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Lake Louise / Fairmont Chateau Itinerary Ideas?

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Lake Louise / Fairmont Chateau Itinerary Ideas?

Hi All,

I have booked a trip (ages 68, 33, 31, 29 and 1.5) from Aug 7-12, 2017. We are from flying out of either Los Angeles (LAX) or Orange County (SNA) into Calgary (YYC). Probably LAX as they have non-stop flights. We are staying at the Fairmont Chateau the entire trip.

Some spots we were found that looked great, but obviously will need to cull down to fit a 5 night trip: Lake Louise, Banff Gondola/Sulfur Mountain/Sanson Peak,explore Banff (shopping or ???), Lake Agnes Trial (Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes Tea House) Johnston Canyon (for the waterfalls), Columbia Icefields/Jasper National Park, Icefields Parkway (to see wild life), Crowfoot Glacier, Lake Minnewacka, 2 Jack Lake, Morraine Lake, Radium or Banff Hot Springs, Bowfalls, Surprise Corner, Norquey Green Spot, Vermillion Lakes, Bow Lake, Num-Ti-Jah Lake, Peyto Lake

My questions:

1) Suggestions on itinerary above or what you did for a 5 night trip, broken down per day?

2) Suggestions on restaurants or things to do on the Fairmont property itself?

3) Suggestions on booking really early flights or better pricing booking closer to travel, example of what you paid for the same airports? I'm finding roughly $500 coach/round trip/non stop LAX to YCC per person.

3) Since traveling with a child and 3 woman, I was thinking of renting an SUV or minivan because of a carseat and their luggage (I personally do not own either vehicle). Any recommendations for a rental company in Calgary airport for the best value?

4) Any advice or recommendations not listed that would be a top 5 of your own trip OR general advice I may not have thought about in regards to traveling with group/child/weather/parking/etc?


4 replies to this topic
Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Lake Louise / Fairmont Chateau Itinerary Ideas?

1) It really will depend on your interests, energy, fitness level etc. With a baby, I think you will probably need to take things pretty slowly and make some choices.

I'd allow roughly one day around Lake Louise/Moraine Lake, one day on the Icefields Parkway, one day in/around Banff and one flex day.

If you want to hike to Lake Agnes or to the upper falls at Johnston Canyon, you will need a baby carrier/backpack. A stroller will not work. If that's not feasible, then you need to scale back your hiking plans. Do the lakeside trail at Lake Louise, walk along the Bow River in Banff - others may be able to suggest stroller friendly trails.

On the Icefields Parkway, it's a good two hours without stops to the Columbia Icefields. Probably too long a day with a little baby. Be aware that between Lake Louise and Columbia Icefields other than in Num Ti Jah (at Bow Lake) and at Saskatchewan River Crossing, restrooms will be pit toilets. Something to keep in mind with a kid who needs to be changed. I'd go as far as Peyto Lake - see Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Crowfoot Glacier (not that interesting - not much left).

Radium Hot Springs is a long drive - Banff is more realistic. But may or may not be something to do with a baby. It's one pool, which can be very crowded and better when it's cool/cold. And, frankly, hot pools/tubs and babies are not a good mix. Chateau LL has a heated pool - probably a better option. You can go to Banff and see Lake Minnewanka/Two Jack, Surprise Corner, Bow Falls and to do the gondola if the weather is good.

If you are staying at the Chateau Lake Louise, read up on their activities. They offer a range of free or paid tours/activities etc. for their guests - and those are likely to be excellent. You won't have issues with parking at the lake, but I would get up to Moraine Lake early as parking will be a big issue and you don't want to be doing extra driving with a baby. August 7 is a holiday here, so the weekend before you arrive will be extremely busy and it's likely to carry over to that week.

For a vehicle -a SUV unless it has three rows of seats, usually holds no more than 5 people. Add a car seat and luggage, that could be tight. A minivan or two vehicles are probably your options - the latter might not be a bad idea if your party may not want to do the same thing every day. Any of the big rental companies will be fine - probably not going to be much in the way of deals midsummer in Calgary. Check to see if you can get any discounts through AAA/credit cards/hotel or airline loyalty programs.

As to flights - it's hard to judge based on past years. Calgary isn't huge, so there are only so many flights and it's going to be an extremely busy summer in terms of tourism to the Rockies. So unlikely to be any deals - especially in August when airlines probably can be guaranteed of full flights. I'd probably book now - I can't see flights getting any cheaper. Remember to get proper ID for the baby and make sure all the adults have passports. If the baby is not traveling with both parents, you will need a (preferably notarized) letter from the non traveling parent allowing the baby to cross the border. If the other parent is deceased or does not have custody, you will need official documentation attesting to that.

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2. Re: Lake Louise / Fairmont Chateau Itinerary Ideas?

That is fantastic info!!!! Thank you!!!

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for Seattle
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3. Re: Lake Louise / Fairmont Chateau Itinerary Ideas?

I go there monthly at a tour guide so I'd like to suggest the following. I don't think LL is a 'great' base for a family. Your very limited to dining and the Fairmonts are really expensive for a family. You would have a much larger selection of hotels in Banff and to me is a more interesting place as people can wander by themselves. In LL you must always drive somewhere to see anything.

If you stay with LL then do a Yoho day and see Natural Bridge, The Spiral Tunnells, and Takakaw Falls along with Emerald Lk. That is a really nice daytrip from LL>

Saskatoon, Canada
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4. Re: Lake Louise / Fairmont Chateau Itinerary Ideas?

lake agnes is the most impressive of the spots you have mentioned

Is the 68 year old in great shape

Someone will need to carry the baby

of extra note , be prepared for crowds this summer as entry to the national parks is free

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