We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Itinery help

Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
290 posts
30 reviews
Save Topic
Itinery help

Next summer flying into Calgary from Florida. We like to do 1/2 day hikes, sightsee, find wildlife, scenic drives, but also variety (in other words not just 2 weeks hiking every day). Here is what I preliminary have come up with, but need help. I see places like Morraine and Peyto lake are less crowded, Yoho Park same, but also must do Icefield drive, etc.

Fly into Calgary-day 1. Day 2 drive to Edmonton for sight seeing (unlikely will ever be there again).

Day 3, 4, 5, drive to Jasper and stay.

Day 6, spend time on Icefield southern part (assume one day on Northern part above) and then Day 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 stay in Banff

Day 11 drive through Yoho and stay in Golden 2 night.

Day 13 drive back to Calgary.

Day 14 fly home.

Also, some consideration has to be made about expense. Would love to stay in Lake Louise but everything is $200 plus that I find here. Found a reaonsable place in Banff under $150/night.

Thoughts, recommendations?

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
19,012 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Itinery help

Apologies to Edmontonians, but I would leave the Edmonton part of your itinerary out completely. The scenery between the two cities is not particularly appealing, and the drive from Edmonton to Jasper is three hours of also fairly boring scenery, although the last hour is pretty, once you approach and enter the mountains. By contrast, the much shorter drive from Calgary to Banff is rolling ranchland foothills, with the "wall of mountains" approaching. (I find it quite beautiful.)

There is no downside to driving the Icefields Parkway (#93N between Lake Louise and Jasper) twice, once in each direction. The scenery is different in each direction, and there is always a chance you might have a socked-in or overcast day with limited visibility on one of the days. Driving it twice gives you twice the chances to make all the scenic stops, and if you are not trying to fit them all in on one day, then you will have time to add some short hikes. (Parker Ridge and Wilcox Pass are particularly recommended).

Moraine Lake and the Peyto Lake viewpoint are two particularly BUSY places in Banff National Park, along with the Lake Louise lakeshore area, and Johnston Canyon. Plan to visit these early or late in the day, or just put up with sharing them with busloads of people. Note, however, that if you hike away (above) the Peyto Lake viewpoint, up the Bow Summit trail, you get incredible views with very little effort, and leave the crowds behind.

The Lake Louise Alpine Centre hostel has private rooms in the $110 per night range. These book up early, for obvious reasons.

Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
290 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Itinery help

Thank you for the reponse. I looked at tripadvisor and some websites which make Edmonton sound like a fun place to visit for a day or two. But, it does seem out of the way, so I guess there are much more interesting things to do and see by not taking our trip out of the way there.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,123 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Itinery help

I would head for the Rockies upon arriving at YYC airport. Here's a bit of an itinerary for your consideration:

OPTION 1:

Arrive Calgary and drive to Banff

4 nights Banff

One full day on the IP

3 nights Jasper

One full day with different weather and aspects on the IP

1 night Golden - visit Yoho NP with Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls

1 nights Kimberley - allowing for a visit to Fort Steele Heritage Town

2 nights Nelson - lovely Slocan Valley with 5-6 attractions in a circle route - a couple of free inland ferries

2 nights Revelstoke - railway town for the CPR and scenery to die for, railway museum, Craigellachie Last Spike (on the CPR) and further east by Field, you will find the Spiral Tunnel overlook, a feat of engineering.

1 night Calgary the night before your flight out.

Map of this route, showing 4 hour driving legs: http://goo.gl/maps/anRCb

Icefields Parkway: The link is hanging up too long right now, won't open, so go to Google and type in "Icefields Parkway map" and look for the URL that goes with Parks Canada and starts www.pc.gc.ca ........ and see if it will open for you. You should get a furry looking map, below it is a link to a PDF which will open to a much more legible image.

Silvery Slocan Circle Route: hellobc.com/driving-routes/22/silvery-slocan…

Slocan Valley (Nelson north to Golden): britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

OPTION 2:

Arrive Calgary and drive to Banff

4 nights Banff

One full day on the IP

3 nights Jasper

Drive west on Hwy 16 to Tête Jaune Cache, then turn south on Hwy 5 to Clearwater and Wells Gray Prov Park.

2 nights Clearwater - explore Helmcken Falls in WGPP

2 nights Kelowna - cycle the Myra Canyon rail bed paths by bike, wineries, water sports and activities.

2 nights Revelstoke - located on the Columbia River, with a mountain range up the east side and another one up the west side.

1 night Calgary before your flight out.

Map for this option: http://goo.gl/maps/xgsLE

**

I'm heading out, but will return with some comments to go with these choices later.

Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
290 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Itinery help

Interesting, some new options. Is Revelstoke area worth the drive? I had revised my plans based upon the initial recommendations to spend 4 nights in the Jasper area after 5 day in Banff, then down to Golden for 3 days, and back to Calgary.

In review of Glacier National Park, Canada, it seemed like there really wasn't much to do but drive and see similar scenery already viewed in the other areas. Is that wrong?

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
19,012 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Itinery help

The scenery is somewhat similar in the Selkirks, but if anything, those mountains are even more jagged and rugged than the Rockies, and the forest is completely different to Banff and Jasper National Parks which are on the dry, eastern slope of the Rockies.

Rogers Pass is a national historic site and the route through Glacier NP, BC significant historically due to the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) history. If you are interested in history or trains, there is an excellent Railway Museum in Revy, and railway-themed walks and hikes you can do in GNP... the Loop Brook trestle pillars, the old railbed to the site of the former Glacier House (one of the grand railway hotels at the turn of the 20th century), and from there, you can hike to the base of the Illicillewaet Glacier.

Revy is also on the doorstep of Mt. Revelstoke National Park, which as a scenic drive, the "Meadows in the Sky" parkway that takes you up into the alpine... this is one of the few places where you can drive up to alpine meadows in Canada.

I personally also like the small town (pop. 7 - 8K) of Revelstoke. It has a beautiful setting and is still a railway town, but plenty of services (and charm) for visitors.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26,635 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Itinery help

So you have two weeks, start finish Calgary. That's enough time to do a bit of a tour beyond Banff/Jasper, so its just a case of deciding where.

I haven't been to Edmonton, but I repeatedly read that heading north to the Edmonton area would not be most people's first choice. There are better options.

I lean towards Mufti's Option 1, but I might take you back into Alberta via the Crows Nest Highway through Fernie and Sparwood. There's Waterton National Park and Head-Samshed-In Buffalo Jump (a UNESCO World Heritage site). You could loop around to Drumheller and the Royal Tyrell Museum before heading back to Calgary. You could go as far as Revelstoke, or you could reduce the driving by heading south from Golden. Or you could go all the way to Salmon Arm and head south through the Okanagan Valley. Any of these options would work.

Map going via Revelstoke: http://goo.gl/maps/ZL0sH

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,123 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Itinery help

There is huge value in doing the Icefields Parkway twice. It is the magnum opus of the Rockies and two directions would allow you to split up your attractions/activities choices over both directions. Here is the same link that wouldn't open for me above to the attractions on the Icefields Parkway. Open the PDF underneath the fuzzy image to get a clearer version.

pc.gc.ca/eng/…Parkway.aspx

I also think it will keep you away from the less interesting more isolated Hwy 16 west, then Hwy 5 down through Clearwater.

I think 3 nights in Golden is a bit of overkill. It is a small town, great for access to Yoho NP, and I often mention it for folks who want to come down from Jasper and head along Hwy 1 to Vancouver. It just works pretty well for that journey after a day on the IP and further time in Yoho NP. Go to Golden and sleep!

If you drive another 2 hours west of Golden, you could stay in Revelstoke, which is a really attractive town with plenty of Canadian history in it. Not that you would go around looking for Canadian history, it is just there, in the Museum, at Craigellachie, at the Spiral Tunnel, the latter east of both Revy and Golden at Field.

Glacier is not where you need to go, Yoho is.

Myra Canyon rail bed bike paths: trailpeak.com/trail-Myra-Canyon-KVR-near-Kel…

Revelstoke: The Revy Dam doesn't get mentioned much, but it's there and it's big: britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/index.asp…

8. Re: Itinery help

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10 December 2014, 05:17