Only Have 6 days

Aug 24th, 2003, 03:40 PM
  #1  
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Only Have 6 days

We live in Hawaii and want to see the Canadian Rocky area. Since our time is limited, what do you all suggest as the best plcae to stay for scenery and ambiance. I am thinking Jasper is the place to go. We are flying in and out of Calgary, mid- Sept.
vivi is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:19 PM
  #2  
 
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I have been in Jasper several times and am yet to become enchanted with the place.

My suggestion, based on about 8 visits, is to enjoy Calgary. Assuming you will rent a car, spend your time on the Icefields Parkway and use Jasper and a place to stop at the end of the parkway and to spend about 3 nights before heading south on the parkway back to Calgary.
Accommodations in Canmore are usually cheaper than they are in Banff, and Banff is usually cheaper than Lake Louise.

I normally stay overnight in the town of Field, BC, which is about 14 miles from Lake Louise.
I think the area around Lake Louise is beautiful, particularly Moraine Lake.
Don't forget Takkakaw Falls and Emerald Lake; they are worth the visit.
bob_brown is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 05:38 PM
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I completely agree with Bob Brown. While my husband and I loved our peaceful cabin on the river on the outskirts of Jasper, and saw a lot more wildlife in that area than in Banff/LL, the latter, along with the Icefield Parkway, is tops in the scenery/ambiance department.

Funny, my husband and I were recently reflecting that of the places we have visited, the Canadian Rockies is the most awesome, right up with Hawaii, {though of course very different} in terms of beauty and interest. See what you think!
Molly2 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 09:10 AM
  #4  
JMM
 
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Spend most of your time in the Banff/Lake Louise area then take the Icefields parkway to Jasper. One night in Jasper and back to Calgary. The Parkway is not to be missed but generally speaking there is more to see in the Banff/Lake Louise area than in Jasper. Allow a full day to do the Parkway (It does not take that long but you will want to stop for photos etc.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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Oooo - I think that Jasper is getting the short end of the straw here!!

There are plenty of things to do in Jasper.
Take the Tramway to the top of Whistler Mtn - a better (and higher) view than Sulphur Mtn in Banff.
Drive to Maligne Lake and take the criuse to Spirit Island.
Do some white-water rafting on the Athabasca River.
Walk the trail to the toe of Angel Glacier at Mt. Edith Cavell.
See Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls (on the Icefield Parkway south of Jasper townsite).

Of course, if you prefer crowds of tourists, hunting for the elusive parking spot, and shopping for overpriced items more than enjoying the tranquility of the mountain wilderness, than by all means avoid Jasper!!

Borealis is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 02:23 PM
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I did suggest a couple nights in Jasper.
The Whistler excursion, Maligne lake (a little overrated in my book), and Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier (underrated in my book) are all worthwhile. They can be done in 2 days, easy.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 04:23 PM
  #7  
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I am thinking first and last night in downtown Calgary.

1-2 nights at Jasper Park Lodge.

Remaining nights (1,2,or 3) at Chateau Lake Louise or the Banff Springs Hotel. Any opinions on which is preferable?

I guess we sorta want to splurge and stay in these historic places. Though I have been reading up on the area and several other spots (Buffalo Mtn and Rimrock) sound great too.

We live in rural Hawaii and I am not seeking isolation on this trip, LOL. Want to see beautiful scenery and stay in a semi-busy place. (Which I know sounds weird but us country bumpkins need to stay in bustling places once in awhile.)
vivi is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 05:10 PM
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I don't think of either of those towns, Banff and Jasper, as bustling.
If you want urban bustle, go to Vancouver.
Calgary has some activity, but nothing like Vancouver. Moreover, Vancouver has a lot of attractions.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 06:34 PM
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That's a difficult choice - Banff Springs or Chateau Lake Louise.

Maybe the location will sway you one way or the other.

Banff Springs is a 5 minute (or less) drive from the main street in Banff, which can be very crowded in the summer and even on winter evenings when the skiers are in town for supper, but in mid-September may be quieter. Main street (Banff Avenue) is shop after shop, some more interesting than others, connected to a few small malls. (sports equipment, sporty and other clothes, china, art, Christmas stuff, and of course the requisite souvenirs, plus the best chocolate on the planet - if you are a chocolate lover try some Bernard Callebaut when you're in Banff . The hotel (which of course also has some very nice shops)has a lovely view on the Bow River valley.

Chateau Lake Louise overlooks the lake (Lake Louise, beautifully turqouise, surrounded by mountains and a glacier). It's a 5 minute drive (downhill) to Lake Louise Village (a very small little shopping strip surrounded by a few motor hotels), and is a 45 minute drive to Banff townsite. The Chateau also has some nice shops (including one - if it is still there - that sells gorgeous sweaters .

By the way - my definition of crowded is when I can't walk more than two steps without bumping into someone - and since I am a very fast walker I find this verrrry frustrating.

I like Jasper better than Banff because it is quieter and feels "closer to the wilderness", plus JPL (Jasper Park Lodge) has some nice shops too ;-)).

Borealis is offline  
Aug 26th, 2003, 07:31 AM
  #10  
 
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I don't think that you can go wrong in the Canadian Rockies - it's all beautiful.

No offense, but we found Jasper to be rather crowded with people and souvenir shops, and didn't spend much time in town. It was very hot during the week we spent there, and there was a cloud of smoke over the town, which impaired our breathing. We were only able to do short hikes here, all of which were fairly busy during the day. Angel Glacier is perhaps the most spectacular short hike I have done, anywhere. One memorable evening, my husband and I stopped to observe elk and a bear with its cub enroute to Athabsca Falls and Angel Glacier. We oohed and ahhed over the sheer beaty of these areas in relative peace as the crowds lessen considerably toward evening. We finished our hike after 9 pm , still in daylight!

In contrast, though the town of Banff and Lake Louise were busy, it was extremely easy to lose yourself in peaceful tranquility on any number of trails,in Banff Park and Yoho, all with jaw-dropping scenery. If anything, it took a bit of patience to form the group of 6 required in some areas where bears have been spotted.

On the advise of friends, We stayed at the Lake Louise Hostel. If we went back, we would not stay there again - Field indeed sounds like a much better choice. People of all ages stay at the hostel, so we didn't feel out of place {we're in our 40s}, the rooms were very basic, but clean {we don't spend much time in them anyway!}, and their restaurant is reasonably-priced with excellent food, but - nobody sleeps there -EVER! Don't think we got more than a couple of hours of unbroken sleep the entire week we stayed there.

If you enjoy activity and have the bucks, then the descriptions Borealis made are good. I personally would prefer Chateau Lake Louise, as it overlooks some beautiful scenery, but Banff springs puts you more in the "bustle" of an active town.

Molly2 is offline  
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