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Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

Branchburg, New...
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Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

We are planning a trip to Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper and Alberta. Do you think 7 nights would be enough time?

We are visiting from the states. Would you suggest to fly into Calgary and fly back home from Montana?

Also, what month is better to visit mid-June or early September? We are trying to avoid July and August summer months due to the crowds.

6 replies to this topic
Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

I like mid June as the high lakes are ice-off , the mountains are all still snow-capped, wildlife is in the valley bottoms grazing often alongside of the roads, and the days are long. Calgary is the best entry point, but if you will be renting a car you will not be able to drop it off in Montana.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

Your plan is a good one. June is a good time. Summer solstice is around 21 June, when the days are their longest. School here is in until about the 29th June which keeps families waiting until July for family vacations.

Arrive Calgary, rent a car and drive immediately to

3 nights Banff

One full day exploring the Icefields Parkway

3 nights Jasper

Bonus full day exploring the Icefields Parkway

1 night Banff, or Lake Louise or Canmore

Drive the 2 hours to Calgary airport to fly home

===

For Jasper accommodation, look at private home accommodation in this website: www.stayinjasper.com

It is Canada's 150th birthday this year (2017) and accommodation is already booking up. Don't delay to book your lodging.

This is the Lake Louise Forum. If you open this link, https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g65948…

you will find a whole host of Top Questions in the right sidebar to browse. One about the Icefields Parkway shows you all the things there are to visit along the road.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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3. Re: Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

It's tricky to be able to get down into Montana from the Canadian Rockies to drop off a rental car, or even by public transportation. There have been many questions about this, and very few success stories. Someone did post, perhaps last spring? - that they were able to arrange a drop off (Lethbridge?) and then a shuttle to Waterton Lakes National Park, then another shuttle from there into the US Glacier NP, where they were able to rent a car and continue on to Kalispell and drop it off there. I don't know if any of the other regulars has saved a link to that thread, or maybe you might want to try searching the forums (that can be very hit and miss though). The main point is that it's not an easy, straightforward thing to arrange and will take some research. It might be easier just to fly in and out of Calgary.

Branchburg, New...
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4. Re: Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

Thank you for your responses. It's seems like June is a good month. However, I was thinking of September due to the foilage instead of June. I thought the different color of leaves to see in the fall would be nice to see.

But, is June a better month to go instead of September?

SE Ontario
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5. Re: Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

If by fall foliage and colours you are thinking of the bright reds & oranges of maple trees and others, you will not find that in the Rockies. Deciduous trees are few and far between there - most trees are coniferous evergreens. In September the larch trees turn yellow which is about as colourful as you'll get in the mountains.

Edited: 12 February 2017, 21:13
Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper

At lower elevations like the Banff and Jasper townsites and surrounding areas, late September and the first few days of October brings the golden colour from aspens, the predominate deciduous tree that you'll find in the "montane" ecozone (this is the lowest in the Canadian Rockies, and the only one in which you'll find deciduous trees). In the high subalpine, around the same timeframe, there is the golden of the larches - you'll find these in some areas of Banff and Yoho National Parks, which is the northernmost limit of their range (so none in Jasper). The very east side of Jasper National Park, along the Miette Road, does have a few tamaracks (a relative of the larch, that grows at lower elevations), which also turn golden in fall.

The fall colours are pretty here, but nothing like eastern Canada and the northeastern US.

In the high subalpine and alpine areas, autumn comes sooner, and the ground vegetation changes to fall colours in late August. One of my most favourite places to hike at this time of year is the Wilcox Pass area, because of the beautiful colours of the shrubs and alpine tundra plants on the lower slopes of Mt. Wilcox.

What are your interests while you are here? If you are planning on a lot of hiking, early June is not optimal, since the higher trails will still be snowbound. September, especially the later you come in the month, also brings the risk of snow on those higher trails. However, if you are not planning to hike at higher elevations, the dustings of snow on the peaks and the golden aspens or larches make for beautiful photos at that time of year. Another consideration for a June visit is that it's possible the high glacial lakes (like Lake Louise, Moraine Lake) may still have ice on them ... it can be as late as June 9th before the ice comes off Lake Louise. However, early/mid June is a very good month for wildlife viewing, since all the critters are concentrated at lower elevations, with the high country still snowbound.

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