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1st vitis to banff & lake louise

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Toronto, Canada
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1st vitis to banff & lake louise

Hi,

We are planning to fly into calgery on july 13 and stay for a week.We are going for the rockies and not the stampede.W e want to see Banff and Lake Louise.We are goong to see anything beautiful ! Im finding it hard with all the info on how to go about this.Where do we rent the car,is it best to just rent in ca

Gery or in banff? What hotels are good to stay at,looking for around 150$ a nite.how many days should we stay in banff and lake louise?or should we just stay in banff and drive a day to lake louise.I know i want to hike stanely glacier,see the iceland parkways,banff gondola,maybe the hot springs,and not sure exactly wheree to go in lake loiuse? Im just looking for all the info i can get so i can better plan this one week trip that im so looking foward to.

Thanks in advance

Steph

calgary
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1. Re: 1st vitis to banff & lake louise

Rent in Calgary as it will be a lot cheaper then to rent in Banff. There is a selection of companies at the airport to choose from.

I would say 2 days in Banff should be good as then you can walk around town, do the gondola ride, the cave & basin and other attractions.

Lake louise , IMHO, can be done in a day as there isn't too much going on. Its more of a place to relax from the crowds and chaos of Banff.

I can't comment on the hot springs as I've only done the one in BC.

A budget of $150 a night is healthy and you can get a good room with that, especially ones with a cottage feel. Douglas Fir is one of my favs...

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: 1st vitis to banff & lake louise

Banff has more in the way of a range of hotel accommodations in various price ranges than Jasper does (Jasper is smaller and has less accommodation to choose from to start with), but you may find $150 per night to be a somewhat limiting budget range. There are also taxes on top of the nightly rate to add on, and they will be *at least* 9% (5% federal GST, 4% Alberta Tourism Levy), plus any local fees (often 2%). A nightly rate of $137 will total up to $150 with 9% taxes added in.

According to their website, the cheapest rate offered at the Douglas Fir resort in high season is $188 per night - with taxes, this will come to at least $205 per night (any local taxes/fees will raise this total).

Hopefully, frequent TA poster "banfflakelouise" will chime in with suggestions for accommodations in Banff that fit your budget. S/he has mentioned several cheaper hotels in the past, as well as a few B&Bs. There are also a couple of hostels right in the town of Banff, and the "Y" offers less expensive rooms.

At Lake Louise, the HI Alpine Centre hostel has a few private rooms - these are $108 per night for non-members (plus taxes); they are in very high demand so book early. Other than there, accommodation in LL is very expensive, due to the very limited supply.

If your itinerary brings you up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, some of the cheaper accommodations are the Athabasca Hotel, the Astoria Hotel, Sunwapta Falls Lodge (about 60 km from town), Pine Bungalows, Pocohontas Bungalows (about 40 km from town) and Patricia Lake Bungalows. You can find all the hotels and cabins listed at www.jasper.travel , and reviews for each of them here on TripAdvisor. There are no hostels right in town, but two within 10 or 11 km, and there are also over a hundred "private home accommodations" (rooms or a suite within residents' homes), at prices ranging from $60 to $200 per night - www.stayinjasper.com .

Have a look at the national parks' websites for more info about things to do and see. There are lots of paid attractions in the parks - the gondolas, boat cruises, tours and excursions like horseback riding or whitewater rafting etc. - but there are also lots of beautiful places to see that won't cost you anything over and above your entry fee to the parks (approx. $20 per day). HIking trails are FREE! Go to www.pc.gc.ca and then choose the park you need info for - the four Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks are Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper.

Edited: 06 February 2012, 00:06
Banff, Canada
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3. Re: 1st vitis to banff & lake louise

Hi Steph: Clicking on the must-sees question under Top Questions (top right of your screen) will help you with some more ideas. There are also suggested itineraries there that you may find helpful.

What to do in the Lake Louise area? There are a multitude of day hikes there (most, IMHO, much more scenic than Stanley Glacier), there is the gondola at the Lake Louise ski area, which gets you up high for amazing views (and a chance of spotting grizzlies), and you will want to visit Moraine Lake as well.

Banff, Canada
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4. Re: 1st vitis to banff & lake louise

Hi Steph. Most travelers find it's easiest and most affordable to pick up a rental car at the Calgary Airport.

Also, I'd recommend using Banff as your "basecamp" for exploring the National Parks. Surrounding Banff, as well as Lake Louise - we have 4 National Parks: Banff National Park, Kootenay National Park and Jasper National Park. That being said, redheadlady79 doesn't quite have an idea of how much there is to do and to see in our area.

Here's an idea of how much there is to see and do:

Take 3 days + 1 in Banff to enjoy Banff and surrounding area for 4 days.

-one day for the town of Banff (Banff Gondola, hike to the Banff Springs Hotel and Bow Falls and enjoy town. Rent a canoe or a bike)

-one day for the Lake Minnewanka Road (hike Johnson Lake, Stewart Canyon, and Lower Bankhead). Rent a small tin boat at Lake Minnewanka or take the Lake Minnewanka Boat Cruise. Have a picnic.

-a half day to hike Tunnel Mountain

-a half day to hike Johnston Canyon

- the "extra" day is to do an activity. Options include White Water Rafting on the Kicking Horse River, taking a hike at Sunshine Meadows or going horseback riding.

Based out of Banff - take 2 days to enjoy Lake Louise.

-One day to go for an all day hike in Lake Louise.

- One day to sightsee in Lake Louise: the Lake Louise gondola, a visit to Moraine Lake, renting a canoe, hiking to the Rockpile, having ice cream or a picnic. It all takes time.

-don't forget to drive the Bow Valley Parkway: it's a scenic drive between Banff and Lake Louise. I would also recommend driving the Highway #1 West between Banff and Lake Louise, just to stop at the Castle Mountain Viewpoint.

Take one full day to drive the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefields.

- It's a long day of sightseeing with lots of viewpoints to see along the way. Start your day early and pack a picnic. It's always a highlight of any trip to our region and an absolute "must-do".

- If you like to hike, it's possible and highly recommended to go for a hike at Parker's Ridge. If you're organised it's possible to hike AND take the tour of the Columbia Icefields. I would recommend doing both.

www.explorerockies.com/columbia-icefield/

Other wonderful places to visit: while you are staying in Banff:

Take a full day to enjoy Yoho National Park - spending the day at Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls. Go for a hike here - plan ahead.

Take a day to drive through Kootenay National Park. Go for a hike at Marble Canyon. Stop for lunch or dinner at Storm Mountain Lodge on your drive back to Banff. Stanley Glacier is a hike that is in Kootenay National Park. You could do it, as well as Marble Canyon in a day.

So, there it is. So much to see and do.

As far as accommodation in Banff, your starting point is the Banff Lake Louise tourism website. Plug in your dates and see what options and prices are available.

www.banfflakelouise.com

Some budget options that you might consider:

Cottage Bed and Breakfast - 403-762-8181

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/cottage/

Mountain View Bed and Breakfast - open in the summer months only:

http://www.mountainviewbanff.ca/

Alpine Bed and Breakfast:

http://banffalpinebb.com/

A Banff Boutique Inn

http://www.banffboutiqueinn.com/

The Driftwood Inn and The Arrow Motel

www.bestofbanff.com

krp29's suggestions of staying at the Youth Hostels in Banff is a great suggestion. Both the Banff Alpine Centre and the Banff Y Mountain Lodge have nice facilities at a reasonable price. There are plenty of nice budget options in Banff that should meet your price and needs.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: 1st vitis to banff & lake louise

Hi Steph,

Since you're going during the high season accomodation is obviously going to be more expensive. Have you considered staying a little out of town?

I visited the Rockies last year and stayed in a great guesthouse in Field which was only 15-20min drive from Lake Louise and was a good base. The one we stayed at was called the Bugling Elk and I think it was $150/room. It's got a little kitchen so you cna book your own food and save some $$ that way. But i think there are quite a few other ones there.

Field is a small town so it's got more of the country town feel to it.

Also was good location to explore Emerald Lake/Takakkaw Falls and Lake O'Hara (I definitely recommend this - it can only be accessed via a pre-booked shuttle so there's a less crowds and really is a great way to see the Rockies if you are interested in hiking)

Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: 1st vitis to banff & lake louise

Plenty of 'to do' ideas there so I will focus on car hire - hiring and returning to airport is considerably more expensive than other 'town' locations. My suggestion is to check the websites for other locations, from experience budget, enterprise and alamo tend to come out cheapest all across North America and Canada.

Rob

7. Re: 1st vitis to banff & lake louise

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