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Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

DC
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Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

Hi folks, I've got a large group (6-8 adults and 2 kids including me) in 2 minivans who have tasked me with taking them from Edmonton into the Canadian Rockies and back to Edmonton. We are planning on leaving on the 16th afternoon or 17th am and need to get back by the 21st (either to Edmonton or Calgary).

Any suggestion on a trip .. routing .. also is it worth it to try to spend a day in Calgary. Unfortunately most of the adults are not hikers so I dont anticipate much hiking.

any enroute hotel/resort/b&b suggestions?

Thanks

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

It appears that you have four nights in all? I would suggest two in Jasper and two in Banff. There are enough scenic attractions to more than fill your time.

Is it this month that you are coming? I'm not sure that you'll be able to book any B&B accommodation for that many people this last minute. Here in Jasper, eight is the maximum number of guests any one private home accommodation or B&B is permitted to accommodate (because they are in private homes and are not built to commercial accommodation standards i.e. sprinkler systems and commercial fire alarms), and there are only a few that can take that many guests. The chances of any of them being completely wide open for next week is probably not that high.

You can find Jasper hotels listed at www.jasper.travel , and all Banff & Lake Louise accommodation at www.banfflakelouise.com .

Edmonton, Canada
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for Edmonton, Yellowknife
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2. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

Edmonton - Jasper - Icefield's Parkway - Lake Louise - Banff - Cochrane - Edmonton via Cowboy trail or Highway 2.

Highway 2 is quicker but boring. If you have the time, you could take the Cowboy trail which is more scenic. http://www.thecowboytrail.com/

The above route can be time consuming, so ending the trip in Calgary might be more beneficial.

DC
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3. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

Thanks.. It's July which may be equally hard to find accomodations. I'm tryung to get the group sorted this week so I can start booking.

Thanks for your tip. I was thinking 2 Jasper, 1 Lake Louise and 1 Banff.

Suzanne, does the cowboy trail bypass Calgary (I thought I read that Calgary was worth visiting for a day .. or is it not?). I like the Cowboy trail as an option to get back to Edmonton.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

Lake Louise is only 45 minutes down the road from Banff. Getting a group that size packed up and loaded into the vans to move 45 minutes down the road sounds like a waste of valuable time that would be just as easily spent driving to LL from Banff as part of your explorations of the area.

Edmonton, Canada
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for Edmonton, Yellowknife
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5. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

The Cowboy trail is close to Cochrane, about 30 minutes west of Calgary, so you could spend a day in Calgary and head back to Cochrane to take the cowboy trail to Edmonton.

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

OH as for visiting Calgary, it's a nice city. Definitely worth checking out depending on what you are interested. There is a great zoo, Heritage park, Museums, and of course the Calgary tower. But, IMO, with such a limited timeframe, you will be better off seeing the world famous Icefields parkway, touristy but scenic Banff and laidback Jasper.

DC
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7. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

Thanks for the help.. we've got all flights, etc sorted.

Looks like we're going to leave from Edmonton on tuesday am, All day in Jasper .. night in Jasper (any suggestions on accomodations?).

This is the that is still TBD -

Wednesday night in LL or Banff. (I say Banff here because it'll be nice not to have to change hotels everyday). Wednesday day in Glacier, Thursday day in LL.

Thursday night in LL or Banff. Friday day in Banff.

How would we fit in Glacier national park? is this route even realistic.

end of TBD

Friday night, get to Calgary - leave on sat morning after dropping my folks at the airport for Edmonton to catch our flight. lIkely take highway 2. Can I leave from Calgary at 8am and make it to Edmonton by 1:pm using the Cowboy trail?

Edmonton, Canada
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8. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

You sure can that will give you lots of time. You could do the Cowboy trail in 4 hours.

When you ask about Glacier National park, are you referring to Glacier National park in the US, or Icefields Parkway which is the road from Banff to Jasper?

It looks as though you maybe jumping around a bit. Can I recommend Jasper, then LL, then Banff, then Calgary? It just flows a bit better and you have more time to spend on the Icefields parkway.

As for accomodation in Banff, do you have a budget in mind? Does it have to be luxurious, or will rustic be ok? Would you prefer a hotel or B&B?

DC
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9. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

Nice, Cowboy trail it is.

I see how calling it glacier national park is confusing. On google map, it looks like there is a national park (called Glacier National Park) on the left of LL about 2 hours away. Is that Icefields parkway (which I thought was on the drive from Jasper)?

We're not looking at jumping around too much. we start in Edmonton and move to Jasper, to LL to Banff then Calgary as you suggested. I was debating either staying 2 nights in LL or Banff instead of changing hotels again.

We are on a budget .. but not too $$ (say about $150-200 a night per room). Rustic would be awesome. Not overly picky. should be comfortable.

Jasper, Canada
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10. Re: Scenic route from Edmonton to Edmonton

The Icefields Parkway is located in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. When you referred to "Glacier", perhaps you were referring to the Columbia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier, which is in Jasper National Park, rather than either of the Glacier National Parks (the American one in Montana, or the Canadian one in British Columbia)?

Your budget range is a little low for Jasper, but there are some accommodations in that range, especially some of the more "rustic" (basic) cabin accommodations, and the two cheapest hotels in town, the Athabasca Hotel and the Astoria Hotel. Check out Pine Bungalows, Bear Hill Lodge, or if you don't mind being 1/2 hour drive from town, Pocahontas Bungalows or Sunwapta Falls Lodge (which is more like 3/4 hour). Patricia Lake Bungalows also has some units in that price range, I think, and they are highly rated here on TripAdvisor, and very popular.

I don't think PHA (private home accommodation) would be a good fit for you - partly because of the size of your group (there are only a few homes that can take 8 guests, the maximum number allowed at one home), and mostly because most PHAs don't take single night advance reservations. You would need to make a number of enquiries to find a couple of home accommodation for your group that have single night vacancies on the night you are seeking. www.jasper.travel for hotel and cabin accommodations.

I think you'll have more luck finding accommodation in your price range in Banff, rather than Lake Louise, unless you are interested in the hostel there. The Mountaineer hotel is the cheapest in LL. www.banfflakelouise.com has all the options for both areas.