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Calgary, Banff, and Jasper National parks
Old 05-25-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
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Calgary, Banff, and Jasper National parks

Hello,
I did a search on this site for feedback for a trip to these vacation locations and found some from the 2009 timeframe.
DW and I are taking my mother (79 yrs old) on a trip to Calgary Banff, and Jasper the end of Jun 2015. Mom can walk around slowly but not great distances. I am interested in any feedback on these parks with respect to showing her some beautiful sites.
Also, any recommendations for hotels in each of these locations in the $250 a night ballpark?
thanks
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:06 PM   #2
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I haven't been yet but I've been researching it.

One thing to be wary of they say is that summer time you have to be careful of wildlife, like bears and cougars.

That's if you go on some hikes to reach popular places, like Moraine Lake.

You're suppose to make a lot of noise so you don't surprise any bears and carry bear spray as precaution.

I think I'm going to see if there are some guided tours.
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:24 PM   #3
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One thing to be wary of they say is that summer time you have to be careful of wildlife, like bears and cougars.
This is certainly true.

Officials advise hikers to take extra precautions and be alert for bears while in the field. Wear small bells on your clothing so as not to startle bears that aren't expecting you, and carry pepper spray in case of an encounter.

It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Learn to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain lots of berries and fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in it and smell like pepper.
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:26 PM   #4
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:28 PM   #5
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Moraine Lake is a must see. Just outside of Lake Louise area. It's all quite beautiful. You will love your trip. Personally, I'd spend more time in Lake Louise area and Jasper rather than Banff.


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Old 05-25-2015, 02:31 PM   #6
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Paging CalgaryGirl....

Here is a wonderful B&B in Calgary that costs a lot less than $250 a night:

Shangarry Bed & Breakfast of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I don't have specific hotel recommendations for Banff and Jasper, but also consider staying in Canmore when exploring Banff. The Georgetown Inn is homey and modestly priced.

Lake Louise is beautiful. Consider doing a hike up to the tea house and the moraine with the Park rangers. Not suitable for your Mom though. Have lunch at the Fairmont Lake Loiuse.

Welcome to Canada. I hope you have a great time!
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:14 PM   #7
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We were there a couple years ago on a rainy day in July. Lake Louise was beautiful but VERY crowded. Lake Moraine was even more beautiful with much less people. Both are worth seeing.
About halfway between Banff and Jasper don't miss the glaciers. You can see them from the parking lot of the visitors center or if you're up to it take the ride to the glacier. Try and plan an entire day for the trip to Jasper. Beautiful scenery and spots to stop along the way.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:51 PM   #8
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Hike up to the teahouse at Lake Louise. Once you are around the lake and heading up the trail you will loose most of the day trippers. We also like renting a canoe and paddling around the lake for an hour or so. Don't forget Emerald Lake, Takakaw Falls either. Both are very close to Louise.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:08 PM   #9
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It's been 10 years since we were there, but there is a lot to see without hiking, although that is what we did there. A lot of the places mentioned can be enjoyed by your mother while you and your wife take a nice hike. Moraine Lake, Takkakaw falls, Emerald Lake, glaciers, etc. as others have mentioned. I agree that there is little to see in Banff itself. We stayed at Emerald Lake Lodge, Post Hotel (near Lake Louise) and Cathedral Mountain Lodge. They might have been pricey, but all were very good to excellent and the scenery spectacular.
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
I haven't been yet but I've been researching it.

One thing to be wary of they say is that summer time you have to be careful of wildlife, like bears and cougars.

That's if you go on some hikes to reach popular places, like Moraine Lake.

You're suppose to make a lot of noise so you don't surprise any bears and carry bear spray as precaution.

I think I'm going to see if there are some guided tours.
I can confirm the Grizzlies issue. Last time we were there they would not allow parties of less than 3 to hike. So this meant DW and I had to wait at the trail head until some others showed up to hike. Lucky us, we got paired with some very fit 25 year olds and almost died trying to keep up
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:29 PM   #11
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Moraine Lake is a must see. Just outside of Lake Louise area. It's all quite beautiful. You will love your trip. Personally, I'd spend more time in Lake Louise area and Jasper rather than Banff.


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I was going to write about Moraine Lake and you beat me to it.


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Old 05-26-2015, 06:52 AM   #12
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This is certainly true.

Officials advise hikers to take extra precautions and be alert for bears while in the field. Wear small bells on your clothing so as not to startle bears that aren't expecting you, and carry pepper spray in case of an encounter.

It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Learn to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain lots of berries and fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in it and smell like pepper.
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:08 AM   #13
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I think the drive up the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper is one of the most scenic drives I've ever taken. I think you will all love it. Do plan to take it a leisurely place since the scenery is stunning.

I hiked one trail off the parkway for about a total of six miles, in and out to the same trailhead and saw three black bears on the hike. One ran across the trail in front of us. One was coming down the trail right at us until it saw us and then scooted off into the brush. The third stood up from a berry patch about 10 feet in front of us. We backed off slowly and it went back to eating. Do keep your eye open and make lots of noise so there are no surprises.

And do visit the Dead Dog Saloon in Jasper, great place for a beer and a bite!
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
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I think the drive up the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper is one of the most scenic drives I've ever taken. I think you will all love it. Do plan to take it a leisurely place since the scenery is stunning.

I hiked one trail off the parkway for about a total of six miles, in and out to the same trailhead and saw three black bears on the hike. One ran across the trail in front of us. One was coming down the trail right at us until it saw us and then scooted off into the brush. The third stood up from a berry patch about 10 feet in front of us. We backed off slowly and it went back to eating. Do keep your eye open and make lots of noise so there are no surprises.

And do visit the Dead Dog Saloon in Jasper, great place for a beer and a bite!
All this, yes.
We stayed at campgrounds all through Canada, so no recommendations on accomodations, but the scenery was spectacular.

And I should add that one of our funniest stories happened in Jasper, when we were mistaken for hobos and given directions to the soup kitchen. Decided maybe we should take showers when we got to the next campground.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:17 AM   #15
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Just a note of caution that the Calgary Stampede runs in early July, so accommodations in and around Calgary, and car rentals might be booked up around this time...And the parks will be extra busy as well.

Also, note that bear spray is not allowed on planes, and if you are driving from the US, the bear spray label must say it is for use on animals only.
http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/...9-13-2-eng.pdf

Hiking Trails: http://www.banfflakelouise.com/Thing...nd-Lake-Louise
Trail Conditions: http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_e.asp?opark=100092
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:57 AM   #16
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Also remember to allow enough time. There are so many sights to see but each will eat up time. Especially with Mom. And if you are hurrying back from Jasper to Calgary, be prepared to follow some sight-seeing RVs.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:45 PM   #17
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Just a note of caution that the Calgary Stampede runs in early July, so accommodations in and around Calgary, and car rentals might be booked up around this time...And the parks will be extra busy as well.

Also, note that bear spray is not allowed on planes, and if you are driving from the US, the bear spray label must say it is for use on animals only.
http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/...9-13-2-eng.pdf

Hiking Trails: Hiking in Banff and Lake Louise. Classic hikes, guided hikes and Teahouses
Trail Conditions: Parks Canada - Trail Report
Well, we firmed up the dates 23-29 June, made the airplane reservations, and reserved a 4WD SUV. Now comes the hard part...picking where to go first and reserving hotels and B&Bs. I think we might hit Glacier National park first, then Banff, then Jasper. It will be a busy 7 days.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:00 PM   #18
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If you feel like splurging a little (lot) while in Banff, go to the Banff Springs Hotel for brunch (even if you're not staying there).
Weekend Brunch - Dining & Restaurants - The Fairmont Banff Springs

Still dream about that brunch once in a while...
(yes, life can get slow at w*rk.. lol)
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:04 PM   #19
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I've got the same issue as the OP, but for me it's my wife. I think the best bet for her is a hotel with an couple pleasant porches. She can sit on the porch, within easy walking distance of food and restrooms, and still enjoy the view. I can go on short (maybe 2 hour?) walks.

Does any particular hotel stand out for this situation?
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:16 PM   #20
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Don't think it's wise to attempt Glacier NP along with Banff through Jasper in 7 days. I don't think that's possible. Both areas are worthy of a week in their own right.

I do second staying in Canmore as others mentioned. We stayed at Canmore Mountain Lodge and thought it was a real nice top of line cabin.


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