay a little more if worth it. Recommendations also on some must do's in the time we have, open to most things, we are quite adventurous and love to explore.
Would love to do Jasper, just not enough time, we do have to fly out of Calgary to Vancouver at the end of our trip to do a cruise to Alaska, even if we had enough time it seems a bit of a drive back to Calgary.
Any suggestions or help with this will be much appreciated.
juleslove is offline  
Dec 17th, 2017, 05:18 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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Lake Louise is only a 40-minute drive from Banff, so you could stay in Banff the whole time. However, I think there is more to see in Lake Louise than you can accomplish in one day trip so you have to weigh the pain of moving against heading back up the road a second day.

Accommodation in Banff is plentiful, but you are travelling during the peak summer season. Canadians actually tend to vacation a little more heavily in July, right after school gets out, but more foreigners vacation in August. Book whatever suits your tastes, it is a fairly small town.

As for LL, accommodation is more limited and the best places are very very expensive. Much will already be booked for August, and if your LL days are planned for a weekend - look out! Check booking.com and expedia.ca for availability and pricing, the results may help you decide whether you are going to stay in Banff (hurry up with that booking, too!) the whole time.

A can't miss for me would be Takakkaw Falls, which is about 30 minutes northwest of LL, (in British Columbia, actually). It is Canada's highest waterfall (glacier runoff over a cliff) and is, therefore, spectacular late in the season.
Aramis is offline  
Dec 18th, 2017, 05:04 AM
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Thanks so much for your response Aramis, i appreciate it. I think I am leaning towards staying just in Banff, and i have just realized, it is including a weekend!
Lake Takakkaw Falls sounds amazing, i love waterfalls so will look into it for sure.
Thanks again.
juleslove is offline  
Dec 18th, 2017, 04:20 PM
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In case you haven't googled pictures yet;

Aramis is offline  
Dec 20th, 2017, 10:49 AM
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If you have five nights, you could certainly do Jasper. It's not so much Jasper that is the attraction (though the park is stunning), but the drive between Lake Louise and Jasper. The Icefields Parkway is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world.

You could do two nights in Banff, two nights in Jasper, then your final night in Lake Louise, Banff or Canmore. That gives you two chances to see the amazing scenery along the Icefields Parkway and to see a bit of Jasper NP (Maligne Lake, Maligne Canyon etc).

Though you can certainly search third party sites like booking.com to see what kind of accommodation is available, I would definitely not suggest using them to look for availability. Given the high demand for accommodation in the Rockies, hotels/B&Bs/etc can generally fill all their own beds without needing to advertise on sites that charge fees/commissions. Most often they use the third party sites only for some beds/rooms, frequently the less desirable rooms and less busy nights (midweek, off season). Booking.com and expedia will often show no availability when rooms are still available directly from the hotel/B&B.

All legal accommodations in Lake Louise and Banff are listed at www.banfflakelouise.com -- that's the best place to use for accommodation searches. It will have links to the websites for the accommodations.

I agree that Banff probably makes the most sense. Lake Louise has very limited accommodation/dining options -- it's generally recommended for people who are doing a lot of hiking in the area or who don't mind having very little non-outdoor options for things to do.

As to pricing -- it helps to know your budget in CAN $$. In general, summer is very expensive in the Rockies. An average hotel room for two people can easily be $300+ per night. Four adults may be able to stay in one room with additional charge, more likely two rooms. There are some less expensive options in Banff, including the YWCA and private rooms at the Hi Hostel, but you need to book early. B&Bs may also provide less expensive options. Otherwise, you're looking at Canmore which has a wider range of accommodation including hostels. In Jasper, PHAs (www.stayinjasper.com) are less expensive and often offer more space/better options for larger groups, than hotels.

BTW, I don't think Takkakaw is the highest waterfall in Canada, but it's still very impressive. If you like waterfalls, you really should go to Jasper and back, as you'd be able to see Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls.

As to Lake Louise - how much time is required really depends on what you intend to do. Unless you are going to do more than a short hike, I think you can easily do it in a day. A half day would easily be time for one of the teahouse hikes, then the rest of the day perhaps to see the Chateau Lake Louise and head up to Moraine Lake.

July vs. August - absolutely no difference. You can see as many Canadians and foreigners in July and August. These days the major sites will be very busy, especially weekends/holidays, no matter the time. Peak season basically runs from mid June to early October. The first Monday in August, as mentioned, is a holiday, and the busiest weekend of the summer. Best to avoid if you can.
kgsneds is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2017, 02:26 PM
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Thanks Aramis, it looks lovely.

@kgsneds,thank you for all your info, so appreciated.your suggestions for Lake Louise round very inviting for sure, will look into it.

Our Aussie dollars are almost dollar for dollar with Canada.

We have a slight change, it will now only be myself and my husband. We have decided also to stick to 4 nights and think we will just stay in Banff, we will visit Lake Louise for sure, would love to do the drive to Jasper if it was a little closer, it sounds a amazing.
I often use booking.com,Hotelscombined etc and will always check with the hotel directly if none available on the booking sights.
At the moment, we are looking at Bow View Lodge, which we booked just to have something, has free cancellation. Are also looking at Rundlestone Lodge and Canalta lodge, any feedback on these would be great please. We don't want to stay in a hostel.
We will be in Banff from the 10th til the 14th August. We need to be Back in Vancouver as we have a 7 day cruise to alaska and back.
juleslove is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 01:45 PM
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We visited Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper 2 years ago. Originally we hadn't planned to go to Jasper, but the more I read about the drive on the Ice Fields Parkway, the more I really wanted to do it. Even though we could only spend 1 night in Jasper, we decided to decrease our time in Banff and add Jasper. The drive was worth it. No, we didn't get to see a lot in Jasper, and the weather turned rainy after we got there, but the drive was spectacular, even though it was a cloudy day with some rain. It made us want to go back to Jasper and see more of the area, which we are doing in August of 2018.

If you don't want to drive all the way to Jasper for just one night, you might consider driving part of the parkway to the Saskatchewan River Crossing. That drive isn't too far from Banff and while you will only see part of the parkway, it is beautiful and worth your time, in my opinion.
mlm59 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2017, 04:14 AM
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Thank you @mim59.
It does sound awesome, am tempted, it's just that we are driving a lot during our whole trip, starting in LA down to San Diego then up to Oregon not to mention from Calgary to Banff,it's a fair drive getting there then having to get back in time to fly out of Calgary to Vancouver to start our Alaska trip. Your suggestion on driving to the Saskatchewan may be the way to go, sounds good.
juleslove is offline  
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