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Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

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Rome
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Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

Hey there peps... need a wee bit a help and a wee bit of advice.

I'm travelling on my own this Friday to Toronto. my time constraints are just 3 weeks and albeit i'd love to do longer, i simply cannot....

my plan is as follows:

I'm arriving Friday into toronto and staying there for 3 days (to include 1 day trip to Niagra Falls)

Then taking the train to Montreal & Quebec for 3 days total before heading back to Toronto to get a flight to Calgary.

After a day in Calgary was going to head to Banff for 1 nite and onto Jasper (hitting Lake Louise on the way) for 2 days.....was going to wait til i got to Jasper to do white water rafting, horse riding, bike tour, a wee hike and maybe a grizzley bear tour......

from Jasper to Vancouver by train (VIA unfortunately!) and then over to the family on vancouver island. and all the whale watching one can possibly take in!!!

my question is this..... if Lake Louise is frozen still (as i saw on another feed), are there winter sports possiblities....(i dont want to lug my snowboard around with me, nor my heavy boots) and i simply wont have time to go to Whistler (leave that for next time!) BUT will i be able to say that i went skating across lake louise???? are there any runs for skiing/snowboarding and can you hire equipment there?

any info, help or advice will be more than welcome and the nearer i get to departure, the more anxious i'm getting, ergo, the more i need ur help so i can prepare for what's ahead of me.

i looked-up approx temperatures and it said between 9 and 14 celcius - is that true?

Seriously, any help appreciated :-)

Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

This is the Banff forecast for the next few days.

http://www.banff.ca/weather.htm

Rome
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2. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

okey dokey.....so guess i'll be packing my snow gear too! and i thought i'd get away with packing light!!!

Thanks though....better shock now than thermal shock when i get there! :-)

still, got 2 weeks....maybe it'll warm up by then!!! :-o

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

Welcome to the forum Fiona ~

You've got a good plan with a lot of variety. The Rockies are actually in Alberta, the next province over. I think you would be wise to post this on the Canadian Rockies Forum as well as that is where the local Rockies posters will be able to answer your Rockies-specific questions.

And how do you plan on getting around the Rockies? You will either need a car or will need to rely on tour/shuttle busses that may not be operating very frequently, if at all, at that time of year. There may be only a point A to B (Banff to Jasper) shoot through coach.

I can give you some information, some of which is from what I have read on the CRF, so please get confirmed or corrected on that forum. I think almost everything in the Rockies will not yet be open at the end of April. The Icefields Explorer that goes out on the glacier opens April 6th so that's possible. It will still be winter there and snow activities will be going on. The grizzlies will likely still be in hibernation.

So do post on the CRF where you will get very knowledgeable help from the posters there. They can help you make the most of your winter time there. Shortcut to that forum is here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g659487-i11598-Can…

Jasper, Canada
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4. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

There aren't any grizzly bear tours in the Rockies - here, the bears wander very far and wide to survive; there aren't any concentrated and predictably located food sources like the salmon runs on the west coast, which is where you'll find they offer the tours (in the appropriate season).

I have heard of a few black bears out and about already this season, but no grizzlies yet. They'll be out soon though, and early in the season, all the critters tend to congregate in the valley bottoms, which is the first place where new spring growth will be. There are wildlife tours you can take, and perhaps you'll be lucky enough to see a bear, or possibly deer, elk, bighorn sheep, a coyote, or wolves. Check out the activity pages at www.banfflakelouise.com and www.jasper.travel .

By my calculations, you are going to be here out west before the end of April? That's too early in the season for whitewater rafting, and probably horseback riding too. You have your pick of at least three ski areas if you want to ski or snowboard - Banff's Sunshine Village stays open until the third week of May, and both Lake Louise and Jasper's Marmot Basin are open until May 6th. I'm not sure about Mt. Norquay. I wouldn't get your hopes up for skating - Lake Louise will still be ice-covered, but it's not likely to be nice, smooth ice; spring ice tends to be soft and mushy from the warm sun beating down on it. You can't usually skate on the whole lake, just a cleared rink area but I think skating will be done by then, if it is not yet, already.

It doesn't sound like you will have much time for activities here in the Rockies anyway - you'll have a partial day in Banff after arriving there from Calgary... perhaps visit the gondola and/or the hot springs, and maybe take a walk (Bow Falls?). Getting to Jasper will take most of the next day (the Icefields Parkway is spectacularly beautiful at any time of the year!), and then you'll have one more day in Jasper? That could be your skiing or snowboarding day - and yes, rentals are readily available, both in town and up at the hill.

It *is* true that the daily average high temperatures are approx. 9 to 14 (in the townsites) at that time of year - the average high now for Jasper is 9, and Banff 10, although it doesn't look liike we're going to see those temps for at least a week from now. Springtime in the Rockies means very variable weather ... we had 18 degrees and sunshine a couple of days ago, and now it's 1C and snowing.

Rome
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5. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

multimixandmiatch! Thanks a mil, will do now.

i do remember checking up a busroute and i came across a bus that runs from Calgary to Bannf and onto Lake Louise and Jasper. Daily operating and upto 5 trips each way.

i dont know why, but i just didnt think ye'd still be in the thick of winter!!! DOH! :-)

Rome
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6. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

krp329 - thanks - that's LOADS of info.

I'm hoping to have a day in Calgary after arriving, then taking off for Bannf, doing a hike/trail etc.

Was hoping i might have 2 days in Jasper to fit it all in. I'm not soo concerned about the white water rafting(it'd be cool to do though) , it's more the scenery and the nature and the whole vastness of it.

Yeah, it'll be the last 5 days of April, as long as i get to Victoria by 4 May i'm cool!

From Jasper there's the VIA rail that'll take me to Vancouver.

it's all public transport i'm afraid and i havent booked my toronto to calgary flight yet, wanna pin down where to go what to do kinda thing before i go booking anything else.

Thanks for the help and those activity pages will deffo come in useful.

Looks like i'm gonna have to re-think a few details.

thanks for all your help though.....i better get cramming over the weekend! only 7 days til lift-off! :-)

Jasper, Canada
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7. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

I would double-check on the Banff to Jasper tour/shuttle - there is only one arrival per day in Jasper. explorerockies.com/airport-shuttles/calgary-…

Also, VIA Rail only runs westbound from Jasper three days per week - fares are usually cheaper if you book in advance. www.viarail.ca

Edited: 13 April 2012, 12:19
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

haha, that's why it's so important to post on the best forum. You are quite right, there is the Greyhound that goes between Calgary - Banff - LL - Jasper. www.greyhound.ca But you'll have to be on the alert as to how you buy your tix as you want to stop over in Banff. You don't want to go right through. I think you'll need to buy 2 separate tix. I''m not sure how you would fit in LL with this system.

It's only those pesky Rockies that hold on to winter a bit longer than the rest of us. :-) Here on the coast, the daffodils and cherry blossoms will be finished and you will have temps of about 14C in Vancouver. Victoria is even more pleasant, as in less rain. But more wind. Be prepared though for anything from sun to clouds to showers to rain, in any combination for any length of time.

VIA Rail comes into Pacific Central Station in Vancouver. The coach to Victoria leaves from the same station.

To get from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria, have a look at Pacific Coach Lines. It's really convenient as you load your luggage in the hold and get driven onto the ferry then off on the other side and down into Victoria. If you have people to pick you up at Swartz Bay, you are permitted to buy a ticket to Swartz Bay rather than right into Victoria. You pay the coach fare and the ferry fare to PCL when you buy your tix.

www.pacificcoach.com

Here's how the route looks: http://g.co/maps/k3r9c

If you wanted to take public transit to the ferry, and maybe the bus on the other side into downtown Vic, please let us know for the info on that.

Have a look at the YWCA Hotel in Vancouver, good value, very centrally located, good location and popular.

www.ywcahotel.com

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g154943-d182556…

If you drink beer, bring your beer passport with ya. You'll have every page stamped in the end, we have so many craft beer, local brews here and on the Island.

Edited: 13 April 2012, 12:41
Jasper, Canada
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9. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

The Greyhound bus does not run from Banff or Lake Louise directly up to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway - it runs via Calgary & Edmonton (i.e. the LOOOOONG way around - and the scenery is nothing very exciting for most of the way).

The only bus service on the Icefields Parkway is with Sundog Tours in the winter, and Brewster in the summer, in both cases, one arrival to and departure from Jasper per day .

Edited: 13 April 2012, 13:08
Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Coast to coast in 3 weeks - on me owenio!

I'm glad you post on both AB and BC forums!!