Calgary Question Number 2

Mar 14th, 2004, 03:10 PM
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Calgary Question Number 2

We will be attending a conference in Calgary the end of May. We will have approximately 4 other days on our own. I have NEVER been to this area before. Should we go to Banff?? Lake Louise??? Jasper??? or stay in Calgary??? I realize that we can't do it all and I want a relaxing time.

I value your suggestions!
WhyNot is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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I think it would be nice to rent a car and drive to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. You're looking at air fares, aren't you? I don't know if you've found a fare and committed to it yet. If it doesn't make a big difference to your fare, it might be nice to fly into Edmonton, drive to Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff and on to Calgary, attend your conference, and then fly home from Calgary.

Your travel days could be spent on a leisurely drive as follows:

Day 1 - Edmonton to Jasper

Day 2 - Jasper to Lake Louise

Day 3 - Lake Louise to Calgary

You could spend your 4th free day on an excursion to see the dinosaur skeletons at the very worthwhile Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta.

The Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper is one of the most beautiful routes in the WORLD. Whatever you do, please don't plan on spending all of your 4 free days in Calgary. At an absolute minimum, go on a day's outing to Banff and Lake Louise.

Hope this helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 04:02 PM
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That sounds great! Unfortunately, we can't take our leisure time until AFTER the conference. Sorry I was NOT more clear about that. What do you suggest now?
WhyNot is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 06:10 PM
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Day 1 - Outing to Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, returning to Calgary

Day 2 - Calgary - Banff - Johnston Canyon - Lake Louise

Day 3 - Lake Louise to Jasper, stopping half way to ride a Snocoach on the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefields

Day 4 - Morning in Jasper, afternoon drive to Edmonton

Edmonton is further from the mountains than Calgary is. If folks have a choice, I usually suggest getting the longer drive between the prairies and the mountains out of the way first. However, if circumstances dictate, it's possible to do it the other way round, as I've now suggested.

I imagine you have your Calgary accommodation lined up through the conference.

If you're looking for reasonably priced accommodation in Lake Louise (a guess, based on your hunt for reasonably priced air fares), I recommend the Lake Louise Inn.

As far as Jasper is concerned, there are many discussion threads about its hotels and chalets. You also may want to consider a B&B.

I know little about accommodation in Edmonton and, when it comes to that city, I would rather leave you in the capable hands of Edmonton's Fodorites.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 08:37 PM
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My suggestion (as an Edmontonian!!) is to spend all four days in the mountain parks. If you make your home base at Lake Louise, you can visit a large part of Banff and and some of Jasper National Park (at least up to the Columbia Icefields) driving partway up the Icefield Parkway.
Lake Louise is a little less than two hours driving from Calgary (city limits), so you are close enough to the city that, depending on the time of your flight out, you could still spend part of your last day in the mountains.
The mountain parks have many points of interest, so much so that four days will not seem enough time!! Don't waste your time on the 3.5 to 4 hour drive from Jasper to Edmonton !!!
Borealis is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:05 PM
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THANKS so much for your suggestions. I am taking it all in. Any other ideas out there????
WhyNot is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 02:02 PM
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What can I expect the weather to be like as I explore in late MAY ...early JUNE?
WhyNot is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 03:06 PM
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Here is historical weather data for Calgary:

and here is data for Banff:

The average highs and lows don't show the full picture, however, as the weather here is rather variable. The actual temperature may be quite a bit higher or lower than these figures show.

You have a reasonable chance of getting mid to high teens (Celsius) in Calgary and low to mid teens in Banff.

Lake Louise won't be thawed yet, so you won't get to see its turquoise water. On the other hand, the road to Moraine Lake opens on June 1st. It's a real treat to go there early in the season before the bulk of the tour buses descend on the place.

There still will be some snow on the paths as you hike around, so bring some sensible hiking boots. Also bring a sweater and a spring/fall jacket, coat or parka.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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Judy - I am not so sure that there will still be snow in the mountains at the end of May / beginning of June this year (perhaps at the higher elevations). There hasn't been much of a snow pack, I was very surprised at the lack of depth of snow when we were in the mountains last month (February). And the beginning of March has been very mild, snow is melting, who knows what will be left by the end of May??

By the way WhyNot, here is some more weather data for you (from Environment Canada):

BANFF - June normals
High = ~ 18.5C (65F)
Low = ~ 5.4C (42F)
BANFF - June extremes
High = 33.3C (92F)
Low = -3.9C (25F) - this was way back in 1893, temperature trends have been generally going up, especially in the past 20 years.

CALGARY - June normals
High = ~ 22.9C (73F)
Low = ~ 9.4C (49F)
CALGARY - June extremes
High = 36.1C (97F)
Low = -0.6C (31F) - also way back in 1884
Borealis is offline  

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