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please help with banff/jasper first time trip

please help with banff/jasper first time trip

Old Jun 18th, 2005, 05:31 PM
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please help with banff/jasper first time trip

My husband and I will be traveling to Banff/jasper in September for 10 nights. We have never been. The initial plan is to spend 4-5 nites in banff and 4-5 nites in jasper. But, we are also seriously thinking about spending a night or two in Lake Louise, but not sure if that's necessary or not.

The Fairmont Lake Louise looks great, but at about $600 a night, that's a bit more then we would prefer to spend. We don't mind spending a lot for a first class hotel, but would prefer not to exceed $400 a night.

So, having said that, can we enjoy the splendors of lake louise in a day? should we spend a night or two? If so, any suggestions for someplace very nice, but not quite the Fairmont price.

Also, are there enough different things to do so that 10 nights is not too much. My husband is concerned that we will be seeing the same things over and over just in different locations.

Should we spend more/less time somewhere?

Thanks in advance.

jomale is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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I have the place for you....my husband and I celebrated our 25th their a year ago. The Post Hotel--make sure you book a "preferred" side. That would be the side that looks out on the creek-not the railroad track. It was enchanting. We were on the second floor with a balcony-no fireplace but very nice. The hotel itself is sort of understated elegance-I can't imagine anyone not liking it. Anything else I can tell you?
You might also look into the Baker Creek Chalets-between Banff and Lake Louise-we ate their and walked around the cabins-very nice. Still my preference would be the Post Hotel.
laurelee is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2005, 09:30 PM
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Hello jomale,

I think the answer to the time question depends on how much time you have for your vacation and whether or not you'll be accessing the Rockies from Vancouver. How much you enjoy hiking comes into the equation as well.

Although you can stay in both Banff and Lake Louise, that isn't strictly speaking necessary, as either of them could serve as a base for seeing the other.

If you have 2 weeks, you could land in Vancouver, look around that city (it really warrants a look), travel to the Rockies, travel within the Rockies, and then fly out of Calgary.

You also could do the trip in reverse. If you're buying open jaws air tickets, it might be an idea to check which direction will give you the best fares.

If you fly open jaws, you may incur a one-way drop off fee on your rental car, but it is an efficient way to travel if you can swallow the cost.

If you had 2 weeks, you could do something like this.

1 - Land in Vancouver.

2, 3, 4 - Explore Vancouver.

5, 6 - Travel to Lake Louise.

7, 8 - Explore the Lake Louise / Yoho National Park area.

9 - Drive to Jasper.

10, 11 - Explore Jasper's environs.

12 - Banff

13 - Banff again if you have a noon-ish flight the next day. If you have a morning flight, drive to Calgary in the evening and spend the night there.

14 - Fly home.

If you have 10 days, you might consider something like this.

1 - Land in Calgary. Overnight in Calgary.

2 - Visit Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, east of Calgary, then drive to Lake Louise. The dinosaur skeletons are awesome. You don't have to drive back through Calgary to get to Lake Louise. You can skirt around the north of Calgary through Airdrie and Cochrane. Driving to Drumheller will take 2 hours, Tyrell needs 2 hours, lunch will take, say, 1 hour, driving to Lake Louise will take 4 hours, so 9 hours in total.

3, 4 - From your base in LL, explore Yoho National Park, the west end of Banff National Park, and possibly Kootenay National Park.

5 - Drive to Jasper.

6, 7 - Jasper.

8 - Banff.

9 - Banff or Calgary, depending on flight time.

10 - Fly home.

As you can see, my itineraries give you less time in Jasper than you had planned to spend. I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes, I think 4 - 5 nights in Jasper may be a bit much for you. I am guessing from your remarks that you are not avid hikers, or at least your husband isn't. It may be presumptuous to read so much into a casual remark, but I have never heard a keen hiker express concern about seeing the same things over and over just in different locations. That's why, if you have 2 weeks, I think there would be merit in your spending just a little less time in Jasper and working Vancouver into your trip.

Banff is the biggest of Alberta's mountain resort towns. It has the most hotels, restaurants, shops and people. Lake Louise is the smallest, quietest and most relaxing. Jasper is an intermediate size.

Laurelee's suggestion of the Post Hotel is excellent. Another place to seriously consider is Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 01:36 AM
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We're about to embark on our 3rd trip to this region & we travel from *quite* some distance, so, I don't think you need to fear that it will all seem the same, or redundant.
Not whatsoever.

For one thing, the extra days give you a little extra assurance that if you happen to run into some inclement weather, you'll at least have some days that are quite nice. No guarantees, but it can help w/that.

On the other hand, weather in Sept is usually quite lovely, or so I gather from these forums. We've been there twice in Sept...once early to mid...and, the 2nd time beginning at the very end of Sept & extending into mid-October. Had glorious weather both times! (probably another reason we're being 'called' back, since we've been spoiled w/such terrific weather)

But, yet that also means that we were able to fit in tons of 'seeing the sights' each time, & yet, *still*, we look forward to returning so soon! (we had 7 yrs between our first 2 trips, due to various reasons...
This time...less than 2 years between our trips there!!)

Another vote here to look into Emerald Lake Lodge, if Yoho is a spot you might consider. It's really quite close to Lake Louise & yet, I don't feel moving around a bit is unwise, as each 'spot' has its own unique beauty & grace.

We've stayed at the Chateau when we got INCREDIBLE rates in October...but, don't feel like you *have* to stay there, if the prices are still *that* high. Or, if you don't mind moving & want to 'experience' being able to slip out early to see sunrise there...maybe stay for 1 night at most & then, spread your time between there & some other spot. (the Post, Deer Lodge, if you don't mind older more rustic spots...but w/the positive of also being very close to the lake)

But, again, a vote too from me for a 1-2 night stay at Emerald Lake. (one night if you can arrive early on your incoming day...otherwise, 2 nights, if arriving later) We were once upgraded there into what I just recently discovered was an "Executive Suite"...and it had a wraparound porch that just had breathtaking views!

It can be so quite there as the sun sets...otherworldly, almost.

Also, take a peek at Moraine Lake Lodge. Some dislike it...it has a very strict cancellation policy, for one! But, it too can provide a unique & quiet spot w/one-of-a-kind views, to boot. I think these are nice alternatives, if you don't end up doing the Chateau...
if you instead decide to stay 'off lake' at the Post or whatnot.

Okay I'll stop now...Just love this area so much!

ItstheJourney is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 01:41 AM
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Oops! Excuse the typos...meant to say...it's so incredibly "quiet" as twilight comes.

Also, meant to add that if you'd like to hike, but are leery about doing it w/out guides or alone (due to bears, or whatever) then, good to know that Moraine Lake's prices include guided walks. (one each morning & afternoon)
Can bring some peace of mind to some.

But, it's steeper for what you get as far as rooms go vs. Emerald Lake, I think. Both spots have restaurants that have been quite appealing, both times we were there. But, again, I know all of these spots seem to have fans or not. ;-)
ItstheJourney is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'm definitely going to look into the post hotel. It turns out now (due to airline scheduling) that we will have 9 nights, so thinking about 5 in banff, cutting jasper down to 3 in light of judy's comments, and just one in lake louise. (and yes, coming into calgary).

Judy, you are right we are not avid hikers, but really enjoy nature and the outdoors. Seems to make most sense to spend the most nights in the largest of the 3 areas and like itsthe journey suggested, we have a bad weather day built in, or a just relax by the hotel.

Thanks again for all the great suggestions. I'm really looking forward to the trip.
jomale is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 03:01 PM
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Since you are already staying one night in Lake Louise, you might want to spend 2 nights there. We thought it was a good base to see the sights in Yoho and Moraine Lake.
maj is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:04 AM
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Did you check out the rates for Fairmont Lake Louise on their web site/and or telephone them? It seems that we only paid about $225 per night three years ago and I got the rate either on their web site or by telephoning--can't remember which. We even got a lake-front room by asking for one when we checked in. It's a wonderful hotel and it's worth investigating every avenue to get a price you can live with. Good luck!!
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