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Recommendations please for 2nd trip to Rockies

Recommendations please for 2nd trip to Rockies

Feb 18th, 2004, 10:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 21
Recommendations please for 2nd trip to Rockies

We spent 2 fabulous weeks in the Rockies in 2002 and my husband can't wait to go back (tried to get him interested in going to Switzerland but that may be just too expensive a trip). Thanks to all the great advice I got from these posts, we were able to take in pretty much all of the "must sees/does" in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper on that trip. For this trip (hopefully 2 weeks), I'm thinking of adding a trip to Waterton Lakes NP. How many days should we allot for Waterton Lakes and what must we see and do there and should we include visiting Glacier NP. Can any of you recommend (Bob Brown help!) any other hikes, sites, must sees that are not as well known (we've also been to Lake O'Hara but may go back to do some of the hikes we missed in 2002). We're not much for dinasaurs, so don't know if we'd enjoy Drumheller. Thank you!
lmyers is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:22 PM
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kananaskis provincial park is nice - it's between banff and calgary.
ltt is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:57 PM
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Agree with Ltt that Kananaskis is pleasant. I think Glacier, Waterton Lakes and Kananaskis would make a lovely vacation.

The interpretive centre at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, some kilometres from Fort Macleod, is interesting.

If you like, you could combine some national parks activities in the mountains (hiking, etc.) with some cowboy activities in the foothills.

Here is an interesting website called Trail of the Great Bear. But with two weeks at my disposal, I would concentrate on the Glacier, Waterton Lakes, and Kananaskis section. I would not try to include Yellowstone in the south or the Yukon in the north!


Here's another good website called The Cowboy Trail. It provides good coverage of Alberta foothills communities.


I imagine there are websites that describe the equivalent territory in Montana.

Speaking of Montana, I suppose you would have done this anyway but, just in case it hasn't occurred to you yet, I guess you will get the maximum amount of information if you post your questions regarding this vacation on both the Canada and U.S. forums.

Hope you have a great time.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hmm. Have you done the Iceline Trail and/or the Whaleback Trail in Yoho?
The Lake MacArthur highline trail or the Odaray Prospect or Opabin Lake and the Yuckness Ledge from Lake O'Hara? The Plain of Six Glaciers at Lake Louise? The trail up above Peyto Lake on the Parkway? Johnson Canyon in Banff?

I you run 50% no answers, then you could consider a trip back to Yoho and see what you have missed.

Peter Lougheed Provincial park is an extension geologically of Banff. It is pretty, but I am not sure if any lodges are in the park itself. Canmore might be the best base. I need to explore it more, and hope to in July.

In Glacier NP USA (One in Canada too.)there are several good walks. My favorite is the Highline Trail from Logan Pass. You do need a head for heights because part of it is on a ledge knocked out of the rock wall above the highway. Some of the trail follows along the Garden Wall, that towering glacial arrette which is the trade mark of Logan Pass. Wildlife is/are along the trail and the scenery is gorgeous. Best of all, you can walk 2 miles and stop and feel rewarded. Or go 3 miles, and turn around more rewarded, or go 4 miles and be even more rewarded for your efforts.
On a clear day, I like to pack some food and stay out 6 or 7 hours revelling in the scenery. I went out to the trail that leads up to the notch that overlooks the Grinnel Glacier. I huffed and puffed, but it was worth it. The wind almost blew me off, but it was a stunning view, about 3,000 feet straight down, or so it seemed.

If you really want to go for broke, take the Ranger guided tour up to the Grinnell Glacier. It is a little long, but rewarding. On a clear day, it can be hot in the sun, so take along a rehydration supply, e.g. water.

Waterton is neat. I like it, particularly the trail from Cameron lake back to town. A shuttle can be arranged, but it is a long stroll back.

Crypt Lake is a classic hike that requires a trip across the lake on a boat (don't recommend swimming) and a scramble through a tunnel.

The ride down Waterton Lake on the cruise boat is good trip. I hope the paranoid US border patrol is still not restricting access for the boat riders to the trails on the American side of the lake. The last time I went after 9/11 they were afraid Osama bin laden and his hooligans were going to ride the boat down the lake, sneak into the US by hiking 10 miles over the mountains with explosives, and blow up the Hanford Atomic plant. So they put a yellow strip of tape up to keep him out and told us to stay put at the shelter by the boat dock after the Ranger opened his canned speech. American passport bearers could not get out and walk along the trails. That yellow strip of tape was a very formidable barrier, all 50 yards of it.
We were prisoners in our own country.

And the guys at the highway gates were doing their job, too. My guy made sure that I knew that my passport had my name on it and that I knew where I lived. He even checked my face against the picture. Then to make sure my wife was not an imposter, he asked her to spell her maiden name. She could and did without missing any of the letters.

(Imposters don't read the names on passports they steal I am told. Or maybe terrorists cannot spell O'Halloran or McDougal. They just know how to switch pictures so adroitly that an expert cannot pick out a tampered passport. Can't be too careful.)

Too bad you are not lured to Drumheller. You might see something interesting there. I did, twice.

bob_brown is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Kananaskis Country is a good choice - it's comprised of three provincial parks (Peter Loughheed, Bow Valley, and Corridor and Elbow/Sheep Wildlands), there are lots of hiking trails (and bears , beautiful scenery, and wilderness.
Canmore would be your best bet as a home base for exploring, or you could try Delta Lodge or Kananaskis Resort (both pricey, both in Kananaskis).
The advantage of Canmore is that it is only a 12 minute drive (we timed it just this past weekend !!) from Banff townsite; you could drive into town quite easily anytime the urge hit.

You could even plan your visit to take in both Kananaskis and Waterton National Park - drive through Kananaskis over Highwood Pass (highway 40), then south on highway 22 (ranching country) to Highway 3, then 6 south to Waterton.
Borealis is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 06:21 AM
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And here I was afraid we wouldn't find enough "new" things to experience during our 2nd trip to the Rockies. .. WOW thanks everyone for your suggestions. Bob, no I don't believe we did the Iceline Trail and/or the Whaleback Trail in Yoho (must check my guide book to make sure. . .we did so many hikes that I may have forgotten the names of some) nor the "Yuckness" Ledge (I would remember that name!). We did do a hike to Opabin Lake (but it was still frozen in early July) and another trial (which I can't recall right now). We had no problem booking the bus to Lake O'Hara just the day before, so if we are lucky again this year, we would like to go back and try some of the trails we missed on our previous trip. We did the rest. Gee, Bob, you're going back to the Rockies this July. . .how many times have you been back (and here I tought my husband was obsessed w/the Rockies (me too)!! I will definitely have to do some research on Kananaskis and more on Waterton. I'm sure I'll be back asking more questions of you all! Any suggestions on nice places to stay (hotels or cabins) in Kananaskis and Waterton surrounded by beautiful views(read that Waterton Glacier Suites are nice). Thanks so much for all your help!
lmyers is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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Waterton Glacier Suites is very nice as is the Kilmorey (sp?) in Waterton townsite and the Waterton Lakes Lodge. Lower end and less pricey is the Bayshore Inn (your more average type hotel room). Very good food at the Kilmorey - Waterton Townsite is very small and everything is within easy walking distance. I don't recommend the Prince of Wales for more than a visit, the rooms are old and small, not worth the dollars, imho. Don't expect a lot of TV watching if you are into that sort of thing if you stay at the Waterton Glacier Suites, they don't have cable/satellite dish. Or at least they didn't last time I was there. It wasn't a problem for me as I would rather walk about but sometimes in the evenings people like to watch TV.

2jacks is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Obviously, I do like the Canadian Rockies. In response to how many times have I been to the Canadian Rockies , the answer is quite a few. I have lost count, honestly. We made our first trip in 1987 which was a scouting trip.
We found several places we like and there are more than a few places yet to be explored.

I was not able until last year to spend more than about a week or 10 days out there. Now that I am no longer tied to a desk, I have a little more time for the places I love. People ask me why I go back rather than going to some place new. My answer is simple: I know I will like my trip if I go there. I suppose it is a reaction similar to the old adage of don't break up a winning team.

This is the Canada side of the forum, but you can also get me started on Switzerland.

Fortunately, Calgary is an easy flight from Atlanta with a connection in either Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, or Toronto. One change is all I need to get there. And air fares have been favorable several times in recent years.
And, more importantly, I have the world's best travel companion who is a sure hand at the wheel and sure footed on the trails.

The Yukness Ledge is a scramble at times because the trail goes over a talus slope up above the lake. (I need to correct my spelling of that name. Brian Patton and Bart Robinson use the spelling I just used. And they know the place well. Their Canadian Rockies trail guide is the best of its kind in the English language.)

You can cut the Yukness route short before going all the way from Opabin Lake to Lake Oesa. It is one of those hikes where you find yourself over 1,000 feet above the lake, looking straight down. Absolutly gorgeous.

Also there are some interesting strolls in Kootney Park as well. We took one to the Stanley Glacier last summer. The trail goes up a glacial valley to waterfalls streaming over the side of the mountain.

My objective this summer is Waterfall Valley up above Twin Falls. It is remote and not often visited because of its remoteness.

But we go other places too. Like Capitol Reef, Bryce, Zion, Yellowstone, and Crater Lake, and Glacier.

bob_brown is offline  
Feb 20th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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Thank you Bob! My husband shares your reasoning about going back to the Rockies because he knows he will enjoy the trip (even though he has not traveled anywhere else). I've read your posts on Switzerland too but the airfare for 2 of us to Calgary is less than the fare for 1 to Switzerland. . .but maybe one year!
lmyers is offline  
Feb 20th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Let's hope the dollar recovers some strength soon, but I am not optimistic.
Our national dept is too high, and our balance of trade is way out of whack.
Dollars are everywhere and nobody is seeing them as a safe haven at the moment.
bob_brown is offline  

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