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Returning to Canadian Rockies, looking for a great base

Returning to Canadian Rockies, looking for a great base

Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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Returning to Canadian Rockies, looking for a great base

We were in Banff in March. Loved it, can't imagine it in high season. My husband and I are avid hikers and have done the Alps twice ,in very good shape, but only want trails which don't require picks, glacier walking or scary situations. We would love to do a week or so next summer in the mountains staying in places with private bathrooms, at least. I'm not that into mountain huts. We will consider staying at 2-3 properties for hiking. Don't care about night life, shopping or anything glitzy or touristy. Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 08:35 PM
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Check out Baker Creek Chalets near Lake Louise Village (they have a website plus an outstanding restaurant). Numerous excellent trails within a short distance. To name a few: (1)Valley of the Ten Peaks at Moraine Lake; (2) Paradise Valley near Moraine Lake; (3) Plain of the Six Glaciers at Lake Louise and (6)Emerald triangle at Emerald Lake.

For a change of scenery, try the Alpine Village cabins in Jasper (top rated place in the Jasper area). Several great hikes in Maligne Canyon, near Maligne Lake, and at Mt. Robson.

If you go the last part of June or very late August and early September, it's not as busy as the period in between.
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 03:16 AM
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We first visited the area for skiing, returned to hike and are planning on returning next year for more hiking. It is a hiker's paradise.

You want to pick up the book Bob Brown always recommends. I'm pretty sure it is Hiking the Canadian Rockies. I have lent my copy to a friend who is hiking there next week. It is a great hiking book.

I don't know what your budget is, but my dream hiking trip is to stay at Lake O'Hara Lodge--you need to book a year in advance. It is really expensive.

We stayed at Baker Creek, Emerald Lake Lodge and Beckers. Emerald Lake Lodge has the most beautiful location--we fell in love with the place. We only stayed there because all the lodging was booked in Lake Louise. We stayed in the least expensive room, a tiny room but refurbished, woodburning fireplace, balcony and peek-a-boo view of the lake. It was our favorite place we stayed.

If you are staying a week, I would split your time between the Lake Louise/Emerald lake area and Jasper.
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 03:29 AM
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Mt. Engadine Lodge near Canmore and Lake O'Hara Lodge between Lake Louise and Field. The en suite rooms at Mt.Engadine are very comfortable but spartan. At Lake O'Hara my DH balked at the idea of a shared bath (the only way it was affordable for us) but eventually caved. Even he admitted it was not inconvenient nor was he bothered by the lack of privacy given the fabulous hiking and food. I don't know your budget but based on the description of your hiking goals (very similar to ours) I would recommend at least two nights at Lake O'Hara Lodge.
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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My vote is Lake Ohara Lodge too. It is truly outstanding for food and service and locaton.
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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The book I think you want is the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, 7th edition, by Patton and Robinson.

There is a second book on the Canadian Rockies that is also a classic: The Handbook of the Canadian Rockies by Ben Gadd. It is in a class by itself as a book that describes flowers, trees, animals, weather and, most of all, geology!

It is about 900 pages of facts, but it is presented well with deft touches of humor.

My base for the Rockies has been a small apartment in Field. The Mt. Stephens Guesthouse is good for 2. Some of the apartments have 2 bedrooms.

Lake O'Hara Lodge is fine, if $600 a day for a double cabin is in your budget.
Getting a reservation is quite difficult because of demand - even at those prices.

Can't beat the location!!
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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PS. Mount Engadine Lodge is nice, too.
The food is good to excellent and the dining room overlooks a meadow that often has moose visitors in the evening.

We stayed there 4 nights last year and enjoyed it. I think one of the 3 cabin rooms would be preferable.

The common areas are carpeted, and guests remove their shoes upon entering.

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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Have you considered a stay at Waterton National Park, which is located in the southwest corner of Alberta, bordering on Glacier National Park in the US. There a many beautiful hikes (especially Crypt Lake), and it is far less touristy than Banff or Jasper (both of which will be crowded in the summer - Banff much more so than Jasper).
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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thank you , thank you everyone! Yes, we really would prefer an untouristed area
That Lodge looks cool, but Gawd, it's expensive!!! We were in tres expensive Switzerland in lovely B&Bs and family run inns in a secluded valley for about 200 per day. That's what we're interested in! I like those little gems, andwe can travel a bit off season.
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 07:58 PM
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If you're interested in Waterton, check out Camping_Girl's great website about the area, including her accommodation suggestions:

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/adecc/dc729/
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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We stayed at the Glacier Mountain Suites in Waterton which was very nice. They do not have a restaurant but everything in Waterton is walking distance so it did not matter. I hear Crandell Mountain Lodge is also nice. Avoid the El Cortez. I have been in the Prince of Wales but have never seen a room - it is the most touristy spot in Waterton. It tends to get quite windy in Waterton and the Prince of Wales is up on a hill overlooking the lake so it is not sheltered.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 10:28 AM
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I posted a similar question on the US forum and it was recommended that I post this here.

My wife and I and our two kids (ages 12 & 10) will be visiting Glacier National (USA) and Banff next summer. I am interested in making hotel reservations now. We are flying in and out of Calgary and will visit Glacier, MT for several days at the beginning of our trip and end our trip back in the Canadian Rockies. Where would you recommend that we stay (remember, we have two children) in order to get the most out of this trip. I would not object to staying in 2 different places. We will have about 5 nights total to spend. Should we stay in Canmore? In Banff? Do we have time to visit Jasper? Thank you for any suggestions!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 10:31 AM
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Sorry about the above post. I meant to post it as a new message, not as a reply to this topic!
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