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Itenary help for Kootenay/Banff/Yoho/Jasper

Itenary help for Kootenay/Banff/Yoho/Jasper

Old Jun 27th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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Itenary help for Kootenay/Banff/Yoho/Jasper

Hello folks

I am looking for advice on hotels, attractions and time to be spent in the NP @ Kootenay, Yoho, Banff and Jasper. I am driving (with my wife and two year old daughter and a friend, his wife and three year old daughter in a mini-van.) from Seattle on the Aug 12th via Chilliwack, BC to Cranbrook on Canadian Route 3. CAA designated scenic route staying at the Sandman . We plan to start back from Jasper on the 18th morning. These are the only two things that are fixed. I have drawn up an itenary based on various threads that I have seen.

I would like to spend a minimum for hotel stay, as I don't expect to be spending a whole lot of time there. I am looking for clean and safe rooms with easy access to attractions. Let me add I am a big buff of scenic driving. I also like to go trekking and my wife also enjoys it though we are not sure how we are going to manage with our daughter. I would like to go white-water rafting on class 3 rapids and possibly on class 4 rapids if time permits . I would also like to bathe in a waterfalls if water is not too cold. If there are specific attractions/scenic points that should not be missed please advice. Also let me know if I have budgeted too little time for any of the attractions.

on the 13th - plan to visit the Radium Hot Springs (3 hrs), Marble Canyon (1.5 hrs) @ Kootenay, drive on 1 and go to Lake Minnewanka ( 2.5 hrs) & go on to halt @ Canmore. Evening trail walk inputs needed.

14 th - Start @ 9 AM Banff Upper Hot Springs & do the Gondola (5 hrs) .Lake Louie(gondola available from 8:30 to 6 PM) - 4 hrs. Is it worth doing Lake Moraine and Valley of ten peaks after 6 PM ? Location of stay in this neighbourhood to be advised as I would like to save time instead of driving down to Canmore.

15th - Lake Moraine and Valley of ten peaks, what else should we do in this area. is it worth going to Yoho NP to see Takakkaw Falls, The Iceline trail, emerald Lake ? Please advice the order in which to see the different attractions and the time to be spent to optimize the itenary. Location of stay in this neighbourhood to be advised.

16th - drive to Jasper Stop en route to see Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls. Ride a Snocoach on the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefields. Stop to see Bow Summit & Peyto Lake. Am i budgeting too little time for all this and are there things I sould move upto another day ? Location of stay in Jasper to be advised.

17th Miette Hotsprings (2 hrs) , Jasper Lake ( 2 hrs), Jasper tramway (3 hrs), Malinge Lake (3 hrs), , Angel Glacier / Cavell Meadows - where are they could not find on map ? Location of stay in Jasper to be advised.

18th - Drive to Whistler via Kamloops - Is there any specific place to see enroute ?

Thanks for your answers.

Kind regards
Hari

BTW - I am impressed by Judy at Calgary's inputs
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 09:28 PM
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BTW - I am impressed by Judy at Calgary's inputs

Alright Judy. That's a kiss up if ever I saw one.
Over to you.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Looks like Judy took offence to my comments, when none was intended.

Would one of the experts in this area have inputs for me ?
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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I wouldn't touch it.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 10:23 PM
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Hello hari_dtt,

Actually I hadn't seen this thread until now.

But, now that I look at it, it strikes me as an itinerary crafted by some sort of storm trooper.

Sorry, I don't know how else to put it.

I would HATE to undertake such an ambitious itinerary with a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old. It would be ambitious even for fit, healthy adults. But with young kids I think it would be just horrible.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I'll try and rescue your itinerary and make it a bit less of a forced march.

Aug 12 - Hwy #3 is a beautiful route. However, if you take Hwy #3, it'll take you 11.5 hours -- NOT COUNTING STOPS -- to reach Cranbrook.

Although the route that Hwy #3 takes is very pretty, it's also very winding, with lots of steep inclines. I don't think you appreciate how tiring it would be to do that in a single day and how trying it would be to do it with two little kids.

If you drove via Spokane, it would take you 8 hours (not counting stops) from Seattle to Cranbrook. I think that is a more feasible option.

Aug 13 - I would not go as far as Canmore. I would make Lake Louise my base for 3 nights (Aug 13 - 15). I would explore the area from my base in Lake Louise. I don't like changing accommodation more often than necessary, and I like it even less when I'm travelling with little kids.

See if you can find accommodation at Lake Louise Inn. They have some loft suites that are suitable for families. If you can't get in there or if Lake Louise is too expensive for your budget, try Douglas Fir Resort on the outskirts of Banff townsite or Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge in Canmore.

Aug 14 - There is no need to go to Moraine Lake on this day if you in any case are going to go there the following day.

On this day I would visit the attractions that are towards the east end of Banff National Park (Johnston Canyon, Lake Minnewanka, Sulphur Mountain gondola, Banff townsite, etc.).

I would not go up the Sulphur Mountain gondola AND the Lake Louise gondola. I think one is enough. But, besides that, Lake Louise (like Moraine Lake) is at the west end of Banff National Park. I don't see any point in running back and forth seeing things at the east and west ends of Banff National Park.

If you want your respective marriages to survive this trip, please don't plan activitie after 6.00 p.m. Allow those poor kids and your spouses SOME time to unwind at the end of the day.

Aug 15 - I don't think you have any idea of what you'd be embarking on. The Iceline Trail is a MAJOR hike. Most people consider it a 2-day hike. It is not just something that one slips into a day along with Takakkaw Falls and this and that.

Also, I don't know when you're going to fit in whitewater rafting. The most exciting river in this part of the Rockies is the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. However, the minimum length of time it takes to do a whitewater rafting trip is half a day, and many of them take a full day.

And, no, you can't swim in the waterfalls. The streams and rivers are glacial runoff, and they're only just this side of the freezing mark.

On this day you would be able to fit in visits to Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake.

Aug 16 - Your plans look fine.

You could consider staying in private home accommodations in Jasper. Places that have received good reviews include Crayston's, 105 Patricia Street, and Columbine House.

Aug 17 - This day is just insane. I hardly know where to begin. Axe Miette Hot Springs.

This is the order in which I would do things. Stop when time runs out.

(1) Maligne Canyon (2 hours)

(2) Drive to Maligne Lake and back (2 hours)

(3) Drive to Mount Edith Cavell. If time and energy permit, do the Angel Glacier / Cavell Meadows hike (considered to be a half day hike).

The road to Mount Edith Cavell is off Hwy #93A. When you're driving northwards from Lake Louise to Jasper, you drive on the Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93). At Athabasca the road forks into two branches, both of which ultimately take you to Jasper townsite. The easterly branch continues to be called Hwy #93. The westerly branch is called Hwy #93A, and it is from that branch that Cavell Road departs.

In fact, if you're finding that you're making good time on your journey from Lake Louise to Jasper on Aug 16, you could turn onto Hwy #93A at Athabasca Falls and take the detour to Mount Edith Cavell en route to Jasper. Obviously you then would not have time to do the Angel Glacier / Cavell Meadows hike, but you would at least be able to do the drive to Mount Edith Cavell, which is pretty in its own right.

(4) If you have time enough left to do it, go up the Jasper tramway. I'm pretty sure you would not have time to do this if you had done Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake and Mount Edith Cavell on this day. However, if you had done Mount Edith Cavell on the previous day, you might have time for the Jasper tramway at the end of this day.

Aug 18 - On the way from Jasper to Kamloops take a detour into Wells Gray Provincial Park at Clearwater. There are several waterfalls and in an ideal world it would be nice to see them all. However, at a minimum you should see Helmcken Falls. The detour to Helmcken Falls and back to the main road will cost you at least 2 hours.

WHITEWATER RAFTING

If you want to go whitewater rafting, you might do it on a day on which the rest of your travel party does something else. The kids will not be able to do the whitewater rafting, and at least a couple of the grown ups will need to do something with the kids while you (and possibly one of the other adults) goes whitewater rafting.

If you're going to sacrifice anything in order to go whitewater rafting, I suggest you sacrifice the Banff day. Let the others go to Johnton Canyon, Lake Minnewanka, Sulphur Mountain gondola and Banff townsite while you go whitewater rafting. Let the rest of them have the use of your vehicle. Most of the whitewater rafting companies pick up and drop off their guests in Banff townsite or Lake Louise.

Hope that helps.




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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Correction:

The road to Mount Edith Cavell is off Hwy #93A. When you're driving northwards from Lake Louise to Jasper, you drive on the Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93). At Athabasca FALLS the road forks into two branches, both of which ultimately take you to Jasper townsite. The easterly branch continues to be called Hwy #93. The westerly branch is called Hwy #93A, and it is from that branch that Cavell Road departs.

I meant to say that the road branched at Athabasca FALLS.
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Old Jul 1st, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Thanks Judy for your valuable input. Is there a site for Lake Louise and Jasper comparable to taximike for Banff? I am open to B&B as well.

I am unable to find accomodation at reasonable price for the 13 Aug thru 16 Aug - 3 nights time. I am yet to start looking at Jasper and hope to do so today.

Cheers
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