Canadian Rockies

Old Nov 28th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Canadian Rockies

We are planning a trip for 2 weeks to Banf, Lake Louise and Jasper the last week of May and first week of June? Has anyone gone at this time of year? What's weather like?
Any chance Lake Louise will be thawed out by
early June?
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Old Nov 28th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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The weather at the time of year you are travelling can be quite nice. If the weather is wet it will likely be snow in the higher elevations and could possibly be snow in Banff and Jasper. But getting into June road and weather conditions should be OK.
I recall being at Lake Louise in early June and most of the ice was gone. I don't remember the exact date. The lower elevation lakes around Jasper will all be open.
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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What lunabug said is correct.

More important than Lake Louise, in my opinion, is Moraine Lake. Even if the access road to it is open in the first week of June, the lake is still not looking good. You have to get into the second week of June, and more ideally the middle of June, to be assured of seeing that very beautiful lake at its best.

Also, you can still encounter a blizzard in the Golden / Lake Louise / Banff corridor in the early days of June.

Leading up to the beginning of June 2005, a young man who was studying in Victoria, BC contacted me by e-mail and asked my advice about driving from Victoria to Calgary. From the sound of his name, I surmised that he came from a warm part of Asia and was unfamiliar with winter conditions in the interior of Canada. I suggested that he equip his car with a specified list of winter gear, because I said it was not outside the bounds of possibility that he would encounter snow on his journey. He e-mailed me when he reached Calgary and, sure enough, he had run into a blizzard in the Lake Louise / Banff area. He said it felt very reassuring to be equipped as I had suggested. (But keep in mind he was driving alone, so I also took that into consideration when I advised him.)
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for the info. It's refreshing to
talk and get advice from people that have
actually traveled to these areas. With that said, can someome advise to what
hotels to stay in Lake Louise? Considering the Post Hotel and Rimrock in Banff? One thing I have been noticing is alot of these hotels have no Air conditioning. We spent some time in Alaska last June and encountered the same problem. No AC!!
Some nights was not needed, on the other hand there were a few warm days
and the room got stuffy and stagnet from no air circulation. Do you think that will pose same problem in Can. rockies??
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 03:43 PM
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From my limited experience in that area, you are more likely to need heat than air conditioning.
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 03:50 PM
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>>>>>>From my limited experience in that area, you are more likely to need heat than air conditioning.<<<<<<

I concur. The average night time low in Banff in July is 7 deg C (about 44 deg F). Banff may get hot during the day, but it is the rare evening that does not cool off.
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 08:37 AM
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Weather at that time of year can be hit or miss - if there is snow it will be at the higher elevations which more than likely means rain down below (it is Spring after all), or the weather will be just fabulous. With respect to air conditioning, you definitely will not require it, as a previous post mentioned "you may need some heat". With respect to a hotel in Lake Louise, either stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, with it stunning views of the lake and the hanging glacier, or the Post Hotel (views are not that terrific for the price). Both hotels however are both excellent places to dine at. With respect to a hotel in Banff, the Rimrock is beautiful (it is built down the side of the mountain and the views are spectacular), or the Fairmont Banff Springs (old world style castle in the mountains with all the amenities you could ask for.) Happy Travels.
Old Dec 1st, 2006, 12:41 PM
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Another very comfortable place to stay in the Lake Louise area is Paradise Lodge & Bungalows, on the road between the village and the lake. We stayed in a Fairview Suite on the second floor, with a bedroom, living room with fireplace, kitchenette, and a very nice bathroom - plus a number of nice amenities. Plus a deck off the living room. We didn't take advantage of it, but I think there is also a continental breakfast included in the main building. All at a very comfortable price. It doesn't have a place to eat, but there are a number of them around. Hope you have a great trip!! It's certainly a very beautiful area!
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for all the great info. Can anyone comment on the hotels in Jasper
and where to stay. I am having the hardest time with Jasper lodging. Seems
pretty limited and is it worth staying
in Hinton area?
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 04:19 PM
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>>>>>>is it worth staying in Hinton area?<<<<<<

In a word, NO! Hinton is too far of an outlier to serve as a feasible base for exploring Jasper National Park.

The most expensive hotel in Jasper at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. If you were considering the Rimrock et al in the Banff area, then the JPL probably fits into your price range.

But there also are some nice chalet-style properties just outside of Jasper townsite. Popular ones include Alpine Village, Becker’s Chalets, Jasper House Bungalows, Patrica Lake Bungalows, Pine Bungalows and Pyramid Lake Resort.

Although they may be too downscale for you, Jasper has a generous supply of B&Bs and “home accommodations.” Home accommodation is like a B&B, except that it doesn’t serve breakfast. That said, many home accommodations include kitchen facilities, so you can prepare your own breakfast. Also, the town of Jasper has some places where you can buy a good, moderately priced breakfast. A home accommodator that gets complimentary reviews at Fodor’s and TripAdvisor is Crayston’s.

If you are not finding availability in Jasper it could be that you’re trying too early. Most of the chalet-style properties are closed now, and you cannot even communicate with them. Some of them may start accepting bookings around January 2007. When it comes to Jasper, it is wise to have your summer accommodation in place in March (in April at the latest).

If you book at a Jasper property that is less expensive than the Jasper Park Lodge, watch out for 2-night and 3-night minimum stay requirements and 7-day cancellation policies.

At this point you may be asking yourself if Jasper is worth all that trouble. In my opinion it is.

Hope that helps.
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for all your advise. Things are
looking a bit more clear. I have looked
at the Alpine resort in Jasper. Seems
like a pretty nice place from the pictures on their website. So far I
think it will be Rimrock in Banff, The
Post Hotel at Lake Louise, and Alpine
What area is best to view wildlife?
especially bears, would like to see
a few black bears. We saw a big grizzly
bear in Alaska last year on our tour
through denali park. Do you have any
suggestions for wildlife tours?
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Hi Judy,

I live in Banff and know the area pretty well. For wildlife tours in Banff, try Discover Banff Tours,

While you are here, take a drive along the Lake Minnewanka loop just outside of town to get up close and personal with the bighorn sheep. They are also common on Sulphur Mountain, take the Banff Gondola up or you can hike up a well marked trail.

Elk usually hang out at the Banff Springs Golf Course, Vermillion Lakes, Banff Recreation Grounds and in the meadows just outside of town. Parks Canada is trying to keep them out of the townsite as much as possible for safety reasons, so it isn't like it was 10 years ago where you would see elk walking down the center of Banff Ave, you might have to hunt around a little.

Not too far south of Jasper on the Icefields Parkway is a spot called "Goat Lick". If you are lucky, you will see Mountain Goats along the side of the road licking the minerals off the rocks.

As for bears, chances are you will see one anywhere in the parks. It is not uncommon to see them along the side of the highways. If you are out hiking, ensure to have bear spray with you and make lots of noise. Bears are dangerous, especially when they are surprised.

Whatever wildlife you may see while here, please please please don't approach or feed them!

As for the weather, well just be prepared. If you don't like the weather in the Canadian Rockies, just wait a minute!

Enjoy your visit!
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Old Feb 4th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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We are planning a trip to the Destinations Panorama Resort on April 29th.

We are hikers, not skiers, and we like making day trips to various areas. Is this a bad time of year to drive from Victoria to the Calgary/Banff, Panorama resort area? Will we be able to hike without facing a lot of snow and rain?
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 02:00 AM
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