Heading to Banff/Lake Louise in April

Apr 16th, 2005, 01:00 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3
Heading to Banff/Lake Louise in April

My boyfriend and I have been offered a last-minute trip to the Rockies next week. We have access to a vehicle, but no accomodations yet. We meet in Calgary and are thinking of Day 1: Canmore, Day 2: Banff, Day 3: Radium, Day 4: Lake Louise, Day 5: Icefields Parkway to Thomson Highway back towards Edmonton. While I have spent some time in the mountains, I have no idea what to expect in the area in April. Can anyone help? We like to hike and raft, though expect it's too early, I ski and my boyfriend is willing to try! As much as possible, we want to keep budget in mind, though may splurge on a nice hotel/B&B at either end of our trip. Suggestions? Is it worth it to go to Golden from Radium and back over to LL? Is the Parkway open? Sorry for so many questions!!
prairiegirl is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 03:35 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hello prairiegirl,

There is no point in moving from Canmore to Banff to Radium to Lake Louise. They are close enough to each other that you could use a single base to visit all of those places.

At this time of year I would recommend Canmore or Banff as a base. (My opinion of that changes as we move into summer. I consider Lake Louise to be the better base during the hiking season.)

You definitely will be here too early for hiking in the areas that you're thinking of visiting. I think you'd be better off to think in terms of skiing.

The Icefields Parkway is open. It would be feasible to drive from Banff to Jasper and Edmonton in a day. It would take about eight hours without stops, though. If you prefer, you can break the journey with an overnight stop in Jasper.

In the short amount of time that you have, I do not believe it's worth driving to Golden and Radium. Just my opinion. Others may disagree.

If you're looking for budget accommodation in the Canmore/Banff area, Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge in Canmore has received good reviews here. I also like the Georgetown Inn in Canmore. It has a couple of dozen rooms, and a sumptuous breakfast is included in the rate.

Hope that helps.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 06:06 AM
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Thanks Judy, for all of the great recommendations on places to stay. I appreciate your advice to just stay in one place and day trip!

In terms of activities, I am still a bit lost. If we go skiing, it will likely only be for a day, as one of us is completely new to the sport. I know that we can spend our time checking out town and going to the hot springs, but I expect other sites will still be closed.

With my boyfriend only having been to Jasper (we hiked there in November), I really want to show him the wonders of the area. I'm also not sure he'll want to head all the way back to Jasper at this time of the year, given that he has a long ride back up North on the Sunday. Any other ideas?
prairiegirl is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 06:48 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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For one day's skiing, go to Sunshine Village. There's good beginner terrain there, and the scenery is fantastic, as the village is just above the treeline. I understand they've recently had lots of new powder, so conditions should be great.
laverendrye is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 06:52 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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prairiegirl - if you are heading back to Edmonton anyway, it doesn't make very much difference time-wise whether you drive all the way to Jasper, then to Edmonton, or turn off at David Thompson (#11), and then drive to Edmonton. Personally I think that the Icefield Parkway north of the David Thompson turnoff is more spectacular, and after that the drive to Edmonton from Jasper is faster because the highway is much better (Yellowhead is four lane divided etc. from Hinton east).

Weather forecast for this coming week is for gradually warmer temperatures, up to 19C in Jasper and 16C in Banff by Thursday (21/04) - and sunny, although below freezing at night (natuarally!). Good weather for touring (by car) but not so much for hiking although I do know some people who hike the Rockies year round!!!

I agree with Judy, Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise are close enough to each other that it's best to pick one as a base, and since Banff is in the middle of the three, that might be your best choice. There should be a wide choice of accommodation available at this time of the year, with lower rates and special packages with good deals than at the height of tourist season.
Borealis is offline  

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