How to spend 12 days around Banff

Old Apr 14th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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How to spend 12 days around Banff

Hello, my girlfriend and I are planning a trip in late July and are lucky enough to have 12 days to explore. We want to spend the majority of our time outdoors (primarily hiking). From what I've seen, both Banff and Jasper are beautiful, so I'm looking for suggestions on how to best spilt up our time. For example, should we stay in Banff most of the time, or Jasper, or somewhere else (and where would you suggest we stay - which hotels, lodges, etc)? Any suggestions as to lodging? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, if anyone has any "must sees" in the area, I'd be interested in hearing about those as well.

thanks,

Andy
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 12:42 PM
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With a name like "hikerdude", I'd expect that you'd want to maximize your time in natural surroundings. Banff is an attractive, happening place, but if you want to be close to the outdoors, choose Lake Louise or Field, near Yoho.

My husband and I stayed at the hostel in LL, which was the only relatively reasonable choice in a high-rent area. We had a very clean, small private dorm-like room with an equally clean shared bath and showers down the hall. Their restaurant is very good and reasonable, and is open to the public. The only reason we would not stay here again was the noise level. It seemed as though noone ever slept, and trains went by blowing their whistles periodically, all night long. If we go again, we plan to rent a room or suite in the nearby small town of Field. Nearby Yoho park, which is actually in BC, is spectacular. We did the Iceline trail in the park, and have heard great reviews of their other trails. The Kicking Horse river is nearby too, and offers excellent whitewater rafting.

The Parkway between LL and Jasper has magnificent views and hiking, so get a good guidebook, and allow plenty of time. We liked Helen Lake and the Parker Ridge trails a lot.

In Jasper, we stayed at Pine Bungalows, just a short drive from the center of town, but away from the hustle and bustle. We reserved early for a small bungalow in the first row overlooking the river. Very quiet and peaceful, with deer and elk occasionally right outside our door. Other people rave about Becker's. There are also rooms for rent very reasonably in Jasper town.

We didn't find the hiking as spectacular in this area as in LL, but we saw a lot more wildlife, mostly on evening drives. Our favorite short hike/drive in the Jasper area was to Angel Glacier. We went in the evening, stopping to see the waterfall along the way. On the drive, we spotted a bear and her cub, elk, and other wildlife. It stays late very late here, so you can be out and about until 9-10 p.m.

I can go on and on about this area - so beautiful!
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Late July is a good time to visit the Canadian Rockies. Coincidentally, I also made a trip out to Banff in late July of last year. (Be sure to bring insect repellent! The mosquitos that I encountered during my trip were the biggest ones I have ever seen. I was bitten by one that left my leg pretty swollen and bruised for a number of days!)

I travelled in a group of four, and we stayed at the Hidden Ridge Resort in Banff (about a short 5-minute drive to the town centre). The Hidden Ridge Resort is located in a secluded tree-lined area and offers a number of different accommodation types ranging from little chalets to townhouse-style condos. We found the townhouse-style condo both clean and moderately priced (especially considering the high hotel/motel rates that are common in Banff). The kitchenette was quite useful, as it allowed us to prepare a few simple meals (mostly breakfast, though).

I agree with Molly2... Banff is a lively town, but it is not exactly within close reach to many outdoor recreational activities.

As for hiking, I came across this website that might prove useful for you... http://www.explorejasper.com/recreation/hiking.htm

Hope this helps!
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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Hi hikerdude!
If you do a search on this forum for "Jasper", "Banff", "Lake Louise" etc. you will find more information than you could possibly imagine.

As the previous poster said, Beckers Chalet is a favorite of many people in Jasper for accommodations. Definitely my favorite.

Hope you have a great time!
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Old Apr 15th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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as mentioned above, do a search - plenty of info already posted. one recommendation. if you want the accommodation of your choice, i'd book asap.
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Old Apr 15th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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I will give you a flippant sound reply of neither Jasper nor Banff!

If you are a hiker, I can get started on overnight hikes and go on for a while. For example, if you could reserve a spot at Lake O'Hara camp ground, you could spend 4 days very quickly.

My suggestion is the RockWall trail in Kootney. And check out the Stanley Mitchell hut in Yoho. A walk there, plus a scramble to higher viewing areas would use up 2 to 3 days very easily.

Get a copy of the Canadian Rockies by Bart Patton and Brian Robinson. It is the best hiking guide written in English for any area.
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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Thanks to all of you who have (and may) reply to this message. I have gotten a lot of good ideas from searching this message board. I guess my main purpose for posting was to see if there where different avenues of thought on where to stay, give the long time we'll be in the area (the other posting seemed to be for around a week). thanks again

Andy
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 07:16 PM
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OOPS make that the Cnadian Rockies Trail Guide by Bart Patton and Brian Roberson Despite my syntax funny, it is still the best hiking guide in English. You can plan the rest of your life around it if you are a hiker.
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