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Canadien Travel Plans

Wilton, Connecticut
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2 reviews
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Canadien Travel Plans

We are planning a trip this May. We will fly from New York to Calgary. We then would like to take the train to Lake Louise and stay at the Fairmont for 3-4 nights. Are Banff and Jasper close to Lake Louise (2 hour car drive)? Or do you recommend that we spend one night in Banff?

We then would like to take the train to Vancouver, where we hope to spend 3-4 nights including a trip to Victoria.

We then would fly back to New York from Vancouver.

Any thoughts, hints or changes are welcome.

Our budget for all the above is $7,000.

Thank you

England, United...
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4,807 posts
37 reviews
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1. Re: Canadien Travel Plans

Have you considered Brewster coaches? We used them twice, once to take us from our hotel in Calgary to Lake Louise (they dropped people off at Banff on the way but we remained on the coach at this stage as we had booked to stay in Banff later on in our holiday). After a couple of nights at Lake Louise (Deer Lodge, near the Fairmont), the Brewster coach picked us up at 9.45 a.m. for the journey to Jasper. The journey took a full day but we travelled the Icefields Parkway via Hector Lake, Mosquito Creek, Bow Lake, Pesto Lake and the Waterfowl Lakes, stopping to take photographs or to take a brief walk round the lake. We continued north to the Saskatchewan river crossing and onto the Columbia Icefield, where we stopped for lunch and were able to walk on the glacier (an experience in itself!). Our next stop was at Sunwapta Falls. En route, we observed brown bears eating from the roadside bushes and the driver pulled over so we could all get a closer look. About 1/2 hour outside Jasper, we stopped at the Athabasca waterfall. As we crossed over a bridge (back in the coach), we spotted two grizzly bear cubs on an island in the river. The driver was so excited that he stopped the coach again in order for us to watch them.

We arrived at our hotel about 6pm after a day jam packed with experiences.

During our stay in The Rockies, we also travelled by train and thoroughly enjoyed this experience too but however slow the train might travel, the driver doesn't stop to look at bears feeding or grizzlies playing in the creek.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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107 reviews
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2. Re: Canadien Travel Plans

There is no scheduled train service between Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise and Vancouver - the only train service on this route (the CP line - Canadian Pacific) is the luxury tour train, the Rocky Mountaineer. It's a package between Calgary (or Banff) and Vancouver - you can't take it just to LL and disembark. VIA Rail, Canada's national passenger rail service, runs on the northern line (CN), from Edmonton (and other points further east) to Jasper and on to Vancouver. The Icefields Parkway between Jasper and LL is one of the world's most scenic drives (as rated by National Geographic), a definite "do not miss" - www.icefieldsparkway.ca

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578 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: Canadien Travel Plans

Further to krp329's information, you could fly to Calgary, rent a car and drive to Banff, Lake Louise and, then, Jasper - drop the car off at Jasper (expensive drop-off fee) and take the train to Vancouver from there. A possibly less expensive proposition would be to fly to Edmonton, rent a car, do Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff, then drive back to Edmonton, drop the rental car and hop on the train to Vancouver. Lake Louise is fairly close to Banff, so you may want to rethink staying there 3-4 days. A lot of people splilt their time between the two or just use Banff as their base. Lake Louise is a small community and Banff has a lot more in terms of restaurants, shops and activities. You should plan to spend a full day's drive heading to Jasper with you stopping to enjoy the sights along the beautiful Icefields Parkway.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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4. Re: Canadien Travel Plans

Because there is no train for you, and because May will be winter in the Rockies, you may want to consider a coach tour from Calgary to Vancouver. The lakes will be covered in ice until about mid-June and a number of the viewpoints and trails will be snowed in. The average May high temp in Banff is about 7°C and low temp is about 0/-3°C There are several Brewster Coach choices for travel between Calgary and Vancouver with varying dates in the following link.


The Rocky Mountaineer already mentioned is here: www.rockymountaineer.com

5. Re: Canadien Travel Plans

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