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Question and Route Plan

Ireland
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156 posts
4 reviews
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Question and Route Plan

Hi Can anyone advise please We have read a lot of the posts However would like feedback on our plans which are not confirmed yet so advise would be appreciated.We are heading to Canada for 21 days in Mid May 2014 meeting our Daughter in Toronto for first 4 days getting in on a Saturday we leave her on Wed Morning and Plan to Head to Edmonton Then Drive to Calgary on To banff up to Jasper Head then for Kamloops taking in the Salmon arm Loop back to Meritt then work to vancouver for maybe 2 nights and Flight back to Toronto on the Friday morning for 2 more nights before heading home on the sunday.This gives us 14 days or so in the Rockies and 2 in Vancouver If anyone has the Best way to do this or advise on what to miss or not miss we would be very great ful also we can fly in and out of anywhere nothing booked yet so .Thanks in advance.

Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Question and Route Plan

I assume you are flying from Toronto. Rather than flying to Edmonton, the driving down to Banff and reversing up the same route back to Jasper (which is the closest to Edmonton), I would fly to Calgary. From there you can rent a car, see Banff, Lake Louise, drive up the Icefields to Jasper and then to BC. Or start in Edmonton, drive down to LL/Banff/Calgary and across BC from there.

Mid-May should be fine weather wise, and it's a quiet time of year in th mountains. However, May is a month of change - early May is still winter at higher altitudes, but it can be pleasantly warm by the end of the month. But there are fewer things do - too late for winter activities, too early for most summer activities. A lot of the services/tourist sites don't really open until the May long weekend (third weekend usually). So hiking will be limited to the valley trails in Banff/shoreline Lake Louise/Jasper townsite area and there won't be as many options for things to do (Maligne Lake doesn't usually ice out until late May/early June etc).

One possible option is to reverse your west coast trip - fly to Vancouver, then do the drive in reverse and you might get warmer weather in the Rockies. From Calgary or Edmonton, it's easy to get a connecting flight to Vancouver or fly direct to Toronto.

The key is not to do too much driving in any one day. I'd leave at least two nights for Jasper, expect a whole day to go down the Icefields, and leave 3-6 nights for Banff/Lake Louise. Others can help more than I for the BC leg of the trip, but FYI, there are several mountain ranges in Alberta and BC, so you will only be in the Rockies for part of the trip.

I would read some of the articles here at Trip Advisor to get a feel for what you can see and do in Banff and Jasper National Parks. It also helps to know what your interests are - are you into hiking? outdoors activities? shopping? good food?

Ireland
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156 posts
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2. Re: Question and Route Plan

Thanks for your reply thats really helpful we can start from Vancouver and work back to calgary Just on our interests we like Hiking however not to extreme would like to canoe and maybe hire bikes a day or two and would like to see all the Highlight in these areas also we like good food.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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3. Re: Question and Route Plan

Have a look at the UK rental car company Canadian Affair which do not charge a one way drop fee to UK residents.

http://www.canadianaffair.com/en/car_hire/

For your travels across BC (10 hours drive, 850 km to Banff) have a look at our good tourism website:

www.hellobc.com

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
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3 reviews
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4. Re: Question and Route Plan

Canoeing most likely won't be an option in May - lakes are generally partially or fully frozen until the end of the month. For instance, Lake Louise tends to ice out at the end of May, and then it can take a bit for all the ice to melt. My guess would be that boating options will be nil or very limited until after the May long weekend. If there is any canoeing, it would be down in Canmore or Banff area, and quite chilly.

Biking is a better option, again weather depending. There are a number of places that rent bikes in Jasper, Banff and Canmore. Again, options tend to be fairly limited until the May long weekend because of the unreliable weather (could be gorgeous, could be nasty) and the fact that there are fewer tourists in the off-season months (mid Oct-early Dec and April-May). I've had gorgeous weather in late May, but realistically, it's probably not going to be the time of year for longer bike rides. More like short rides along the river in Banff or Canmore.

As you've probably gathered, the key to trips to the mountains (even in the summer) is flexibility. I've rarely had days completely rained out, but your best bet is to always have options. If it's too wet or cold for outdoor activities, it might be a day to shop, eat and check out the museums. Or if the weather is unsettled, do shorter hikes/walks/bikes so you can duck back inside if it gets worse.

Jasper tends to have fewer indoor options, but there are a couple of museums, shopping, the rec centre (pool, exercise area for a small fee) and a cinema. At Lake Louise you can check out the Chateau, or head over to Banff or Canmore. At Banff there are a number of museums, the hot springs, the Banff Springs Hotel, shopping, good eats, the Banff Centre (performing arts) etc.

For food, the Fairmont hotels tend to have very good options, though pricey. In Lake Louise, Deer Lodge does good breakfasts and dinners. I haven't done much dining in Banff, so other posters can be of more help there. In Jasper, it worth getting some cookies or other nibbles at the Bears Paw Bakery or their cafe, the Other Paw. Perfect for a post hike treat! And in Lake Louise, Laggan's is the place to go for baked goods and lunch (pizza, quiche etc).

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Question and Route Plan

If I may qualify that: canoeing in the Rockies in May won't be an option. If you are driving across BC from Vancouver, there would be several good options, provided you allow enough time. People often try to get from Vancouver to the Rockies in a day or two, which is fine, but doesn't leave much additional time to get out of the car. I encourage people, if they have the time, to spend at least four days crossing BC to allow time for that sort of exploration.

eg:

hellobc.com/thompson-okanagan/things-to-do/w…

Ireland
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156 posts
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6. Re: Question and Route Plan

Thanks for your Replies

7. Re: Question and Route Plan

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