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Must do activities for active/outdoorsy couple?

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Must do activities for active/outdoorsy couple?

My husband and I are planning a last minute road trip up to the Canadian Rockies in mid July. We're driving up from Montana so basically after travel time we'll have 7-8 days. As of now the only thing we know for sure is that we are taking our camper, mt. bikes, and backpacking gear :) We are both avid hikers/bikers and don't mind putting in long days (preferably hiking - not driving). Feeling overwhelmed with all the great options - Mt. Assinboine, Yoho, Jasper, etc. Not sure whether to focus in one area or try to see a little of everything. Don't need to see the crowds - we live near Yellowstone so we've got plenty of those at home :) If you had 7 days - what would your must do activities be?

NJ
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1. Re: Must do activities for active/outdoorsy couple?

i really like yoho- iceline trail trailpeak.com/trail-Iceline-Trail-Day-hike-n… it can be a somewhat busy trail but the payoffs!!! i am also a big fan of wilcox pass. but head into the pass beyond the cairn.... that is on icefields parkway. I also highly recommend trying to get the all day glacier hike at the icefields center. i only got short (3 hr) hike due to availability. there are so many great places.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Must do activities for active/outdoorsy couple?

If you are interested in doing a backpacking trip, the Skyline Trail here in Jasper National Park is one of the best backpacking trails in the Canadian Rockies. It's 44 km long, with half of the distance above treeline, and is usually done as either a 2 day, or 3 day trip. It is popular though, and campsites book up in advance (but since the number of people on the trail at any time is limited by the number of campsites, it's not like you are hiking in crowds!) - you can check on availability for your dates for any of the JNP backcountry campsites at pc.gc.ca/eng/…rapport-report.aspx

Berg Lake at Mt. Robson Provincial Park in BC is also a really, really scenic backpacking trip. Bikes are allowed on the first 8 km of the trail.

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Must do activities for active/outdoorsy couple?

With your bikes, the Legacy Trail between Banff and Canmore could be a good option. Unfortunately, it is closed at the moment due to bear activity. You can find out more about cycling & mountain biking in Banff from this Parks Canada page:

pc.gc.ca/eng/…cyclisme-biking.aspx

Alberta
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4. Re: Must do activities for active/outdoorsy couple?

I'll take a stab at this. My advice is full of opinion and assumes you're reasonably hardcore :)

Day 1: Waterton. Carthew-Alderson loop.

Day 2: Highwood Pass to Kananaskis. Mountain bike Powderface Ridge or Mist Ridge en route (not certain of current trail condition). Take it easy for a big day 3.

Day 3: Northover Ridge. Nice backpacking trip but best done fast and light in good weather if you're a strong hiker.

Day 4: Spray Lakes en route to Canmore. Mt. Sparrowhawk scramble would be nice, but you might not have time or energy if you want to spend a couple backcountry nights. Likewise, you may want to skip Canmore's mountain bike trails unless you want to get some technical stuff in. Not my thing. Have a good meal in Canmore. Banff will be choked with tourists. Miss it. Sadly, skip Yoho. The Iceline is nice but doesn't match some other options. O'Hara region is paradise but logistically complicated. If you have time towards the end of the day, do an easy hike from Lake Louise like Mt. Fairview, which offers great views for a 3.5 hour return summit. Or Wenkchemna pass from Moraine Lake if you have a bit more time.

Day 5-7: OMG I can't choose. So many great dayhikes/scrambles on the Parkway. Caldron Lake, Cirque Peak, etc. jump to mind south of Saskatchewan River Crossing. North of the Crossing you have Cataract Pass, Boundary Peak, Wilcox Pass/Ridge/Peak, and more. Take your pick if you want to fill the last days with dayhikes.

If you want to cap off your trip with a 2 night backpacking trip, again there are a lot of choices, ranging from random camping just outside the Parks, to high profile trails like the Skyline. I feel like you should go all the way to Jasper before returning home. The drive is great, and, well, you're almost there. It's a more authentic town than Banff. You won't be disappointed with a) Skyline Trail, b) Tonquin Valley, or c) Brazeau Loop. These are the three major backpacking trails promoted by Parks Canada in Jasper NP, for good reason (though I wish they would maintain a few other trails instead of throwing money into roadside attractions, but that is a rant for another day).

This is a tight schedule depending on strong legs and good weather throughout. But if I had a perfect week, that's how I'd do it!

5. Re: Must do activities for active/outdoorsy couple?

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