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Finalizing a Banff itinerary

Travel Forums North America Finalizing a Banff itinerary

1. Posted by PuckAndTravel (Budding Member, 6 posts) 12 May '12 19:30

After getting a better idea of trip duration from my dad and taking advice from my earlier thread into consideration, I think I know what I want to fit into two days, but I'm not exactly sure how to do it and where to stay. That's where I need some recommendations.

We're departing from North Dakota and driving up to Regina for a Roughriders game. After staying the night there, we plan on driving to Calgary (or Cochrane because hotel rates seem to be high because of the Calgary Stampede). From Calgary/Cochrane we would head into Banff National Park and spend two nights in the area. After the second night, we would drive to Waterton National Park, which leaves a bit of time that day to either do a couple more things in Banff or do something in Waterton.

The following are the things I want to see in Banff (and Yoho):

Banff area
Johnston Canyon
Takkakaw Falls (Yoho)
Lake Louise
Moraine Lake
Peyto Lake
Icefields Parkway up to Athabasca Glacier

How would I best fit this into two full days plus maybe part of a third? And where should I stay the two nights in the park?

Note: I originally thought we would be leaving July 8, but I noticed a potential conflict, so it might be July 28, which would mean seeing a football game in Calgary on the 29th instead.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-May-2012, at 19:49 by PuckAndTravel ]

2. Posted by PuckAndTravel (Budding Member, 6 posts) 12 May '12 19:36

Here's what I was thinking

Day 1 (referring to the first day in the area):
Spend the night in Calgary or Cochrane

Day 2:
Drive to Banff
Spend time around the Banff townsite
Johnston Canyon
Takkakaw Falls (Yoho)
Spend the night in Lake Louise

Day 3:
Lake Louise
Moraine Lake
Peyto Lake
Icefields Parkway up to Athabasca Glacier
Spend the night in Banff

Day 4:
Potentially have some time to spend in Banff before driving to Waterton

Would this work?

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4280 posts) 13 May '12 03:32

Day 2 is doable, but on day 3, you've tried to cram in far too much: You'd spend the entire day in the car. (And that after already coming up all the way from North Dakota! Seriously, you should be more than ready to for a change want to see things without a windowpane and airconditioned air pressing themselves upon the experience.) :)

Don't get me wrong: Driving in Banff is nice, but even nice driving is a ridiculous waste when you could be out there actually walking through the nature Banff has to offer. Drop Peyto Lake (gorgeous, but looking at it from the viewpoint up-high won't give you any new appreciation of startlingly blue glacier-fed lakes that Lake Louise and Moraine Lake hadn't already given you) and the Athabasca glacier (yes it's huge; but it's also very dirty, and not actually that spectacular as glaciers go - and you won't have the time to do the overcommercialized trip up it with those huge transporter vehicles anyway) and spend the four hours you win by not having to drive back and forth there to actually do a hike along the water at Moraine Lake or Lake Louise. (Maybe go kayaking for an hour?) Watch the least chipmunks and golden mantled ground squirrels run around like crazy, and see if you can spot any hoary marmots (there should be lots when you get a bit further away from the parking area).