Help with CAN Rockies itinerary

Old Nov 11th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Help with CAN Rockies itinerary

Hello,

My husband and I will be traveling to the Rockies next July. I'm hoping that one of the experts out there can help me figure out if my itinerary makes sense. We're in our late 30s and reasonably fit, so I've included a lot of hiking. We like to keep busy when we travel but not frantic. I'm not certain if I've matched the hotels I want to stay in to the right days. Also, am I missing anything in your opinion that we MUST see? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Day 1: Fly into Calgary and drive to Canmore. Stay at Bear & Bison.

Day 2: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Hike to Lake Agnes teahouse. Drive to Yoho Nat'l Park to see railway tunnels, Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake. Dinner in Banff townsite. Stay at Bear & Bison.

Day 3: Johnston Canyon with hike to Lower Falls. Take Sulphur Mountain Gondola to Vista Trail and weather observatory. Go to Banff Upper Hot Springs in evening. Stay at Fairmont Banff Springs (just for the experience of staying in a castle).

Day 4: Morning rafting trip on Kicking Horse River (ends at noon). Drive Icefields Parkway to Jasper, stopping at Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, Athabasca Glacier for the Snocoach and Peyto Lake. Stay at Patricia Lake Bungalows.

Day 5: Hike lower trail of Mount Edith Cavill in morning. Hike into Maligne Canyon then drive to Maligne Lake in afternoon. Go to Miette Hot Springs in the evening if we missed Banff Upper Hot Springs earlier. Stay at Patricia Lake Bungalows.

Day 6: Drive Icefields Parkway back toward LL/Banff, stopping to see what we missed on the way out. Hike Plain of 6 Glaciers trail in the afternoon. Stay at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (again, just for the experience).

Day 7: Drive back to Calgary to catch the 1:30 rodeo at the Stampede or go to the Tyrrell Dinosaur museum. Stay in Calgary.

Day 8: Fly home.

Thanks to all of you have posted on this board, particularly Judy. Your website was very helpful and comprehensive. It is all of you that make planning a trip almost as much fun as going on it.
jfreides923 is offline  
Old Nov 11th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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Hello jfreides923,

Your hotels are in the right places.

>>>>>>Day 1: Fly into Calgary and drive to Canmore. Stay at Bear & Bison.<<<<<<

Okay.

>>>>>>Day 2: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Hike to Lake Agnes teahouse. Drive to Yoho Nat'l Park to see railway tunnels, Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake. Dinner in Banff townsite. Stay at Bear & Bison.<<<<<<

You'll be able to see Moraine Lake and Lake Louise and the Yoho National Park stuff OR see Moraine Lake and Lake Louise and do the Lake Agnes Teahouse hike, but not both.

If I were you I would visit Moraine Lake and Lake Louise and do the Plain of Six Glaciers hike on this day.

>>>>>>Day 3: Johnston Canyon with hike to Lower Falls. Take Sulphur Mountain Gondola to Vista Trail and weather observatory. Go to Banff Upper Hot Springs in evening. Stay at Fairmont Banff Springs (just for the experience of staying in a castle).<<<<<<

This is not quite enough to fill a day, although the Banff area certainly has enough attractions that you would be able to supplement this list and fill out the day.

However, I think you would be better off to skip the Banff stuff, and instead do the rafting trip and visit the Yoho National Park attractions on this day. It makes sense to combine the Yoho NP attractions with the rafting trip because the Kicking Horse River is in Yoho NP.

Another thing you might want to consider is that, since Yoho National Park is closer to Lake Louise than it is to Banff, it would make more sense to do the rafting on the Kicking Horse River and the Yoho NP stuff while you were based in Lake Louise. In order to get from Banff to Yoho NP, you have to drive right past Lake Louise. I wouldn't flag this if you were not planning to stay in Lake Louise. But, since you are planning to stay in Lake Louise, it doesn't seem to make sense to do the Yoho stuff from your Banff base. Mind you, I suppose the same could be said for Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and your first hike in the Lake Louise area (be it Plain of Six Glaciers or Lake Agnes).

>>>>>>Day 4: Morning rafting trip on Kicking Horse River (ends at noon). Drive Icefields Parkway to Jasper, stopping at Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, Athabasca Glacier for the Snocoach and Peyto Lake. Stay at Patricia Lake Bungalows.<<<<<<

There is no way you would be able to do the rafting trip and stop at the scenic lookout points on the Icefields Parkway. If you did the rafting trip in the morning, all you'd be able to do is drive straight through to Jasper afterwards.

If you're setting out from Banff, it might be an idea to walk into Johnston Canyon in the morning, then continue to Jasper, with the standard stops along the Icefields Parkway.

>>>>>>Day 5: Hike lower trail of Mount Edith Cavill in morning. Hike into Maligne Canyon then drive to Maligne Lake in afternoon. Go to Miette Hot Springs in the evening if we missed Banff Upper Hot Springs earlier. Stay at Patricia Lake Bungalows.<<<<<<

Even without Miette Hot Springs, this would be a full -- but feasible -- day. Keep in mind that Miette Hot Springs is an hour's drive from Jasper townsite.

>>>>>>Day 6: Drive Icefields Parkway back toward LL/Banff, stopping to see what we missed on the way out. Hike Plain of 6 Glaciers trail in the afternoon. Stay at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (again, just for the experience).<<<<<<

Drive the Icefields Parkway with minimal (if any) stops. Then do the Lake Agnes Teahouse hike in the afternoon.

>>>>>>Day 7: Drive back to Calgary to catch the 1:30 rodeo at the Stampede or go to the Tyrrell Dinosaur museum. Stay in Calgary.<<<<<<

Okay.

>>>>>>Day 8: Fly home.<<<<<<

Okay.
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Old Nov 11th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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So, after mangling your itinerary in the previous post, this is what makes more sense to me.

Day 1: Fly into Calgary and drive to Canmore or Banff.

Day 2: Sulphur Mountain Gondola, Johnston Canyon, drive to Lake Louise. Visit Moraine Lake. Overnight in Lake Louise.

Day 3: Do all-day circle hike that incorporates Plain of Six Glaciers and Lake Agnes.

Day 4: From your Lake Louise base, go rafting on the Kicking Horse River, and visit attractions in Yoho NP.

Day 5: Drive the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, with the standard stops. If you're driving from Lake Louise to Jasper, you'll encounter them in this order : Peyto Lake, Columbia Icefields, Sunwapta Falls, Athabasca Falls.

Day 6: From your Jasper base, visit Mount Edith Cavell, Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake and, if time permits, Miette Hot Springs (better than the hot springs in Banff).

Day 7: Drive from Jasper to Calgary to catch the afternoon rodeo. This would be ambitious, but it would be feasible. Jasper to downtown Calgary is about 6 hours. Overnight in Calgary.

Day 8: Fly home.

You are trying to pack a heck of a lot into eight days. I don't see how you can fit anything more into the time you have available.

There have been a couple of recent reports of valuables being stolen from parked cars at scenic lookout points in the Canadian Rockies. On the days that you transfer from one place to another, lock your luggage in your trunk and carry with you valuables such as your passport, credit cards and money.
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Old Nov 11th, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Thanks so much Judy. I have another question for you. If we didn't want to drive 6 hours from Jasper to Calgary on Day 7 of your recommended itinerary, any suggestions on how to rearrange the days to have an overnight in Banff/LL on the way back?

Thanks again.
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Old Nov 11th, 2006, 09:58 PM
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>>>>>>If we didn't want to drive 6 hours from Jasper to Calgary on Day 7 of your recommended itinerary, any suggestions on how to rearrange the days to have an overnight in Banff/LL on the way back?<<<<<<

The only way you could do that without sacrificing any of the attractions on your wish list is to drive all the way to Jasper on the day you land in Calgary.

I don't know where you will have flown from, how early in the morning you will have departed, and how tired you'll be.

It'll take about 7.5 hours from the time that you land at Calgary Airport to the time that you arrive in Jasper. The drive from Calgary Airport to Jasper is about 5.5 hours. But add an hour to clear immigration and customs at the airport, and also add an hour for a meal somewhere along the way (probably Lake Louise).

This would work if your plane landed by. say, 2 pm, and if you had the energy to do it. Because it stays late till about 10 pm at that time of year, a 9.30 pm arrival would still get you into Jasper in daylight.

If you think that would work for you, this is how you could do it.

Day 1: Fly into Calgary and drive to Jasper.

Day 2: Jasper stuff : Mount Edith Cavell, Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake

Day 3: Drive the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise, with stops along the way.

Day 4: Plain of Six Glaciers and Lake Agnes circular hike

Day 5: From your Lake Louise base, visit Yoho NP (white water rafting and other attractions).

Day 6: Visit Moraine Lake. Then drive from Lake Louise to Banff, stopping to see Johnston Canyon on the way. Sulphur Mountain Gondola. Overnight in Banff.

Day 7: Drive to Calgary in the morning. The shortest, most direct way would take about 2 hours. You also would have time to take the longer, more scenic route through Kananaskis Country and the Highwood Pass. This would involve driving east from Banff on Hwy #1, and turning south on Hwy #40. At Longview turn north onto Hwy# 22. Turn east onto Hwy #22X some distance north of Turner Valley. Turn north onto Macleod Trail or Deerfoot Trail (Hwy #2), depending on which one is the most convenient for the hotel at which your're staying. Take in the rodeo in the afternoon. Overnight in Calgary.

Day 8: Fly home.

If you want to fit in everything on your wish list, I think you're going to have to have one fairly brutal day of driving, either the day on which you land in Calgary or the day on which you drive from Jasper to Calgary in the morning and take in the rodeo in the afternoon. I don't see how else you can fit everything into eight days.
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Old Nov 11th, 2006, 10:13 PM
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I agree with Judy. Some of those experiences may take longer than you think. Perhaps I tend to linger a while when I see scenes of great beauty.

But I don't think you can go wrong. Just be surprised if you feel the urge to trim something from the list, or you may end up with several very late evening meals.

On your side is the fact that there will be long hours of daylight. Day 4 sounds like the only day that is a little too ambitious. It is not a short drive from Banff to where you take the raft trip.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 02:54 PM
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Thanks very much to you both. I'm already looking forward to the trip!

J
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