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Which cabins to rent in Jasper/Banff/Lake Louise?

Which cabins to rent in Jasper/Banff/Lake Louise?

Jan 30th, 2004, 10:52 AM
  #1  
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Which cabins to rent in Jasper/Banff/Lake Louise?

My family of 4 will be traveling to Jasper, Banff, and Lake Louise in August. We like less commercial environments (i.e., we loved Whistler 15 years ago, but were very disappointed when we went 2 years ago because it had become so built up). My husband and son love to fly fish and my daughter and I like to hike. Are there any kitchen cabins (preferably with BBQ pits outside) that offer easy access for fishing and hiking? We can spend up to $150 CDN per night. Thanks for any help you can provide. Also, is it wise to find a cabin that can serve as home base for both Banff and Lake Louise so we don't have to pack and move so much?
laurafromtexas is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 11:59 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi Laura,

I think it's a really good idea to find one base from which to see both Banff and Lake Louise. If you want to avoid a built-up tourist resort town, I think you're better off leaning towards the smaller village of Lake Louise and away from the busier town of Banff.

You can find self-catering cabins if you do a Google search for CHALET or CABIN plus the place name. For example, when I did a search for CHALET + LAKE LOUISE, here was one of the links that came up:

http://www.lakelouise.worldweb.com/W...aletsCottages/

Several of these places are not in the village of Lake Louise, but are tucked away in spots in the forest some miles from Lake Louise. Moraine Lake Lodge and Johnston Canyon Resort, while their accommodations may be comfortable enough, are close to popular sights and the busy parking lots that are adjacent to them. I suspect you might not enjoy the steady stream of visitors to which you would be exposed.

Some cabins truly are in locations that would give you a nice amount of privacy.

However, you would need to do further research on any cabins / chalets you were contemplating. For example, from driving past them, I've always thought Baker Creek Chalets looked pleasant. However, I just read a review on Tripadvisor that said the cabin one family stayed in was filthy.

In addition to Lake Louise, Jasper is a place I like a lot. The town of Jasper is smaller than the town of Banff but larger than the village of Lake Louise. One always has a good chance of seeing wildlife on the drive from Jasper townsite to Maligne Lake. Jasper also offers self-catering accommodation and, again, some of it is a little way from the town proper. For instance, I seem to recall seeing self-catering accommodation on the shores of Pyramid Lake or Patricia Lake, just a little way outside the town. Fodorites also have talked about staying in cabins on the shores of the Athabasca River near Jasper townsite. But there are people here who know Jasper way better than I do, and I'll defer this part of the advice to them.

The Icefields Parkway that connects Lake Louise and Jasper is a particularly scenic drive. There are many attractive spots that are worth a stop and a look. Perhaps the best known activity en route from LL to Jasper is a Snocoach ride on the Athabasca Glacier, which is part of the Columbia Icefields.

If your vacation is long enough to permit one non-mountain activity, I recommend the Royal Tryrrell Museum in Drumheller where you can see very impressive dinosaur skeletons. But it does mean a full day's outing from Calgary.

By the way, I've never fished, so I've never looked into the requirements, but I do believe one needs a fishing licence. It's easy enough to obtain, I think, but I'm just giving you a heads up that this is something else you need to look into.

Hope you have a good trip.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 12:14 PM
  #3  
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Thanks so much for all the helpful info! If anyone is familiar with specific cabins, I'd love to hear from them.
laurafromtexas is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 01:07 PM
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Hi Laura,

I asked a colleague of mine, who is a keen fisherman, where the best fishing in Alberta was. He confirmed a suspicion I had that the Rocky Mountains are not the best place for fishing. He then turned around and gave me a 92 page copy of a magazine-style publication call "2003 Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations" published by an Alberta government department, namely, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development - Fish & Wildlife.

It has maps that divide Alberta up into fishing zones (based on climate, topography, vegetation, etc.), with lists of the species of fish that can be caught in different zones, the best times for fishing in those zones, etc.

My colleague said that the next edition of the publication will be coming out in March. However, I think even this version would give you a good idea of the fishing scene in Alberta.

I guess the seriousness with which your family might pursue this information would depend on how keen your husband and son are about fishing.

Anyway, if you e-mail me and give me your mailing address, I'll be happy to mail this publication to you.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 01:09 PM
  #5  
mms
 
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We have stayed at Baker Creek Chalets twice...once last summer and once almost15 years ago. Loved them both times! Nothing filthy about them that we encountered. They did cost quite a bit more than $150 CDN, but worth it. I do know the cabins book up very fast...probably booked close to full for the summer so if you find something you want book it now! We had to cancel reservations to return this summer due to a move and were heartbroken that we wont make it back this year.
mms is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 01:10 PM
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Pine Bungalows in Jasper are rustic, very clean and comfortable. My husband and I stayed there last summer, and thought our cabin was perfect. They come in different configurations; ours had a kitchen, fireplace, and had a beautiful view over the river. We saw elk and deer right outside our window.

If you want a riverview cabin, you need to reserve early. I think that I reserved one around now.

We liked that the cabins are removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown, but a short ride away from restaurants and stores. There are benches by the river to sit and relax - I'm not sure about fishing there.
Molly2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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I agree with mms - we have stayed at Baker Creek Chalets numerous times and have never found it filthy - quite the opposite, in fact. And it is a pretty and quiet wooded setting not far from Lake Louise.
In Jasper I would recommend Becker's Roaring River Chalets, a short 5 minute drive south of Jasper townsite in the Icefield parkway, and right next to a bend in the Athabasca River where you can watch white water rafters bobbing by on the rapids.
There are lots of places with kitchens in Banff, look up accommodation on Tunnel Mountain Road.
However, I have to warn you Laura, that you may have a very difficult time finding accommodation with a kitchen in any of the three towns for $150 CDN or less in the high tourist season (mid-June to early September). Prices go up, way up, at soon as the tourists start arriving.

Borealis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 02:26 PM
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Laura - here's a website that may be useful:

http://www.discoverbanff.com/Whereto...l?vid=36543724
Borealis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 04:39 PM
  #9  
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Judy, I'll be emailing you shortly with my address for that guide you mentioned. Should be quite helpful. Thanks! After checking some websites, I'm realizing that we may need to up our nightly cost to about $180. We may cut our trip down from 10 to 8 days to stay within budget. Many thanks to all who have provided names. Keep those ideas coming!
laurafromtexas is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 05:46 PM
  #10  
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I've been looking up cabins and ran across Old Entrance Cabins between Jasper and Hinton. The cost is more reasonable - $125 CDN per night for a 3-night stay. Can anyone recommend this place?
laurafromtexas is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 08:22 PM
  #11  
 
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Laura -
We live east of Jasper (in the city of Edmonton), and we travel to Jasper very often. But I couldn't figure out where the Old Entrance Cabins were - couldn't remember ever seeing them, so I checked the website.
From the description provided I would say that they are very near Hinton, and not in the Rockies at all. Note that Hinton has what I beleive is a pulp mill, and I know for certain that it doesn't smell very pretty at times.
Plus the description of the cabins themselves makes them sound - well - um - "rustic".
Based on what I saw and read at the website, I would be very wary in making reservations to stay there. There must be a good reason for the low price.

However, it depends what you are looking for in terms of amenities, and it could be an "interesting adventure"!!
Borealis is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 05:59 AM
  #12  
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Borealis, after hearing your description of Hinton, I'm not sure I want that kind of "interesting adventure!" Thanks for your knowledgeable reply!
laurafromtexas is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 07:44 AM
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Laura, you might want to check out Storm Mountain Lodge.
cmcfong is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 07:39 PM
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Laura, have you considered Canmore? It is about 20 minutes west of Banff (about an hour west of Lake Louise) just outside the Park gates. The advantages are: (1) it is a bit more "family friendly" ie. less expensive while still being well into the mountains and very beautiful;(2)it has a whole lot more condo accommodation with cooking facilities; (3)being outside the Park means that an Alberta fishing license will suffice - you wouldn't need a Park license as well and the fishing is at least as good as inside the Park (high mountain rivers/lakes, being cold are low in nutrients so the fish grow slowly). Better fishing is more mid-province, especially on the Bow around Calgary tho' August is late in the season (weeds). The disadvantage of Canmore would be, in my opinion, just that it is growing so fast - its a bit busy, tho' certainly no worse that Banff in high season.
Mariposa is offline  
Feb 1st, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Mariposa, thanks so much for the suggestion. I will look into accomodations in that area.
laurafromtexas is offline  
Feb 1st, 2004, 04:40 PM
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Laura, considering that you said in your first message, "We like less commercial environments," I doubt that you'll like Canmore. It's a town outside of Banff National Park, a short distance outside of the national park gates. It has become a bedroom community to absorb the overflow of people who want to stay in Banff.

Canmore has beautiful mountains towering above it, and it's a short drive from nice lakes, hiking trails, etc.

We sometimes go there for a weekend get-away, and stay in a cute, small hotel, the Georgetown Inn. (Lady Macdonald House, a charming and elegant B&B across the street from the Georgetown Inn, is an even better place, albeit a little more expensive.)

We don't care that Canmore has grown more touristy in recent years. A block from the Georgetown Inn is a nice French restaurant in which we like to eat dinner. The Inn serves a great breakfast. Then, as soon as breakfast is over, we head to Kananaskis Provincial Park or Lake Louise or some other area for a hike.

But if you're looking for a cute cabin in the woods, I don't think Canmore is the best place to be looking.

Other recent posts have alluded to Waterton Lakes National Park, and I think that idea has merit. Waterton is on Alberta's (Canada's) southern border. On the U.S. side of the border is Glacier National Park.

If you do a Google search for WATERTON + CABIN, you'll find some places which, from their websites at least, seem to fit what you're looking for.

I haven't stayed in any of those accommodations, but I do know that the area generally is unspoiled. Well, unspoiled up to a point. Some of the devastating forest fires last summer got close to that area.

But if you stayed near Coleman for example (that was one of the cabins that came up on a Google search), your husband and son would have easier access to somewhat lower altitudes where the fishing would be better, while you and your daughter would still have access to some nice hiking trails. That area would do a better job, I think, of satisfying people with the different interests that you and your family members have.

Something to think about anyway.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Feb 1st, 2004, 06:39 PM
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Judy, thank you for the illuminating information about Canmore and the suggestions about Waterton. We definitely will go to Waterton/Glacier National Park in the future, but the Snocoach tours, gondola ride up Mt. Whistler, and cruise on Maligne Lake sound too intriguing to pass up!
laurafromtexas is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 07:38 AM
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Fishing in the Crowsnest Pass (Coleman area along Highway 3) is also quite good. How much time do you have? Waterton in about three hours south of Banff which is why it is so much quieter but the drive through the Kananaskis area south is also wonderful. Guess you'll have to come back again! At least you'll avoid that "Sea to Sky Highway" up to Whistler - another bad accident there this weekend. Do keep in mind that that area is only slightly touristy which is, of course, an advantage but also means it lacks the amenities of places like Banff and Whistler. Fine dining is mostly burgers and pancakes.
Mariposa is offline  
Feb 5th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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hello Laura
On your way to Maligne Lake, stop at Maligne Canyon. It is on the way to the lake and should not be passed by. Absolutely spectacular views.
Have a great time!
atilla is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 03:18 AM
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We've stayed at the Johnston Canyon Resort that Judy mentioned in the first post. While the canyon area is lovely, the cabins were somewhat dated and very closely spaced. Imagine cabins in a gravel parking lot with a few trees interspersed; way too high density for what you require.
Retired_teacher is offline  

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