Your favorite day spent in Banff area

Jul 13th, 2000, 04:03 AM
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Your favorite day spent in Banff area

What was your favorite day spent in the Banff, Lake Louise area? What are some of the things people do while they are vacationing in that area? We're still trying to decide if driving only to the Icefields from Banff,(and not all the way to Jasper) will be enough. Is it really too hard to do the drive there and back in one day? Is it something we should not miss out on? Thanks for your info.
Jul 13th, 2000, 11:16 AM
Bob Brown
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The most scenic trail I recall from the east side of the Great Divide is the walk along the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail from Lake Louise all the way to the end of the trail beyond the tea house. Then, return by way of Lake Agnes which is in a hanging valley high above Lake Louise. It will be about an 8 mile round trip. If you do not want to eat at the tea house, take your own and enjoy lunch in view of the glacier.
I would not go on a weekend day because the trail can be crowded; that is the only drawback that I recall.
I would not want to be forced to drive the Icefields Parkway in one day, both ways. There is too much to stop and see. I have driven from Jasper to Field, in Yoho Park, in one day with stops. We took all day to do it -- about 9 hours. There is a lot scenery concentrated into that area. It is the kind you just want to stop and admire.
Technically it can be done; just like you could run through all of the rooms at the Louvre in one day; but I would not want to do it that way.
Jul 14th, 2000, 04:02 PM
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We just got back and here are some things we enjoyed. We went to Moraine Lake really early (like 6am) and hiked around the lake - very beautiful and no crowds at that time of morning. We then went to the Lake Louise Ski Lift and did their dine and ride. You get a hearty breakfast buffet and get to ride a gondola or chair up to the top. Their are quite a few trails up at the top to try, and the ride back down is even more gorgeous. We also did the Plain of Six Glaciers trail, but by the time we got there, it was too crowded. I would suggest doing that one early morning or put up with the crowds. We also drove the Bow Valley Parkway and saw elk, bighorn sheep, bear, moose. We didn't drive up to the Icefields, but we enjoyed ourselves just as much!
Jul 15th, 2000, 09:43 AM
Al Godon
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I guess my favorite day was when I decided to walk out to Cephren Lake for a view of Mount Cephren. I made one strategic mistake: It was raining that day and all I had for rain gear was a poncho that came to my knees.
By the time I went through the bushes in that thing, I was wet from the belt down. We pulled into the campground and built a fire to get warm and, after making sure no one was in range, we changed to dry clothes in the eating shelter. Lovely day.
Moral: buy a Gore Tex rain suit with jacket and pants.
Jul 17th, 2000, 03:24 PM
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Thanks Bob, Deb and Al for all of your help. We will be spending two nights in Lake Louise, one night in Jasper, four nights in Banff and the last night in Calgary.

We're leaving on Wednesday and plans are looking good. We have tee times at the Banff Srpings Golf Course and dinner reservations at Chateau Lake Louise. We are planning to horseback ride and hike the Plain of Six Glaciers and have lunch at the Lake Agnes Tea House. On the drive to Jasper we will stop at the Icefields and go to Maligne Lake. I know my children will want to explore the towns and check out the waterslides at the Douglas Fir.

It sounds like we're doing a lot, but if there is anything I am missing please let me know.

Two things I am not sure of are how to dress for the weather and are there mosquitoes?

Thanks again for all of your help.

Jul 18th, 2000, 07:29 AM
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A common misconception of Canada is that the entire place is covered with extremely large mosquitoes and blackflies. When you're in the Rockies and other mountainous regions (as long as you're not around swampy lakeland and marshes) you'll be okay.

I went to the areas you plan on going to back in August 1993. There were no mosquito problems. Hope this helps!
Jul 18th, 2000, 06:10 PM
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HI Trish:
I just spent two days in Banff, in late June. Icame back and promised myself to take my wife & kids there next Summer.
I stay in Banff and drove with friend during the day. I enjoyed the most was the Yoho national park. DO NOT miss the Takakkaw Fall. Even the drive up to the fall will awe you. On the way ther we stop at the Spiral Tunnel and saw the train go thru the tunnel. Really fascinating. We visited the Natural Bridge and Emeral Lake as well. All in one day. We came back to Calgary around six o'clock, and ready for supper. Try the Vietnamese restaurant, Sun Rise on 17 Ave S.E. It is really good.

I hope some more infor will help you.
Jul 20th, 2000, 08:55 AM
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Takkakaw Falls was particularly memorable. There is something very special about that place that I can't put into words. It feels eternal somehow -- I felt like I was looking at a primeval scene, completely removed in time and space from the modern world.

In addition, I loved Peyto Lake -- I was stunned by the blanket of wildflowers on one hillside there and regard hour or so we spent overlooking the Lake as one of my favorite stops along the way.

Sometimes I believe these things are primarily a function of expectations. For instance, I loved Lake Louise, but then I expected it to be fantastic so it did not particularly exceed my expectations, lovely as it was. Some of the lesser-known places stick out more in my memory as remarkable in part because I had no expectations of them prior to going (I had not even heard of Takkakaw Falls, for example). Also, Lake Louise was so crowded with tour groups and other hikers that it was a little hard to "get lost" in the majesty -- there was just a bit too much human interference on the natural radar screen.

Also greatly enjoyed the hike around Emerald Lake.

The icefields are certainly remarkable but I would not drive there and back in one day because there are too many other interesting things to see along the way as well and you would not have time to stop at all.
Jul 20th, 2000, 10:47 AM
Al Godon
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Takkakaw Falls is best viewed from a vantage point that enables you to see where it originates -- the Daly Glacier some 2,500 feet above the valley floor.
If you are higher than the brink of the falls on the opposite side, you can see the glacier and surrounding peaks.
Quite a view.

If you have the energy, the best view in that part of the world is from the high point on the Whaleback Trail above Twin Falls. From this point you can see down valley all the way to Mount Victoria to the south and to the north you can see the icefields that send out the Yoho glacier. To the southwest you can view the President Range. To the northwest the spire of Mont de Poilus rises with its slumping glacier. I know of no view that is more impressive in the Canadian Rockies, without climbing to the top of a peak. Well, on second thought, the Whaleback is rivaled by a view of Mount Huber from high on the Yukness Ledge, with Lake O'Hara some 1,500 feet below.
Jul 20th, 2000, 01:38 PM
a mark
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Hope you still get this. Just got back from Alberta - it was great. Definitely hike Plain of Six Glaciers, all the way to the top if you can. Icefields Pkwy is a must and it does take a whole day ONE way. You can cut it short by driving from L. Louise to the Icefields. The Sno coach is touristy but worth it (Take bottle to collect glacial water - our kids wished we had). Weather - wish we knew - be prepared for cool mornings, hot afternoons, occassional showers and anything in between. On July 4, it snowed in the mtns around Banff! Have fun!!
Jul 20th, 2000, 03:28 PM
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I strongly recommend a canoe jaunt on Moraine Lake (near Lake Louise) and Emerald Lake (in Yoho Park).

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