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Banff & Jasper Recommendations(21 Posts)
We've booked flights for two weeks in Alberta, Canada and plan to spend our time between Jasper and Banff.
We are going at the end of October (love cold countries / holidays) and will have our young child with us so won't be doing hikes at high elevation etc.
I'm looking for any recommendations on how best to split the time? Is there as much to see in Jasper as Banff, would you split it as equally as possible or spend more time in one over the other?
I'd probably spend more time in banff, as well as all the local attractions you've got yoho national park which had lots of beautiful lakes and waterfalls to see. There are lots of child friendly walks.
We absolutely loved it there, it is totally awesome.
@mando12345 amazing thanks! I'll have a look at now 😁
Stay in lake Louise for a few days. It is stunningly beautiful.
Another vote for Lake Louise, we went when was 9 in the 80's and I've never forgotten it
Was wondering if it was worth stopping in Lake Louise so will definitely do that, thank you!
Jasper is nice but quite remote I thought and a good 4 hr drive from Banff but we saw bears there which made it worthwhile. I'd plan on spending more time at the Banff end. There are ski type apartment accommodations that have swimming pools to keep young children happy.
If you go to Lake Louise the Lake Louise Inn is a nice place to stay at and has 2 bedroom rooms - does get booked up fast though so book in advance.
You must see both lake Louise and moraine lake - both stunning! There’s a cable car in Banff (loved by all ages) and also you can take a ski lift all year round (we did it in August) and catch lovely views of the area inc lake Louise in the distance. If lucky you can spot bears too. The little town high street in Banff is lovely and we walked around, for an ice cream and some souvenirs etc. I think there are some hot springs but we didn’t get round to doing them (I might be mistaken here, it’s been 3 years since we went!) not sure if you’d want to do them with young kids anyway; we were with older kids.
We planned to stay in the fairmont jasper for 3 nights but unfortunately the hotel was dire and didn’t have rooms for us etc so we only stayed for dinner before moving into Banff early; we did 5 days in banff which was lovely. So while jasper was beautiful to drive through, apart from athabasca falls and the Columbia ice fields which were both lovely, I can’t remember a lot otherwise.
Banff and whistler remain two of my favourite places in the world. Even when raining (as it did, a lot!) they’re wonderful places to visit.
We didn't spend as long as you in the rockies so rather than moving around decided to stay in one place and use that as a base to visit the area around Banff and lake louise, we did actually stay at Lake louise not banff but it was no trouble driving between the two. We chose lake louise as it was nearer yoho, the start of the ice fields parkway and obviously lake louise and moraine. As you are staying two weeks you could do 3 centres.
I liked jasper it has a sorry of pioneer feel, it also had maligne lake which is stunning and they do boat trips.
If you like snow you're in luck as they are due 10-15 cm this weekend
Banff has more going on than Jasper, as previous posters say. Most people see bears in Jasper though, and the drive from Lake Louise to Jasper is absolutely amazing. Lake Louise def worth a stay - very beautiful. I love Banff. Lots of nice restaurants
You'll miss main tourist season which is a bonus, but if the weather really goes south some things (like road to Moraine Lake and all boat trips) could close, so just be aware of that.
We stayed 5 nights in Banff and adored it. Lake Minnewanka was just stunning and just a couple of miles outside town. We didnt get to Jasper but did get to Lake Louise and up the Icefields parkway as far as the Columbia icefields - absolutely stunning.
We loved it so much we’re already planning another trip - so much more we’d like to see.
We saw bears on the roadside between Banff and Lake Minnewanka - a mother and cubs. Amazing.
I just came on to say Lake Minnewanka as the pp. So beautiful. Not much to add other than both places are stunning. You won't be disappointed! I really want to go back soon, taking the kids with me.
Nothing to add OP except I'm SO JEALOUS! Banff is my dream 😍
Have an amazing time!
Banff is definitely the bigger town though the scenery around Jasper is also stunning.
Weather at end of October can be very variable- it may be damp and cold but not freezing or you might have a huge dump of snow that closes roads off ( I think the official ski season begins in Nov).
Also a fair few of the tourist activities might be closed by then e.g. the glacier tour, boat trips on Lake Louise etc.
I'm just wondering whether with a young child 2 weeks might prove to be too long there especially if the weather isn't great.
You could drive to Vancouver ( though you'd probably need to break for the night) which is a great city to spend a few days and a bit less reliant on the weather.
Wow! I’m very envious too, this trip on my bucket list. My parents went last year and they loved it. Have a fabulous time and please report back.
Banff has more to do. But we definitely saw wildlife in Jasper - grizzly bears, elk, beavers.
Lake Louise is lovely but nothing to do in the town.
If driving between the two stop at the Columbia Icefields - worth stopping at if only for the monster trucks!
Lake maligine was simply stunning.
Sorry should have said, young child will be 11 months so her entertainment on the trip is a lot easier. She'll be in the carrier or a pushchair for walks.
Thanks everyone for all the tips we've started booking accommodation and looking at all the stuff we want to see. I'm so excited!
So far for our dates the only closure is Lake Moraine which is a shame but not a problem for us.
All the tips have been much appreciated so thank you, will let you know how we get on!
Lake peyto is stunning with an off the beaten track feel.
If you haven't booked all your accommodation yet then have a look at Golden. Its a great place to stay with the mountains around it and lots to do. really friendly town and very different from the bigger feel of Banff.
I wasn't keen on Banff - we stayed in Canmore. It is Banff on a small scale We went in July but Banff traffic was horrific, as was Lake Louise. Jasper was much quieter than Banff/Lake Louise..
Vancouver was a letdown - Stanley Park is overrated and there are some serious social issues in Vancouver. Maybe head off to Vancouver Island instead? Also, we did a circular road trip (Calgary/Canmore/Jasper/Banff/Calgary) and then flew to Vancouve - saves a lot of driving.
Here are a few links of the best places we stayed at/visited earlier this year:
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