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Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

Singapore
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Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

Hello everyone, and thank you all for your patient advice over the last few weeks! I *think* I have nailed my itinerary, but would really appreciate any comments on my proposed itinerary. Hope you don't mind, but I am listing the whole itinerary.

Any advice welcome, especially accommodation as I would like to book as early as possible (and check that task off my list!). I tried to ensure that we're staying 2 nights in each place at a minimum, since we have young kids. I read all the comments for respective properties, but still not sure about the Field and Jasper accommodations. (Fireweed vs Cathedral Mountain Lodge, Patricia Lake vs Alpine village, if we don't get the tented camps in Whistlers, our first choice)

thanking you in advance

Day 1: Arrive Toronto

Day 2-5: Tofino

Day 6: Courtenay Museum then catch plane Comox to Calgary. Overnight Calgary. (Airport hotel?)

Day 7: Drumheller, Royal Tyrell Museum. Overnight Brooks (Ramada or Super8), or at the Dinosaur Provincial Park if we can book one of their fixed tents (2 nights)

Day 8: Dinosaur Provincial Park. Overnight Brooks or Dinosaur Provincial Park

Day 9: Heading west, Blackfoot Crossing then to Kananaskis. Overnight Sundance Lodge (2 nights)

Day 10: Some activity in Bow Valley Park or nearby. Chill out. Overnight Sundance Lodge

Day 11: Banff (Gondola Ride? Walk?), stop at Lake Louise for a couple of snaps or tea. Overnight Fireweed Hostel or Cathedral Mountain Lodge (2 nights. Any opinions one or the other?)

Day 12: Yoho Park/ Moraine Lake

Day 13: Big drive: Icefields Parkway, Columbia Ice fields to Jasper. Accomodation (if we can’t get the Fixed Tents at Whistlers) are a tossup between Patricia Lake and Alpine Village. (2 nights)

Day 14: Jasper/Maligne Lake? Jasper Tramway?

Day 15: Jasper in the morning, then catch VIA RAIL in the evening. Overnight to Vancouver

Day 16-18: Vancouver, flying out morning of Day 18

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

Looks good, but how will you get from Toronto to Tofino? If you're coming from Singapore, did you mean you are arriving in Vancouver?

Comments:

A major clearcutting operation is scheduled to start in Kananaskis that will affect 19 of the 21 trails there, so it might not be as pretty as you might have thought. Still, it's convenient to Calgary,

The gondola ride in Banff will be good - the kids will love it! Take them for a spalsh in the hot springs afterwards.

When you get to Yoho, drive up to Takkakaw Falls. The road leaves the main highway about 4 km east of Fields. Morraine Lake is beautiful, but as with every forest walk in the mountains, pay attention to bear warnings and keep your children close.

At the Columbia Icefields, the Icefields Centre has a good display (and washrooms). Instead of doing the snowcoach ride, walk to the toe of Athabasca Glacier - much more interesting and more 'hands on' for the kids.

At Jasper, the Tramway is another spectacular ride that your children will never forget. The Maligne Lake Road has a couple of good things to do - stop at Maligne Canyon and walk down part way. Remember, every step down is one you'll have to take back up later on! There's a very nice pullout at Medicine Lake on the same road, and Malgine Lake itself is very pretty. You might want to do part of the Mary Schaffer Loop, a trail that leaves from the parking lot and winds up beside the lake. After dinner, drive up to Pyramid Lake. Take the road to the end and walk across the bridge onto the small island. Very lovely.

If you plan to take the VIA rail train to Vancouver, you might want to see if it can be done during daylight hours - it's biggest attraction is the incredible scenery it passes through en route!

It sounds like the journey of a lifetime. Your children are very lucky.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

Your itinerary looks good... I'm assuming the arrival in Toronto is a typo and it should read Tofino (?? auto-correct gone wild?) Note that there is no choice of trains in the VIA Rail schedule - there is a train from Jasper to Vancouver three days per week, and they all depart at the same time (unless it's late). I'm not sure exactly what time of the summer you are coming, but with our northern latitude, we do have long daylight hours in June, July & early August. Also, the drive from Banff to Jasper, at 286 km, is not that much longer than Tofino to Comox, at 235... it's just that there are so many scenic places to stop along the way - lakes, waterfalls, viewpoints etc. - that you should plan to make a whole day of it.

Singapore
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3. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

Oops. Yes, first day should have said arrive "Vancouver"!!

Thanks for comments. We're rushing a but from tofino to comix because we wanted to squeeze in Courtenay museum but want to get to Alberta fast! Interested about the tree cutting operation. Will inquire with Sundance if this will affect their property. Any comments on Field and Jasper accom? Am torn between the choices! Thank you!

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

When I go to Yoho it is usually as a guide for a group, and we would normally stay the the Whiskeyjack Hostel. Probably not appropriate for small children though. The same goes for Jasper; my groups usually stay at the Maligne Canyon hostel.

However if I had to choose between Patricia Lake and Alpine Village, I'd take the quieter lakeside resort.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

In #1, Petey1955 wrote: "A major clearcutting operation is scheduled to start in Kananaskis that will affect 19 of the 21 trails there, so it might not be as pretty as you might have thought."

This will not affect the main area of Kananaskis Country; the proposal is for the Bragg Creek area, which is nowhere near Sundance Lodges. (I'm pretty sure K-Country has far more than 21 trails!) Also, as of just a few days ago, the proposed logging had not yet been approved. Here's a Calgary Herald article about it:

http://goo.gl/a31eM

And here's a map showing the relative locations of Sundance Lodges and Bragg Creek: http://g.co/maps/qgfve

(Actually, for the record, Sundance Lodges is actually located a bit south of where this map shows them -- the map location on the Sundance Lodges website is more accurate.)

Edited: 13 January 2012, 21:25
Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

These people refer to Kananaskis Country, and were the source of the '19 of 21 trails' quote. Since they live there, I think they are probably well-informed. http://sustaink.ca/

Note that I said the area 'might not be as pretty' as the lodges in the area might lead us to believe. It's always been frustrating to go there and see the effects of forestry on the area, but in fairness, it is important to remember that, unlike a national park, Kananaskis is an unprotected forest area where some recreational activities are carried on.

Singapore
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7. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

Thanks for the links. We'll ask Sundance and am sure that they'll reply frankly. At any rate, our kids are small so hikes will be quite short, I think!! Really appreciate the heads-up, everyone!

Calgary, Canada
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8. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

The exact location of the proposed logging area under discussion is shown on Sustain Kananaskis' website here:

http://sustaink.ca/photo-map.asp

The scale of the map is shown in the top right corner.

Remember, K-Country is huge; here's a .pdf map of the whole area: …alberta.ca/parks/…2008_KC_Map.pdf

A quick flip though the 2-volume Kananaskis Country Trail Guide (by Gillean Daffern) shows roughly 250 trails in all of Kananaskis Country.

Alberta Tourism Parks and Recreation is doing a really crummy job of communicating basic information on where parks and recreation areas are located and how to get to them, and it's really quite frustrating.

9. Re: Itinerary Comments? Rockies with two kids 4 and 7

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