Glacier Nat'l Park and Banff/Lake Louise

Feb 12th, 2011, 06:29 PM
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Glacier Nat'l Park and Banff/Lake Louise

We're considering a trip to Glacier and/or Banff and Lake Louise. Could we do both in 10-12 days? It will be a combo trip, hubby and I arriving first for 3 nights to spend at a nice romantic lodge/hotel for our 20th anniversary. Then kids and grandparents join for some sight-seeing. Having never been to the area, can we do both? I'm thinking we'd fly into Calgary, spend the time in Banff first, and then head to Glacier. We've been to the Tetons often and for the family portion of the trip would be looking for something like Colter Bay cabins or Jackson Lake Lodge for accommodations. Light hiking, horse-back riding, etc. What is the difference between Banff and Lake Louise? Is one preferable over the other? How long is the drive from Banff down to Glacier? As you can see, I have lots of questions, so any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Kathysa is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 02:28 AM
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From Banff you can visit Lake Louise and more important Lake Moraine ,not far from L.Louise but much nicer.Pure nature.A lake surrounded by 10 high mountain peaks.On our way to Glacier we traversed Yoho park and then followed the Columbia river valley south and stayed the night at Waterton lakes(the Canadian part of Glacier).Very nice for a quick visit.The next day you can take the going to the sun road in Glacier n.PARK;PAUL
tovarich is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 04:04 AM
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Thanks. How long does it take to drive from Lake Louise to Waterton lakes? Also, could we make our home base near Lake Moraine and visit Lake Louise and Banff from there? We're hoping to not have to change lodging too much.
Kathysa is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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The mapping program I used said 4.9 hours from Lake Louise to Waterton Lakes which is about 265 miles.
From Waterton Lakes to Columbia Falls, Montana is 177 miles and 3.6 hours.
If you wait until mid-summer, you can travel over the "Going to the Sun" highway.
tomfuller is online now  
Feb 13th, 2011, 03:06 PM
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Kathysa is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 10:13 PM
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I assume this is a summertime trip - ?

There is one luxury lodge at Moraine Lake (which is not accessible in winter). There are a smattering of accommodations at Lake Louise, both up at/near the lake itself, and in the village, which is four kilometres downhill near the highway. Lake Louise is a very small hamlet (about 800 or 1000 people, all staff working in the various tourist or park-related positions), but not a "real" village (no permanent residents, no school, no church) - it's purpose is visitor services. Lake Louise tends to be more expensive to stay in than Banff, due to the smaller supply of places to stay. Dining option are limited.

Banff is a 45 minute drive away, and has a full range of choices of accommodations. Banff is a town of about 8000 people - a resort town with many hotels, lots of restaurants & shopping etc. Several attractions are accessible from town, such as the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, and the Banff Upper Hot Springs.

You can find all accommodation option in Banff National Park at . I am not familiar with the Tetons' lodges you mention, so can't really comment on what is similar in Banff National Park.

If you are hikers, perhaps you might want to spend the anniversary part of your stay in Lake Louise - at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise right on the lakeshore, or Deer Lodge, just a couple of minutes' walk away, or at Moraine Lake Lodge. Another nearby luxury lodge is Emerald Lake Lodge, just over the border in BC's Yoho National Park.

Then drive back to Banff to meet up with the others (who could take the shuttle from the airport).
krp329 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 03:49 PM
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Yes, it would be an August trip. Moraine Lake Lodge looks nice as well as their sister lodge (Cathedral?) in Jasper National Park. Both look like they offer canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, etc. Being close to a town is not critical, as long as we can find something to eat.
Kathysa is offline  
Feb 15th, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Your map program is wrong. Good luck driving form Lake Louise to Waterton in less than 5 hours. Consideration must be given to traffic conditions, road speed limits and city congestion.
I guess you can do it in less than 5 if you speed.

Consdier this ... The Canadian Rockies is a wonderful scenic place. I will take a leisurely drive, stopping at all the scenic view points / lookouts and take my time. Why rush?

There are also many great places to stop in between. Canmore, Kananakis are close to Bannf and both warrant a visit, just to name two. And there are many more interesting places in between.

There are many wonderful lodges in the Canadian Rockies. It all depends on your budget, what modern facilities you desire, and how far away from the crowd you want. Look into Emerald Lake Lodge for your special occassion. Post Hotel would be another good choice. Google them and find out for yourself.

One other suggestion, go to the Travel Alberta Web Site and check out "reel adventure". You can find all the places in Alberta featured in Hollywood movies.
Eschew is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Post Hotel in Lake Louise was wonderful-about 10 years ago. Check it out because I would definitely stay there again. Make sure you get to Moraine Lake. It's beautiful.
Also, try to drive the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper. And if possible stop along the way for some spectacular hikes.
phillychic60 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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With 10 days I personally would spend them all in Banff or Lake Louise and Jasper. I would save Glacier for another trip. I have an old trip report here--click on my name above and you can find it.

There are many lovely places to stay--the Fairmont properties are lovely. We stay at less expensive places. I got a great rate one year at Emerald Lake Lodge and loved it. I have seen packages for Cathedral Mountain on

We enjoyed the little cottages at Paradise Lodge in Lake Louise and if staying 3 nts. in Jasper, Alpine Village has lovely cottages. We enjoyed the very affordable cottages at Patricia Lake in Jasper. They have newer upscale cottages in the Grove at Patricia Lake.

If you love the Tetons, you will love the Canadian Rockies. It is a spectacularly beautiful area.
LindainOhio is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2011, 04:26 PM
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Thanks everyone. So now I'm narrowed down to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Icefields Parkway to Jasper. Could we do that in 7/8 days, and if so, would we want a few nights at both Moraine Lake and a few at Lake Louise, or are they similar enough that we would enjoy it more to stay at one location for 5 nights and drive to/from each? (we'd be spending the other 2-3 nights in Jasper too) This would be in early August and we'd be flying in and out of Calgary. I like the cabin concept as we'll have 2 adults, 2 kids, plus grandma and grandpa. Thanks.
Kathysa is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Also, is the Icefields Parkway a day trip from Lake Louise or would you want to drive up and spend the night in Jasper?
I was thinking of doing a few nights near Lake Louise/Moraine Lake, and another few at Cathedral Mountain Lodge and mistakenly thought the Cathedral Mountain Lodge was near Jasper. It doesn't look like it's that close, so now I'm wondering if we could stay at Cathedral Mountain and do a day trip up the parkway and back.
Kathysa is offline  
Mar 4th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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You could actually stay at Cathedral Mountain Lodge and do Lake Louise, Emerald Lake and Moraine Lake. Lake Louise and Moraine are right next to each other--the only accomodations at Moraine would be the Lodge there.

One visit we booked our accomodations late and ended up staying at Emerald Lake Lodge on a last minute special rate. I love that place. It is about a half hour drive from Lake Louise---but what a beautiful drive. The cottages on the lake look really wonderful. We stayed on the top floor of a quad building( 2 rooms down and 2 rooms upstairs--only one bed in these rooms)

Even if you don't stay there, it is a nice place to visit for lunch and a walk around the lake.

With 10-12 days, I would spend 3-4 nts in the Lake Louise/Banff area, spend a day driving the Icefields Parkway. It's beautiful. Spend 2-3 nts in Jasper and then drive back down the Icefields Parkway, making the stops you missed on the drive up. You might want to stay in Banff when you return since it is a half hour closer to Calgary.

We like to stay in one place when we travel and do day trips but I think it works out better with this area if you move around. I think I have seen a trip report where the family drove immediately to Jasper from Calgary and then drove the Icefields Parkway back down and stayed either in Lake Louise or Banff. I love driving the Icefields Parkway twice, hiking, stopping at the overlooks, picnicking by a lake-- and I love staying in Jasper.

Have fun plannning your trip. We always choose a new destination every year to visit but the Canadian Rockies are one of the few places we love to return to. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Look back a few years on this forum and you will find some fabulous travel suggestions from Judy in Calgary. She no longer posts here but she has many good suggestions.
LindainOhio is offline  
Mar 4th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Thanks. I'll go look up the past posts. This is so helpful.
Kathysa is offline  
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