Lake Louise lodging/train noise?

Old May 30th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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Lake Louise lodging/train noise?

We are in the initial stages of planning a trip to Banff and Jasper in early September. We are in our 50s, and are able to afford more luxurious lodgings, but we aren't interested in golf or dressing up for dinner, also not in need of organized activities. We love to hike and go out to nice restaurants. Shopping is not a priority. For the Banff part of the trip, we might split our nights between Banff and Lake Louise, with five nights total. Then we would have 4 nights in Jasper. Or maybe we should spend all of the first 5 nights sleeping in Lake Louise rather than spending a couple nights in Banff (we're considering the Rimrock there). We don't really mind packing up and moving, but wondering if most of the best hiking is closer to LL?

For Lake Louise, I am considering the Post Hotel, which we can afford, although it does seem pricey. Also read some good reviews of Baker Creek Chalets. However, reviewers of both places mention noise problems with freight trains in the middle of the night. We're both light sleepers and sometimes have trouble falling back asleep if woken at 3 am, so I hesitate to book these places. I called the Post, and they do say that their "preferred" class of rooms are on the quiet side of the hotel and we wouldn't be able to hear the trains. Does anyone know if this is true? I've never used Expedia or one of the other discounters. I was thinking of trying that since the prices look better, but it doesn't seem they give you the choice of requesting a room on the "preferred" side of the hotel.

Any lodging advice for Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper would be appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 03:30 PM
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Have you tried for availability at Lake Ohara Lodge. http://www.lakeohara.com/

There will be no noise problems here and many Fodorites will vouch for it as being a top notch spot, when price is not a concern.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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It's the main line of the CPR and a very busy one. I cam't imagine that the Post would be completely soundproof. Why not stay at the Chateau Lake Louise or Moraine Lake Lodge? If Lake O'Hara Lodge is unavailable (likely) there's also Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho Park just outside Field.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 05:51 PM
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I looked at Lake O'Hara Lodge website and it does sound very special, but not for us. The lodge rooms are $580 Canadian (we're from the states so it would be more) without private bathrooms, which is a nonstarter for us. The cabins were over $800/night.

I'll look at the others mentioned here, thanks.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 06:17 PM
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Emerald Lake Lodge looks really awesome. How far is that from Lake Louise?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 03:03 AM
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Emerald Lake Lodge is no more than a half-hour drive from Lake Louise.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:35 AM
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We love to visit this area and have travelled there twice in September. If you love to hike, you definitely need ti visit this area--it is a hiker's paradise. We don't do upscale lodging but we stayed at Emerald Lake Lodge on a last minute special one visit in Sept.--loved it. We stayed in an upper quad room. If you are a light sleeper, these rooms might not be for you. The room is small but has a stoked fireplace that we loved to sit by, the room had been updated, the bathroom was very nice and we enjoyed eating in the lodge dining room. You could hear the downstairs door opening and closing. I would not want a lower room. The cabins on the lake would be my dream spot to stay. The Lodge is about a half hour from Lake Louise but the drive is gorgeous. We actually stayed there because everything in Lake Louise was sold out. To me, Emerald Lake Lodge is what I imagine to be the perfect lodge--I never liked Chateau Lake Louise(why don't they have balcony rooms?)--but I do love the castle looking Banff Springs Hotel.

The Paradise Lodge and Bungalows is a really nice place to stay and in a good location in Lake Louise. We stayed in the Wilson Cabin which is the cheapest but there are some really nice cabins with decks that look over the back of the property. They offer a 3 nt hiker special. They also have a nice continental breakfast.

We have never stayed at Moraine Lodge but it also has a great location and offers guided hikes for their guests. This is great since many times trails are closed to less than 6 hikers because of bear activity. If money were no object, I would love to stay here (my dream is to stay at Lake O'Hara).

Even if you don't stay at Lake O'Hara be sure to call 3 months in advance and get reservations on the bus for a day hike.

We stayed in the jacuzzi room at Baker Creek and it is a nice room too. I liked paradise Lodge better.

We also stayed at the Rimrock on a last minute special. It is very luxurious but is not in town. We had reservations with no cancellation charge but switched to the Rimrock about 2 weeks before we left. I would do a check every once in awhile on www.kayak.com and look for hotel specials. There are also sometimes last minute specials at the Banff Springs in September. At the Banff Springs be sure to upgrade from the lowest priced rooms--from what I hear, soem of thosse rooms are really teeny.

For our week long trip we stayed 1 nt at the airport(late arrival) 3 nights Lake Louise, 2 nights Jasper and 1 nt Banff. I could have spent another week, but that was the best we could do. My 2008 trip report is on this site--click on my name.

If you stay 3 nts in Jasper, Alpine Village always looks very nice. We have stayed at Beckers and Patricia Lake. Patricia Lake has some luxury cabins in the Grove. We stayed very inexpensively in one of their cabins and enjoyed the setting on the lake.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 08:36 AM
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Thanks for all the great info. That was a great trip report and I'm going to do some more research! Regarding Lake O'Hara, not sure if we'll do that since this is our first trip and there's lots we want to see. I'm worried we'll have bad weather and get stuck there like you did. Can't control the weather, but like to be able to change plans if it's poor and not be forced to sit there all day.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:13 PM
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Patricia Lake is far enough from any railroad tracks. You won't hear much louder than a loon.
My favorite hike in the Jasper area is in Maligne Canyon.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 02:51 PM
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You're way too late for Lake O'Hara Lodge. I called Lake O'Hara Lodge in January this year with flexible dates for this summer (anytime in six weeks in July or August) for a stay, and was told that they were already fully booked. In reply to my question about when to book for summer 2012, I was told to put in a request before the end of September 2011. We just can't plan that far ahead with DH's job... there's no way of knowing until the new year when his vacation time will be for next year.

It is impossible to completely avoid the trains in the main valleys of Canadian Rockies national parks - in fact, it is because of the railways that the parks were originally created. However, with the CP mainline through Banff and Yoho parks, and the CN mainline through Jasper National Park, and heavy freight trains up to 12,000 feet long running 24/7/365, you have to get well off the beaten track into the backcountry before you don't hear at least the faint rumble of the diesels. However, as long as you are not staying right beside the tracks, it hopefully won't be a big problem for you.

Take a look at google maps (using the map view, because the satellite view is very low resolution and you cannot make out the tracks) to see how close the Post Hotel is to the CP tracks. Their preferred rooms may be facing away and well sound-proofed, which will help with the rumble of the engines, however if the trains whistle there (I don't recall if they do), it will be noisy.

You won't want to stay at Castle Mountain Chalets, which are halfway between Banff and Lake Louise. They sit right next to a railway crossing, and the trains go through at high speed AND whistle - long, long, short, long - at the crossing. I am a heavy sleeper, but they woke me (not a problem, I roll over back to sleep) and we were not able to sleep with the bedroom window even partly open for fresh air because it faced the tracks. To their credit, when I asked about it before booking, they were up-front and gave me an honest assessment.

Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park is another luxury accommodation that is located away from the tracks.

For the Jasper area, Patricia Lake Bungalows or some of the other outlying accommodations (Alpine Village, the Fairmont JPL, Becker's Chalets, the Coast Pyramid Lake Resort, Tekarra Lodge) are away from the tracks. The CN freights don't have to whistle at the crossing in Jasper, so the train noise here in town is just the engine rumble, not whistling.

I live less than 500 feet from the tracks, with two rows of houses between me and the tracks, and I hardly ever notice the trains. You might though, especially if you are a city dweller, because there is no "white noise" (background sounds of city traffic) to drown out the train rumble. Because I am used to quiet at night, when I am in a city, I always find that city noise - traffic and sirens - disrupts my sleep if I try to sleep with a window open. I guess it's all what you are used to.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 02:53 PM
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Ooops, noticed Laverendrye already mentioned Emerald Lake Lodge. (sorry to repeat, skimming!)
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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I had not given a single thought to trains when I planned our trip to the Canadian Rockies for this summer, but I'm sort of pleased to hear about them. I really like to hear trains and, if they wake me up, they also tend to put me back to sleep. I'm sorry for the OP if the trains are a problem for them.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 12:36 PM
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Thanks all. I'm not interested in Lake O'Hara Lodge because I'm not willing to pay $800/night and have to share a bathroom.

I think we're going to stay at Chateau Lake Louise. Partly because it's not by the trains, but also because it sounds like it's close to all the hiking trails. When we arrive on Saturday, I think we will spend our first two nights (or maybe just one?) at the Fairmont Banff Springs. That way, on Sunday, we can check out Banff townsite and any pretty scenery/hikes nearby, then early on Monday, head to LL for the next 3 nights.

Our final four nights, we will stay in Jasper. I considered Patricia Lake Lodge, but they don't have king beds in their cabins, so I'm ruling them out. The Fairmont Jasper looks nice, but we would like a kitchen and a deck, so I'm going to try for Alpine Village. We will be tired of eating in restaurants for every meal, we really prefer to do breakfast in our room, and pack a lunch. Alpine village says they are 1.2 miles (2 km) from town, so that seems like a good location.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Correction, the rooms at Lake O'Hara Lodge without bathrooms were listed at $580CA/night. I guess the $800 cabins have baths
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Old Jun 12th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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It's all academic anyway, because you can't make a reservation there for this summer. The reason why it is so expensive (besides "location location location") is because it is a backcountry lodge (totally off the grid), yet with modern comforts.

You'll like Alpine Village. It's a lovely property located just across the road from the Athabasca River; they have comfy-looking chairs where you can sit overlooking the bend in the river & watch the whitewater rafts go by. It only takes a few minutes to drive into town; or you can dine at Tekarra Restaurant, which is only about a 10 minute walk away. Alpine Village is also far enough away from the train tracks that they won't bother you.
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Old Jun 15th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Ended up booking with Fairmont for all three locations. They are running a summer promotion--stay two nights, get the third night free.

Alpine Village didn't have any rooms available with a kitchen and a king bed, so we figured if we were going to have to eat out for breakfast, it would be nice to stay where there are choices right on-site. Plus, with the promotion, the price was comparable.

We're not going until Labor Day, but I'll write a trip report when we get back.

Thanks again for all the advice! I may be looking for more as we plan our must-see hikes!
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Old Jun 16th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Sounds like you lucked out! That's great! Have fun!
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Old Jun 19th, 2011, 03:26 AM
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Buckminster, Where did you do the booking for the special? I am looking on web but cannot see where it is . What kind of price range?
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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http://www.fairmont.com/banffsprings...ummerOffer.htm

Sorry I just saw this. It looks like it ends soon. The promotion is called Everyone's an Original Summer Offer. Depending which hotel you're interested in, googling that offer name might be the easiest. I found their websites very confusing and difficult to navigate. I usually do all our bookings online, but I ended up calling Fairmont to book this because I had so many questions about all the various packages they offer. I think the rates started at $300/night, but we upgraded to bigger rooms or better views which put us into the 400s. So with the third night free, that puts it just under $300/night.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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Sue, go to the website for whichever hotel you're interested in, then click on packages and look for "Everyone's an Original Summer Offer."
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