Topic Wiki

List of TR's:

Kosher Food/ Restaurants:
The local supermarkets (e.g. Nesters or IGA in Banff) have many kosher shelf products.

Synagogue:
None, though check GoDaven for temporary minyanim

Things to Do:

Banff
Johnston Canyon hike, Upper Falls recommended, 2 hr round trip.
Banff Gondola, take boardwalk (15 min, spread out stairs) to peak for amazing views
Mountain Biking - e.g. Tunnel Bench Loop (moderate, lots of fun with great views)
Bow Falls and Bow River
Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake loop drive - boat cruise tour and speedboat rentals available

Lake Louise (45 min drive from Banff)
Shoreline trail walk
Canoe rentals
Lake Agnes teahouse hike (moderate, 2.5 hrs round-trip, can continue to Little Beehive or Big Beehive)
Plain of 6 Glaciers hike (moderate, 5-6 hrs round trip, Tea House along the way)
Lake Louise gondola


Moraine Lake (30 min drive south from LL)
Parking is extremely limited, arrive very early or later in the day, road is closed when parking is full
Walk along lake
Canoe rentals sometimes available
Rockpile climb to great viewpoint

Athabasca Glacier Adventure (90 min drive from Lake Louise or Jasper)
Early arrival recommended (first tour is at 10:30am, book online in advance)
2 hour duration, bring bottle to drink glacier water
Wear layers, temperature is unpredictable
Skywalk is a tourist trap, you can skip it and stay on bus to return to parking lot

Icefields Parkway drive from Athabasca Glacier to Banff with scenic stops:
Parker Ridge trail 2-hour round-trip hike (medium difficulty, uphill climb)
Peyto Lake viewed from Bow Summit (cars must park in lower lot and walk 10 min, but later in the day the upper lot can be used)
Bow Lake (quick pullout stop)

Jasper

Yoho Park


Hotels:

Getting Around:
A car is basically a must, though there are shuttles from Banff to the major attractions.
The nearest commercial airport is Calgary (YYC), a 90 min drive from Banff.

Notes:

Author Topic: Banff and Jasper Master Thread  (Read 117859 times)

Offline BKYW

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #240 on: June 15, 2015, 10:06:27 PM »
Forgot to add about meats etc.
I declared that I have meats etc & they didn't ask anything. On the way back I declared vegetables & fruits & they told me that tomatoes & peppers are not ok to bring back from Canada. Most others are ok.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #241 on: June 16, 2015, 12:51:23 AM »
The vegetables that you are allowed to bring from Canada to the states can change daily

Can you post your itinerary?
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Offline BKYW

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #242 on: June 16, 2015, 11:31:22 AM »
I think I made a mistake. They did ask me from where the meat is which was all USA. But they didn't open suitcases or check anything. Didn't ask about fish & dairy products, which are under the same question on the form.

We did severel things that you can do locally in the Catskills too, so what we did may not be relevant to anyone else. Yes I did spend some extra.

We didn't want to start vacation by waking up 4:30 Sunday morning so we didn't take the 8am direct to Calgary. If anyone does & pays for it, on my date you could buy a hidden city ticket to kamloops. you get your bags for customs at Calgary, so checking bags is not an issue.

Flew to Edmonton from LGA thru Toronto, stopped at west Edmonton mall which is the largest mall in North America. Most stores including the kosher cholov Yisroel cafe Levi close at 6 but the mall is open later, has some nice attractions. It takes about 25 min from airport to yellowhead highway 16, from where it's a straight drive to Jasper. You pass a few small towns which have signs for speed cameras but otherwise I didn't see a single police office on the road (allow 3 or 4 hours on the yellowhead depending on stops & driving speed). We stopped in Hinton for gas & some groceries.
Right after Hinton there are signs for scenic road to Alaska, it's a 36 hour drive if you want.

Monday we did Jasper tram. Terrific views from summit,  but only do it if you plan to walk to summit (allow around 2 hours rt from upper tram statio ). Weather up on the mountain can change fast. It was really windy & we turned back to gift shop on summit to buy a hoodie($50 can) so maybe take along 1. On the top & the way back the winds calmed down. You can hike up instead of taking tram, they told me around 3 hours for the way up until the upper tram station.
You can buy a package of whitewater rafting + tram for 15% off from any rafting outfit or at a package window at the tram. They didn't know how to process it so they gave me 15% & called the rafting place to give me too.
We then did horseback riding (they walk really slow as both Banff & Jasper are within national parks & this is what they allow). The good thing about going in June was that both at the horseback & rafting we were the only 2 people so we got private rides).
We ate something & went to maligne canyon. on the Johnson canyon in Banff you get to walk at the bottom & maligne only on top. Johnson is paved maligne is not. But you still get to enjoy the canyon, waterfalls & views. We ended the day around 9 pm. (Both canyons are free, as are all lakes & hikes. You pay for them with the park entrance fee)

Tuesday we did whitewater rafting. In order to get to see both ways of the icefields parkway we drove Down to the Columbia icefields (90 min drive each way) did the glacier & walkway. Then drove back.
Wednesday morning we packed up, went to Jasper down to fil up on gas & buy some souvenirs. We hit the icefields parkway and did both falls, horseshoe lake (went in the water a little off the official beach), and Parker ridge (recommended, allow more than 2 hours, was muddy & snowy in June). Saw bears on road. And some small stops for views)

Lake Louise has just 2 or 3 hotels & it was cheaper driving down to Banff (40 min each way) but not sure if it was the best decision.
Stayed 1 night in Banff, did Johnson canyon & back to lake Morraine & Louise. You can only walk on 1 side of Morraine & back (allow an hour). Walked a little around Louise but was already too exhausted for longer walks. Went back thru the bow river parkway instead of the 1 for some wildlife views.
If you come from Banff to Johnson canyon you can make a right from Johnson canyon to get to the 1 north to lake lousie instead of driving back. That section of the bow river from Banff to Johnson canton canyon is closed from 8 pm until the morning.

We drove down to Calgary for the last flight of the day to Vancouver for shabbos. (Drive takes 2 hours from lake Louise, 1 hour 20 min from Banff). Paid $100 drop fee for car rental


Direct flights from Calgary to NYC are daytime only & arrive too late to take them on Friday. You can take a red eye to Chicago Toronto Montreal Etc & continue to NYC

If you don't drive there are transportation options via bus & rail to both Banff & Jasper & most Attractions either pickup from hotel or there are tour bus operators that would take you, but these options are not cheaper than renting a car.







« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 11:46:04 AM by BKYW »

Offline Ergel

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #243 on: June 16, 2015, 01:29:55 PM »
Thank you so much for taking the time.

For maligne canyon: which bridges did you walk? I was thinking about parking at bridge six and trying to hitch a ride to bridge 1 so I we could walk only one way - do you think this is doable?
Did you go to maligne lake?

For our second day, we will be driving from Jasper to Lake Louise on the Ice Fields parkway. What should we prioritize on this drive? Trying to figure out when to schedule our ice walk - how much time should we factor in from the time we leave Jasper?

Third day - Lake Louise, Morraine Lake and Johnston Canyon. Is this too much?

Fourth Day: Banff area - what should we do?


Thanks for your help!
 
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Offline BKYW

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #244 on: June 16, 2015, 03:48:06 PM »
Thank you so much for taking the time.

For maligne canyon: which bridges did you walk? I was thinking about parking at bridge six and trying to hitch a ride to bridge 1 so I we could walk only one way - do you think this is doable?
Did you go to maligne lake?

For our second day, we will be driving from Jasper to Lake Louise on the Ice Fields parkway. What should we prioritize on this drive? Trying to figure out when to schedule our ice walk - how much time should we factor in from the time we leave Jasper?

Third day - Lake Louise, Morraine Lake and Johnston Canyon. Is this too much?

Fourth Day: Banff area - what should we do?


Thanks for your help!

I didn't even try to hitch so I can't write about that. However most of the way back you can walk on a higher trail which doesn't require so many steps & walking on rocks just a straight walk which is easier.

I didn't go to the maligne lake.

I didn't do all possible hikes on the way to be able to tell what is better than others. Choose what you think is best. http://icefieldsparkway.com/highlights/points-of-interest will show you almost all stops. Some of them are just stops on the road. Some are longer stops.
You can click there on hikes but from hikes I only did Parker ridge. 2 + hours.
However this is a little guide: the actual duration takes 3 hours. Colombia icefields is right in the middle, 90 min from Jasper or Banff. The icefields trip takes 1 hour 20 min the skywalk is a 7-8 min ride & you can stay as long as you like but figure 45 min to an hour. Add some time for walking to building from parking lot, lines, etc.
(You can buy tickets online to save time there) if you plan to do both it will take at least 3 hours.

Any longer stop (eg both falls) takes 45 min to an hour as you drive off the road, park, Strech, walk, take in the view, nosh, etc

For hikes figure a min of 20 min per km or 30 min per mile. Double than usual to allow for steepness, unpaved trails, resting, etc

I doubt you are interested, but you can even stay overnight at the icefields, the buildings looks decent I don't know about the rooms (it's in the same visitor center building)

Some notes about the way: most of the way there is no cell phone service. There is no running sewer between Jasper & lake lousie besides the icefields. Just holes in the ground. (It's not so bad as it sounds, they do clean them out)

You can do Johnson & the 2 lakes in 1 day but it all depends on how many trails you want to do & how long your day is. Johnson canyon I did the paved part until the higher falls but they have unpaved trails around the area in the woods. Lake Morraine I didn't see any trails besides the walk on 1 side but lake Louise does have options for longer hikes in the area.

There are so many trails & hiking options around, but basically it depends on how much walking or biking you want to do. You should be able to find the trail maps online. I saw people biking the icefield parkway.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 04:18:41 PM by BKYW »

Offline Ergel

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #245 on: June 16, 2015, 04:26:34 PM »
So if I leave Jasper ~ 10 AM.
90 minutes for the drive to the icefields.
Stops at both waterfalls will add an hour.
Does it make sense to make reservations for 1 o'clock?
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Offline BKYW

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #246 on: June 16, 2015, 04:31:42 PM »
So if I leave Jasper ~ 10 AM.
90 minutes for the drive to the icefields.
Stops at both waterfalls will add an hour.
Does it make sense to make reservations for 1 o'clock?

I think so. Makes sense.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #247 on: June 16, 2015, 04:32:16 PM »
Thanks for your help.

Did you do the Banff Gondola? what about the river cruise?
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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #248 on: June 16, 2015, 04:57:09 PM »
Thanks for your help.

Did you do the Banff Gondola? what about the river cruise?

No I did the Jasper one. I would also think that if there is an option to walk up to the summit do it.
No river cruise I don't care for being on a boat with a bunch of other people who I don't know.

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #249 on: June 16, 2015, 05:05:36 PM »
You can rent a canoe and / or pedal boats on a lot of lakes however I think most lakes don't allow motorized boats & the few who do it's only the scheduled tours, no private boats.

Hours do vary. Lake Morraine I think the last boat out is around 4.
Jasper park lodge has boats on lac beauvert until 7 or 8 so Check before.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #250 on: June 16, 2015, 05:28:22 PM »
Thanks. Last day I will do the Banff gondola. Question is whether it's worth it to also do the cruise.

Itinerary is as follows:
Sunday: Arrive early in Edmonton. Meet some friends for an early lunch in West Edmonton mall.
Drive to maligne canyon - park by bridge 6. see if i can hitch up to bridge 1, otherwise just do the whole hike.
Overnight in Jasper

Monday: Drive the Columbia IceFields parkway.
Stop at Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls.
IceFields Glacier Skywalk and Glacier Adventure .
Depending on time of day/how we are feeling Parker Ridge/Bow Lake
Overnight at Fairmont LL

Tuesday: Lake Louise, Morraine Lake and Johnston Canyon
Overnight at Fairmont LL

Wednesday: Banff gondola and peak (depending on timing, Banff Lake Cruise) and head to Calgary for late afternoon flight.
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Offline BKYW

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #251 on: June 16, 2015, 08:50:13 PM »
Thanks. Last day I will do the Banff gondola. Question is whether it's worth it to also do the cruise.

Itinerary is as follows:
Sunday: Arrive early in Edmonton. Meet some friends for an early lunch in West Edmonton mall.
Drive to maligne canyon - park by bridge 6. see if i can hitch up to bridge 1, otherwise just do the whole hike.
Overnight in Jasper

Monday: Drive the Columbia IceFields parkway.
Stop at Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls.
IceFields Glacier Skywalk and Glacier Adventure .
Depending on time of day/how we are feeling Parker Ridge/Bow Lake
Overnight at Fairmont LL

Tuesday: Lake Louise, Morraine Lake and Johnston Canyon
Overnight at Fairmont LL

Wednesday: Banff gondola and peak (depending on timing, Banff Lake Cruise) and head to Calgary for late afternoon flight.

Looks great.

A quick google search tells me that I'm wrong & lake Morraine does have trails. But you cannot circle the lake

Offline Ergel

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #252 on: June 19, 2015, 01:00:23 AM »
https://www.groupon.com/deals/rockies-heli-tours-canada-inc-1-5
$300 with the current Groupon deal. Should I do it?
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Offline aarony

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #253 on: June 20, 2015, 10:14:39 PM »
Don't miss the stop at Peyto lake.  It is a short walk and very easy to photograph.

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #254 on: June 24, 2015, 04:04:52 PM »
When is the best time of year to visit Banff?

Offline Ergel

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #255 on: June 24, 2015, 04:19:21 PM »
Anyone with recommendations where to stay in Jasper for one night?
The Fairmont is $380+ USD or can get a collection B ovations voucher for $332.
Too pricey.
I see Tonquin Inn or Malign lodge in the $150 CAD rate which is much more palatable. But I'm hesitant to book them...
I had reserved at the Whistler's Inn for 1 night at $228 CAD all in.
Checked today and the Fairmont was $207 CAD all in. Canceled the Whistler's inn reservation and booked the Fairmont.
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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #256 on: June 24, 2015, 09:15:29 PM »
Nice.
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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #257 on: July 04, 2015, 10:54:11 PM »
i was just in banff this week, a few small pointers. we went moutain biking in canmore at the nordic centre. it is an olympic faciltiy with many different trails, we had an amazing time there.

do not bother with the gondola in banff it is a waste of money, unless you are planning on hiking from there up to the summit.

we stayed in the glacier view inn at the columbia ice fields, they did not have air conditioning. i need not say anymore. but i will, it was very overpriced, and it was incredibly hot, you probably wont be able to see the glacier from your window anyway. its not worth it, your better off staying in lake louise or banff or canmore.

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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #258 on: July 04, 2015, 11:09:14 PM »
I thought the Banff gondola was amazing. There is a boardwalk which is a 20 minute walk to the neighboring peak. The views are awesome. Even saw a bunch of mountain goats up there. With every penny.

Definitely wouldn't stay at the ice fields. There is nowhere near enough activity there to justify spending two days in the area. I highly recommend the itinerary we did (or reverse) which involves flying into Edmonton and out of Calgary. This way you drive the ice fields only once. Or stay a night in Jasper so you don't have to drive to and from in a single day.
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Re: Banff Master Thread
« Reply #259 on: July 04, 2015, 11:50:33 PM »


we stayed in the glacier view inn at the columbia ice fields, they did not have air conditioning.

A lot of hotels in the Canadian Rockies don't have air condition.
There are more hotels with wifi than with air conditioning ...