Banff/Lake Louise Trip Report

Jul 25th, 2003, 12:03 PM
  #1  
mms
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Banff/Lake Louise Trip Report

We just returned last week from a wonderful vacation in the Banff/Lake Louise area.

We drove up from WA...stopped our first night in Penticton at the Ramada Inn (reserved on Expedia and got a good deal!). After a long days drive, poolside margaritas hit the spot Next day we drove to Lake Louise to our cabin for the week.

We stayed at Baker Creek Chalets, which are on the Bow Valley Parkway and right on Baker Creek. We stayed there 14 years ago on our honeymoon and have been itching to go back and finally were able to. We had a 1 bedroom with a loft which was great for the 4 of us. The kids were in the loft with 2 twin beds.

Our first full day we hiked at Lake Louise to the Lake Agnes Tea House/Big Beehive/Plain of Six Glaciers. A big loop, long day, but lots of fun...and the tea houses were good rest stops for the kids. Plus the variety from the usual backpack food was a treat

Went to the Calgary Stampede the next day. We don't care for "fairs"...but it was fun to see the rodeo and see some different things. Friends of ours who are from Calgary told us about the mini doughnuts there too so we indulged in those

Our third day we drove to Banff and parked near the river in a public parking area. We thought we would walk up to the hot springs. Its not that far...only about 2.5-3 miles...but there is no sidewalk on the road so that wasn't too enjoyable. We heard there is a trail on the other side of the road...but didn't hear that til afterward, LOL! Anyway...we made it to the hot springs and that was nice. It was a hot day though so the water was warmer than we would have liked...but hey, you can't change the weather Then we walked over to the Gondola and rode to the top and had our picnic lunch up there.

The following day we drove up to the Columbia Icefields and took a snocoach tour. Gorgeous!!! After the tour we went to the toe of the glacier and took a picnic lunch there as well.

Our last day we went to Johnston Canyon and hiked up to the Inkpots. Got caught in a thunderstorm near the top so sort of hurried and didn't get the chance to take in all the beauty. Saw many people try hiking up to the inkpots that were definitely not prepared for the weather. Always carry the 10 essentials and be prepared!!!

The kids enjoyed the trip as much as we did 14 years ago so we have already made reservations to return next summer.
mms is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 02:18 PM
  #2  
 
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Thanks for the report, I can't wait until early Sept. to get there.

I'm sure you are going to report on the 10 essentials-I can only think of 6, but I want to hear from you. Thanks
maryann is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 06:10 PM
  #3  
mms
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Maryann, when we were there 14 years ago it was in mid September and I can still remember how pretty it was then.

The ten essentials are what anyone who is hiking should have on them just in case. They are 1--extra clothing, 2--extra food, 3--sunglasses, 4--knife (for first aid and making kindling), 5--firestarter, 6--first aid kit, 7--waterproof matches, 8--flashlight, 9--map, 10--compass.

I forgot to mention that the parking in Banff was limited to a few hours...we didnn't realize that and got a ticket. The town information center though has a drop box for you to pay the tickets so they do make it easy for you.

Also, there is a shuttle you can take from downtown up to the hot springs/gondola...so we took that back down to town.
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Jul 26th, 2003, 02:09 PM
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Thanks- I only had 4 of them- this should be posted somewhere permanently- and don't forget anyone of them- just add ponchos to be used as a lean-to.
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Jul 26th, 2003, 04:27 PM
  #5  
mms
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Yes, ponchos are great...serves as extra clothing and shelter. Meant to add sunscreen with the sunglasses too! Especially at higher elevation. Any good hiking book should have the 10 essentials listed in the first few pages.
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Aug 4th, 2003, 10:48 PM
  #6  
R
 
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Was wondering if staying at Baker Creek felt convenient for you...visiting the various areas you did? Did you feel like you were driving a lot? (to get back to it?) With kids, I imagine it's nice not to have to move from place to place, as far as lodging goes. When you were there before, did you also stay put...or did you vary your lodgings a bit? Any recommendations on what to request at Baker Creek? Were you in a unit on the creek? Thanks for any add'l info you could share about that lodging location...whether you'd do the trip similarly next time, etc. (We had to cancel our trip last year due to an emergency...but the people at Baker Creek were most kind about our needing to cancel...unlike some other places.) So, we hope to stay with them when we can get back there. (maybe this Fall)
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Aug 5th, 2003, 06:33 AM
  #7  
mms
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Yes, Baker Creek is very convenient! It was pretty well centrally located, closer to Lake Louise, but still only 20 minutes or so to Banff. Plus its only a couple miles to get onto the main highway to go anywhere else. To us, it is an ideal location...quiet and a bit removed, but also close enough to get anywhere quickly.

When we were there 14 years ago we stayed one night at the Banff Springs Hotel, then we were supposed to stay at a place down around Radium Hot Springs but hated it so left...thats when we drove back to the Lake Louise area and found Baker Creek. They happened to have a cabin open for our 2 nights. After our stay there we went to Emerald Lake Lodge for a night. Baker Creek just left such a nice impression on us that we saved the flyer all these years and couldn't wait to get back.

Along the creek is the lodge, then cabins 1,2,3,and 4. Then they get a tad further from the creek. We were in cabin 6 when we were there before and loved it even though it wasn't right on the creek. This time we had cabin 3 and liked it so much that we have reserved it for next summer.
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Aug 7th, 2003, 01:26 PM
  #8  
 
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Hi mms,
Interesting, we were married 14 years ago also and have decided to visit W. Canada w/ our 2 kids. (12&9).
We are also looking into whitewater rafting and maybe some horseback riding.
regards,
Pete
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