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Banff National Park Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 17, 2016
Camping open this winter?  (2 Answers)

Anyone know if Tunnel mountain is open this winter for RV camping???

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 26, 2016
Lake Louise in late October  (9 Answers)

Hi. I have finally booked my trip to the rockies on Oct16-Oct22. My bf and I will arrive and depart from Calgary and rent a car from there. We are planning to stay in Banff fro 4 days and 3 days in Jasper. I just saw in some reviews that Lake Louise doesn't look as beautiful as it is during summer time. Is this true? Does it really lose it's beautiful turquoise colour in this months? If yes, is there any alternatives or other sceneries that we might enjoy?

Also, from Jasper, what is the quickest route back to Calgary. Our flight from Calgary leaves at 1230pm so we are wondering what time should we leave Jasper? Is it safe to drive at night? Thanks in advance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 09, 2016
11 Day's first RV trip, Calgary round trip  (2 Answers)

Our first RV trip. couple + 3 kids (13, 10, 8). I would love recommendations of a good itinerary and recommended campgrounds for 10 nights (net) in August.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 24, 2015
where to go first?  (7 Answers)

Hello! i´m planning to go to Banff, Jasper and every beautiful place there, but i would like go to big cities too like Montreal Toronto etc. I will go in May 2016 and have 1 month to go to all those places but dont know where to start. Why? because i dont know how is the weather in that month. I will be studying english in Vancouver before that.
thank you!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 28, 2014
Parking passes  (3 Answers)

We were caught in a snow storm and and got stuck in the wrong lane at the gate. Is there anywhere to get a parking pass in the town of banff

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 11, 2014
27yr old backpacker - where's the best base or place to meet other travellers!  (1 Answer)

Travelling to canada at the end of August and hoping to meet other travellers to then explore Banff and jasper with! Can anyone recommend a good tour agency, or a hostel base where I will meet more backpackers doing the same :)
Thanks in advance for any info

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 09, 2014
Best time for wildflowers  (4 Answers)

Our summer/fall is open. What's the best time for wildflowers in Canadian Rockies and best time for clear skies? I realize the latter is very unpredictable!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 08, 2013
4-5 days in Banff/Jasper with young kids in October - Advise/Recos?  (1 Answer)

We're thinking of a family trip (flying in from Toronto to maybe Calgary?) with our young family (1 and 4 year olds) mid-October. We're not into the camping thing but would LOVE any itinerary suggestions for catching all the great sites and short exploring hikes. Places to stay - things to do and see - any advice or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks so much in advance~!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 04, 2013
Dream catcher making or other aboriginal heritage things to do in Banff  (1 Answer)

I am planning a stagette in Banff and the bride is very interested in the aboriginal culture. I am looking for activities that we can do as a group such as dream catcher making or??

Thank you!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 12, 2013
Camping Lake Louise and Jasper.  (1 Answer)

Looking for a recommendation on a good tent camping spot in the Lake Louise area and the Jasper area - will be there the 2nd week of September. Thanks for any help.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 08, 2013
'Must See' in Banff  (2 Answers)

Hi Guys,
We are planning on a 6 day trip to Banff from Vancouver (2nd- 7th Sep). We plan to drive. I was wondering if you could all help us pin down the 'must see' places in the area as we really won't have too much time and don't want to miss out on anything that's absolutely worth seeing.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 29, 2013
Banff National park  (4 Answers)

What easy 1/2 to full day hike might you suggest that might increase the likelihood for wildlife viewing ?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 24, 2013
Best Central Location to enjoy Banff, Jasper and surrounding areas  (3 Answers)

We are planning a 7 day trip in mid August (yes, the busiest time), but wanted to know if we stayed in one location (Banff or Lake Louise) can we enjoy all of the sites and activities in Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Jasper, etc. We are looking at renting a condo and using it as a base. Most hotels are booked up and trying to keep from packing/unpacking along with having a hard time finding lodging for 3 people. We do not mind long days of driving, hiking, sight seeing.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 05, 2013
Cabin rental in or around the park July 22-26  (2 Answers)

Hi everyone. While I've already confirmed camping reservations I'd much prefer a cabin. Do you know of any cabins in or around the park-we don't mind driving for July 22-26 that a family of three could get for $150 or less?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 01, 2013
Should we book ahead?  (7 Answers)

We intend to drive the Icefields Parkway in early October and would like to know if it is advisable to book accommodation ahead? We don't know exactly when we will arrive at most of our intended destinations during our driving tour from Vancouver and don't want to be locked into specific dates but also don't want to be 'caught out' and not be able to find a bed for the night.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 26, 2013
Any local info update on road opening between Calgary and Banff?  (2 Answers)

Any local's have any information on the progress of opening the road between Calgary and Banff? Thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 20, 2013
How To Fill My Days While In The Canadian Rockies? Seeking Planning Advice  (16 Answers)

In early July, well be driving from Calgary to the Canadian Rockies. I am looking for ideas of what to see do, and not miss based upon my itinerary:
Day 1: Drive from Calgary, overnight at Lake Louise
Day 2: Drive to Jasper, overnight in Jasper
Day 3: Drive to Banff, overnight in Banff
Day 4: Overnight in Banff
Day 5: Drive to Calgary for Calgary Stampede

With regards to days 1-4, I've listed where we'll end up each day/evening, so my question is what is possible to see/do/not miss each day. We want to see as much as possible, so given our itinerary. We're basically interested in sightseeing, scenic walks (not major day hikes), and interested in things like walking to tea houses, going up gondola's and trams for scenic views, boat trips on lakes, and of course the Columbia Ice Fields. We like to get early day starts to maximize and see/do as much as possible. Given my itinerary, how much can I fit in each day to maximize and do as much as we can? Appreciate any help, recommendations, and advice. Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 30, 2013
Hiking off the trails - is it possible/legal/advisible?  (6 Answers)

We are planning an extended hiking trek in the Rockies near Banff NP. The three of us are quite experienced hikers and have all done plenty of hikes (ranging from 1-3 weeks at a time) in Northern Europe and South America.

For our hike in the Rockies we are wondering:

- Is hiking off the marked trails in national parks legal? (a source for this would be awesome!)

- Does anyone have either personal experience or knows of a good source of information (e.g. concerning routes/trailheads/etc.)?

Most information we were able to find concerns day-hikes or small 2-3 day hikes in the immediate vicinity of official camping places etc. This is not what we are looking for...

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 30, 2013
Map of Greyhound bus stations/stops in the Banff Rocky Mountains area  (3 Answers)

Friends of mine and me are planning an extended hiking trip in the Rockies near Banff NP. We will be traveling by bus, and therefore need to plan our hiking route with the reachable trail heads/endpoints in mind.

Does anyone know of a map(!) which shows all the Greyhound bus stations and stops? So far we have only found a list of all stations (the names), which is of no use to us at all as we have no idea where these stations actually are...

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 18, 2013
1 week in Banff  (7 Answers)

Hey, My bf and I (28 and 24 years old) are planning to spend a week visiting Banff around this mid August (Aug 17-27 as planned for now). We will be flying from Montreal to Calgary and we plan to rent a car in there. We would like to have some recommendations on what the must-see places in there are that we could go in 1 week and the suggested route? We want to spend some time walking, not staying in the car all the time. Also we want to spend at least 1 day in Calgary city (we plan to do this before we fly from Calgary back to Montreal at the end of our trip). What do you suggest to do in Calgary within 1-2 days? Thanks in advance for any recommendation! 

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 04, 2013
Campground  (2 Answers)

Where is the nearest RV campground to Moraine Lake?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 02, 2013
Banff visit - help me plan please  (6 Answers)

Hello there,
My husband and I are flying into Calgary on a Sunday in June and spending the next 7 days in the Banff area. We would like to see Lake Louise and possibly Jasper on top of Banff. Should we base our trip out of Banff (stay at the same place throughout the trip) and do day trips to these places? Or should we move around? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 28, 2013
If time is short  (6 Answers)

If I have only 1 or 2 days to visit Banff then which attractions, park or lakes are best to visit in Banff

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 13, 2013
Anniversary trip.....Itinerary guidance for Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper  (9 Answers)

My husband and I are planning an anniversary trip to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in mid-September. My husband wants to add a day to the trip. I'm willing to do so if necessary but 9 days away from my 2 year old is already a lot to ask! :) I've read a lot of posts on your Forum as well as Frommer's guide book. I've put together a potential itinerary but want to ensure that I'm not leaving something important out or that we aren't trying to do too much in one day. A little background...we are in our early 40's and pre-baby (3 years ago) we did a good amount of backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in TN and NC. We aren't in the shape we were then but from what I read I don't think I've picked any hikes that are out of our comfort zone. I would greatly appreciate any tips or insight you can offer. Thank you so much!

Sat arrive in Calgary ~ noon, drive to Banff / relax / Lodging in Banff

Sunday am leave early & drive to Lake Louise / hike Plain of 6 glaciers / Lake Moraine / Lodging in Banff

Monday am drive the Icefield Parkway to Jasper / Crowfoot Glacier / Bow Summit & Peto Lake / Sunwapta Pass / Athabasca Glacier (snow bus) / Tangle Falls / Lodging in Jasper

Tuesday am Wilcox Pass / Mt. Edith Cavell time permitting / Lodging in Jasper

Wednesday am Parker Ridge / Maline Lake / Lodging in jasper

Thursday am drive Icefield Parkway back to Banff / Johnston Canyon / Lake Minnewanka / Stewart Canyon / Lodging in Banff

Friday hit anything we missed around Banff / drive to Calgary for Lodging

Saturday depart Calgary for Tennessee

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 28, 2013
4 Night Itinerary: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Which Locations and How Many Nights?  (9 Answers)

I am interested in a 4 night say in the Canadian Rockies. Fly into Calgary, then spend 4 nights in the mountains, then return to Calgary for a day at the Calgary Stampede. Traveling the first weekend in July. I am uncertain on how to spread out my 4 nights. I am interested in visiting Banff, Lake Louise, Banff, and all the attractions and sights in between. With 4 nights, where should we stay to maximize our visit? i.e. one night Banff, one night Jasper, one night Lake Lousie, one night back at one of the previous locations? Basically just doing a sighteseeing roadtrip, but want to be sure to see all the sights. What's the best itinerary to place ourselves each night in order to maximize our short visit and see as much as possible? Thanks for your itinerary suggestions.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 28, 2012
Help on itinerary for Lake Louise,Jasper & Banff

I will be traveling july 28-aug.9 2012 Flying into Calgary. I will post my itinerary and if anyone can give me some help on what to see and do within the time frame I would much appreciate it.

July 28- fly into Calgary and drive to Lake Louise-after arriving mid afternoon possibly take a Gondola ride.

July 29 - (Staying in Lake Louise)canoe at Chateu LL,walk around lake at Chateu LL,hike to tea house NOT SURE WHAT ELSE I CAN FIT INTO THIS DAY??

July 30- (staying in Lake Louise)go to YoHo to takkawaka falls,Emerald lake,Morraine Lake and Lake Ohara CAN THIS BE DONE ALL IN ONE DAY?? OR AM I MISSING SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD??

July 31- (Drive to Jasper) along the way stop at Bow Lake,Peyto Lake,Icefields

Aug.1-(JASPER) Boat trip on Maligne Lake/Spirit Island,walk on trails around Maligne Lake-ARE THERE ANY SPESIFIC EAST TRAILS TO CONSIDER??

Aug.2-(JASPER)Go to MT.Edith Cravel,Tram Ride,Athabasca Falls DON'T KNOW IF THESE

Aug.3-(JASPER)Sunwapta Falls,Horseback ride or take a Athabasca river raft trip? ANY OPINIONS??

Aug.4 (Leave Jasper drive to Banff) Go on tram ride in Banff,go into town.

Aug.5-8 (BANFF) I NEED SUGGESTIONS FOR 3 1/2 FULL DAYS IN BANFF. These are some options that I was told- Waterfalls(but I don't know where or the names),Spray River loop hike,Bow Valley Float trip (in evening),hoodoos,Johnston Canyon,any small easy walks/hikes (I am afraid of the bears,is there a guide that I could hire?)

Aug.8-Leave Banff in afternoon and drive to Calgary Airport

Aug.9- fly home

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 12, 2012
Finalizing a Banff itinerary  (6 Answers)

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 probably on July 8 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?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 11, 2012
Two days in the Canadian Rockies  (4 Answers)

My family is considering heading up to the Canadian Rockies after spending time in Glacier (the American one)/Waterton. We'd probably spend a night at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton and then head up to Banff.

I need more details from my dad, but I'm assuming we'd spend about two days in the area. If that's the case, what's the best way to spend two days? Is it best to just stay in Banff National Park since it's a short amount of time, or would visiting Jasper, Yoho, or Kootenay be a good idea?

What are some things that are must-see or must-do? No long, less-frequented trails because my dad freaks out about bears and refuses to allow it. Any shorter and more popular trails that we should take?

Anything worth our time in Calgary?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm pretty much researching this myself, and there is so much information to sort through.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 27, 2012
Getting from Yellowstone to the Canadian Rockies?  (9 Answers)

My wife and I will be in Jackson, WY in mid-July to visit Yellowstone, and wanted to rent a car and drive up to Glacier NP and then to the Canadian Rockies (Banff, Jasper), and return the car and fly back to NY from Calgary. I know it’s a bit of a drive to get all the way up there but we like driving!

The problem is when I searched for rental cars (on etc) the prices they quote for a one-way between Jackson and Calgary are400 per *day* for the smallest car... I was hoping someone could perhaps offer advice on reasonable alternatives to get from Jackson to Banff… is the only way really to fly?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 25, 2012
Camping in Banff/Jasper NP area - reservations needed  (2 Answers)

We will be exploring the Banff and Jasper NP area for 8 days, from June 26 through July 3. We are hoping to tent/car camp each night and are wondering how crowded the campgrounds are during this time.

We really prefer to travel with as open an itinerary as possible and so we would like to avoid making any reservations. Is this possible?

We are not picky and are willing to stay at the less scenic/popular/serviced camgrounds if needed. Our concern is mainly that we'll end up either wasting far too many hours driving around trying to find an open camp site each day, or we'll get skunked and end up having to fork over alot of money for an expensive hotel room.

We do know that showing up early before check-out time is the best strategy. Just looking for a little persepective from someone who's actually been there camping during this time.

oh- also just relized we booked during Canada Day! How much does this affect the campgrounds in the area?


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