Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Jasper

Aug 9th, 2004, 05:54 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2
Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Jasper

This will be our first trip to Canada. Will be arriving in Calgary Sept 11 ---we have five days --have booked accomodations there--will be daily touring by car. So excited but need to get organized. Any suggested itineraries?
justsomuch is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 06:29 AM
  #2  
BAK
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,944
Get out a map, and note the Angle of the Rocky Mountains.

Calgary is close to Banff, but Edmonton is a long way from jasper.

You could lose the better part of two travel days by going to Edmonton, and you might think about skipping a visit to this city.

Instead, dpeending on your interests...

One day trip to Drumheller, the Badlands, and the dinosaur museum.

One day south-west, into the foothills south of Calgary, down to Fort McLeod and Pincher Creek and to the British Columbia border.

One day in Calgary itself; zoo, museum, Calgary Tower, Heritage park, general touring.

One day to Canmore and Banff and lake Louise, hanging around in these places, short hikes, etc.

And one day from Calgary to Banff and Lake Louise and instead of stoipping, continue north a couple of hours on the Icefields PArkway up to the Columbia Ice Fields and then turn around and retraceyour steps. The scenery looks different going the opposite direction, too.

To go to Edmonton for the day from Calgary is three hours driving up and three hours driving down.

BAK

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Aug 9th, 2004, 06:56 AM
  #3  
DS
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 62
BAK has given a pretty good listing of things to do in this area...

It really depends on your interests and how much time you want to spend *in* the city and in the mountains.

I reluctantly say you can skip a visit to Edmonton simply because it's a long 3 hour drive from Calgary and the biggest attraction if you're a 'mall-rat' is the West Edmonton Mall. If the weather is bad (pouring rain), the trip to Edmonton and WEM is a good alternative to being in the mountains.

Otherwise, do visit:
-Banff, Lake Louise, Yoho NPs- numerous hiking options
-Drumheller
- Waterton NP- 3 hours south of Calgary
- sights within Calgary- Zoo, Eau Claire market, Canada Olympic Park and museuems, depending on your interest.

Have fun while you're here!
DS is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 08:46 AM
  #4  
ltt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,466
2 nights in banff
2 nights in jasper
last night in banff or lake louise so your close to calgary for your flight
ltt is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 12:59 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Agree with Ltt's advice.

An optional alternative to Banff is Lake Louise.

Banff's advantages (in some people's eyes) are that it's a larger town than little Lake Louise village, so it has larger selections of lodgings and restaurants and, for those who enjoy socializing, more of a pub scene.

Lake Louise village's advantage is that it's close to beautiful Moraine Lake, Lake Louise and the sights in Yoho National Park (Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake, etc.).

Whether or not you should spend your last night in Lake Louise / Banff / Canmore depends on the time of your flight from Calgary. If your flight departs in the afternoon or even in the late morning, you could spend your last night in the mountains. If you have a morning flight out of Calgary, your best bet is to overnight in Calgary.

If you spend the last night of your trip in the mountains, figure on leaving Banff at least 4 hours before your flight. I'm calculating 1.5 hours to drive from Banff to Calgary, 0.5 hours to fill up with gas (there is a gas station just as you approach the airport complex) and return your rental car, and 2 hours for checking in, clearing customs and emigration, and waiting for your flight. If you're flying to a destination outside of Canada, you need to check in 2 hours before your flight.

If you're flying to a U.S. destination, you'll go through U.S. customs and immigration formalities in Calgary, so that your flight will be treated as a domestic flight when it lands in the U.S.

Hope you have a great trip.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 09:20 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 8
First night in Calgary, second night in Edmonton, third night in Jasper, fourth night in Lake Louise, fifth day you go back to Calgary to fly home. That would allow you about two to four hours of driving on each day. The total distance of the route is about 1150 Km. That would give you a flavor of Jasper and Banff which are very different; and Edmonton and Calgary (also quite different). You will find the northern half of the Rockies, from Lake Louise north all the way to Jasper to be much less commercialized than Banff. Jasper is a quaint little moutain town that has so far escaped the mass commercial development that Banff has seen. The crowd thins out considerably north of Lake Louise on the 230 Km Icefield parkway and more chance to see wildlife as well. It depends on what you like. West Edmonton Mall is so big that you won't even see half of it in one day. Shopping, indoor waterpark, skating rink, amusement park, all under one roof for the family. Other things to do in Edmonotn: visit the historic Fort Edmonton Park, tour the Alberta Legislature Building, Muttart Conservatory, see the vibrant fall colors from the steep banks of the North Saskatchewan river to truly appreciate Canadian prairie landscape. Other little gems for hard core hikers, kananaskis Country, down highway 40, is a great area for hiking. Highway 43 from Hinton to Grande Cache is a beautiful drive with lots of wildlife.
SunnyDay is offline  

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