Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper ?

Jan 7th, 2017, 05:50 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2017
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Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper ?

My husband and I are planning a trip for 6 days to Banff (and surrounding areas) in early July. We will be flying in and out of Calgary. We know we definitely want to go to Banff, Lake Louise and looking at staying at Emerald Lake for one night. My husband wants to add in Jasper. I’ve heard good things about Icefields Pkwy but with that much driving – to and from Calgary, is it worth going all the way to Jasper? This is obviously our first trip out there and we are beyond excited! ANY recommendations – must sees, hikes, lodging, restaurants etc. are much appreciated. We are active, independent (prefer no tours unless it’s a must see), looking to canoe/kayak, hike (moderate hikers) and site see as much as possible! We also love just walking around new places, site seeing, experiencing the city, and trying new restaurants. Hope that helps. Thanks!
Ruszkowski8 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2017, 02:15 PM
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Instead of driving the whole Icefields Parkway, let Brewster take you at least part of the way to Jasper.
tomfuller is offline  
Jan 7th, 2017, 04:49 PM
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"... a trip for 6 days to Banff..."

Does the "6 days" include the days you're arriving & leaving from Calgary, leaving only 4 full days for Banff/Lake Louise? On does the "6 days" mean 6 full days in the parks, + a day each coming & going via Calgary?

That makes a huge difference in the recommendation.

Since you like to hike I'd tend to stay in the Lake Louise areea and take side trips, each with lots of hiking. But ... the Icefield Parkway is one of the greatest drives in the world, especially the south end of it. I recommend you take 1 full day and drive the south half only, to the Athabasca Glacier & Icefields, then return. That will hit its highlights and allow for lots of stops and "mini hikes".

One *could* go all the way to Jasper and back, but that would take 2 days at the minimum or more if you wanted to see Jasper. Your could do that if you enjoyed seeing things from a cat, but since you like to hike, I wouldn't do it. I'd reserve that extra time for some of the MANY spectacular hikes.
elbegewa is offline  
Jan 8th, 2017, 05:46 AM
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Thank you! We have the full 6 days to stay- didn't include the travel days in and out of Calgary.
Ruszkowski8 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 10:45 AM
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Check out my travel blog, it might help you plan your trip

ChandiniR is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 11:53 AM
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With six days, you should definitely get to Jasper. You can do hikes along the way to/from Jasper. I'd allow 3-4 nights in Banff/Lake Louise and 2 nights in Jasper.

Don't even think about Brewsters' - or any kind of bus tours. They hit the main (think busy) tourist sites with no time for hiking.

Regardless, you need to book as soon as you can. Some hotels, particularly in Jasper, are booked solid for the summer. Others have limited availability. In Jasper, private home accommodations may well be more affordable and offer better availability at this point (
kgsneds is offline  
Jan 31st, 2017, 01:26 PM
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We did Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper last August. You can check out my blog to give you an idea on what to do in the area. You don't have much time, book as soon as possible to get into the better hotels.
vacationlady is offline  
Feb 5th, 2017, 07:57 AM
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Hi, I am planning to visit Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, and I am considering to spend a total of 4 nights: is that enough? I will be flying to Calgary and plan to hire a car. Do you think the drive will be OK or will it be too much for 4 days? Thank you
liza1212 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2017, 09:44 AM
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When is your trip?

With four nights, it's a bit tight to get to Jasper, but it certainly can be done. It really depends on your exact schedule, when you are coming and your interests/must dos.

You could do one night in Banff, then a night in Jasper, then back to Banff/Lake Louise for two nights.
kgsneds is offline  
May 27th, 2017, 02:51 AM
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Thanks everyone for your help! Our trip is booked for July 1st - July 8th. Spending one night at Emerald Lake, 2 nights in Jasper and 3 nights in Banff. I know its roughly 178 miles from banff to Jasper but google maps is telling me its going to take 7.5 hours and map quest is 3.5 hours. I'm thinking it will roughly take 4-5hrs...does that sound about right?
Ruszkowski8 is offline  
May 28th, 2017, 01:02 PM
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If you don't stop, maybe. Usually that is a whole day trip for us, since the spectacular scenery prompts us to stop and take pictures here and there plus scenic walks. The Google map estimate is more in line with our experience.
sludick is offline  
May 29th, 2017, 10:13 AM
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Google Maps currently has an error - it thinks the parkway is still partially shut. So it's showing the time for a much longer route. Despite many e-mails, it's not been fixed.

From Lake Louise to Jasper is 3-3.5 hrs, wheels moving. Generally people take 6-8 hours to do the drive to allow for stops, hiking, picnic etc.
kgsneds is offline  
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