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Summer vacation and Banff and Jasper National Parks

Summer vacation and Banff and Jasper National Parks

Old Feb 2nd, 2024, 08:49 AM
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Summer vacation and Banff and Jasper National Parks

Sharing our trip details in July to Banff and Jasper National Parks. This was our first time visiting those National Parks and it was an amazing experience. Hope this will be helpful for anyone planning the similar trip. We were a bit unlucky to miss Moraine Lake but even without that these parks are something else. Trip details are below these pictures

Day 1:
Land in Calgary and rest in a hotel near the airport.

Day 2 (Drive and Banff Town Surroundings):
Drive from Calgary to Banff.

Explore Banff town and surroundings
- Shopping, food and trails nearby.
- Gondola - Ride up to Sulphur Mountain, book ticket in advance and select time (ticket $62/adult).
- Bow falls trail - short walk along the river.
- Lake Minnewaska - beautiful lake, lots of parking.
- Vermillion Lakes - 3 tranquil lakes, wildlife spotting. Surprise Corner scenic viewpoint - nice views

Johnston Canyon

Day 3:
- Plain of Six Glaciers (Lake Louise) - 9.1miles and 4h 30mins round trip (7.6km one way). MUST do hike.

- Lake Louise - MUST go. Picturesque.

Day 4 (Banff and Yoho National Parks):
Yoho national park:
- Takkakaw falls
- Wapta Falls - Easy 3 mile round trip hike. Beautiful falls.
- Emerald lake - Very beautiful, no hike needed. Can hike easy 3.5 mile loop around lake if you want.

Day 4 (Driving Icefields Parkway):
Icefields Parkway Drive - Stops on the highway:
- Herbert Lake - Picnic site (30mins from Johnston canyon hotel)
- Crowfoot Glacier - Viewpoint
- Bow Lake - Viewpoint with hiking trails
- Peyto Lake - Can be seen from a viewpoint but very crowded. Hike the trail 1.5miles loop - hike down to Peyto Lake, or to the Bow Summit Lookout to get a higher up view of the lake.
- Waterfowl Lakes - Viewpoint
- Mistaya Canyon - Short 0.5km scenic walk to canyon
- Weeping wall - roadside viewpoint
- Goats & Glacier Lookout - Can see mountain goats and nice views.
- Athabasca Falls - MUST. Viewpoint and Scenic walk.
- Valley of the Five Lakes - Last stop. Short loop trail.

Day 5 (Jasper National Park Surroundings):
- Jasper town exploration
- Medicine lake (slight east from Jasper)
- Maligne lake (further east from Jasper) - do boat cruise.

- Mt. Edith Cavell (slightly south from Jasper) - The Path of the Glacier Trail is a short 1.2km round trip trail, terminates at a viewpoint across from Angel Glacier and Cavell Pond

Day 6:
- Sunwapta Falls - MUST - Viewpoint and hike. Most people only visit the main viewpoint at Upper Sunwapta Falls, since that’s the most famous tier of this stepping waterfall, but Lower Sunwapta falls is just a short, easy hike away and offers a more peaceful viewing experience. One hour round trip hike.
- Parker Ridge - MUST - Hike takes 2 hours

Day 7 (Drive back to Calgary):
- Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield Centre - Glacier bus starts here and skywalk.
Back to Calgary

Last edited by slotman_p; Feb 2nd, 2024 at 08:51 AM.
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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 10:06 AM
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Beautiful Photos and Itinerary

Thanks for sharing this! My husband and I definitely want to do this either next year or the year after. I'm currently scheduled to attend a wedding in Banff at the end of March. We have two days beforehand that are free. Ice hike? Snowshoeing? Dog sledding? I imagine it will be very cold, but what would you suggest we do in two days?
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Old Mar 28th, 2024, 07:59 AM
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Thank you for posting this - this is exactly the trip we have planned for July/Aug (10 nights) this summer.
Where did you stay? Prices for rooms are astronomical (over $300 per night US anywhere). We did book a cabin for 5 nights in Jasper, still looking for accommodations for 4 nights in Banff, plus one night one our way back to Calgary Airport from our last stop in Jasper...
We are "mild" hikers - a couple hours at most, so I found your descriptions perfect. I am printing out your itinerary. We do enjoy picnics, fishing and boat rides, and heard that renting bikes in Jasper is fun.
I see you are from Tampa (I'm Treasure Island!). Did you get Canadian dollars from an ATM at the airport? (Like we do in Europe). Did you have to beware of the DCC when purchasing using your cc?
Thanks for any suggestions...
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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 06:10 AM
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Enjoying your report, photos, and videos, too! My husband was here in the 70’s and has always said these National Parks are amongst some of the most beautiful places he has visited.
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 10:12 AM
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Banff things to do and Golf

I have always wanted to travel to the Banff area and play golf among other things, are there any suggestions for things to do and golf course recommendations? I am looking for current information thanks.
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