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-   -   Forming itinerary--Moraine Lake to Jasper to Banff Springs this Sept. (

panecott Aug 14th, 2015 05:25 AM

I just realized she was asking about leaving from Newark. I read it as "for Newark".

Anyway, I'd get there at least 2 hours in advance. I hate hanging around airports waiting, but it's much better than rushing if you're late.

katherinebw Aug 23rd, 2015 06:01 AM

We've resigned ourselves to getting to Newark the asked-for three hours in advance, which means getting up at 3:00 a.m. We travel simply--one carry on, so hopefully it will be painless. Our return flight from Calgary leaves at noon, so that won't be any problem.

On another note, has anyone heard of any wildfires in Banff or Jasper going on now? Trying to get this info on the internet is surprisingly hard, at least for me.

And thank you again for all this valuable information.

kgsneds Aug 24th, 2015 09:41 AM

As far as I know, there are no active wildfires in Banff or Jasper National Parks. We had quite a bit of rain and snow last Friday, so conditions have improved considerably.

Parks Canada is usually good about posting info on fires that affect trails/facilities - look on the page for each park as well as on the Facebook sites for each park.

That said, there are quite a few fires burning in Washtington, Montana, BC and probably elsewhere. Those fires are causing significant smoke issues in various locales (today is bad, but I think it's supposed to be much better tomorrow).

However, conditions in terms of smoke change very quickly, so it's hard to predict more than a day ahead of time. You can see smoke forecasts here:

katherinebw Aug 27th, 2015 06:37 AM

Thank you. Hope things improve over the next two weeks. Looks like it's going to be a bit rainy, and I guess we'd better be ready for some snow as well.

katherinebw Aug 27th, 2015 06:51 AM

Another thought-- After arriving at Calgary around noon, would it make sense to stop at Johnston Canyon and see that, and then perhaps Lake Louise, then dinner at Station House or Outpost Pub before going on to Moraine Lake Lodge and checking in? Reminder, we are in our late 60s but quite active. We would see everything we could at the Lodge over the next two days, then go on to Jasper, spending the entire day on the Icefields Pkwy enroute.

kgsneds Aug 27th, 2015 09:52 AM

Smoke has gotten worse - but rain is supposed to arrive to today, so things should hopefully be better by the weekend.

If your flight arrives around noon, you'll probably be headed out of the airport between 1 to 1:30pm at the earliest.

I would actually suggest stopping in Canmore for a late lunch and to pick up any picnic supplies you might want. The supermarkets there are just off the highway with lots of parking - much easier than trying to get to either market in Banff. Lots of nice options for a meal in Canmore and I suspect you will be hungry after your flight.

From there, I think you'd have time to see Johnston Canyon if the parking situation is OK. I'd leave Lake Louise for the next day - better to get up bright and early and spend a day exploring there. Since you are staying at Moraine Lake, you don't have to worry about dealing with the traffic to get up there.

I'd also definitely check out what guided tours Moraine Lake Lodge is offering. I believe they are free or low cost for lodge guests and look excellent - and a way to do some the trails that require a minimum of 4 people.

katherinebw Aug 27th, 2015 11:28 AM

Sounds like a good plan, thanks again. We have already signed up for the guided walks at the Lodge. They also give talks in the evenings. We are so looking forward to this trip. BTW, I just called the Lodge to reconfirm and get their GPS address. They told me GPS doesn't work up there and just go to the village and follow the signs to the lake.

katherinebw Aug 30th, 2015 07:43 AM

Now it seems like there may be snow for a day or so next week. Yikes. What activities would you suggest on days when visibility may be very low?

kgsneds Aug 31st, 2015 08:17 AM

GPS certainly works up there, but cell reception might be iffy. GPS uses satellites, not cell towers. That said, you do not need GPS to find the lodge. There's only one way up there - head towards Lake Louise, turn left on the road to Moraine Lake and go all the way to the end.

I wouldn't worry about snow - likely to be at only higher elevations. And melt off very quickly. Even then, it probably would occur at night or early in the morning.

If the weather doesn't cooperate for one day - which isn't unusual at all - then you do lower elevation hikes, check out museums in Banff, soak in the hot spring or just relax at the lodge. I hiked in rain this past weekend - as long as you are not in exposed areas or on slippery rock, it's doable and there were certainly more than a few folks waiting out the rain at the teahouse. I think it only actually rained for an hour or two out of the whole day.

katherinebw Sep 1st, 2015 05:58 AM

Thank you again, kgsneds. Your help has been invaluable to us. Will do lower elevation hikes... And thankfully the weather report this morning looks a bit better for the next several days than it did.

kgsneds Sep 1st, 2015 11:48 AM

As a note, they've announced that Johnston Canyon will be closed - all trails/access - starting September 8. Apparently they are doing major upgrades - probably at least partly spurred by the incident this summer in which a boy was badly hurt by a falling tree.

I don't know your exact dates, but you will need to visit Johnston Canyon by the 7th if you want to see the falls.

katherinebw Sep 1st, 2015 01:14 PM

Thank you! We plan to see it on either 9/3 or 9/4.

panecott Sep 2nd, 2015 05:21 AM

Have a great trip, Katherine.

katherinebw Sep 2nd, 2015 12:37 PM

Thanks so much!!

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