Banff / Lake Louise / Jasper during the Holidays
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Dec 20, 2011 8:43 PM Last Post By: krp329
Dec 13, 2011 12:27 PM
I am thinking of doing a last minute trip to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper at some point between Christmas and New Year depending on flight / accommodation availability and pricing. I am looking to use public transport and fly into Calgary and out of Edmonton or vice versa and have a few questions:
Will 5 days be sufficient to do this or should I concentrate on just Banff and Lake Louise in this period? This will then mean I can fly in and out of Calgary.
I have found a comapny called Sun Dog Tours for the transportation between Calgary and Lake Louise via Banff. Does anyone have any experience with them (good or bad)? I will be travelling alone; female, mid 30s will I be out of place on this and its more geared towards young back packers? I will be looking to get the train form Jasper to Edmonton to complete the trip unless there is a better way?
Is there anything worth seeing in either Calgary or Edmonton at the ends of the trip? (I'm not interested in shopping so the Edmonton Mall isn't really my thing).
Any advice on the trip including must see / do and don't see / do gratefully recd.
Dec 13, 2011 6:27 PM
1I would skip Jasper if you only have 5 days. With 5 days I would be doing 3 days in Banff and 2 days in Lake Louise. What dates were you thinking? Its generaly quiet especially on the ski hills until the 28th. Between the 28th and 3rd or 4th it will be busy. If you ski I would check out the hills before the 28th and then maybe do some dog sleddding afterwards.
As far as transport I would just fly in and out of Calgary. There is nothing worth seeing in Calgary or Edmonton at this time of the year.
Sundog are fine. For a camparison check out Banff Airporter.
If you want to go dogslegging checkout www.snowyowltours.com
If you are looking for accom in Banff or LL check out www.skibig3.com
I have lived in Banff for awhile so if you need any more info let me know! : )
Dec 14, 2011 3:13 AM
2I beg to differ.
5 days will be plenty of time to see all three - 'And' take in Lake Moraine (the prettiest of them all) - as well.
It's a stunningly beautiful region of Canada that you've chosen to visit. It would be ashame to miss the best bit....
Dec 14, 2011 9:32 AM
3You did not ask, but I must advise - I think you need to rent a car. I hardly ever rent a car anywhere in the world, but I think it is vital here.
Yes you can easily get from Calgary to Banff/Louise, but not from Louise to Jasper, nor a simple little drive from Louise to Moraine Lake.
If you were 20 and had tons of time it might be different.
Edmonton and Calgary pale in comparison to the mountain experience; don't waste your time.
Dec 14, 2011 10:43 AM
4I agree with both, fly in and out a Calgary, Rent a car if you can afford it, You will save a lot of valuable time. The sights are awesome if it is clear. You will have plenty of time to see all 3 if road conditions are perfect, but yes I would skip Jasper this trip ( sorry Jasper) You will love Banff and Lake Louise. It is nice to have someone drive you around though.
Dec 14, 2011 1:08 PM
Dec 14, 2011 1:12 PM
Dec 14, 2011 2:04 PM
7Can't believe the idiots suggesting people rent a car in the mountains in the winter, when they have no idea if they can drive in snow.
Then of course the Batty Brit chimes in with bad advise.
Just go with your first inclination, Banff/Lake Louise.
Dec 14, 2011 7:48 PM
Dec 15, 2011 4:00 AM
9Here's a quote from a walker that did the Moraine Trail in January....
There are several excellent walking trails up to and around Lake Moraine, but there are restrictions for hikers and climbers in that area when the road is closed. You must travel in a group of 4 or more on certain trails for example when there are grizzly warnings.
The walk from the nearest all year round parking facility, is around 2 hours and breathtaking
Quote taken from....
Dec 15, 2011 8:58 AM
10Grizzly bears are in hibernation and the mountains are very dangerous to hike in winter because of avalanches.
Moraine Lake Road is almost 16 K round trip, this would take someone about 5 hours to walk in the summer, in the winter much longer because of deep snow.
Some people ski the road right to the lake but I always stop where the official ski trail ends, there is an obvious avalanche slope on the way to the lake.
The lakes are covered in snow and you cannot see the colours as in summer.
Winter/summer are very different experiences.
Dec 15, 2011 10:26 AM
Dec 15, 2011 10:05 PM
12Some friends and I will be snowshoeing and skiing around Banff and Lake Louise between christmas and new years. We have spare snowshoes and warm weather gear. We're not heading as far north as Jasper but we can drop you in Banff and you can catch a bus from there. We'll be staying at backcountry hostels ($20/night if you're an HI member, $24 otherwise) and you're welcome to join us. It's always a great time sharing this part of our backyard with other travelers, especially the places you can only really get to by car.
Dec 15, 2011 11:57 PM
Dec 16, 2011 12:20 AM
14The logic of #13 is akin to saying "I have to drive, I'm too drunk to walk!"
Wrong way around it's Jasper that sucks, Lake Louise is cool.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$217.70 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$293.75 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$949.71 per night