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Old 5 Mar 21, 11:33 PM  
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Join Date: Jul 08
Location: Whistler, Canada

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Bucket List Trip To Banff And Jasper!

Hello everyone!

Iím in the middle of planning a bucket list trip to Banff. Iíve wanted to go for so many years, ever since I saw videos of Lake Louise on Facebook about 10 years ago.

Last year I spent 5 months in Australia and was meant to be backpacking around the world until May this year - obviously that came to a halt and Iím now back home in Canada. Since there is mandatory quarantine for everyone entering the country now, I figured next year would be the perfect year to head to Banff. (providing travel restrictions are lifted)

I realise that itís a very expensive place to visit and is practically impossible to visit on a budget, but I think with careful planning it can be done. Iíve been waiting since March 2020 for hotels to release their rates for this year. I did consider camping as I quite enjoy it and this would save tons of money, but truth be told I really canít be bothered packing up every single morning. I just want to have a nice bed, shower and get out early!

Iíll share a bit of background before I get into the planning.

I moved to Canada almost four years ago now on an IEC visa, and met my now husband not long after arriving. 3 months into my Canada adventure I got the email to tell me Iíd be working in Epcot for the year, so after 8 months in Canada I said goodbye and went to live my best Disney life, then spent 8 weeks traveling and eventually came home to Whistler. Matt and I got engaged, I got my permanent residency then we got married. Then I left again last year (one last time to fulfil my traveling/backpacker dreams) and Matt got me back earlier than expected!

Iím very lucky that I was able to spend my two week quarantine at my in-laws cottage on the lake in Ontario, then we spent a further 2 weeks with family there. So now Iím finally back home and working since September (which I'm very thankful for) and the planning for this trip is in full swing.

I want this to be the perfect trip and therefore Iíve been researching everything like whether Moraine Lake is better at Sunset or Sunrise, and what direction the sun hits the mountains so i can get the most picture worthy photos. Matt and I both enjoy photography and itís a big part of my travels.

I'm also hoping to get in some good hikes, over the years I've become a keen hiker doing trails such as Joffre Lakes, Garibaldi Lake and Wedgemount Lake here in BC.

So hereís the current plan. If anyone has any other recommendations etc please let me know!

Thursday 22nd July - Whistler to Revelstoke

We will leave Whistler early morning and drive to Revelstoke. We will be staying at the Grizz Hotel

I did consider driving all the way to Golden as it's very close to YoHo National Park but we will stop along the way and some things on my bucket list too.

I did consider stopping in Golden instead but since it won't be a straight through drive it will be easier on Matt since I don't drive!

We will be stopping in Sicamous and hopefully do the Sicamous lookout trail which is an old hang gliding ramp with panoramic views.

Then we'll stop at the Enchanted Forest in Revelstoke and see the tallest treehouse in Canada!

Friday 23rd July - Revelstoke to Lake Louise

Weíll leave Revelstoke early morning and spend the morning in Yoho National Park. I really want to see Emerald Lake and Takakaw Falls.

Drive to Lake Louise where we will stay two nights. We will be staying at a hostel here. Hotels are way too expensive imo and Iíve just spent months living in one so for me itís really no big deal. The HI hostels are some of the best Iíve stayed at too. We have a private room but a shared bathroom. I think the shared bathroom would actually suit us this time around as Matt usually has to wait hours for me. At least this way we can get showered and ready sooner so he doesnít have to wait for me to use the bathroom!

I'm not fussed about the hotel in Lake Louise, it's the location that matters to me the most. I want to be as close to Moraine as possible because it's the busiest with a small parking lot.

We will check out Lake Louise waterfront and if we can manage it, maybe sunset at either Lake Louise or Moraine Lake. If I can get a reservation for afternoon tea at the Fairmont we will do that too. We may canoe on the lake too, I'm not sure yet.

If I can find a better hotel deal on Hot Wire I may book a nicer hotel later on.

Saturday 24th July - Lake Louise

I plan to wake up around 3am and be out by 4am to get to Moraine Lake for sunrise this morning! I know Iíll be waiting a while but itís going to be a Saturday and from what Iíve heard the crowds here are crazy. We might decide to Canoe here at some point in the day.

After we are done at Moraine Lake, weíll head to Lake Louise which Iíve read gets visitors later in the morning around 7/8am as opposed to 6am.

Weíll do the hike up to Lake Agnes and the tea rooms and then little beehive/maybe big beehive.

Depending on when we get down from the lake we will canoe either on Lake Louise (if we haven't done so the day before) or Moraine - anyone know the best times for each?

Sunday 25th July - Icefields Parkway

Another day of getting up early! I might do a sunrise at Lake Louise since we wouldíve done Moraine the day before (or we might switch it around? )

and then we are off out on the Icefields parkway!

Iíve given us an entire day to do the Icefields Parkway as thereís tons I want to see and lots of photos I want to take.

Heresí the stop offs we will be doing:
Herbert & Hector Lakes
Bow Lake
Peyto Lake
Waterfowl Lake & Chephren Lake
Mistaya Canyon
Cirrus Mountain Viewpoint
Parkers Ridge - 1 hour hike
Wilcox Pass - this is a 3 hour hike and we may decide to skip it
Columbia Icefield Athabasca Glacier tour
Sunwapta Falls
Athabasca Falls & Canyon

For our time in Jasper we will be staying at the Pine Bungalows. I booked from 25th to 29th and then decided one more night would be better - but the price had gone up a few $100 so now I have one night I need to book else where - we may decide to stay somewhere along the Icefields and then continue onto Jasper or just book a place in town

I ended up booking one night at a hostel, but if I can get a good rate on Hot Wire that's what we'll be doing.

Monday 26th July - Jasper

Our first full day in Jasper and we have a few hikes planned:

Pyramid Lake
Patricia Lake
Edith Cavell meadows loop and lake
Lake Beauvart
Explore the Fairmont Hotel?

Tuesday 27th July - Jasper

Maligne Canyon & Lake tour/spirit Island
Valley of the five lakes hike?

Wednesday 28th July - Jasper

Jasper Skytram
Miette Hotsprings
Any other recommendations?

Thursday 29th July - Jasper to Banff

We will head out super early today to try and get ahead of the crowd. We will not be stopping along the Icefields Parkway this time (unless the weather means better photos for Peyto!) and then we will drive to Banff town.

On the way through weíll make a pit stop at some locations. We will drive the Bow Valley Parkway and get photos at Morant's Curve and Castle Mountain, then stop at Johnston Canyon. Weíll probably stop at Surprise Corner too on the way into town before check in.

We will wander around Banff Avenue before it gets overloaded during the weekend!

If we have time Iíd like to stop by the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.

We will be staying at the Banff Park Lodge here which is a great location for walking around Banff Avenue.

Friday 30th July - Banff

I think today we will check out Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake and then possibly go take some photos of Vermilion Lakes. I also really want to go get photos at the Mount Rundle Reservoir if we can.

I was planning on going up the Gondola today - but Iím not sure if it is worth it - what do you think?

If we have time in the evening we might go check out the Banff Springs hotel.

Saturday 31st July

I think today will be a good day to head a little ways out of Banff and check out Canmore. Iíd love to go hike the Grassi Lakes trails and then maybe go for a dip at Quarry Lake.

Weíll seek out some good viewpoints for the 3 sisters and potentially check out the moose meadows for moose sightings!

Sunday August 1st - Banff to Kamloops

Check out day!

Iíd like to finish our last morning wandering the avenue and then maybe go for a walk through the cascades of time Gardens.

Monday August 2nd - home time!

Kamloops to Whistler - nothing but driving!

If we missed anywhere we didn't get to stop at on the way there we will stop on the way home!

We are staying at the Riverland Inn & Suites here.

I am so excited to finally go! I feel like everyone I know has been except me!

If you have any other recommendations for things to do or places to eat please let me know!

I'm not so fussed about fine dining, we have lots of that here in Whistler already.

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Old 6 Mar 21, 02:53 PM  
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Getting Excited
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Join Date: Jul 10
Hi, your trip sounds brilliant. We had planned a trip to Canada this July but have postponed it until next year now as I doubt we will be allowed to get there this year.

We will be visiting all the places you mention so I am hoping you will do a trip report. I am sure others will be able to help with recommendations- I have seen a few great trip reports already which has given us some ideas.

We are also planning to visit Whistler so any insider tips on places to stay/visit would be welcome.

I hope you enjoy your trip 🙂

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