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How long to spend in the Canadian Rockies and how to divide up that time?

How long to spend in the Canadian Rockies and how to divide up that time?

Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 390
How long to spend in the Canadian Rockies and how to divide up that time?

I'm planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies for next August. My husband and I like to travel leisurely really enjoying the sights and not rush from place to place. Also, we like to feel that we have really seen as much as is reasonably possible. My husband loves to take photographs which takes up time and we enjoy hikes although not very long or difficult ones. Being retired, we have as much time to stay in the area as we want. How many days total would make a nice relaxing trip to the area and how would you suggest we divide up that time. Thanks for any advice.
theatrelover is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,217
Depending on your mode of transport: 1. driving your own car
2. flying into Calgary and renting a car 3.taking a ViaRail train to Jasper and renting a car 4. flying to Vancouver (or Edmonton) and renting a car.
Any way you do it, I doubt that you will run out of things to do/see in 8 days.
I went to Lake Louise with my parents when I was teenager.
I have been back to Jasper several times by train in the last 10 years. If you did not want to rent a car for the whole visit you can take a Brewster bus tour from Jasper.
Make sure to take a hike in Maligne Canyon.
tomfuller is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 67
We spent 1 week in Banff and did several hikes in and around the town. We also drove up to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake for some hiking there. On yet another day, we drove along the Icefields parkway toward Jasper. We stopped at the Athabasca Glacier for a hike. We didn't make it to Jasper because of time, but the drive is indescribable. Get an early start and take your time.

Because we only had one week, we squeezed as much into our days as possible. There is so much to see and the landscape is just lovely. Your husband will enjoy photographing it. There are hikes for all abilities and varying lengths. I would recommend having a car to get from point to point.

Enjoy.....the Canadian Rockies are absolutely beautiful.
ggrace is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 07:31 PM
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I guess I'm lucky because we live close enough to Jasper and Banff that we visit each several times every year (and never get tired of it !).

Since amount of time is not an issue, I would suggest about four to five days for Banff and Canmore (don't overlook Canmore even though it's east of Banff; it is in the Rockies and from there you could drive to Kananaskis); you could visit Yoho National Park from either Banff or Lake Louise, so add another three days or so, then take one entire day driving the Icefield Parkway to Jasper, and spend three or four days in Jasper (during your stay can make a side trip to Mount Robson Provincial Park, an hour's drive west of Jasper townsite). Drive back to Banff on the Icefield Parkway (it's interesting to see what travelling in the opposite direction can make to point of view and time of day - especially for a photographer.)

For information about the sights to see in the mountain parks, check out the Parks Canada website (it'll help in coming back with more specific questions tailored to your likes and dislikes):
Borealis is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 02:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269

To save in the past have flown into Spokane

www.carrentals.com through Penticton Revelstoke

Banff fairmont.com is awesome there also Rimrock

Chateau Lake Lousie Ice fields highway to Jasper

back down sort of a round robin.

Also if shorter on time have flown into Calgary

In August the Stampede was going on very crowded

but I rented a convertible from carrentals.com

headed up into the rockies stayed at Banff Springs

toured around was a good time to go everybody was

at the Stampede... I had a great time doing both

but saved a lot on air roadtripping up from the US.

Happy Travels!
qwovadis is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 03:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Forgot I spent 3 weeks coming up from the US did some Glacier

NP along the way... Just did 1 week on my Calgary Stampede

trip did not really feel like I had enough time.

In the 90s I took my Airstream Land Yacht RV across Canada

and took several months had the most fun doing that...

So if retired I would take lots of time to explore it all.
qwovadis is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 02:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 390
Thank you all so much. We figured we would fly into and out of Calgary and definitely rent a car. Your information is very helpful. I know that, no matter how much time we spend, we can fill it up with wonderful hiking, scenery, etc. I just didn't want to shortchange ourselves and feel rushed. I appreciate the help.
theatrelover is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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Posts: 959
Just to clarify, the Stampede happens during early July, so won't have any effect on your travel plans.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Oct 6th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Do you have 2 weeks? We've been to Banff for a week at a time on a number of occasions and found that is about right for us there, but not enough time for Jasper or Mount Robson Provincial Park. You could spend another week there.
sludick is offline  
Oct 6th, 2011, 08:04 PM
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We could certainly spend two weeks. So are you suggesting one week in Banff and one week in Jasper?
theatrelover is offline  
Oct 7th, 2011, 04:24 AM
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Yes, that is my thought. One week spent in Banff/Lake Louise (you could base in either place, but allow about an hour to drive between them), you could also explore Canmore, Kananaskis, maybe Kootenay. Then spend a day traveling the Icefields and base in Jasper, to explore that area.

You could split your time in Banff spending, a few days in Lake Louise and a few in Banff. We only made it to Jasper for the first time last year, since it's really too far to go round-trip from the Banff area in a day. We only stayed 2 nights/3 days and really want to go back for an entire week.
sludick is offline  
Oct 7th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Thank you so much for your suggestions. This is very helpful.
theatrelover is offline  
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