Jasper & Banff Nat'l Parks

May 2nd, 2006, 12:48 PM
  #1  
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Jasper & Banff Nat'l Parks

My husband and I will be visiting Jasper and Banff for 14 days. We are seniors; we will sightsee by rental car and can only handle short walks. We have reserved 4 hotels. This is the schedule:
1. Fly Calgary from New Orleans 6-17-06
visit eau claire market, sleep in
calgary.
2.Drive rental car to Lake Louise/The
Crossing Hotel in L.Louise june 18-21
Visiting all the beautiful sights
around L.L. and YOHO and Kootenay.
3.Drive to Jasper & explore sights
around Jasper/stay 4 days/nights.
4.Leave Jasper and explore Banff area;
sleep 4 nights in Canmore.
5.Fly home to New Orleans 6-30th noon.
Is this a good itinerary? Even though we are seniors, we know how to push hard to see everything. This is our first time to Canada. We are willing to do walks but not hikes and do lots of drives. We want to do picnics at beautiful places.
What should we not miss? Any suggestions? What are the most important things to do at each local area?

Looking for help,

Barbara Hickey


bhickey is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 02:52 PM
  #2  
 
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Hello Barbara,

The Crossing Hotel is not in Lake Louise. I know when you do a Google search for Lake Louise accommodation, the Crossing Hotel comes up as one of the options. However, the Crossing Hotel is at Saskatchewan River Crossing, along the Icefields Parkway. I'm trying to remember how far it is from Lake Louise. It must be a minimum of 45 minutes' drive. In any event, whatever the exact driving time is, I do not regard Saskatchewan Crossing as a convenient base from which to explore the Lake Louise area and nearby Yoho National Park.

Also, if you don't plan to hike, I think you will have one night too many in Canmore.

I think you should increase your Calgary stay to two nights. That will give you one full day in Calgary. I would recommend that you use that day to visit the Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, which is 2 hours' drive east of Calgary. Driving to Drumheller, visiting the museum, and driving back to Calgary takes up the better part of a day.

I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment, but my website has more information on this area:

http://groups.msn.com/CalgaryandCana...iesTravelTips/
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 10:06 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Judy for replying. Your info is always so helpful.

Based on your advice, I cancelled the reservation with THE CROSSING RESORT and booked BANFF PTARMIGAN INN for 4 days/nights instead.

The reservations for Jasper for 4 days/nights is with BECKER'S CHALETS
by the way.

Thanks for your input.

Barbara

bhickey is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 10:22 AM
  #4  
 
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And quite frankly there are a lot more interesting things to see in Calgary than the Eau Claire market. Calgary Zoo; Heritage Park are just a couple of choices.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 06:13 AM
  #5  
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OH really? Eau Clare is not worth the trouble? Time is too precious to waste on something not worthy of going to.

I just love outdoor markets but some of them are better than others. How big is the market? What kinds of things do they sell? I am a jewelry hound...natural stones and such.

Maybe you are right about Heritage park. I will look into that.

Thanks for the info.

Barbara
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May 4th, 2006, 07:17 AM
  #6  
ltt
 
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good choice in switching from crossing to the ptarmigan.
while staying canmore, i'd take a drive out to kananaskis provincial park. it's very nice.
while in banff, it's an easy walk from town to the bow falls. you can walk on either side of the river. johnson's canyon is an uphill walk but it is not too difficult (to the first falls) and there are benchs along the way to rest.
have fun.
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May 4th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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When Eau Claire first opened a few years ago, it was worth a visit. However in recent years it has fallen into disrepair and now the shops are empty or really junky ones. They are working on revitalizing it, but that's months (or years) away. FYI - it is not an outdoor market more an indoor mall. Where are you planning to stay while in Calgary?
Cruiseryyc is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Thanks for the walk suggestions at both Bow Lake and Johnson Canyon. I will make note of that. We will do them.

In Calgary, we will stay for one night only at new Holiday Inn Express Airdrie- north of airport.

In Canmore we will stay at Best Western Pocaterra Inn for 4 days.

Barbara
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May 4th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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Well if you're staying that far out of downtown Calgary, a visit to Eau Claire is definitely not worh it. What time are you actually arriving in Calgary? A lot of the touristy places close for the evening.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 05:25 AM
  #10  
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We arrive at 2 pm Saturday. Would we be able to visit Heritage Park?
bhickey is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Hello Barbara,

I do not believe you will have time to visit Heritage Park. It closes at 5 pm. It will take you about an hour to get through immigration and customs at Calgary Airport. So I would think it would be at least 3 pm before you got on the road. Then, even if road conditions were perfect (which they should be on a Saturday afternoon) and you knew exactly where you were going, it would take you at least 30 minutes, but probably more like 40 minutes, to get to Heritage Park. It probably would be closer to 4 pm by the time you actually walked through the park gates. So you'd have an hour in which to see the park. I don't think it's worth going there unless you have at least 2 - 3 hours to spend.

I also don't think it's worth going to the zoo for less than 3 hours.

I think your best bet would be to go downtown, walk along 8th Avenue / Stephen Avenue Walk. While you're there, stop at a couple of western outfitting stores, just for the cultural experience.

Then go to the indoor Devonian Gardens, which are in a building along 8th Avenue / Stephen Avenue Walk.

After that, walk northwards towards the Bow River. Walk along the pleasantly treed and shaded river path to the Eau Claire Market area. Cross the footbridge to Prince's Island, and walk in the park for a bit.

Finish up with dinner in the Eau Claire Market area. If you want a moderately priced place that has an eclectic menu (some Italian-ish dishes, some Thai-inspired dishes, and good steaks) dine at Joey Tomato's. If you want a fine dining experiencing (including the option of local game meats and birds), dine at River Cafe in the park on Prince's Island (reservation essential).

Airdrie is a satellite town about 20 minutes north of the airport. I do not recommend you go there for the latter half of the afternoon and for dinner. Just use it as a place to spend the night before you move on.

Even if you spend the following night (June 18th) in Banff, you would have time to take a detour and go to the Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller before you continue to Banff.

From Airdrie, it would take you about 1.5 hours to drive to Drumheller.

Allow a good 2 hours or more in which to see the museum.

Afterwards have lunch in the town of Drumheller and look through a couple of the stores that sell fossils and natural stones. If you are into stones, I think you'd be quite interested to see what's on offer in Drumheller.

After you're done in Drumheller, it will take you 3 hours to drive to Banff.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Agree with Judy, a walk in the downtown area would be your best bet for the evening you arrive.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 09:44 AM
  #13  
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I really like the plan for a walk around Calgary that you offered Judy. It sounds like a winner to me.
We will also do the Tyrell museum the next day per your suggestion.
I am excited to check out the natural stones/fossils in Drumheller too.
Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions. I will plan accordingly.

Thanks to all of you who responded to my questions. You guys are just great.

By the way, what is the price of gasoline now in your area?
bhickey is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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>>>>>>By the way, what is the price of gasoline now in your area?<<<<<<

In my Calgary neighbourhood the price of gas presently is around C$1.00 per litre. That works out to roughly US$3.40 per US gallon.
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May 5th, 2006, 01:02 PM
  #15  
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Thanks for the info. Our gas is running right about $3. a gallon. We will manange; no problem.
bhickey is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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We are flying to Calgary September 2nd and staying overnight at the Hyatt Regency. On September 3rd we're driving from Calgary to Lake Louise and staying at The Crossing Resort for 2 nights followed by 2 nights at Jasper Inn in Jasper before driving back to Calgary for a flight to Vancouver. In this case is The Crossing a good idea? Thanks in advance.
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May 15th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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>>>>>>In this case is The Crossing a good idea?<<<<<<

In a word, no.
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May 15th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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I think The Crossing might be a good idea for one night. My first visit out there in 1987 was a scouting trip. We spent the night at Lake Louise, visited Yoho and drove to Glacier and then retraced out steps and spent the night at The Crossing so we would have time for a slow drive up the Icefields Parkway the following day with a stop at the Icefields Center so we could ride the ice buggy onto the glacier.

The rooms there struck me as small, and I think we could debate the quality of the food.

I also think that Calgary has enough features to need a day. The Heritage Park is a reconstruction of historic buildings and I found it to be quite interesting to visit.

In the downtown area, we enjoyed the Devonian Gardens as well as being able to wander over a large area of downtown without ever having to go outside.

If you are going to be that long around Canmore, why not go to the Mount Engadine Lodge for a night or two?

It is a very tranquil setting and, when I was there, the food was tremendous.
We watched moose and ate at the same time.
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