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Itinerary recommendation for 3 days in Banff

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Feb 4th, 2018, 08:23 AM
  #1
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Itinerary recommendation for 3 days in Banff

My husband, an adult daughter, and I are flying into Calgary, renting a car and driving to Banff in the afternoon on 5/13 and staying there for three full days (5/14-16). We are not much of hikers, so we plan to drive to the scenic sights. I know I want to ride the gondola and take a boat cruise if available. What would be the most efficient itinerary to see as much as possible?
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Feb 6th, 2018, 10:40 AM
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Welcome!

Mid May is definitely spring down in the valleys, but still the end of winter/very early at higher elevations. One ski resort will most likely still be open for your visit, higher lakes still frozen and many trails snowbound. However, it can be a lovely time to see the mountains as spring starts to spread up from the valleys. The biggest factor will be weather, as it can be anything from a warmish spring day to a late season snowstorm. More than likely temps will range from 10-15c in the daytime, and possibly below freezing at night. As such, flexibility is key.

If you aren't going to get to Jasper, I'd at least suggest one day to explore part of the amazing scenery along the Icefields Parkway. The higher elevations will still be snowy, but you can see Bow Lake & if it's not too slushy/mucky see Peyto Lake. The snocoach tours on the glacier will be running, though the glaciers will still be mostly covered in snow. Another day can be used for Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon and perhaps heading over to Emerald Lake in Yoho NP (both will still be all or mostly frozen, but well worth seeing nonetheless). The roads to Moraine Lake and Takkakaw Falls will still be shut.

Your other day can be for Banff area activities like the gondola, Whyte Museum, Tunnel Mountain, Bow Falls, Banff Springs Hotel and Lake Minnewanka. The lake cruises are tentatively scheduled to start on May 11, but it could be later depending on weather/conditions.
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Feb 6th, 2018, 05:23 PM
  #3
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I appreciate the detailed response. We thought driving to Jasper would not give us enough time in Banff with the limited time. Yes, I did some research and learned that the weather is going to be unpredictable in May.
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