Canadian Rockies should be on everyone’s bucket list.
In 2017, Parks Canada is celebrating 150 years. They are offering free admission into the parks, which is a huge savings. Our park pass which we purchased in August 2016 was 136.40 CAN, which is good for two years since next year is free. We had to buy a pass for the year since we were spending 9 days in the park. With the entrance to the park free, now would be the perfect time to plan a visit to the Canadian Rockies.
We vacationed at the end of August 2016 and really enjoyed our trip. There is so much to see and do that we only got a glimpse of this vast park system. We both agreed there is much more to see. I hope my 9 day Itinerary for Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper will help in planning your trip.
Getting to Canada
We booked our tickets on Air Canada leaving Baltimore to Calgary (BWI–YYC) and coming back using United (YYC-BWI). We did have a short layover in Toronto. We paid $515.76 with Air Canada and $378.62 for United using the exact same route for two people. I don’t know why it was cheaper with United but I will take it. Calgary is an international airport making it easy to catch a flight.
TIP: Always price out your tickets separately to see what is the best deal.
After flying into Calgary we stopped off at Walmart for some supplies before driving about 2 ½ hours to Lake Louise. This turned out to be a good decision, as there was limited food in Lake Louise and prices were much higher.
Where to Stay
The Canadian Rockies is a popular destination year round. We were warned to book our hotel room as soon as possible as lodging fills up quickly. We booked six months in advance and had no problems getting a room, but did not get our first choice. This is not a trip that I would try to book at the last minute. When planning your time, think about what you want to do and where you are staying. Do you really want to stay in Banff and drive an hour to Lake Louise to catch the sun rise?
The following will provide you with where we stayed and the areas we visited during our 9 days.
Day 1 Fly into Calgary and drive to Lake Louise – Paradise Lodge & Bungalows
Day 2 Lake Louise – Hike Plain of Six Glaciers – Paradise Lodge & Bungalows
Day 3 Drive to Jasper by the Icefield Parkway – Alpine Village
Day 4 Jasper National Park –Hike Mt Edith Cavell – Alpine Village
Day 5 Jasper National Park – Maligne Lake cruise – Alpine Village
Day 6 Jasper National Park – White water rafting – Alpine Village
Day 7 Drive to Banff by the Icefield Parkway – Juniper Hotel
Day 8 Banff National Park drive to Calgary – Homewood Suites, at the airport
Day 9 Return to Calgary airport, drop off car, flight back to Baltimore
Coming up with a 9 day itinerary for Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper took planning, but it turned out to be just the right amount of time in each place. I will be going into more details of the sights and activities on upcoming posts. I hope this helps you get started in your preparation for your trip to the Canadian Rockies.