Good one trip from Calgary

Apr 13th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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Good one trip from Calgary

Relatives going to Calgary for a wedding the end of August. They want to come a week early and do a trip that will get them to all the highlights. Currently looking at 3-4 days in Canmore at Baker Creek Chalets and another 2-3 days in Golden at the AlpenRose Cabins. Any thoughts on this and any input into a great vacation. This is a couple coming from N.Y. with 14 yr. old. Thanks.
bashful is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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Sorry that should have read "Good one week trip from Calgary".
bashful is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Hmm. Golden and Canmore are a fair distance from paydirt.

I think you would be ahead to take Canmore, but driving from Canmore to a destination like lake Louise or over Kicking Horse Pass to Takkakaw
Falls (a definite should see) and back is a lot of running up and down the same road.

I would get in a night at the Crossing Motel. It is not the greatest, but it has food and sleeping rooms. You could drive up the Icefields Parkway the day you leave for a couple of hours, and then reverse your route and drive the David Thompson Highway back to Red Deer and then south to Calgary.

From Canmore you could visit the Spray Lakes region tothe south one day, then take in the area around Banff, then drive to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and over to Takkakaw Falls before heading up to The Crossing. Then back to Calgary.

brookwood is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Is there wisdom in spending a day in Drumheller, in the badlands and with the dinosaur museum,. and perhaps looking for a rodeo to vist, too.

To me, Golden and Canmore are pretty much more of each other.

BAK is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Baker Creek Chalets is a few minutes outside of Lake Louise.

If your family members have a week in the area, they could fit in the Banff / Lake Louise / Yoho National Park area (which they certainly could see from a base at Baker Creek Chalets) AND they could also fit in a visit to Jasper. (They would see the Icefields Parkway, which Brookwood mentioned, en route from LL to Jasper.)

BAK's suggestion of Drumheller has merit too. Since that actually is east of Calgary, it would best be done as a day trip from Calgary, before or after the trip to the mountains.

I agree that Golden is some distance from "paydirt" as Brookwood put it and that it is a repetition of Canmore as BAK said. My preference would be to go to Jasper rather than Golden.

However, if your family members really do want to head further west, there is some lovely territory between Golden and Sicamous. This could be seen from a base in Golden or Revelstoke.

West of Golden is British Columbia's Glacier National Park, which includes beautiful Rogers Pass.

That park and the next one to the west of it, Mount Revelstoke National Park, have lovely inland rainforests consisting of fir, spruce, hemlock and cedar.

In the SW corner of Mt Revelstoke Nat'l Park, just before you reach the town of Revelstoke, is the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. It's a 16 mile, uphill road with tight turns. It starts out in the forest and ends up in meadows.

In Revelstoke itself there is a railroad museum.

About a half hour drive beyond Revelstoke is Craigellachie, the place where the last spike was driven into the trans-continental railway in November 1885. It's the Canadian equivalent of Promontory, Utah. The scenery west of Revelstoke continues to be pretty. Whether or not your rellies actually want to go Craigellachie, just to be able to say they've been there, depends on how they're doing for time, I imagine.

If they drove another half hour beyond Craigellachie, they'd get to Sicamous, which is on the shores of the Shuswap Lake, and is the houseboating capital of British Columbia. It's quite a pleasant spot. Again, whether or not they felt it was worth their while to drive the
extra distance would depend on how the rest of their day had gone.

The drive from Golden to Revelstoke takes about 2 hours without stops. Revelstoke to Sicamous is 1 hour without stops.

The reason I have described the drive from Golden to Revelstoke and beyond is that it is one of the less discussed sections of road here at Fodor's.

Previous Fodor's discussion threads contain heaps and heaps of information about Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. You will find more than you know what to do with if you do a word search.

If your family members like BAK's suggestion of a rodeo, there will be one in Lethbridge, 2-1/2 hours south of Calgray, from August 23rd through 27th. On August 23rd Lethbridge also will host the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Musical Ride.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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If I had to trade off, I would give a slight edge to the Icefields Parkway over Glacier, but not by much.
I think there is more to see and do along the parkway, particularly if you can reach as far north as the Icefields Center where the Icebuggy goes out on the glacier.

At any rate, this is a can't miss situation regardless.
I have been there numerous times, including last year. The Icefields Parkway is in my book the best scenic long drive in North America that is paved and developed.

I find it tireless and I have gone both ways on it, north and south, several times since my first view in 1987.
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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As mentioned, Baker Creek Chalets are some distance from Canmore - they are actually an 8 to 10 minute drive from Lake Louise Village along the Bow Valley Parkway (and approx. 35 to 40 minutes west of Banff, which itself is a 10 minute drive west of Canmore),
Baker Creek is in a lovely wooded spot - the cabins are comfy and well stocked, there is a dining room in the main lodge - I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

As Judy mentioned, rather than going to Golden, I would drive the Icefield Parkway - an absolutely gorgeous drive - all the way to Jasper and stay there for a few days - lots to see in that area too (Mt. Edith Cavell, Athabasca Falls, Maligne Canyon and Lake, the view from The Whistlers after a ride on Jasper Tramway, the 14-year old may get a kick out of some white water rafting on the Athabasca River). Accommodation suggestions in the Jasper area include Becker's Chalets, Alpine Village, Pyramid Lake Resort (Google-search the names for more info and pictures).
Borealis is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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For some of those cabins near Jasper check the minimum stay. For example, Patricia Lake Bungalows last year had a 3 day minimum.

And even now, some dates are already booked solid.
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Alpine Village has a three night minimum policy for the "high" season (summer, June to mid-September), but Becker's and Pyramid Lake do not.

Becker's is closed in the winter months and re-opens on April 29th this year. We usually travel to the mountains in the "shoulder" seasons - but not always - and we rarely make reservations more than one month in advance, & usually just for the weekend (we're within easy driving distance, can get to Jasper or Banff on Friday evening after a full day of work), and haven't had a problem with finding a place to stay - yet!!
Borealis is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 07:28 PM
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I would do the circuit. Spend a couple of days in the Banff, Lake Louise area. Take a day to drive to Jasper(do the icefields parkway) this will take the better part of the day. Spend a couple of night in Jasper, then to Edmonton. Spend a night at the WEM hotel, the 14yr old will love it. Either shopping or going to the waterpark, or galaxy land, or mini golf...

Drive back to Calgary - stopping for a night in Drumheller if possible.

You can always add a day to Banff or Jasper if you have extra. Also spend some time in Calgary - it is a beautiful city with lots to do.
ladytonia is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 08:15 PM
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I have visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum twice. The educational program for young people is really good. When we were there, there was a special on the creatures of the Burgess shale. Large scale models of animals like marella, hallucigenia and anomalacaris were shown under black light that made the models glow in the dark. This kid of 70 got a real bang out of it. Fun stuff.

And of course, there are the dinosaurs. Black Beauty T-Rex and a bunch of others.

To paraphrase Johnson, if are tired of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, you are tired of learning.
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Thanks everyone - these are great suggestions and I have passed them on to my brother.
bashful is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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It is a win win win situation.
Everywhere you go, there is something to see.

In addition to Drumheller, the Ukranian Heritage village to the east of Edmonton is fabulous. We were there on a Sunday for a food and music festival. The food was fine and the musicians were talented.

I fell in love with the province in 1987 and I have been back frequently since.
In fact, I just booked for late August.
(Some of the choice places were already taken, unfortunately.)
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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And. . . . if you are going to be travelling as far from the mountains as Edmonton is (less than 3 hours north of Calgary), and visiting the Ukrainian Village, you will be driving past Elk island National Park, which is a natural preserve of the ecological region of the Edmonton area (aspen parkland), where there are picnic areas, lakes, hiking trails through the woods, and small herds of wild buffalo !! (also moose, deer, beaver, many small mammals and a variety of birds).
Borealis is offline  

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