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rpbuttery
As a first tim e visitor, I have eight nights to allocate between Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in September, 2010. Opinions as how that should be done will be appreciated.
starlagurl
First question: How are you getting around?
edandali
QUOTE(rpbuttery @ Nov 24 2009, 04:16 PM) *

As a first tim e visitor, I have eight nights to allocate between Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in September, 2010. Opinions as how that should be done will be appreciated.

Hi there,

I would recommend that if you are staying at a hostel then don't stay at the one in Jasper. We booked on the internet paying the 10% deposit for booking and then they charge us this again when we stayed there saying it was a problem with Hostel booking company when we had proof it wasn't. They just said its not our problem so we left the next day. Jasper is nice but we way preferred Banff. Its amazing there and easy to get to Lake Louise from there even if you stay at banff for the full time. One question, can you take me with you i love it there, lol. Any further questions feel free to message me. Take care and enjoy...
rpbuttery
QUOTE(rpbuttery @ Nov 24 2009, 03:16 PM) *

As a first tim e visitor, I have eight nights to allocate between Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in September, 2010. Opinions as how that should be done will be appreciated.


Automobile.
starlagurl
Alright! You are lucky to have a car...

I love Banff a lot more than I love Jasper. I agree with edandali on that one for sure! Jasper is a little bit more tacky than Banff is.

I would advise a visit to Canmore, I think it's prettier than all three cities put together!

The hiking is really nice in Lake Louise, and also in Banff, so if you like that, do some of that too.

I also love the hot springs, there are quite a few around, so if you have time, I'd try and get out to the countryside, rather than staying in Banff at the giant, more "corporate style" springs there.
rpbuttery
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Nov 24 2009, 03:17 PM) *

First question: How are you getting around?


Thanks.
rpbuttery
QUOTE(edandali @ Dec 1 2009, 09:50 AM) *

QUOTE(rpbuttery @ Nov 24 2009, 04:16 PM) *

As a first tim e visitor, I have eight nights to allocate between Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in September, 2010. Opinions as how that should be done will be appreciated.

Hi there,

I would recommend that if you are staying at a hostel then don't stay at the one in Jasper. We booked on the internet paying the 10% deposit for booking and then they charge us this again when we stayed there saying it was a problem with Hostel booking company when we had proof it wasn't. They just said its not our problem so we left the next day. Jasper is nice but we way preferred Banff. Its amazing there and easy to get to Lake Louise from there even if you stay at banff for the full time. One question, can you take me with you i love it there, lol. Any further questions feel free to message me. Take care and enjoy...


Thanks.
starlagurl
Hope you have a fun time!

Let us know what your itinerary is once you decide.
foothills_bears
QUOTE(rpbuttery @ Nov 24 2009, 04:16 PM) *

As a first tim e visitor, I have eight nights to allocate between Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in September, 2010. Opinions as how that should be done will be appreciated.



Of course the answer to this question depends on where you are starting and ending, how you are getting about, and what type of traveller you are. I'll assume that you start in Calgary and make a loop to Edmonton. At any rate, I would recommend renting a car to get about so that you have complete freedom to choose your destinations and are not dependent upon any tour company. Try to stay at least a couple of nights in each location to minimize the disruption to your trip.

Day 1 - drive to Banff or stay in Canmore instead. It is a quieter and nicer town with some great restaurants. Take the rest of the day to hit the visitor centre and meander around the townsite.

Day 2 - visit the Cave and Basin and walk the interpretive trail, swing by Bow Falls, take the gondola to the top of Sulfur Mountain, and finish the day with a soak in the Hot Springs.

Day 3 - drive to Lake Louise, stopping to hike Johnston Canyon on your way (at the intersection of Highway 1 and 93). Head up to the Chateau and rent a canoe to paddle around the lake.

Day 4 - drive toward Field, BC and take the turn-off to Lake O'hara. Catch the shuttle bus (which has to be booked in advance) up to the Lake and spend the day hiking one of the many beautiful trails. There are lots of options and a wide range of difficulty from a easy stroll around the lake to challenging scrambles through bolder fields. Alternatively, you could go further up the #1 highway to visit the Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park or you can stay closer to Lake Louise and hike around Moraine Lake.

Day 5 - drive to Jasper, stopping at the Columbia Icefields en route (you can take a tour of the Athabasca Glacier) or hike up Parker Ridge above treeline for a fabulous view of two valleys and the Saskatchewan Glacier.

Day 6 - Check out Athabasca Falls and hike up to the meadow across from the Angel Glacier.

Day 7 - take the gondola up Whistlers Mountain (be sure to dress warmly!), visit Malign Canyon, and the Miette Hot Springs

Day 8 - drive to Edmonton and spend the late afternoon and evening out on the town.

If you have never been to this part of the world, you are in for a real treat. Enjoy!
rpbuttery
QUOTE(foothills_bears @ Dec 1 2009, 07:09 PM) *

QUOTE(rpbuttery @ Nov 24 2009, 04:16 PM) *

As a first tim e visitor, I have eight nights to allocate between Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in September, 2010. Opinions as how that should be done will be appreciated.



Of course the answer to this question depends on where you are starting and ending, how you are getting about, and what type of traveller you are. I'll assume that you start in Calgary and make a loop to Edmonton. At any rate, I would recommend renting a car to get about so that you have complete freedom to choose your destinations and are not dependent upon any tour company. Try to stay at least a couple of nights in each location to minimize the disruption to your trip.

Day 1 - drive to Banff or stay in Canmore instead. It is a quieter and nicer town with some great restaurants. Take the rest of the day to hit the visitor centre and meander around the townsite.

Day 2 - visit the Cave and Basin and walk the interpretive trail, swing by Bow Falls, take the gondola to the top of Sulfur Mountain, and finish the day with a soak in the Hot Springs.

Day 3 - drive to Lake Louise, stopping to hike Johnston Canyon on your way (at the intersection of Highway 1 and 93). Head up to the Chateau and rent a canoe to paddle around the lake.

Day 4 - drive toward Field, BC and take the turn-off to Lake O'hara. Catch the shuttle bus (which has to be booked in advance) up to the Lake and spend the day hiking one of the many beautiful trails. There are lots of options and a wide range of difficulty from a easy stroll around the lake to challenging scrambles through bolder fields. Alternatively, you could go further up the #1 highway to visit the Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park or you can stay closer to Lake Louise and hike around Moraine Lake.

Day 5 - drive to Jasper, stopping at the Columbia Icefields en route (you can take a tour of the Athabasca Glacier) or hike up Parker Ridge above treeline for a fabulous view of two valleys and the Saskatchewan Glacier.

Day 6 - Check out Athabasca Falls and hike up to the meadow across from the Angel Glacier.

Day 7 - take the gondola up Whistlers Mountain (be sure to dress warmly!), visit Malign Canyon, and the Miette Hot Springs

Day 8 - drive to Edmonton and spend the late afternoon and evening out on the town.

If you have never been to this part of the world, you are in for a real treat. Enjoy!



Thanks so much. Great info.
jillhopejohnson
If you really want the 'True' All Canadian Rockies experience, go to SKOKI LODGE (outside of Lake Louise, Alberta). (Google it) It is an Alpine Canada back country lodge which is about a10 km hike from Lake Louise. The lodge has all that anyone could need and provides full meals and local expertise from the family that lives there. If you have an active spirit, You will not be disappointed. There is likely to be wildlife sightings and fabulous above the treeline views from deception pass.

I would also suggest going into Kananaskis Country for its wildlife sightings are vast and there is a beautiful cirque called Ptarmignan which is easy to hike to and provides an endless array of wild goats, mountain sheep, marmots and bears. THis is near a 'drive in' lodge which is also fabulous and sits in a Moose corridor. The lodge is called Mount Engadine. Check it out. They too include meals in their lodge experience. You can drink a glass of wine and watch the moose down below.

If you have a car going to Jasper is often a highlight of any Rockies trip. You'll learn that in Canada, 'our culture is in our land'.

Enjoy, be environmentally sensitive and breathe the best air in the World.



starlagurl
Hey you guys are great! Thanks for all the help. It's really appreciated.
undone_
As a Banff resident...although I will unfortunately not be here anymore upon your arrival...I leave for a year in Australia in late March 2010...I would have to say that of those three, Banff and Jasper would have to be the most interesting as towns. I think Banff would then rank ahead of Jasper.

As for Lake Louise, although it is very beautiful, there is not much to the town. Lake Louise is basically a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains with a big hotel (and not even that nice looking a hotel, from the outside it just looks like a Ramada Inn on steroids, not a castle like the Banff Spings). Lake Louise probably doesn't require any more that one nights stay. Even then, you may prefer to stay in Banff and just make a day trip to Lake Louise as it's only maybe a 30-40 minute drive, so you could easily drive there in the morning, look around a bit and drive back to Banff within the day.

A previous poster had stated that the hot springs here aren't that impressive and that is true. The same can be said for the one in Radium. Both are very much just like shallow swimming pools. However, if you are arriving by way of Calgary, it might be worth your while to not head up to Jasper at all and instead stay take in Canmore/Banff/Lake Louise as all are very close to each other. Then, instead of driving up to Jasper, head across into BC in the direction of Invermere. That will allow you to pass through Radium along the way...and the ability to go to White Swan which is just a little beyond Invermere...but is a natural and wonderful hot springs.
starlagurl
I gotta say though, your skin feels SO GOOD after you get out of one of those hot springs... definitely worth it to check it out if you've never been to one before.
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