Help in planning an Alberta Vacation!

Jan 9th, 2002, 11:21 AM
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Help in planning an Alberta Vacation!

My hasband and I are wanting to visit the Banff/Lake Louise/ Jasper areas in July this year. We will fly into Calgary and then rent a car. Any suggestions on iteneraries? We will have 6 days and 7 nights to explore.

I prefer hotels/ b&b /lodges for the majority of the trip but was considering a couple of nights a Skoki Lodge (recommended to me by a co-worker) or another back country lodge. Has anyone stayed and enjoyed it?

Thanks for all of your help!
Jan 9th, 2002, 09:34 PM
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Check out Alberta B and B on the web. There are Dozens of Bed and Breakfast in and around the parks. Also two less well known places to stay, are the hostels in Banff and Lake Louise. You can reserve, and there are also family rooms available. Both are well kept rustic style log cabins.
Sorry about Skoki lodge, I know nothing of it and have only seen it in passing.

Consider staying in Canmore, outside the park gates, near Banff, espacially if you are trying to budget for other things. The drive from Banff to Jasper can be done in a day, and still hitting one liesurely stop along the way. Pick another spot for the return trip.

If you have some type of trip in mind, it is easier to comment on itineraries.

If scenery is your thing, Then Banff and Jasper. If you want to hike, white water raft, see a rodeo, discover small towns in the foothills, you could go to Banff, go North to Saskatchewan river crossing, and return on the David Thompson Highway as far as Rocky Mountain House, and then swing south on 22 to Cochrane.
Calgary has its Rodeo around the scond and third week in July, and can be quite busy.(book your room in advance if you wish to stay in or near Calgary during the Stampede.)
There are always small town rodeos going on, and are usually entertaining.

Repost, if Ive helped at all or you have questions.

Jan 10th, 2002, 02:04 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I think it would be go if we went into Banff for a couple of days from Calgary and then drove up to Jasper. We're really into wildlife, scenery and hiking.

I looked into one B&B in Banff that looked pretty good out of a Canadian Rockies handbook I bought-- called Eleanor's House.

Thanks for your help-I'll look into the other places too-- maybe they won't be as crowded then.

I really appreciate it!
Jan 10th, 2002, 06:11 PM
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While of course you must visit the Rockies while in Alberta my second favorite place in the province is the Badlands either in Drumheller or just north of Brooks, (I prefer the later for hot desert environment), which is one of the major dinasauer discovery areas in the world. But the stark splendour of the Badlands with their marvelous wind carved hoodoos is worth the trip alone. Try to take a day trip out of Calgary. Drumheller, which is about one hour out of Calgary, has the better museum but north of Brooks, about two hours out of Calgary, has the better hoodoos.
Jan 13th, 2002, 04:44 PM
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We were in Alberta in sept; also like to hike and wanted to avoid crowds. We stayed at Emerald Lake Lodge outside of Banff in Yoho Nat'l Park. We looked at Canmore, but found most places right on a main road. We wanted to stay at O'Hara Lake Lodge, but it was already booked. Hope you enjoy your trip as much as we enjoyed ours!
Jan 18th, 2002, 07:03 AM
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Thanks for all of your help! I will keep you posted on the "final" agenda!
Jan 21st, 2002, 07:19 PM
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We just returned from a stay at the Rimrock in Banff over Christmas. It was HEAVEN!! What I had heard on here was it had the conveniences of a big hotel with the charm of a small inn. I would definitely agree. We loved to sit in the lobby sipping on wine or their delicious hot chocolate (I guess it will be too warm for you guys to drink in July, too bad The view and location were just wonderful. I highly highly recommend it. We're already talking about saving up to go back for a summer trip sometime (us Texans can't imagine a June that isn't 102 degrees outside
Feb 8th, 2002, 01:14 PM
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You can't come to Calgary in July without going to the Stampede. It is world famous! There's a parade, free breakfast everywhere, the rodeo, concerts, a midway and a great grandstand show (last year the had Cirque du Soleil). This year it's July 5-14. Don't miss it!
Feb 9th, 2002, 10:05 AM
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It looks like we are planning the same vacation for the last two weeks of July. My plan so far is to fly into Calgary and rent a car. Spend a few days in each of Banff/LL/Jasper. I don't think that we'll be able to afford any swanky hotels in banff, so we'll have to stay a bit outside banff (canmore?) and hopefully find a nice B&B or cottagey-lodge type place, or maybe the hostels. Any suggestions on the hostels would be great, I haven't tried them in Canada.
Also does anyone have any tips on getting a discount on renting a car? I just came back from Florida and a week's rental with unlimited kms was $250 US...I'm hoping not to pay that much!!! Thanks!!
Feb 13th, 2002, 06:07 AM
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The hostel in Lake Louise looks nice. We didn't stay there but the outside is attractive and its in a good location.
Feb 13th, 2002, 12:04 PM
Bob Brown
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Don't forget that those mountains have a western slope, too. The Great Divide is also the boundary between Alberta and British Columbia in that area and
Banff National Park shares a border with Kootney and Yoho National Parks. Whiskey Jack Hostel in Yoho, near Takkakaw Falls, is a good place as well, so people who have stayed there tell me.
Feb 23rd, 2002, 06:17 AM
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We traveled to this same location several years ago, our first time there. We stayed at the Rimrock in Banff and it was great, but pricey. However we found that we spent the majority of our time in the Lake Louise area, lots more to do. Next time we go we plan to stay at the Paradise Lodge & Bungalows in Lake Louise. They have individual cabins or lodge accommodations if you prefer. We toured the cabins and they are really nice. Check them out at It is away from the crowds and within minutes of great hiking trails! Plan on several days in this area. The drive to Jasper is breathtaking. There are opportunities along the way for sightseeing/hiking. Jasper is not crowded and it would appear only a few tours go that far.We stayed in town in Jasper, was just OK. However, we found Beckers Chalets located right on the river and it was fantastic.Check it out at will stay there next time. We really enjoyed Jasper for
its charm and no crowds. We took several great hikes in Lake Louise and Jasper, e-mail me for more info if you want. Good Luck, you will love it there!!
Feb 23rd, 2002, 03:19 PM
Jim Rosenberg
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Lorilee, you will find car rentals to be significantly less expensive in Canada, if our experience is any indication. We've been using National Car Rental up there most of the time. To save some $$$ on lodging, consider alternatives to Banff for your overnights. Stay in Calgary on your arrival day and the night before your departure, presuming you're not going to fighting "Stampede" crowds and prices. Banff is less than 2 hours drive from Calgary. Jasper offers a little less pricey alternative to higher-brow Banff. A place we've stayed there which was plenty adequate and reasonable was the Mount Robson Inn ( If you make it a full circle and come back down to Calgary via Edmonton instead of backtracking, you can also pick up a night there, which is reasonable too. (After the first hour out of Jasper to the east, the drive to Edmonton is boring, as is the drive between Edmonton and Calgary. Forewarned is forearmed). The West Edmonton Mall is a scream -- and that comes to you from a person who does NOT LIKE shopping! Using this approach would leave you paying for only four of your seven nights at the high-season Canadian Rockies prices. If you want to leave something out for more time in the mountains, drop Edmonton. It saves not only the time you would spend there but a significant amount of uneventful drive time. Happy trails!
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