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9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

san jose
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9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

Hello,

We have 9 full days (not counting 2 days of traveling) to spend in Banff/Jasper, there seem to be a lot of things to do in both places, also neighboring national parks such as yoho and kooteney; appreciate your help in planning our itinerary.

My husband and I love to hike but this time around we want to avoid strenuous hikes and keep to easy/moderate ones only.

1. Should we spend more time in Jasper or Banff?

2. Lake Louise and Jasper townsite seem like the right places to stay for each parks but Lake Louise is very expensive so we're considering staying in Banff. Any other options/suggestions?

Appreciate any itinerary suggestions and recommendations of places to see.

thanks,

Sunila.

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

Jasper and Banff both have their fans. Some love Jasper because it's smaller and less developed/less touristy than Banff; others prefer Banff because there are lots more choices for accommodations, dining, etc. Personally I think they're both great, but they are definitely quite different from each other.

For the pros and cons on different locations, check out this TripAdvisor Traveller Article on Banff vs Lake Louise vs Jasper et. al.: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c14815/Banff-…

And you'll find a list of the "must-sees" here:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g659487-c112507/Canad…

TripAdvisor Traveller Articles are written, and compiled from forum postings, by TA members like you and me.

Jasper, Canada
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2. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

If you look at the top right of the page, you'll see a "Top Question" that deals with accommodation in/near Banff National Park - it goes through the pros and cons, whether to base yourself in Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise or Field.

In Jasper, a more economical accommodation option over hotels is private home accommodation - rooms or a suite in a resident's home. You can find these listed at www.stayinjasper.com . There are over 120 to choose from.

I would suggest a bit more time in Banff NP, as your stay there will also be your base for Yoho and Kootenay NP. However, Jasper NP is much larger than any of the other parks. Maybe 5/4?

If you could define "easy/moderate" hiking a bit more precisely (distance, elevation gain, amount of time you want to hike), I will be happy to suggest hikes in Jasper NP, and the Banff-area posters also have expertise in that area.

For an overview of the parks and lists of the scenic attractions, there is no substitute for the official Parks Canada websites for each park. Go to www.pc.gc.ca and then choose the park of your choice. Each one has its own website with extensive information.

The local tourism bureau websites are more interested in promoting paid attractions, many of which are very worthwhile:

www.banfflakelouise.com and www.jaspercanadianrockies.com or www.jasper.travel .

Banff, Canada
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3. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

You might also find this TA page on itineraries helpful:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c14636/Banff-…

san jose
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4. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

Thanks everyone for the replies!

By easy/moderate hikes I mean up to 6miles round trip, 2000ft elevation gain.

Jasper, Canada
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5. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

Glad I asked.... I would class ~2000ft as strenuous rather than moderate. ;-) Six miles equals ten kilometres, by the way.

Some of my favourite hikes that fit your description, in Jasper NP:

1/ Wilcox Pass - 8 km if you go to the pass and return, 1100 feet elevation, although because you start high already, you get up above treeline.

2/ Cavell Meadows - 8 km loop, about 1200 ft elevation gain.

3/ Opal Hills - 8 km loop, about 1500 ft elevation gain

Some easier hikes:

1/ Old Fort Point loop - about 6 km, elevation gain is only a few hundred feet, but you still get great views of the entire "Three Valley Confluence" area near the town of Jasper - it's a great "bang for your buck" hike... I did it again yesterday.

2/ Valley of the Five Lakes - several interconnecting loops, fairly level with a few ups and downs - you can do a hike from 3 km, to 15+ km.

Banff, Canada
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6. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

I think a 5/4 split will work well.

In the Banff area, walkiing up Tunnel Mountain is a Must-Do. It only takes 2 hours with photo stops round-trip. Also, take a drive up on the Lake Minnewanka road and park at Johnson Lake. A walk around Johnson Lake in the early AM is short and sweet. It takes a little over an hour. The shoreline of Lake Minnewanka to Stewart Canyon is another easy walk that has great scenery for such a short distance.

It's fun to visit both Marble Canyon and Johnson Canyon for some scenic canyon walks. Each canyon is very different, but both are lovely. In Lake Louise - the best thing to do is go on a slightly longer walk. Take your choice of the Lake Agnes teahouse or the Plains of Six Glaciers teahouse. At Emerald Lake - go have lunch at the lodge and take an enjoyable flat walk around the lake. It's less than 3 miles and it's magnificent.

On the Icefields Parkway, Mistaya Canyon is short and sweet. Take the time for a shoreline stroll at Bow Lake from Num-ti-Jah Lodge. Certainly, I would also recommend Wilcox Pass. The elevation gain is short and steep, but the rewards above treeline are great. The same thing could be said for Parker's Ridge. If possible, you might want to enjoy 1 night on the Icefields Parkway so you can enjoy some of these walks. That might be an even better way to divide your time! 4 in Banff, 1 at the Icefields Centre and 4 in Jasper.

banfflakelouise

banfflakelouise

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7. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

Hikes...

Maligne Canyon to 6^th Bridge ( out and back)

Johnston Canyon near Banff ( developed trail along a nice canyon)

Takawaka Falls near Field. ( easy with spectacular falls)

Shoreline of Lake Minnewanka (Banff area)

Agnes Teahouse near Lake Louise (uphill with reward at end ..food and drink))

Consolation Lake near Moraine Lake. Ends in a box canyon lake with views.

Banff, Canada
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8. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

Within your definition of easy/moderate, you might want to consider the Helen Lake trail on the Icefields Parkway. Takeoff point is just south of Bow Lake. It's a tiny bit longer than your criteria -- maybe 7 miles round-trip -- but absolutely spectacular.

You might also want to consider spending a day at Sunshine Meadows.

http://www.sunshinemeadowsbanff.com/

The heavy lifting in terms of altitude gain is done by the bus, then you have a broad range of choices for direction and length of hike. Fabulous flowers, fabulous views.

9. Re: 9 days in Banff/Jaspe (Please help with itinerary)

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