Canadian Rockies Itinerary input?

Old Aug 17th, 2016, 07:44 AM
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Canadian Rockies Itinerary input?


Two youngish senior couples (non-hikers) driving the Rockies in mid Sept (9-17). After driving to Salmon Arm from Vancouver, based on some online input several months ago, we head to Lake Louise, go to Jasper and then double back to Banff (Canmore) and fly home from Calgary. Itinerary and places for us to stop is as follows:
Lake Louise (2 nights)
Trails around Lake
Chateau Lake Louise Hotel
Lake Louise Gondola
Moraine Lake
Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls

Icefields Parkway to Jasper
Peyto Lake
Bow Lake
Mistaya Canyon
Wilcox Pass Hike-
Athabasca Falls
Snowcoach to Glacier –
Sunwapta Falls

Jasper (3nights)
Malign Lake
Malign Canyon
Medicine Lake
Bow Valley (Highway 1A to Banff)
Johnson Canyon
Castle Mtn.

Banff Gondola
Bow Falls
Tunnel Mtn.
Minnewanka boat tour

Canmore for lodging (2 nights)

Comments on itinerary appreciated, but specific question about the drive from Lake Louise to Jasper and back. Must we (and should we) take the Icefields to and from Jasper? Anything missing?
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 11:10 AM
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First, the Icefields Parkway is the only road between Jasper and Lake Louise. So yes, you must take it... and you must take it! It's one of the most scenic drives in the world so having two days to see all the various viewpoints, waterfalls, glaciers etc. will be just fine. Note that unless you buy tickets in Lake Louise, you have to at least pay for both the sno-coach tour and the much less appealing glacier skywalk.

If you only have two nights in Lake Louise, that's one full day, and you'll be heading out on to the Icefields Parkway bright and early after your second night.So you will need to make some choices.

You'll be driving through Yoho NP on your way from Salmon Arm. I'd leave Salmon Arm early, and hit Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls on that drive.

For your one full day, I would start early and get up to Moraine Lake before the parking fills. Short walk there, then down to Lake Louise for the rest of the day. You may or may have time/energy/desire for the gondola depending on what you do at the lake (the gondola is at the ski resort, about 6-7km from the lake).

For Jasper, you have some Banff sights mixed in - Castle Mt, Bow Valley Parkway and Johnston Canyon are all the way back in the Banff/Lake Louise area. I would use one day in Lake Louise for Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon. The second day head up to Edith Cavell Meadows and then do the tram later in the day (weather permitting).

Your return trip from Jasper to Canmore will be a longish day. If you have time & energy, you could drive the Bow Valley Parkway between Lake Louise and Banff, stopping off at Johnston Canyon. The canyon has limited parking, so best done early or late. You can see Castle Mountain on the way - not really much of a stop unless you want to do a longer hike. And the views of Castle Mountain are actually better from the TransCanada.

For your full day, get into Banff early and park. Then walk and talk the Roam bus around. I suspect you won't get all of those things done. I would probably do the Banff or the Lake Louise gondola - no need to both. Bow Falls is a short stop - you can also head to the nearby Banff Springs Hotel to see the hotel & grab a bite to eat if you want. Tunnel Mountain can be a drive or a moderate hike. I'd leave either the morning or the afternoon if you want to do the boat tour.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 01:29 PM
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Wow!! You folks are just wonderful!!

If you are ever heading to the Long Island, NY area, just ask and I'll try to be as accommodating!!

Looking forward to our journey to what I assume is your part of the world.

Spedprof, sitting here looking out onto the ocean, the little one!!
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 03:09 PM
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Oops... that's one day in JASPER for Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon. Not Lake Louise.

The ocean or the sound?
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Old Aug 18th, 2016, 10:26 AM
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The ocean!!
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Old Sep 5th, 2016, 10:32 PM
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Your itinerary looks pretty good already. I was in the area for similar amount of time roughly 3 weeks ago. To utilize journey both ways between Lake Louise and Jasper, I divided milestones so that I could cover some while going to Jasper and remaining could be covered while coming back. It worked out pretty well for us.

My itinerary details are at:

You may find it useful.

Have a fulfilled trip.
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Old Sep 6th, 2016, 10:02 AM
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Thanks... leave tomorrow and very excited.
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