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PattyBikowsky Aug 24th, 2004 05:28 PM

Jasper/Banff, how many days?
I'm planning a trip for Aug 2005 and need suggestions about how many days we should have for each area. We'll fly in and out of Calgary. We like to hike 5-8 miles per day. Our preference is to stay near trails rather than in towns. We can take 10-12 days for the vacation. Any suggestions on how many days in each area would greatly help.

Molly2 Aug 24th, 2004 08:14 PM

You will be much closer to the trails in Lake Louise than in Banff, but your lodging choices will be much more limited. We stayed at the hostel in LL which was very simple, clean, and convenient to hiking, but VERY noisy. If we had it to do again, we would stay in the nearby small town of Field,BC, which is close to Yoho Park and its fantastic trails.

Though we certainly enjoyed Jasper, we found the hiking much more varied near LL and along the Icefeld Parkway. Our favorite hike in the Jasper area was teh trail to Angell Glacier.

Judy_in_Calgary Aug 24th, 2004 09:55 PM

Hello Patty,

If you spend 12 days on the vacation, you'll have at best 8 or 9 days that you can devote to hiking. I'm taking into consideration your travel days from home to this area and back home again, as well as your travel time between the Banff / Lake Louise area and Jasper.

I agree with Molly2 that it's better to be based further west into the mountains than Banff townsite. That means, as Molly2 suggested, Lake Louise or Field. Other places to consider, if your budget can stand them, are back country lodges, such as Lake O'Hara Lodge and Twin Falls Chalet. The two I've just mentioned happen to be in Yoho National Park.

See Bob Brown's comments about Twin Falls Chalet in this thread:;tid=34515373

For information about Lake O'Hara Lodge, check out:

I'm also inclined to agree with Molly2 that it would be good to weigh your time somewhat in favour of Lake Louise / Yoho National Park versus Jasper. If you had 8 days to devote fully to hiking, I would suggest spending 5 of them in the LL / Yoho area and 3 of them in Jasper.

If you want to stay at back country lodges in August 2005, you would be wise to make your reservations soon.

But before you get very much further into this process, you seriously need a trail guide of the Canadian Rockies.

The best one is "The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide" by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson. It's difficult to get hold of this book in the U.S.A., but even one of the oldest editions, going back two or three decades, which I've seen for sale at secondhand websites, would be okay. The glaciers have receded some, but the mountains have changed little since Patton and Robinson first put out this book in 1971.

Graeme Pole is another author who has written good guidebooks for hikers. His "Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies" concentrates on overnight routes. His "Walks and Easy Hikes in the Canadian Rockies" concentrates on hikes that can be completed in less than a day. (The latter book covers everything from REALLY short, easy walks through more challenging hikes that nevertheless do not require overnight camping.)

Hope that helps.

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