Travel

Banff / Jasper - around mid-July - advice needed

  • Last Updated:
  • May 30th, 2018 9:01 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 21, 2012
88 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto

Banff / Jasper - around mid-July - advice needed

Hi folks,

I am visiting Calgary during Stampede time for work. I am thinking of extending my visit by a day or two and see the Banff / Jasper area.

1. Would 1 or 2 days be enough to see the area satisfactorily?
2. What would be my best choice for accommodation? Should I stay on the outskirts of Calgary to avoid the stamped rush / expensive hotels?
3. Should I drive from Calgary to the Banff area or should stay overnight there?
4. Anything else I should be mindful of?


Thanks
10 replies
Newbie
Jul 16, 2007
1 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
1. Would 1 or 2 days be enough to see the area satisfactorily? We personally stayed 2 days in Banff. It really depends what you do there. We pretty much hiked all the way (plains of 6 glaciers and the inkpots) , did some canoe( bow river), cave and basin, walked around the tourist area. I would say the experience was satisfactory.
2. What would be my best choice for accommodation? Should I stay on the outskirts of Calgary to avoid the stamped rush / expensive hotels? We lived in Canmore area. The inns included breakfast as well. We drove to Banff in the morning.
3. Should I drive from Calgary to the Banff area or should stay overnight there? as above. We left Banff to Calgary after.
4. Anything else I should be mindful of? Advise is not to speed when going in and out of the National Park area. Watch out for speed limits suddenly going from 90km/h to 70km/h. The cops are pretty strict about it.
Last edited by pandaxo on May 17th, 2018 11:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
6113 posts
2236 upvotes
Kootenays
You would need more than a day or two extension to see both Banff and Jasper. It's 3.5-4 hours driving time each way between the two, albeit one of the most beautiful drives in North America. Hwy 93 can be very busy and slow going in mid July.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
9111 posts
1762 upvotes
skip Jasper and just do Banff, Jasper is along ways from Calgary. the drive from Calgary to Banff is around 1 hour 15 minutes, its double lane divided highway and a very quick drive. Banff is easily done in 1 day unless you are into major hiking and trails.

The stampede grounds are downtown, so anywhere downtown will be really expensive.
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2013
1184 posts
214 upvotes
Red Deer, AB
As mentioned above: limit your visit to Banff (Lake Louise?) Jasper will be too far.

Hotels will be crazy expensive in Calgary during the Stampede, if you're actually able to find a room. Sadly enough, hotels around Canmore and Banff are mostly fully booked as well in the high season. If you decide to go, try to get a hotel or accommodation (AirBnb?) right now and try not to be too picky about the location. You could also try for a last minute cancellation, but personally I wouldn't go through the stress trying to find a place once I'm there.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 21, 2012
88 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks folks.

This is my plan right now. Please let me know what you think.

1. Reach Calgary the night before; rent a car at the airport, and drive to Cochrane. Stay in a motel in Cochrane for the night.

2. Next day start early in the morning and drive to Johnston Canyon and follow this itinerary. https://www.todocanada.ca/one-day-in-banff/

3 Drive back to Calgary in the evening.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
9111 posts
1762 upvotes
don't do the Banff hot springs, its a heated swimming pool.

I would drive to canmore the night before (if the rates are reasonable), and take in some of Canmore, the 3 sisters peak is very nice, and the views when you drive up on top of canmore are very nice. you would also be very close to Banff at this point (20 minutes)

not sure what time you get in, this time of year in Alberta the sun stays up past 10pm, and in 3 weeks time it doesn't really get fully dark, do you can really stretch your evening time to the max.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
14980 posts
5258 upvotes
RaOne1 wrote:
May 29th, 2018 11:16 am
Thanks folks.

This is my plan right now. Please let me know what you think.

1. Reach Calgary the night before; rent a car at the airport, and drive to Cochrane. Stay in a motel in Cochrane for the night.

2. Next day start early in the morning and drive to Johnston Canyon and follow this itinerary. https://www.todocanada.ca/one-day-in-banff/

3 Drive back to Calgary in the evening.
That itinerary contains common tourist stuff - and by that I mean you should enjoy it and be happy with all the activities. The boat cruise is a great choice. If weather is poor than the Cave and Basin museum is a good choice. It was recently redone and is a great experience. Just hard to justify if you have a single day in Banff and the weather is nice.

There are many other things to do but you could go back and forth forever - the list above is many of the common items and should be a good start.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
9111 posts
1762 upvotes
TrevorK wrote:
May 29th, 2018 8:30 pm
That itinerary contains common tourist stuff - and by that I mean you should enjoy it and be happy with all the activities. The boat cruise is a great choice. If weather is poor than the Cave and Basin museum is a good choice. It was recently redone and is a great experience. Just hard to justify if you have a single day in Banff and the weather is nice.

There are many other things to do but you could go back and forth forever - the list above is many of the common items and should be a good start.
I don't know when it was renovated, but we went there around 3 years ago and it was terrible. we even got in for free. you walk down a tunnel, into a small room that smells like sulfer, its takes like 2 minutes. if you want to watch a few videos and read some signs, add on 10 minutes.
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
3953 posts
1228 upvotes
Calgary
Cave and Basin Museum in Banff is one of the most overrated, mundane and short events you can ever do as a tourist, especially if you ever visited a cenote in Mexico. Your first train of through when in the 'cave' will be "that's it?"
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
14980 posts
5258 upvotes
rocking23nf wrote:
May 30th, 2018 9:34 am
I don't know when it was renovated, but we went there around 3 years ago and it was terrible. we even got in for free. you walk down a tunnel, into a small room that smells like sulfer, its takes like 2 minutes. if you want to watch a few videos and read some signs, add on 10 minutes.
Image
http://www.editingluke.net/2014/07/cave ... art-1.html

I think its a great rainy day activity.

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