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Last week of August in Banff / Jasper / Lake Louise?

Last week of August in Banff / Jasper / Lake Louise?

Old Aug 8th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Last week of August in Banff / Jasper / Lake Louise?

My husband, 11-year-old son, and I just found ourselves with a week free at the end of the month. We've started reading up, and everything we've read about this area sounds appealing, but I'd be grateful for real suggestions and opinions from people who've been.

We all like to hike, but can't do anything much more demanding than a few scrambles, due to some recurring knee problems. Will we find lots of appealing, easy to moderate hikes? Where would be the best place to base ourselves for those? Would we do better to stay half the week in one area and half in another?

We'd like a very nice hotel (or hotels, if we end up wanting to stay in two different areas). Luxurious without being stuffy, and without being too huge or anonymous. It's a little hard to tell from guidebooks what places are beloved because people have always loved them, and which would seem just as wonderful to a family with no historical attachment to the area.

Really we'd be grateful for any suggestions!

Thanks.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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The first trip to Banff is the hardest.... our first venture was also the last week of August and early September. It will still be summertime busy, so you might find rates and availability a bit challenging.

You could easily spend the week in Banff and easily cover Lake Louise. I would really only consider moving from one to the other if you needed to for availability. Others here have made so many recommendations, I would suggest running a search on this forum. We normally stay at a timeshare in this area, but have stayed at Deer Lodge in Lake Louise and loved it - maybe not quite the most appealing for your son, though.

Another thought is to break it up and spend a few nights in Jasper, since that is not a day trip up/back. We've stayed at Patricia Lake Bungalows in a more humble room, although they have some beautiful more luxurious units. But at this time of year, I suspect lodging is going to be pretty tight up there in general.

Do you have a budget in mind? I'm assuming you are not really interested in the Fairmont lodges in Banff, Lake Louise, or Jasper, but it would help to have some idea of what you are prepared to spend per night.

And yes, there are plenty of easy hikes, especially in the Banff area.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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budget per night would be helpful. there are two bedroom suites that are $550/night or more. do you want 2 bedrooms? 2 beds in one room? room service availability? kitchenette? swimming pool/hot tub? availability may limit your choices. i'd recommend just staying in banff and doing day trip the whole time or do a combination of banff and jasper. lake louise is close enough to Banff...no need to stay in both places and other then hiking...lake louise doesn't have a lot to offer, especially for an 11 year old. also would be helpful to know how you are getting there. flight times may play a part in if you need a night or two by the airport.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 07:10 AM
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I feel fortunate to say that we're not really working with a per-night budget for this trip. $550 or more per night is fine for a one- or two-bedroom suite if the hotel is really worth it, and we're not staying there the whole time. Say up to 900 if it's a place that combines great views with truly great service on top of all the basics (impeccably clean, etc.). Door between our bed and the 11 yos, one way or another (communicating rooms or suites); no need for kitchenette; room service availability is always nice; pools are nice but not essential; could not care less about hot tubs. We're hyper aware of the limits that our timing is likely to be placing on availability!

None of this is really sorted out yet, but we'd been thinking of flying into Edmonton and perhaps spending a day there, then driving west towards Jasper - maybe staying there for a day? two days? - then down to Lake Louise/Banff for three or four days, and then driving into Calgary and flying home from there. Please don't rail at me if this is stupid, and/or if going in the other direction (Calgary --> Edmonton) makes more sense.

We know we're utterly ignorant about this area and may be making silly assumptions - that's why I'm asking for help from you wise people!

Many, many thanks.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Fortunate indeed. Well, since my travel budget is more modest, I cannot personally recommend the more luxurious rooms. But given that you would like to avoid those huge stuffy properties, I'd suggest that you do give a look at one of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resort properties. Deer Lodge is one (we stayed in a lovely room, not one of the more upscale). I see that Deer Lodge has adjoining and family lodge rooms.

In addition to Deer Lodge (Lake Louise), there is the Buffalo Mountain Lodge, which is in Banff on Tunnel Road and several others. For your trip, these are the two nearest Banff/Lake Louise. This link is to Buffalo Mountain, but you can get to all the properties from there: http://www.crmr.com/buffalo/

For sheer beauty of the lake, I would like to try the Moraine Lake Lodge. However, I cannot say anything about it, so perhaps others can weigh in.

When you do take the drive from Jasper down to Banff/Lake Louise, allow the entire day so that you can stop for some nice walks and picture taking. Enjoy.
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Old Aug 11th, 2013, 05:13 AM
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If you belong to President's Club of the Fairmont Hotels (free) you can often get great bargins and the Lake Lousie is to die for as is Banff Springs. Jasper Park Lodge left us wanting but that may have changed with renov. done. Worth a look see at any rate.Deer Lodge is nice, Buffalo Mt. is condo type accom. but the resaurant is good.Emerald Lake Lodge is awesome but off the beaten track. You will be at the end of the summer crowds and may not have alot of room for finding rooms but go for it and enjoy!!! BTW the drive from Jasper throuygh the ice fields is likewise awesome. Take sludick's advise about the drive.
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