I know there are a bunch of questions like this on here, and I've reviewed a number of them, but I've had so much luck using TA forums for itinerary help in the past so I thought I'd stick with what works.
My wife and I are planning a trip to Banff and Jasper for end of August. It's a little last second, but it's tough for us to do it more in advance with our jobs. We will most likely fly in and out of Calgary, arriving mid-day Saturday and leaving the following Sunday. So we'll a full 7 days (Sunday through Saturday) to explore. Any help on overall plan like number of nights to stay each area (Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff) as well as specific things to do is greatly appreciated.
As for what we like to do - coming from Florida, part of it is just being in the mountains in general. We like taking pictures, so good overlooks, lakes, waterfalls, etc. are great. We probably won't be doing any serious hiking, but I do like getting out for smaller hikes up to 3 or 4 miles. So just relaxing, enjoying the outdoors, getting some good pictures, seeing wildlife where possible.
My initial thought is that we'd arrive that Saturday and make the drive through and up to Jasper. We should be able to leave the airport in Calgary around 1:30pm. I figure that allows us to drive and maybe make a couple of the really quick stops along the way. Google Maps says 5 hours drive, but I don't know how accurate it is. Hoping to take in a couple of the sights along that drive, get some pictures, and get up to our first stopping point in Jasper.
I know we'll want to check out the ice fields, whether an ice walk or the truck/bus option. And I will want to try one of the gondolas (or more if you recommend doing multiples of them).
So that's a basic overview. I don't want to write a novel, but happy to clarify anything I've left out. Any tips on amount of time in each place, what to visit from each location, etc?
Thanks in advance!