best plan for rockies trip

Old Jul 18th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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best plan for rockies trip

I just booked a basic itinerary for a rockies trip
-arrive late and first night in Calgary
-second night canmore
-third night lake louise
-fourth night jasper
-fifth night canmore with a late return flight

We have rented a car. We won't be doing any serious hiking. I'd like to take in some good but not overly priced cuisine. I'd like to see the best nature views our time allows. I'd like to see a bit of Calgary on the last day. As much as I like standard tourist attractions, sometimes just that special little known or local known place that gives the flavour of the area makes my holiday special. Any advice?
laluna is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2006, 09:48 PM
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Lake Louise and Canmore are not that far apart - not sure why you are staying one night at each of them, and then another night on your way back. I would either go straight to Jasper your first day and then come down and stay at either Lake Louise or Canmore for the rest of your stay. I would stay at least 2 days in Jasper and then two days in Lake Louise.

For hiking: in Jasper I recommend a drive up to Maligne Lake with a stop at Maligne Canyon for a picturesque but fairly easy hike. There is a gorgeous hike just across from the Athabasca Ice Fields which you can do on your way back to Lake Louise (Wilcox Pass). It has a few difficult parts, but it is well worth the work for the views. In Lake Louise try the hike to the tea house which is very popular. You can also try Johnsons Canyon which is similar to Maligne Canyon.

As for restaurants, I do not know much about the restaurants in LL or Canmore. In Jasper the restaurant at Tekarra Lodge is fabulous, but not particularly cheap. Papa George's is also good.

Can't help you with Calgary.
murphey is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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i agree with murphey. why move around so much. drive to jasper for 2 nights and then spend your remaining time in the louise/banff/canmore area.
ltt is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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I would definitely head out your first day to Jasper - the drive along the Icefields Parkway is amazing. If you feel like some easy access sightseeing on your way, stop at Peyto Lookout and Mistaya Canyon. You can also take the Brewsters SnowCoach tour, where they take you right on the glacier - it's very touristy, and I find the views from the parking lot pretty great. In Jasper I would agree with Maligne Canyon - very pretty. With respect to Lake Louise, the hike to the teahouse is always popular, mind you I find there's always too many people trying to do the same thing. I would suggest speaking to the folks at the Visitor Centre for alternate hikes that maybe won't be too crowded. The view from the Fairmount Lake Louise is beautiful - you could always rent a canoe and paddle around the lake. In Banff, I would suggest taking the Sulphur Mtn. Gondola for some fantastic views. If you hike up the mountain, you can take the gondola back down for free (easy hike). As for restaurants in Canmore I would recommend Murietta's or Sage Bistro for fine dining and for pub type fare either Bolo (great outdoor deck) or the Rose and Crown.
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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I agree with what everyone else has told you.

In addition to that, I highly recommend that you visit Moraine Lake, which is 14 km (9 miles) from Lake Louise. To my taste, Moraine Lake is prettier than Lake Louise. To get the best view of Moraine Lake, do the short walk to the top of the pile of rocks at the north end of the lake. There are canoes for rent at Moraine Lake too, if you are interested in that.

If you have a late departure from Calgary, you would have time to do the more circuitous, but more interesting and scenic, drive back to Calgary through Kananaskis Country, over the Highwood Pass, and through small towns and hamlets like Longview, Black Diamond, Turner Valley and Bragg Creek. That would fit in with your desire to do something that is a bit "different."

When travellers arrive in Calgary late at night or depart from Calgary early in the morning, the conventional wisdom is to stay in the northeast quadrant, where the airport is located. I do agree with that strategy if a person is going to have an early morning flight out of Calgary. However, if they arrive after dark and will be heading out to the mountains the first thing the next morning, I believe it's better to stay in the northwest quadrant of the city. The reason is that traffic is light at night, and it takes them only minutes to drive from the airport in the NE to their hotel in the NW. The same drive would take much longer during rush hour traffic the following morning. Then, once they're in the NW, they're well positioned to set out on the TransCanada Highway for Banff the next morning.

If you want to stay in the NW quadrant of Calgary, you could stay in one of the properties in Motel Village, which is just off 16th Avenue / TransCanada Highway near the University. Alternatively, you could stay at Four Points by Sheraton. It too is just off the TransCanada Highway / 16th Avenue, but it is further west, across the road from Canada Olympic Park and near the western city limits.

For a range of opinions on whether or not you should spend any time in Calgary over and above what is needed to access the Canadian Rockies, you could read this thread:

My website has info about weather, what to pack, national park entry fees, etc.:

Hope that helps.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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i just returned from this heavenly place called the canadian rockies last week. i would do first night in calgary after flight, then drive to jasper for 2 nights, then 2 nights in lake louise,then 1 in banff. lake louise and morraine lake are the prettiest places i have ever traveled to and i've seen so many different places. i still cannot believe the icefields parkway was real. walk on the glacier too-you'll know which one i mean when you see it. i enjoyed the johnston canyon hike better than the maligne canyon hike as it had more catwalks where i felt i was part of the canyon itself-awesome! lake louise is my place though.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 06:58 PM
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I would second the recommendation to go see Moraine Lake outside of Lake Louise. Climb to the top of the "pile of rocks" that is marked. The view is gorgeous.

We ate at Andy's in Jasper. Very good.

If you have time, you might want to consider the boat tour at Maligne Lake outside of Jasper. It takes you out to Spirit Island. The narrative on the boat is wonderful. Get there early so you can catch the first boat trip. After that we headed to Mt. Edith Cavell and took the little hike out to Angel Glacier. The sight of the other glacier "on the ground" was awesome. One of the most surprising natural sights I have ever seen.

Then we made it back to Banff by 6 PM. Canmore is just a little further.

Happy travels.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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You speaks of the "awe"of this area, when after going 3 weeks ago, I'm still drawn to Fodor destination. My additional input is the "don't miss" sight is Moraine Lake. I've said before, best bison burger ever at the lodge terrace overlooking this pristine sight. Adjective overload of superlatives. The canoe trip on that lake was far superior to Lake Louise. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip in Jasper up the tram to Whistler's Mountain. Then, you can climb on to the summit (not that hard) if you have the desire. There are periodic "coffins" all along the trek up...(those that have gone with enjoy that"....Also in Jasper, drive to Mt. Edith Cavell (takes about 30 minutes)then hike onto the Angel Glacier and have your picnic lunch amongst the icebergs...GLORIOUS!!!!! Happy Trails...
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