Where to from Calgary????

Old Feb 10th, 2005, 08:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 48
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Where to from Calgary????


We are planning a 7 day trip to Banff area in August with 2 teenagers. Flying in to Calgary. Trying to decide how to divide our time. Has anyone stayed in Mystic Springs Chalets in Canmore? They look nice but of course, one never knows. Also thinking of spending several nights in Bakers Chalets in Jasper area. The question is after traveling the better part of the day thru airports, would it make sense to stay in Calgary the first night and then start fresh the next day with a long drive to Jasper. Or stay in Canmore the first leg of the trip and then move on to Jasper. The next question is how many days in each place? Where is the best scenery? I have read so many reviews that my head is spinning! We want to be able to see the most we can in the short time we have. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Mary from Kentucky
kwick58 is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 08:40 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 734
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You don't say what time your flighht gets into Calgary. If it isn't too late, Canmore is an easy drive and excellent base for your first night. Very scenic and attractive little town.

We also don't have a clear picture of your interests. In general, my husband adn I found the Lake Louise area, Yoho, and the Icefield Parkway tops for scenery and hiking. We saw more wildlife in Jasper.

Canmore, though attractive, was a bit too far away from the aformentioned areas for us. We lodged near Lake Louise, drove to Yoho, then, allowing plenty of time along the magnificent Icefield Parkway enroute, drove to Jasper.

Do you like long day-hikes, rafting, horsebackriding? Or do you prefer shortish hikes/walks and scenic viewing from your vehicle?

Do you have 6 or 7 nights in the area?
Molly2 is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 09:10 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 48
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our flight arrives in the early afternoon. Of course by the time we get luggage, pick up rental car, etc. it will probably be 4PM or later.

We love doing the day hikes, canoeing, bicycling, horseback riding etc. Where in Lake Louise did you stay? I wasn't able to find anything that looked nice that was not extemely over priced. We would love to stay in cabins/ chalets but with 2 teenagers, a TV somehere along our stay would be nice! Couldn't we take in all of the places you mentioned from Jasper or would Lake Louise be more convenient?

How long of a drive was it from Calgary to Jasper? Since we will be flying out of Calgary, my thoughts were to travel first to Jasper and then work our way back closer to Calgary. I was trying to avoid a 4 or 5 hour drive to the airport on the day we depart. We have a total of 7 night.

Mary
kwick58 is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 11:13 AM
  #4  
BAK
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,944
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's a long way to Jasper from Calgary. There are two ways to go.

Drive north to Edmonton, and then west to Jasper. Or drive west to Banfgf, and then north to Jasper.

Unless you have a good reason to go to Edmonton, the second method (via Banff) is far and away the best.

When you get out a map, you'll see the Rocky Mountains go north on an angle, and that messes up driving.

Yu've got a couple of options.

I've arrived in Calgary many times int he late afternoon, and driven to Banff for supper, and then come back to CAlgary to stay overnight, prior to Calgary business meetings the next day.

So, you could drive to Canmore, or Banff, easily enough, (it stays light well into the evening in August, too) after arriving in Calgary.

Or you could stay in Calgary that night, relax after the day's travel, and see some of the city. then the next morning, drive west to the mountains.

The drive from Baff to Jasper takes all day, if you are relaxed about it, and stop and see things. The scenery looks different going north to Jasper and then returning, so there's no disadvantage in retracing your north-south route.

If the children are big dinosaur fans, your route might change, to take in Drumheller,(dinosaur country)and then Edmonton, Jasper, and south to Banff and back to Calgary.

And how do rodeos fit into your vacation? That could alter your plans. Small town Alberta rodeos are are great thing for people who like cowboy life.

BAK
BAK is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 11:45 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>>Also thinking of spending several nights in Bakers Chalets in Jasper area.<<<

Baker Creek Chalets are outside of Lake Louise, and Becker's Chalets are outside of Jasper.

>>>The question is after traveling the better part of the day thru airports, would it make sense to stay in Calgary the first night and then start fresh the next day with a long drive to Jasper. Or stay in Canmore the first leg of the trip and then move on to Jasper.<<<

I would not suggest staying in Calgary. If I were you I would head for the mountains. You should be able to reach Canmore, Banff and probably even Lake Louise without a problem. Getting as far as Jasper would be more of a stretch, but might be doable.

>>>Our flight arrives in the early afternoon. Of course by the time we get luggage, pick up rental car, etc. it will probably be 4PM or later.<<<

Calgary has quite a compact airport. The area where you pick up rental cars is close to the arrivals area. I would be surprised if it took you more than an hour to go through immigration and customs formalities, get some Canadian cash from an ATM, and pick up your rental car.

Also keep in mind that it still stays light relatively late in August. Sunset times in Calgary are 9.23 p.m. on August 1st, 8.57 p.m. on August 15th and 8.24 p.m. on August 31st.

>>>Couldn't we take in all of the places you mentioned from Jasper or would Lake Louise be more convenient?<<<

No, Jasper and Lake Louise are sufficiently far from each other that you cannot use the one as a base for seeing things that are close to the other.

They are 136 miles apart. Nominally it takes 2 hours 20 minutes to do the drive between them, but there are so many scenic lookout points and hiking opportunities along the way that it is common for visitors to take a whole day to transfer from one place to the other. In addition to that, each of them is surrounded by great hikes in the area immediately around the town or village.

>>>How long of a drive was it from Calgary to Jasper? Since we will be flying out of Calgary, my thoughts were to travel first to Jasper and then work our way back closer to Calgary. I was trying to avoid a 4 or 5 hour drive to the airport on the day we depart.<<<

I think your approach is sound. Where you should spend your last night depends on the time that your flight departs for home. If your flight leaves late in the morning or around noon, you could spend your last night in the mountains. If your flight leaves early in the morning, you'd be better off to spend your last night in Calgary. In that case a hotel in the NE quadrant of the city would work well. You can tell them from the fact that all of their street addresses end in NE. A hotel that serves this purpose very nicely is the Greenwood Inn.

Keep in mind that you really do have to check in 2 hours before your flight. One of the reasons for that is that you clear U.S. immigration and customs in Calgary. Then your flight is treated like a domestic flight when it lands in the U.S. There have been times when that process has gone like clockwork for us, and we've gotten through in half an hour. Then we've wondered why we checked in so early. On the other hand, there have been times when the process has taken an hour and a half, and we've been glad we left plenty of time to spare.

Approximate driving times from Calgary to various points in the mountains are:

Canmore : 1 hr 11 min (69 miles)

Banff townsite : 1 hr 22 min (80 miles)

Lake Louise : 2 hr 10 min (122 miles)

Jasper : 4 hr 30 min (258 miles)

Those time estimates come from the Free Trip website, which I personally find to be a little on the optimistic side. The Map Quest website, which provides time estimates that many folks around here consider too slow, comes closer to matching my experience. However, actual driving times depend on various factors such as traffic levels, weather, etc. Usually actual driving times will fall somewhere between Free Trip's and Map Quest's figures.

Another recent poster asked about coming to the Canadian Rockies for a similar period, and you can see the responses that that person received here:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...9&tid=34562310
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 11:51 AM
  #6  
ltt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,466
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i'm actually not sure if going through banff to jasper is the best or...
from the airport head north on hwy 2 (it's right there) for about 1-1/2 hours. turn west on hwy 11 towards rocky mountain house. this highway will intercept the banff/jasper parkway. when you hit that, turn right and head to jasper.
maybe someone who has taken each route can comment which is faster.
ltt is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 12:20 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>>i'm actually not sure if going through banff to jasper is the best<<<

Actually, ltt, Borealis corrected me when I recommended Hwy #11 to someone else quite some time ago. She pointed out to me that the route through Banff and Lake Louise was shorter.

Although I've done it both ways, I didn't pay attention to driving times till I starting answering questions at Fodor's. Besides, we often stop along the way to look at things. It's rare for us to do any of these drives straight through, and that doesn't help the accuracy of my perception.

According to the Free Trip website, Calgary to Jasper via Banff and Lake Louise is 258 miles (415 kilometres). Calgary to Jasper via Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House is 337 miles (542 km). So using Hwy #11 apparently makes the journey 79 miles (127 km) longer.

As B. pointed out to me, this is explained by the arc in Hwy #11 between Nordegg and Saskatchewan Crossing.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 12:46 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 734
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
kwick, you've reieved concrete advice from those who relly know the area; my husband and I visited for three weeks summer before last. It was one of our favorite destinatons ever!

As you can see, daytripping to LL and Yoho really isn't practical from Jasper.

We arrived in Calgary at roughly around the time you will, and made it to Canmore easily, with time to stroll the downtown, catch a bite, and orient ourselves.

In Lake Louise we stayed at the Alpine Hostel, for the reason you stated - everything else was overpriced! It was very simple, but very clean and comfortable, and has an excellent, casual restaurant on-site. Our only real problem with it was the noise level. Baker's Creek Chalets sound like a good, more private, alternative.

In Jasper, both Beckers and Pine Bungalows {where we stayed} would be good choices. Beckers is highly reviewed here, but a bit more pricey than Pine Bungalows. I don't know if Beckers has t.v. P.B. doesn't.

I second the suggestion to take in Drumheller if your kids {or you} are into dinosaurs.

Arguably,the best whitewater rafting is in the Kicking Horse River, near Yoho and Field. Pretty wild though! Your teenagers would probably love it

We stayed in Drumheller on our last night - not a long drive.

Molly2 is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2005, 10:48 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Becker Chalets were a delightful place to stay. They provided adequate space for us, more than the hotel rooms we stayed in elsewhere. I spent an entire afternoon relaxing in a chair beside the river enjoying the fresh air and scenery.
alvira is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2005, 10:58 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Between Calgary and Banff is Head-Smashed-In-Buffalow-Jump which was kind of neat to see. Drumheller is also near Calgary and is an interesting visit. We went by Olympic Park, just to say we'd been there.
alvira is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mom1967
Canada
4
Jul 4th, 2013 08:28 PM
RHINOWIN
Canada
9
May 9th, 2006 05:58 AM
fae
Canada
5
Feb 11th, 2005 10:54 PM
justsomuch
Canada
5
Aug 9th, 2004 10:20 PM
Frank
Canada
5
Jun 25th, 2002 02:19 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:43 AM.