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My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Hong Kong, China
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My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Me and my friends are doing a little video project and planning to feature the beauty of Rockies, as a chinese who never been to Rockies, we would like your advises!! We can only afford at most 5-day trip and we want to see as much as possible. We are planning to capture the autumn leaves, Salmon jumping and the stunning rockies mountain traveling by trailer.

This is our very draft itinerary:

Day 1- Lake Louise

Day 2- Moraine Lake

Day 3- Jasper

Day 4- Jasper

Day 5- Capilano Salmon Hatchery

Does this make sense.....?

We are also finding interesting cafe, dining place, activities, if you have any suggestions, appreciated!!!! Thank you!

Cheers,

Rika

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Hi Rika ~

I will assume you will fly into Calgary and drive for 2 hours to Lake Louise. Moraine Lake is near Lake Louise. Drive to Jasper over a full day, even 10 hours. You will be on the Icefields Parkway with many points of interest that can keep you busy all day.

Capilano Fish Hatchery is in North Vancouver, which is about 10 hours and 850 km drive from Banff.

Which city are you planning to arrive at and depart from? When are you planning to do this? Have you looked at a map at all? Here is the road map of what you want to do:

http://goo.gl/maps/dQtBb

I think from Jasper you would want to drive 5 hours + any stops back to Calgary to fly out.

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

HI,

Thank you for your reply! We will probably take the direct flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver, so you are advising flying from Vancouver to Calgary? I can still rent a trailer in Calgary right?

Yes, I'm also excited about the icefields parkway, any particular spots that are must see or only a few people know? (wanna find something not very touristy!)

We are planning to do the trip in the end of oct, or mid-oct, depend on when the flight is cheaper! Thank you!!!

Edited: 17 September 2013, 08:56
Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

I would fly directly on to Calgary, a 1.5 hour flight. Otherwise, as I said above, it s a 10 hour drive. I cannot emphasize too strongly how far apart places are here.

The season for trailer rentals will probably be close to over for winter in October. You would need a winterized trailer so the water wouldn't freeze and you could use the heater overnight. There will be a few campsites open at that time of year.

Here is a link to the attractions on the Parkway. Open the PDF link underneath the map.

pc.gc.ca/eng/…visit38.aspx

Jasper, Canada
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4. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Mid or late October is too late for autumn leaves in the Rockies. The leaves are turning now, and the peak is usually the first several days of October. Then the leaves fall and the colour is gone. The changing leaves are certainly pretty here in the mountains, but it is nothing like what you would see in eastern Canada. Here in the Rockies, it's basically only the golden of the turning aspen leaves ... there are no red maples, and few other deciduous trees (just some birches and alders, and a few mountain ashes etc., none of which have spectacular colours).

Up at higher elevations in Banff National Park, there are also subalpine larches. The needles turn bright yellow and drop off. But again, the peak time for this is late September and very early October.

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are 14 km apart, and can be visited from a base in the Banff, Lake Louise or Canmore areas. You would also have time to visit some other sights or attractions in Banff National Park, and even Yoho National Park (if you come early enough in October, the road to Takakkaw Falls may still be open) such as Johnston Canyon, Lake Minnewanka, the gondola etc. Some tourist attractions close after the Thanksgiving weekend (Oct. 14 this year), and the seasonal roads usually close about then too - this includes the road to Moraine Lake in Banff NP, as well as the Cavell and Miette Roads in Jasper NP.

When you say "travel by trailer", do you mean an RV (motorhome)? If so, I would strongly suggest that the earlier in the month, the better. And actually, if you are on such a very tight schedule and planning to drive from the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver, travelling by car and staying in hotels would be a faster way to travel... RVs are usually slower on the road. We usually recommend that people take two days to drive from the Rockies to Vancouver - it can be done in one long one (about 8 hours from Jasper, 10 from Banff ... that is just driving time, not including stops for meals, bathroom breaks etc.).

If the Rockies are your main focus, I would suggest doing a short "out-and-back" route from Calgary to Jasper and back, and leaving the fish hatchery in Vancouver (which I visited in May and enjoyed very much) for another trip. Or, spend the five days in Vancouver - you could easily fill them there, or perhaps add in a day trip, or an overnighter, to Whistler. The weather on the coast will be milder, especially the later it gets in October.

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Thanks MuftiMixandmatch, the PDF link is VERY useful, any particular spots you have visited and you think it will be nice to stop by and have a look. We have decided to go there around mid-Oct.

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6. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Here is a traveller article from the Banff Forum's Top Questions to the right of the page that will tell you about the must sees:

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

You can read reviews for many of the attractions such as these. There are more if you type the name of the attraction in the search field above the green menu bar:

Peyto Lake: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154912-d1…

Sunwapta Falls: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154917-d2…

Athabasca Falls: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154918-d1…

I would say it is required reading to look at the Reviews for Attractions on the Canadian Rockies Forum. Link is here. Look in the green menu bar for Things to Do and see which of the attractions appeal to you.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g659487-i11598-Can…

Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Thanks kip329, we are now planning to be there around mid-oct, which mean i won't be able to get to Johnston Canyon, Lake Minnewanka, the gondola? and if the road to Moraine Lake is closed, can we still go to Moraine Lake by other road? Okey, thanks, we probably have to drop the idea of watching autumn leaves then.....

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8. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

There is only one road to Moraine Lake.

Jasper, Canada
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9. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

The roads to Johnston Canyon and Lake Minnewanka are open year-round, other than occasional closures when conditions are terrible (not likely to happen in mid-October). The Moraine Lake road (which is the only way to get there - the lake is at the end of the road) closes around the time you are coming, depending on the weather.

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10. Re: My first trip to Rockies in very tight schedule

Sorry if this sounds stupid but that means that we wont be get to Moraine Lake if the Moraine Lake road closed right? Thank you!!