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Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

Livingston, LA
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Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

We are scheduling our trip to Alberta for Sept 1 -10. We fly in and out of Spokane, WA so our first and last night will be spent around there. What are some things to see on our way to Banff? What is the best route to take? We will spend a couple days in Banff and also go over to Calgary to do the zipline at Olympic park. Is this worth doing or are there better ones someone between the Banff Jasper area? We then want to head up to Lake Louise and maybe spend one night. We want to drive up Icefield pkway toward Jasper and spend 2 nights there. We really wanted to go over to Vancouver after that but not sure we will have enough time. Should we just forget about that part and stick to these areas? Is there enough to do? We want to do a couple hikes, zipline, glacier, gondola ride and not sure what other activities. Any suggestions for intinerary would be great. We chose spokane because it saved us several hundred dollars on flight and rental car. If we did go to Vancouver is it a faster route back to Spoke by way of Seattle or go back up to Jasper and come down? It is just 2 adults who love the outdoors but will be traveling on a budget. Rooms for less than $140 a night would be best. I know there aren't many in these areas. Thanks for any help

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

With 10 days in and out of Spokane, I think you will be happier if you skip Vancouver. This is a beautiful area to explore - you certainly won't be struggling for things to do. Here's a map for you to consider as an early itinerary.

http://goo.gl/maps/fPKo

This option also takes in Glacier/Waterton, which might be more than you really have time for with your 10 days. It also skips the Cranbrook area, which you might want to include, but its a place for discussion anyway.

Stops that are worth making include Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump near Fort Mcleod

http://history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin/

The railway museum in Revelstoke

http://www.railwaymuseum.com/

As well as many spectacular national and provincial parks. I'd suggest you browse the two provincial tourism association websites for further ideas to help you refine your plan. Keep in mind that the inexpensive accommodation books first, so you need to get your dates and route sorted quickly.

www.pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/pn-np/index.aspx

www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/map.html

http://www.hellobc.com/british-columbia.aspx (you'll be looking at the Kootenay Rockies region on this site)

travelalberta.com/Places%20to%20Go/Regions/C…

Penticton, Canada
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2. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

hi

this is a small variation on vancoverite6 's map http://goo.gl/maps/TGf8

it goes to Whitefish Montana as a destination/overnite rather then Kalispell. Whitefish is smaller and has more character than Kalispell.

Going into the Sun highway on Vancouverite6 map is one of my favorite mountain passes; not to be missed.

the other variation on this new map is to go to Banff via highway #22 which avoids going into the City of Calgary if that is a preference. Highway 22 is 2 lanes paved road which is closer to the foothills of the Rockies going thru small towns. one of which is Cardston en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardston,_Alberta

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

Yes, the Hwy 22/Hwy 40 route is the scenic Alberta route that I would recommend; it goes through very pretty foothills on Hwy 22 (Cowboy Trail) and then into the mountains on Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail):

http://goo.gl/maps/wMcD

However, it does add onto your driving time.

There are three ziplines in the general area that you're planning to visit: the Winsport Canada Olympic Park zipline in Calgary; the Awesome All Season Adventures zipline, 55 km west of Lake Louise in British Columbia (between Field and Golden); and the Alternative Adventures zipline near Hinton, about an hour east of Jasper.

I would consider the Calgary zipline for maximum safety, the BC one for convenience, and the Hinton one for the unusual face-down "flying" position.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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4. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

For Lake Louise, you might want to look into the private rooms at the HI Alpine Centre hostel - I believe they are in the range of $110 plus taxes. If you want to book one of these, I'd do it asap; they are in high demand since LL is so expensive. The next cheapest place to stay in the Mountaineer Lodge - they have rooms from $149 plus tax if you are willing to pay in advance with no cancellations allowed.

On edit: just checked availability at the LL hostel for random nights between Sept 4. and 10, and they have only a few nights with private rooms available, most nights they are all already booked.

For Jasper, consider private home accommodation (PHA), rooms or a suite within a resident's home - a room for 2 with private bathroom will run from approx. $90 to about $140, depending on amenities, space, whether breakfast is included etc.... and no taxes (saving you 11%). www. stayinjasper.com - these are all inspected and licensed homes.

Besides the paid attractions (ziplines, gondolas, boat cruises, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, snocoach glacier tour etc.), there are literally thousands of kilometres of hiking trails in the Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks, which are basically free (once you have paid your park fees). You won't run out of things to do with the short time you have.

Edited: 17 July 2012, 10:07
Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Lake Louise
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5. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

Hi kk927. Highway 93 is the direct route from Spokane to Banff. It's an enjoyable but all-day drive each way. It's bar-none the direct route. Get that notion of Vancouver and Seattle out of your head! That's a holiday for another vacation of 10 days. The distance is huge and you haven't got the time.

With a full day of drive time each way, your holiday is going to be 8 days.

8 days is perfect for Kootenay, Banff, Lake Louise and Yoho. Banff is central to 3 National Parks: Banff National Park, Kootenay National Park and Yoho National Park.

While I love Jasper - you easily could use 3 full days to get a taste. Why not just base yourself out of Banff for the duration of your stay?

Day 1: Drive from Spokane to Radium.

You will be passing directly through Kootenay National Park. As such, it would make sense to drive from Spokane to Radium. Stay in Radium for one night and start your holiday there. Take a day to enjoy sightseeing this gorgeous National Park, while driving to Banff.

Day 2: Kootenay National Park

Stops along the way: just outside of Radium - Sinclair Canyon is a great start to the day. Get a map and a National Park Pass at the Park Gate for the duration of your stay. Along the way there are great views at the Kootenay Valley Viewpoint, picnic spots along the Kootenay River and must-see places like Numa Falls and Marble Canyon. Marble Canyon is a short walk of one hour which takes you to a beautiful canyon with flowing turquoise waters. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day.

It wouldn't be hard to spend days 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 based out of Banff. This would allow you to really explore our region.

Day 3 - Banff

-one day in Banff (1/2 day for the gondola, 1/2 day for enjoying the sights of town)

Day 4 - Banff area

-one day in Banff area (1/2 day for Lake Minnewanka area, 1/2 day for Johnston Canyon)

-take a drive around to the "must-see" viewpoints: Surprise Corner, Vermillion Lakes, the Hoodoos Viewpoint and the Mount Norquay Viewpoint

Day 5 - Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

-one day in Lake Louise: take a full day to explore and enjoy Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Hike? Horseback? Canoe?

Day 6 - Yoho National Park

-one day in Yoho National Park: take a full day to enjoy Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls. Hiking at Emerald Lake is mostly flat and very enjoyable. Rent a canoe. Pack a picnic.

Day 7 - The Icefields Parkway

-one day on the Icefields Parkway: an all-day adventure driving from Banff to the Columbia Icefields. Pack a picnic visit all the famous views along the way like Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Waterfowl Lake. Take the tour at the Glaciers. This day is the highlight of any visit to the National Park(s).

Day 8 - Day of Fun

-one day for an activity. Got your heart set on White Water Rafting? Caving? A leisurely boat cruise on Lake Minnewanka? Fly fishing lessons? A guided Nature Walk? Sunshine Meadows? The possibilities are endless. And, you need to schedule the time to make these things happen.

Day 9 - Drive back to Spokane

Livingston, LA
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6. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

sounds great. I was really wanting to find a central location and stay put but Lake Louise lodging is too expensive so it will have to be Banff or some other town. I was lookigng and the Inns of Banff was one of the cheaper. Is this in a good location or can you tell me somewhere to stay that isn't too expensive. I really would rather not pay over $140 a night. Thanks again for your help. I can't wait to see all of this beauty.

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Lake Louise
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7. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

The Inns of Banff is located on Banff Avenue, about a 15 minute walk from downtown. The hotel also provides a free bus pass to ride the city bus downtown.

You could also inquire into the Driftwood Inn, the Homestead or even the Banff Y Mountain Lodge (a hostel with private rooms) for some less expensive hotel options located right downtown. Maybe even consider staying at a B&B for something under $140.

www.banfflakelouise.com/Places-to-Stay/

8. Re: Spokane -Calgary - Banff- Lake Louise - Jasper- Spokane

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