Jasper & Banff

Old Jan 10th, 2021, 08:38 AM
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Jasper & Banff

The past 2 years we cancelled a trip to the canadian rockies (fires & Covid). Hopefully this will be our year. We'd like to travel in late September and early October. We plan to rent a vehicle. We're trying to decide if we should fly into Edmonton and drive to Jasper then south to Banff and fly home from Calgary or just fly into Calgary and see both directions along Icefield parkway? Also how much time in Jasper? I'm thinking a minimum of 4 days with a week in Banff. Would like to include Yoho in the week in Banff. Any advice or suggestion should be greatly appreciated.
Larry Altman
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Old Jan 10th, 2021, 11:03 AM
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IMO, the Icefields Parkway is well worth a drive both ways. And Calgary is very convenient to Banff, so my vote is in/out Calgary. Plan for a full day each way on the parkway, as you will want to stop for sightseeing, pictures, and some short hikes. Minimum 3 nights in Jasper.
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Old Apr 24th, 2021, 03:46 PM
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Unless there's something in particular you want to see or do in or around Edmonton (Elk Island NP, is very under-rated IMO), it's probably more convenient to fly in/out of Calgary. The Icefields Parkway is pretty in both directions, but if you don't want to do it twice, you can instead take the Yellowhead Highway from Jasper to Kamloops, spend a night there, and then spend a day or two taking the Trans-Canada Highway back to Banff through the BC Rockies and Glacier & Kootenay National Parks, a drive which I would passionately argue rivals the Icefields Parkway in majesty and beauty.

As for how many days it's hard to say. I think it's easy to say how many days to spend in a city or town based on the major attractions, but with National Parks it's a lot less clear cut. How much hiking do you want to do? For how long? Will you be camping? Will you be doing any other activities like mountain climbing, rafting or kayaking? I would say a minimum of four days in Banff, two days in Jasper and one day doing the Icefields Parkway, but since it looks like you're planning 10+ days between the two of them that shouldn't be an issue.

Maybe a 2-week itinerary like this:

Day 1: Fly into Calgary
Day 2: Tour downtown Calgary during the day, pick up rental car in evening and drive to Banff.
Day 3-7: Banff National Park, Lake Louise & Yoho National Park (5 Days total)
Day 8: Icefields Parkway & Athabasca Glacier
Day 9-10: Jasper National Park (2 Days Total)
Day 11: Yellowhead Highway
Day 12: Trans Canada Hwy/Glacier National Park
Day 13: Trans Canada Hwy/Kootenay National Park
Day 14: Drive Back to Calgary, Fly Home

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Old May 6th, 2021, 06:23 AM
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We also had to cancel our trip two years in a row because of forest fires but we finally made it 2 years ago. We stayed in Canmore as a base (to visit Banff etc..) for 3 days and then 3 days in Jasper with the last night back in Calgary. The Icefields Parkway is amazing and we made many stops going to Jasper and then on our way back to Calgary.
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