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Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

New Jersey
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Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

Started putting together an itinerary . At this stage it is sparse on detail but before I spent too much time I thought I'd see what others might say.

I included Waterton as it doesn't seem to detract too much from seeing the Banff\Jasper area.

Day 1: Arrive Calgary around noon, pick up car and drive to Waterton Park via AB2

Day 2: Waterton shoreline cruise; short hike(s)

Day3: Waterton Red Rock; short hike(s)

Day 4: Drive to Canmore\Banff via Cowboy Trail and Highwood Pass(?)

Day 5: Icefields Parkway to Jasper; Columbia icefields (visitor center; tour)

Day 6: Jasper Maligne canyon

Day 7: Jasper

Day 8: Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise; Peyto Lake

Day 9: Lake Louise; Moraine lake;

Day 10: Banff; Gondola;

Day 11: Banff; Johnston Canyon

Day 12: Banff;

Day 13: Drive to Calgary

Day 14: Calgary

Day15: Return home

I enjoy driving and looking at scenery. Enjoy hiking but they must be limited from easy to moderate.

Once I am on a trip I am fairly flexible as to where I am on any given day. I generally have a few "must see" and then ideas for other things to do.

I am not sure if that will work for this trip. It seems that the area can be pretty busy but maybe not the time I will be there. Just wondering if I need to reserve places to stay in advance?

I will continue to do research on TA as well as other places but would appreciate any comments or suggestions.


Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

When are you coming? I will be happy to offer info on trails, once I know when you'll be here. Re accommodations - For Jasper, if it's a long weekend, or before the end of August, and if you have specific requirements for accommodation or a strict budget, then I would suggest booking ahead.

I think it's a great idea to post a draft itinerary like you have. It's so hard to start from nothing when giving advice, not knowing anything about the OP, and it's nice to see that you've already done some research. :) The itinerary looks good. It's quite driving-intensive at the front end, but I think that balances nicely with less driving afterwards. If you want to avoid an extra transfer between accommodations, you could pick either Banff or LL to stay in - they are only 45 minutes apart. The Bow Valley Parkway is a lovely drive, slower than the Trans-Canada highway, and chances to see wildlife en route.

Edited: 20 June 2012, 21:12
Newtown, PA
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2. Re: Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

njslim, if you were considering Waterton for a couple nights, I suggest driving another 30 minutes and spend those nights in the Many Glacier area of GNP. The scenery is spectacular. We spent 6 days here two years ago and took a day trip to Waterton. For us, Waterton didn't have the "wow" factor like Glacier. Maybe it's because we were there on an overcast day.

Of course this summer we'll be in Alberta and British Columbia for two weeks and I'm expecting a giant "wow" factor. Besides Banff/Jasper, we're branching out in to eastern BC and checking out Revelstoke and Nelson.

Originally I thought about a return to Glacier as part of this trip because we enjoyed it so much two years ago. However, I'm more than pleased to be going into BC instead. It cuts down on our driving and we're seeing much more. The members on this forum are great and helped us tremendously with our planning.

New Jersey
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3. Re: Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

krp329, thanks for pointing out the missing dates, meant to include them but guess I got sidetracked .

I arrive in Calgary on Sat Sept 15 (day 1) and return home on Sat Sept 29 (day 15).

As for budget, I'm not looking to pay a small fortune for some place and I do realize realize that waiting till the last minute may mean paying more for a place but most of the time the little extra money is worth the flexibility (at least to me). That said if a good deal is to had by booking in advance or most if not all rooms would be then I'll make a reservation . I just didn't want to arrive and find out that some place has a popular event and all the rooms are booked. I haven't started looking into potential accommodations so don't really have a concept of what the rates are for the area.. Bottom line I am not on a restricted budget (no need too be cheap as possible) but would not spend the money for a Fairmont.

As for food..I prefer trying a local place with regional foods - Can always go to a chain back home. As long as the food is good and I don't need a suit :-) then I am ok.

Didn't realize that LL was that close so will consider staying in Banff instead.

Most of the time i am not looking to race up and down highways and prefer alternate roads... usually more relaxing and interesting so Bow Valley Parkway sounds good . Thanks for the suggestion.

I also like historical sights as long as they are not too commercial.

Again thanks for the LL tip.

New Jersey
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4. Re: Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper


The suggestion of GNP is a good one. I was in GNP many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. At that time I wanted to go to Waterton but didn't have the needed papers (probably would have been ok but didn't want to take the chance) . That is one of the reasons for wanting to go to Waterton now.

Wish I had more time visit AB and BC as I would like to check out the area west of Banff and Jasper but that will need to be left for another trip to the area.

Always enjoy reading the tips from TA members on what they saw and suggestions on what to see. The hard part is trying to decide which of the many good suggestions to include in one's own trip...

Hope you have a great trip..

Calgary, Canada
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for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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5. Re: Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

You are planning your trip for my favorite time of year in the Rockies, excellent! I hope the weather is fabulous for you! If it is, you should be treated to the fall colours of the mountains and you have a greater chance of wildlife encounters because the bears are really on the move at that time of year, pushing to get the last of their food supplies consumed before winter hibernation.

If you want to see some great historical sights, plan to spend part of a day in The Crowsnest Pass (the towns of Bellevue, Frank, Hillcrest, Blairmore, and Coleman) on your way north to Banff from Waterton. This area was originally settled as a major coal mining area, and is rich with history. I have plenty of info about Waterton, The Pass, and Banff on my travel pages, which you can access here:


(the Crowsnest Pass)

Feel free to check out any of my travel pages, which you can get to from this link:


I hope that helps you with your trip planning and if you have any other questions please come back and post, you will get great advice in the Alberta forums!

- CG

New Jersey
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6. Re: Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

Thanks CG. Great to hear that I will catch the fall colors and the variety of wildlife is a plus.

The Crowsnest Pass area sounds interesting and I will need to see about including it in my plans. Thanks for the suggestion.

I love your travel pages - informative but not overwhelming. Definitely will help with planning. Looks like we have been to quite a few of the same areas.

Thanks for the help!!

7. Re: Itinerary for Waterton\Banff\Jasper

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