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2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

england
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2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

HI

Whenever we come to Edmonton to visit family (from UK) we always squeeze in a minimum of a weekend at the Rockies

It is usually "the Usual" driving to Calgary, then heading up through Banff to the Icefields, seeing Takkakaw falls etc

This year I would like to have my couple days in the fresh open air but see somewhere new ideally.

Any recommendations? Plan is head to Calgary/Rockies by Monday and head back to Edmonton by Wednesday night.

I fear Waterton may be too far to make that the venue for this trip but would welcome advise.

Thanks

Toronto
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1. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

If you're basing in Edmonton, why not skip Calgary and just drive west to Jasper? Or is Jasper already parrt of "the usual" route when you drive up the Icefields Parkway from Banff? Do you need to go to Calgary on this trip? Even if you do, you could drive down the IP from Jasper through Banff and to Calgary, but pass through there just briefly and spend your time in the Jasper area. When is this trip?

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

Have you been to Kananaskis Country? Located in the Rockies SE of Banff, this is where Calgarians often go to see the mountains. It has only a few places to stay, and fewer restaurants, as it is primarily a day trip destination. But it's at least as nice as Banff, and you can base yourselves in Canmore, which has many more amenities than K-Country itself but is close by.

tripadvisor.ca/Tourism-g3266661-Kananaskis_C…

www.albertaparks.ca/kananaskis-country.aspx

http://www.tourismcanmore.com/

Another option would be to go south to Red Deer, then head west to Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg, aka David Thompson Country.

travelnordegg.com/travel_nordegg_camping.html

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

Another option would be to stay in Jasper or farther west and explore Mt. Robson Provincial Park. Or the David Thompson area.

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

jasper or kananaskis could be my choices. if your relatives in edmonton having camping gear, kamping in kananaskis is great. does drumheller interest you. have a look at that town's website. if you have to go to calgary, drumheller would be a good place to stay for at least one night. sylvan lake is a nice place to go for lunch...it's by red deer, ab, between edmonton and calgary.

British Columbia...
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5. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

Instead of driving north towards Icefields from Banff head south towards Radium Hot Springs, it is a beautiful drive through Kootenay National Park. The hot springs are great after a day in the car. If you are here during July/August Lake Windermere is a beautiful swimming boating lake.Kayak down the Columbia River or hike many of the trails.

england
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6. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

Thanks All.

My wife is actually from Edmonton so the rellies are the in laws.

For some reason they all love Banff but dislike Jasper.

I think everyone wants to have a day at Calgary then we split off hence that circuit - otherwise I do like the Edmonton to Jasper drive.

If we have a good enough 3 day plan cutting Calgary I might be able to cut it....perhaps.....

Forgot to add this has to be a pram-friendly trip this time.

I thought the Hot Springs were at the BC border??

If I based at Canmore Kananaskis would be a day trip (did it once before) I guess??

Could we do Radium in the same way or should we overnight there?

Forgot to add last time we actually went via Drumheller which was lovely

Edited: 26 May 2014, 16:46
Toronto
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7. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

There are three hot springs in the national parks of the Rockies. That whole cluster of national parks is grouped right around the Alberta-BC border, so yes you could say they're all near that border. One of the hot springs (Radium, in Kootenay NP) is on the BC side and the other two (Banff and Miette) are on the Alberta side. The Banff hot springs are right in Banff and Miette is in Jasper NP east of the town of Jasper itself, so basically on your way to/from Edmonton.

Any reason they hate Jasper? The town itself is a little less touristy than Banff, and the surrounding area is better for wildlife watching.

Calgary, Canada
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8. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

Kananaskis Country literally starts at the edge of Canmore, so it's a very easy day trip. You can either enter right near Canmore or head just a bit down the TransCanada to Rt, 40. Either way, very pretty.

Radium is quite a bit further away - it would be a long day trip, though I suppose doable if you are willing to spend some time in the car.

Pram-friendly is going to be fairly limiting - there are paved trails in and around Canmore & Banff, but there's no guarantee that they will be mud/debris/rock/crack free. Unless the baby is very young, your best bet is to get a baby backpack - much easier to get around with the wee one on your back than in a stroller/pram.

england
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9. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

She will be 6 months.

In the past I have done Johnsons Canyon when my son was in a pram.

Not sure what they have against Jasper - I enjoy it.

I think Kananaskis will be good. We last went there 6 years ago (when said son was in a pram)

Don't mind a long drive as long as it is scenic and with places to stop (thinking Hot Springs)

So Waterton is out?

Banff Hot Springs is near the Gondola is I recall

Edited: 26 May 2014, 18:33
england
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10. Re: 2 days in the mountains - not Banff then where?

Just read some more of the replies. Yes "usual" was always start at Banff and drive up towards Jasper .

I have always seen the sign for Rocky Mountain House near Red Deer when we went but never took that route.

Would it work for us and could we go from there to Canmore (kids wont let me leave without a visit to Banff)