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Banff, Jasper, Yoho

pine hill, nj
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291 posts
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Banff, Jasper, Yoho

I'm scheduled to visit the area at the end of Sept. The problem is, I have 2 broken feet, (may still be in 1 cast by the time we leave), and not to mention a broken heart now. Is this trip still worth investing in, even though hiking(and probably walking) will be out? I know I won't be happy just sitting in the car, however, It's better than sitting in my house in New Jersey. I'm sure the drive through the parks is quite spectacular, but am I just trying to convince myself instead of pulling the plug on the trip. Keep in mind, I had to cancel backpacking in Alaska because of this set back. I really deserve a vacation after all this. Maybe what I'm looking for is for someone to say go for it, it's still worth it. Thanks for anyone's thoughts.

Moose Jaw, Canada
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1. Re: Banff, Jasper, Yoho

The trip is still worth it, and you can still see lots. However there will also be lots that will be difficult to see. Will you be using crutches or a wheelchair? I ask because if a w/c you will find many places inaccessible. on crutches if you are good with them you can get into most places except for the hiking trails. You may have to go a bit slower, but you can still have a great time.

pine hill, nj
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291 posts
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2. Re: Banff, Jasper, Yoho

I can get a wheelchair, but I think it may be more trouble than it's worth. I've been using crutches, but I pretty much don't leave the house. Maybe by then, I will be more adventureous. I received the rocky mountain guide paper, and inside had all the area parks. Some of the trails said wheelchair accessible. However, I'm wondering if their idea and my idea of accessibe are the same.

Moose Jaw, Canada
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3. Re: Banff, Jasper, Yoho

If you are still double casted you will have a hard time. If you are down to one it could be doable.

The Athabasca Falls trail is accesible by wheelchair at least for awhile, and part of the path around Maligne Lake is also accessible by wheelchair.

I have family in a wheelchair and we find it difficult to go most places within the townsite of Jasper. The shops are not really set up to be accessible, and neither are all the restraunts. If you will be down to one cast and crutches you will probably be OK, just slower so you will not get to see as much as you normally would.

I would not ever ventrue into Banff with a W/C - too busy, however by end of Sept will be much slower. again you will find most shops and restraunts are not very accessible. I dont know the trails around Banff as well, but the only one i can think of that will be accessible is the Cave and Basin, and that is not particularily interesting IMHO.

If you will be fully healed and on your feet again soon, you might want to take a spa vacation right now and be pampered and then come to the Rockies when you can fully participate in them.

It sounds like you are quite active and I would hate for you to come and be disspointed because you could not go rafting, hiking, boating, horseback riding, walking, on the snowcoach.. you get the idea.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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4. Re: Banff, Jasper, Yoho

See if you can't get a temporary handicapped placard for your car. (I'm sure two broken feet qualifies!) If it were me, I'd phone Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff to see what the procedure is. Then you'll get the best parking spots!

Banff Springs Hotel: Awesomely cool, and accessible. Make a reservation for Afternoon Tea in the Rundle Lounge, and soak up the ambiance and the view. Their German-themed Waldhaus Restaurant is nestled in the trees just above the Bow River Valley, has an awesome view, and two handicapped parking stalls (everyone else has to do a looong flight of stairs).

Bow Falls: Great sight, easy access from the parking lot.

Some of the most amazing gift and souvenir shops in Canada are clustered on the three blocks facing Banff Avenue, which is very pedestrian-friendly (lots of benches on the sidewalk, shouldn't be too hard to get a spot on a bench with your foot in a cast!)

Also on Banff Avenue, you can catch a carriage ride through the townsite in front of the Trail Rider Store. Contact Holidays on Horseback for information about riding in the wagon on their trail rides up Sundance Canyon.

Johnston Canyon: Awesome views, wheelchair (and stroller!) accessible, especially if you have someone to push for you. (Actually, I think it's a lot less steep now than it used to be, so you might not need help.) I wouldn't tackle it with crutches, though, just because of the length of the walk.

Canada Place is a cool little museum and info-centre tucked away in the ornate Administration Building at the head of Banff Avenue, close to parking. It's free, and it's tiny!

Also check out the Whyte Museum, a museum focusing on art and the history of Banff and the Rockies. It's larger, but may have wheelchairs available for visitors. Phone or e-mail to check.

Lake Louise: STUNNING view, plenty of parking, trails around the lake are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Ditto for Lake Minnewanka near Banff, plus at Lake Minnewanka you can go on a boat cruise for an hour or two.

Drive the Banff Springs Golf Course road in the evening to watch elk grazing on the fairways.

Sulphur Mountain Gondola will whisk you from the parking lot to the top of Sulphur Mountain, with an outstanding mountain view from the observatory there. You can save walking to the top of Tunnel Mountain for your next visit (and frankly, the view is better from Sulphur Mountain).

Bow Valley Parkway is a slow, scenic road with lots of pull-outs and picnic areas and interpretive stops. The drive up to Mt. Norquay is also very scenic; there are a couple of view-points with parking, and these viewpoints are actually a great place to see bighorn sheep in the evening (they like the grassy areas).

This is just off the top of my head; if I think of more stuff, I'll add it to the list. But I hope you get the message that there is lots to see and do, even if you're not as mobile as you'd like to be.

pine hill, nj
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291 posts
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5. Re: Banff, Jasper, Yoho

Thanks Countrywife for all the helpful info. I am now convinced that I made the right choice. I already have a handycap plaque from the U.S. that I can bring. I should only have one cast on by then, if all goes well. Any suggestions for spas? I now that there's Willow Stream, are there any others?

Thanks for your help.