First trip to Banff and Jasper

Jul 17th, 1999, 04:58 AM
  #1  
Connie
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First trip to Banff and Jasper

My husband & I and another couple will making our first trip to Banff and Jasper areas in late August and early September. We already have hotel reservations at the Rimrock in Banff and at the Sawridge in Jasper. We will be in the area for 9 days. Both couples are celebrating 30th wedding anniversies. We were thinking of going to Hawaii but saw info on the Canadian Rockies while in Toronto and it looked beautiful, so we decided to go here instead. We will be staying in Banff for 4 days and Jasper for 3. First and last days in Calgary. What can we expect with the weather this time of year? While we are not serious hikers, we are in good shape and would like any recommendations on trails with great scenery and not overflowing with people. In case of rain, what to do? We will have a car so we are mobile to any areas for hikes. We would appreciate your suggestions.
 
Jul 17th, 1999, 07:09 AM
  #2  
Bob Brown
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Hi. I have been to that area several times; in fact, we will be in Yoho National Park, which is adjacent to Banff NP, in late August for our 7th trip to that area.
Let me suggest that you get a copy of The Candian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson. You can order it from the Adventurous Traveler Bookstore at 1-800-282-3963. Although it is now 5 years old, the mountains and trails have not gone anywhere.

My favorite views in the Lake Louise area are Lake Louise itself and Moraine Lake. The Plain of Six Glacier trail is a good one to take, but it will be popular as well. The trail leads due west from Chateau Lake Louise along the northern shore of the lake and then up the glacial valley until it ends at the ice and steep mountain walls.
My favorite hike is along the Iceline Trail in Yoho, which starts close to Takkakaw Falls. The Iceline starts steeply, but the views from the relatively level part are gorgeous.

Along the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper, allow all day for the trip. There are numerous places to stop and look and take short walks. The Icefields Center is the place where you can take the Snow Coach onto the ice itself. You can read the trail guide of any number of suggestions on short and long hikes to take.
In the Jasper area, I particularly enjoy the trip out to Mount Edit Cavell and the view of the Angel Glacier spilling out of a cirque on the northeast flank of the mountain. For a first visit, I also think you will enjoy the ride up to the top of the The Whistler in the gondola. Unless you have a clear day, I would not take the Maligne Lake tour.
I have been there twice and both days it was cloudy and the boat trip is a disappointment because you don't see much.
Be sure to take in Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls en route. They are spectacular. Also, locate the Falls of Beauty Creek in the Patton & Robinson book. I don't know why this trail is not marked. It is short and leads to some nice falls in a secluded area.
I could go on more, but get the Trail Guide, leaf through it, and make your own decisions.
If it rains, then I suggest you head for a movie somewhere.
 
Jul 18th, 1999, 07:47 PM
  #3  
Susan
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I can't tell you much on where to go and what to see that will not have a fair number of people there as these are very popular scenic areas. As for the weather, I can only say "Be Prepared." The weather in the mountain is very unpredictable. I have been there on beautiful sunny summer days. Stranded on top of a mountain in the middle of July due to a sudden snow storm. Soaked to the bone in heavy rain on other travels. You won't need your winter jacket but you should be prepared to wear layers just in case. Before heading out check with your local Enviroment Canada weather bureau.
It's a shame that you won't be in Calgary during the Stampede. It's known as the greatest outdoor show on earth.
Congratulations on 30yrs. if you can do that you can survive the Rockies.
 
Jul 20th, 1999, 05:31 AM
  #4  
Bob Brown
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I would like to echo what Susan said about being prepared when hiking in the Rockies, particularly above 5,000 feet.
We have been snowed on in August and sleeted on as well. If you are properly equipped, the summer weather should make little difference, except in the visibility. Two years ago we got caught in a sleet storm on the Iceline Trail.
For us and a party of two active young women and a baby (Mommy and Auntie), the weather was a minor inconvenience. We simply pulled on our rain pants and cinched up our hoods. I was actually quite warm underneath, and the baby was quite snuggly in a polar fleece pullover and a hooded baby carrier.
By contrast, I was amazed at a tour group that we had passed earlier. Very few of them were equipped with little more than a water bottle and sweater.
So when the sleet struck them, they were uncomfortable. Fortunately, they were still in the trees whereas we were out on the moraine, where nothing grows except lichens.
 
Jul 20th, 1999, 05:32 AM
  #5  
Bob Brown
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I would like to echo what Susan said about being prepared when hiking in the Rockies, particularly above 5,000 feet.
We have been snowed on in August and sleeted on as well. If you are properly equipped, the summer weather should make little difference, except in the visibility. Two years ago we got caught in a sleet storm on the Iceline Trail.
For us and a party of two active young women and a baby (Mommy and Auntie), the weather was a minor inconvenience. We simply pulled on our rain pants and cinched up our hoods. I was actually quite warm underneath, and the baby was quite snuggly in a polar fleece pullover and a hooded baby carrier.
By contrast, I was amazed at a tour group that we had passed earlier. Very few of them were equipped with little more than a water bottle and sweater.
So when the sleet struck them, they were uncomfortable. Fortunately, they were still in the trees whereas we were out on the moraine, where nothing grows except lichens.
 
Jul 20th, 1999, 03:14 PM
  #6  
sue
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Most Romantic Spots (yes there are tourists at most but same places are worth seeing anyway.
Number 1: Emerald Lake and if it's nice out rent a canoe then stop for some rum punch at Cilantros.
Number 2: Moraine Lake is right near Lake Louise and is worth checking out. Of course you have to see Lake Louise.
Number 3: (Jasper) Go to Maligne Lake and take the boat cruise to Spirit Island. There's a little trail along Maligne (to your left facing the lake). It's very short but a nice little walk.
Number 4: In Banff go into MOOS and have an ice-cream where the waffle cone is made in front of you and the waffle is still warm when the ice-cream goes in. Yummmy.
Number 5: Between 1-5 pm they do private tours of Mr. Luxton's home in Banff. They only take 2-5 people maximum and it costs $5.00. Hardly anyone goes there but it's very interesting. Go to the Whyte Museum for information. The tour takes about an hour. In Banff also visit the Banff Administration Office gardens (just behind the building). It's a short little walk and very beautiful.

Check out my website at:
http://www.telusplanet.net/public/al...ravelpage.html
 

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