Frist trip to the Canadian Rockies

Jan 7th, 2004, 02:52 AM
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Frist trip to the Canadian Rockies

My husband and I along with our two kids ages 13 and 9 are planning our first trip to the Canadian Rockies this summer. We usually stay away from hotels but like to find a cabin or the like where we can stay put for a bit and explore the area. We definitely want to visit both the Banff and Jasper areas. Any suggestions about places to stay and things to do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.

DeanD is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 03:15 AM
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DeanD, in Jasper, my husband and I loved Pine Bungalows. They have cabins in different configirations right on the river, some that offer housekeeping and fireplaces. charming and rustic. We saw elk roaming around the grounds, and deer ouside our door. We reserved early for a cabin right on the river, but the larger ones might be back a row, I'm not sure.

We elected in the Banff area to stay in Lake Louise, for proximity to hiking trails. We stayed at the LL hostel, which, in retrospect, we would not do again. The rooms there are very basic, but adaquate and clean. People of all ages sty there, including families. The downside was that nobody of any age seemed to SLEEP - ever! If we go again, we would probably rent a suite in nearby Field, a quiet community not terribly far from LL. However, your kids might enjoy the more active town of Banff. One tip: the LL hostel offers excellent food, large prtions, and very reasonable prices, and is open to the public.

As far as things to do, depending on whehter you're early birds or night owls,simply driving around areas known for wildlife early or late in the day can be very rewarding. We sa

Molly2 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 03:20 AM
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As I was saying, driving in the Jasper area, you are apt to spot plentiful wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk and bear. Just don't feed them, as we saw a sheep very narrowly avoid being hit by a car as it made its way to tourists feeding other sheep.

Rafting and horseback riding, available in both areas, are other ideas your kids would probably like.

Have fun!
Molly2 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 03:55 AM
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Check out the cabins at Storm Moutain Lodge between Banff and Lake Louise. Some excellent hiking in the area and a good In Jasper check out Beckers Roaring River Chalets

Like the other message says, drive carefully. People get out and chase bears ,sheep and goats right into traffic.
cmcfong is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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Dean, I'm on the run. In addition to the accommodations already mentioned by other posters, do an Internet search for "cabin" and "chalet" and "Banff" and "Lake Louise." There is a recent discussion thread about it (in a winter context though) here at Fodors (last couple of days).

Things to see in the area: Johnston Canyon (between Banff and Lake Louise), Moraine Lake (near Lake Louise), Lady Agnes Teahouse (hike from Lake Louise), Peyto Lake lookout (a ways out of LL on the road to Jasper), riding Snocoach on the Athabasca Glacier (part of the Columbia Icefield, again on the road to Jasper), Takaka Falls (not too far out of LL on the way to Field, BC).

All these spots are mentioned in recent discussion threads here at Fodors. Just do a word search (although Takaka Falls tends to be spelled a zillion ways, and I'm not even sure I have it right). Good luck with your trip.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 05:41 AM
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We really liked the Paradise Lodge & Cabins in Lake Louise and Beckers in Jasper. Depending on how long you will be there--and how much you want to drive--it may be worth it to stay a few days in each area--Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. While in Jasper you can explore the northern part of the Icefields Parkway--we enjoyed the Angel Glacier hike at the end of the Mt. Edith Cavell road and the hike up Whistler's Mountain when you take the Tramway. When you stay in Lake Louise--it is close to Moraine Lake and Yoho National Park (where Takakkaw Falls, Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake are located) as well as the southern end of the Icefields Parkway. There is also Baker cabins that people have liked that are close to Lake Louise, but in between Lake Louise and Banff.

As far as what to do--I agree with everything above--would maybe add--if you have time--to hike to the top of Tunnel Mountain (not the one with the gondola ride, although we liked that one too)--the views are great and I didn't see it mentioned before we went. Depending on how much money you want to spend--there are trams and/or gondola rides in each area, a boat ride on Spirit Lake and the Snocoach Ride on Athasbasca Glacier (I wouldn't miss this one--but you can also walk to the toe of the glacier and out on it a bit--there was a roped off area--for free).

Have a great trip. There is a wealth of information on the internet (Canadian and .net for a start). And there are visitors centers in each area which are very convenient to go to and helpful. I also found that if you keep checking back on this site--most of your questions will be asked and answered before you go.
maj is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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DeanD - it sounds as if we tend to like the same kind of accommodation when travelling to the mountains.

There are two places that we have stayed at numerous times, both come with fully equipped kitchens as well as the usual living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, and fireplaces, both are nicely situated.

In Banff National Park we have stayed at Baker Creek Chalets. This group of cabins (and a lodge with a dining room i.e. - restaurant) is by a burbling creek, in the pine woods, and is an 8 to 10 minute drive from Lake Louise Village (half an hour or so from Banff) just off the the Bow Valley Parkway. One of the units we have stayed in had one bedroom with a queen bed, and a loft with two twin beds. There was a wood-burning pot-bellied stove in the living room. The kitchen was well equipped; the place was clean and very comfortable (although the bathrooms were not very large). The other unit we stayed in (when with a larger family group) had two bedrooms and a much larger bathroom, plus all of the above. We found these cabins very comfortable - a home away from home.

In Jasper we like Becker's Chalets (also known as Becker's Roaring River Chalet's). They are a 5 minute drive on the Icefield Parkway south of Jasper townsite, and right next to the Athabasca River. They have both "rustic" and "modern" units; many of the rustic units have wood burning fireplaces while the modern units have gas fireplaces. The modern units also have full kitchens (sorry, can't remember how the rustic cabins are equipped!) There is also a dining room (restaurant) on the premises.

We have enjoyed our most relaxing stays in the mountains in these cabins. At both places we have seen a lot of wildlife (elk and deer munching on grass etc right next to the cabin window!!!), and they make good bases from which to explore the mountain parks.
Baker Creek and Becker's both have informative websites (just do a Google search).
Borealis is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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first let me apologize for my typing...i have a brokem hand.

we have stayed at the baker creekchalets twice and absolutely adore the place! found it on a fluke on our honeymoon almost 15 years ago. finally were able to get back there last summer with the kids. we have stayed in the cabins with a loft as well as the 2 bedroom cabins, and both are great.
mms is offline  

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