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Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

Urbana, Illinois
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Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

We are trying to plan a trip to the Banff area in late July. We mostly do hiking, but we have children ages 6-23 so not true "backwoods" hiking, but something more than the touristy walkways. There will be 11 of us total.

We have heard that the Lake Louise area is good for scenic hiking. If this is true, where are good places for us to stay? The only places that we have found that are big enough for us are in Canmore or Golden. Is somewhere else that we should be looking? Any tips/info would be greatly appreciated.

Jasper, Canada
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1. Re: Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

Hi and welcome to the TripAdvisor forums!

You won't find private vacation rentals within the national parks; the land use regulations don't allow them. (At least, that's what I assume you mean when you say you are looking for a place big enough for 11.) Canmore and Golden are not in a park. Some of the Canmore rentals do not comply with the town's zoning bylaws (private homes in residential neighbourhoods); there is information on the Town of Canmore website. I don't know anything about the Golden regulations ... I would imagine that most vacation rentals are located near the ski resort, in areas zoned for them.

All of the hotels, lodges, chalets, B&Bs in Banff National Park are listed at www.banfflakelouise.com ; with 11 people, you'll be looking for multiple units at any one establishment. Have a read through the last in the "Top Questions" at the top right of the page for a comparison of the various locations where you can stay.

Lake Louise is closer to a lot of great subalpine and alpine hikes, but accommodation is in high demand and short supply, so it's more expensive than Banff townsite. Accommodations in the Lake Louise area include the "village" down in the valley adjacent to the highway, 4 km uphill, at/near the lake itself, at Moraine Lake, 14 km from Lake Louise, or on the Bow Valley Parkway between LL village and Banff.

Do you want to be in a town environment, or a cabin in the trees?

There are good descriptions of the hiking options on the hiking page on the BNP website: pc.gc.ca/eng/…randonee-hiking.aspx

I hope these are a few helpful pointers.

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Banff National Park
Banff National Park
Canadian Rockies, Canada
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2. Re: Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

Golden is about a one hour drive from Lake Louise and, although on Hwy 1, is not a drive I would care to take every day.

Urbana, Illinois
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3. Re: Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

Thanks to everyone for the info!

Edited: 01 March 2014, 04:12
Banff, Canada
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4. Re: Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

There is accommodation in Lake Louise where two ‘room’ bookings could comfortably sleep 11 guests. The Lake Louise Inn and The Mountaineer Lodge have a variety of room configurations that for example include lodging with a main floor bedroom with two bunk beds, washroom, kitchen and upstairs loft with queen/two twin bed and washroom. The BanffLakeLouise.com website has contact information for Lake Louise accommodation, as well as helpful trip planning information.

Lake Louise does indeed have beautiful trails for hikers of all levels and ages. When you arrive in Lake Louise, drop-in to the Lake Louise Visitor Information Center where you can obtain hiking maps and information on updated trail conditions. The Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola is a great place to explore and hike the spectacular scenery with either a lovely short stroll or an ambitious summit hike!

There are also a variety of family-friendly bicycle trails in the Lake Louise area and bicycles can be rented in the village at Wilson Mountain Sports.

Have a fantastic holiday!

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

Welcome to Canada. Banff and Lake Louise are beautiful but very crowded in the summer. I believe your family would be wise to stay in Canmore. It is much more peaceful and there's a beautiful family hike there called Grassi Lakes. It takes you up to two beautiful teal blue lakes. You could make day trips to Banff, if you wish. It takes between 20 to 30 minutes to drive from Canmore to Banff. You could spend the day in and around Banff, and return for a quiet evening in Canmore (away from all the Banff crowds). To drive from Canmore to Lake Louise takes a bit longer. Perhaps an hour or slightly less. Lake Louise is beautiful, but again, very crowded during the summer. However, a lovely walk to do with family is along the length. You can walk all the way down one side of the lake on a very good path. The average person only bothers to walk about 1/4 or 1/2 way down the lake, but if you wish, your family could make the entire walk. It's very pretty. A much more challenging walk is to the tea house. It's a lovely spot, but a more challenging hike. Perhaps some of your family may wish to do this. Have a lovely time!

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Grassi Lakes
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Canmore, Canada
Canmore, Alberta
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6. Re: Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

I would also suggest Canmore over Golden, the drive to explore around Banff or Lake Louise will be much easier.

You may have to rent two condo style places to accommodate 11 people, but you can often find a building that has two units beside each other or across the hall from each other so you can all easily gather.

Many of the private home vacation rentals in Canmore that are large enough for 11 people have to abide by the minimum 28 day rental booking. I believe there are some that can be rented for shorter periods if they sit outside of the town area. You can take a look on this site which has some options through legitimate rental companies. I saw some places with up to 5 bedrooms if that would work, but you would have to investigate further to see what the rental terms are.

discovercanmore.com/Lodging/VacationRentalPr…

I think it was already mentioned, but the Lake Agnes Teahouse trail is one that is popular with families in Lake Louise. In Banff, some options would be the Tunnel Mountain Summit Trail or the Hoodoo Trail, or go for a walk on the trail that follows part of Lake Minnewanka. Johnston Canyon is another popular place for family hiking.

Cheers

7. Re: Planning a trip to Banff area in late July - help needed

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