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Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper in June with kids...Please tweak my itinerary!

Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper in June with kids...Please tweak my itinerary!

Jan 13th, 2013, 08:53 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 66
Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper in June with kids...Please tweak my itinerary!

Hi

I am planning an early summer trip to the Canadian rockies June 26 to July 3rd with my husband, 8yr old and 3yr old. We would like to do some hiking though not very intense, some horse riding and take turns to do white water rafting. I read some threads on a similar topic and have come up with the following itinerary. But want to make sure the following :

a) it is not over aimbitious ( with the kids)
b) daily activities are logistically doable
c) any recommendations on decent places to eat would be extremely helpful ( we are vegetarians)


June 26 : Arrive Calgary ( 3.:00pm), Car rental, groceries in calgary
Drive to Banff ( 2hrs),
Check in ( suggestions for a reasonably priced place just for one night???)
Evening : Relax , downtown banff, dinner

June 27 : Breakfast, Head out to Jasper via Icefield Pkwy
Stops on route : Bow lake, Peyto Lake, Picnic lunch
Snowcoach Athabasca Glacier and Athabasca falls
Check In Patricia Bungalows ( hope I picked a good property...still to confirm)
Dinner @ ???

June 28 : Breakfast
White water Rafting Athabasca river
After this in the evening can we do either
A) Medicine lake & Malign lake -- boating to Spirit Island/ Malign Canyon hiking ( was told this was easy and can be dropped off at the top of the trail)
B) Gondola to Angel Glacier and Mt. Edith Cavell OR Mt. Whistler
Dinner @ ?????
Overnight in Jasper

June 29 : Breakfast, Check out
Do A/ OR B/ remaning from previous day
Drive back to Lake Louise, Picnic lunch
Debating between Fairmont/Paradise/Post ????
Horse back ride to Lake Agnes Tea house
Dinner @ ?
Overnight @ LL

June 30 : Sunrise @ Lake Loiuse
Breakfast
Lake Moraine ...go to the top of the rockpile ( read this in many threads) and explore more around LL...Takkakaw falls/ Emerald lake.
Lunch @ Fairmont
Evening drive to Banff, check in to Douglas Fir / Banff Aspen Lodge??
Dinner, overnight in Banff

July 1st : Breakfast,
Johnston Canyon...perhaps hike upto lower falls ( possible with 3yr old?)
Lunch @ Fairmont
Gondola to Sulphur mt and Hot springs
Dinner, Overnight in Banff

July 2nd : Lakes drive ...Two jacke lake/ Vermilion lakes/Mistaya Canyon OR
explore Kananaskis are...Relaxed day to see the countryside at leisure.
Suggestions welcome...
Dinner, Overnight in Banff OR Calgary

July 3rd : Early breakfast, drive to Calgary Airport, return Car,
Depart @ noon from Calgary

Appreciate your feedback/ suggestions/ tweaks.....Thanks!
asmama is offline  
Jan 13th, 2013, 09:27 PM
  #2  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 66
Forgot to add Lake Minnewanka...
asmama is offline  
Jan 13th, 2013, 10:01 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,235
The place that I stay near Jasper is the HI hostel about 3 miles SW of town not far from the north end of the Icefield highway. The good thing is that you can cook in their kitchen and even do laundry if you want.
As for Maligne Canyon, my wife drove me to the top and dropped me off. She drove to the parking at the bottom and walked over the footbridge and walked up. We met and walked down together.
It's been decades since I was in Calgary or Banff.
I arrive in Jasper on the ViaRail Canadian and rent a car in Jasper. Brewster runs tour buses if you have an interest.
tomfuller is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 05:22 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 66
Thanks Tomfuller. Will look at the HI hostel. I think we will definitely renta car but will look @ Brewster for the snowcoach/ gondola etc

Maligne Canyon is on our list so will follow your notes.

Thanksagain!
asmama is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 08:38 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,477
You have done your research and this looks like a very nice trip.

You could do a little less moving around if you spent your first 3 nts in Lake Louise, spent the next 2 in Jasper, and then the last 2 in Banff--you could spend the last night near the airport after spending most of the day doing your Banff activities.

Paradise Lodge in LL offers a 3 nt hiker special. We enjoyed staying there. I am not a fan of the Chateau and if I wanted to sty in a Fairmont, I would stay at the Banff Springs(just don't choose the cheapest room, choose at least the next one up)

The Post Hotel gets great reviews. We have not stayed there. We do enjoy eating at The Outpost--their casual restaurant at the back of the property.

We have stayed at Baker Creek which is in between Banff and Lake Louise and enjoyed their cabins--we actually had a jacuzzi room but it did have a kitchenette, which is helpful when you travel with a family.

You are looking at very upscale lodging in Lake Louise. We love the cottages at Patricia Lake but they are not luxurious. If you want something comparable you should look at The Grove at Patricia Lake. We did see a bear everyday when we drove out to Patricia Lake and several elk. We loved being on the lake.

We also liked Beckers--we had cooking facilities there also. Nice cabins on the river. I hae not stayed at Alpine Village but it is very nice---I think they have a 3 nt minimum stay. We saw elk on the road everyday near Alpine Village.


On your June 30th schedule, I would go out to Emerald Lake Lodge for lunch. We have stayed there. It is probably my favorite lodging. On your way back you can stop at Takkakaw Falls.

On your Jasper schedule, you drive up Mount Edith Cavell to get to Angel Glacier but I think that is closed--maybe it will open by the summer. Your children would enjoy walking that path and being by the glacier---I have no idea what it looks like now---probably not like an angel.

Have a great trip. I have a trip report from a couple years ago on this forum. Click on my name and you should find it
LindainOhio is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 02:02 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 66
Thanks LindainOhio...Will look at your suggestions and trip report. Will definitely add lunch @ Emerald lake lodge.

As for LL, wamted to stay on the lake thus the fairmont. Post i believe is a few miles away. Will look at paradise Lodge.
asmama is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:33 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 593
There is no gondola at Mt. Edith Cavell; it's on a peak called "The Whistlers", just west of the town of Jasper.

Linda, the Angel Glacier still looks much the same - the ice fall happened from the Ghost Glacier (on the face of Mt. Edith Cavell). There is still no word from Parks Canada as to whether the area will be open next year - they had experts in there before freeze-up, measuring etc. I suspect that it may be a year or two or three, because I think they will be re-routing the lower trail much higher(the "Path of the Glacier") and probably installing fencing to keep people away from the area beneath the Angel Glacier in case of future ice falls. (Note, this is just my own speculation... I have not heard anything official and do not have any contacts with anyone official on this. But the Ghost ice fall, which was fairly minor, compared to what could happen with the much larger Angel Glacier, was a huge wake-up call; had it not happened in the middle of the night, there would have been dozens of fatalities and injuries, if not more.)

Pat Lake Bungalows gets consistently great reviews online, both for their older style units, and their newer, more luxurious "Grove" ones. They are about ten minutes' drive to the townsite.

Besides rafting, you may also have to split up for horseback riding. I am not sure what the minimum age is for this activity; it's possible that both your kids are too young (the 3 y/o for sure, not sure if even an 8 y/o would be allowed on a ride of that length) - you will have to check with the stables where you are thinking of doing a ride.

Maligne (note it has an "e" on it, and is pronounced as "muh-leen") Canyon is a downhill walk - except that someone will have to go back uphill to get the car. The first three bridges over the canyon are the most spectacular, and not very far, so it might be best to walk that far and then go back up.

It's not known at this point whether you could get across the river at the Fifth Bridge by next summer. It was damaged in flooding last summer, and there is now a temporary bridge for the winter to give access into the bottom of the canyon for the winter ice walks, but I don't think the temp. bridge is meant to span the wider, faster river come summer, and it is maybe about 2.5 to 3 km to Sixth Bridge at the mouth of the river (can your three year old walk for an hour or more?) Also, while the canyon itself is quite spectacular, the rest of the hike is a "pleasant trail in the forest along the river" ... if you want a hike of that distance, there are others that would give you "more bang for your buck".

Note that July 1 is Canada Day, our national holiday. There will be special events on in the town of Banff. I'm not sure what they have, but probably similar to here in Jasper, which are a lot of family activities.
krp329 is offline  
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