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PostPosted: August 11th, 2009, 3:32 pm 
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Joined: September 21st, 2007, 10:49 am
Posts: 13
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Hi there.

I am from Toronto and have zero experience camping in the western provinces. We have 2 adults and no kids. We are planning a trip to the CDN Rockies. It will include visits to Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Revelstoke NPs and the Dinosaur PP in a 9 day trip in September.

We plan to stay in hotel(s) for part of the trip and camp for the rest in campground(s). We do not plan to do backcountry due to our unfamiliarity of the area. We'll arrive at the Calgary airport and rent a car for the entire trip.

My initial plan is to stay in a hotel/motel in Canmore or Banff for the first couple nights, and then camp in the areas of Banff/Kootenay/Yoho or Jasper, then stay in different hotel/motel, and finally drive to Dinosaur PP and camp there.

The goal is to make the trip comfortable and yet as close to wilderness as possible, without being commercialized.

We'll access individual parks by car, and then do some hikings in the parks. I am also looking for photographic opportunities of natural landscape/wildlife. So good campsites that are close to scenic trails are desirable.

Any tips and suggestions for campgrounds, hiking routes, safety, food, etc would be very very welcomed!

Thank you!


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PostPosted: August 12th, 2009, 1:41 pm 
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Joined: April 1st, 2003, 3:45 pm
Posts: 241
Some quick thoughts.

1. The Lake O'Hara area is my fave in the Rockies. Breathtaking scenery, fascinating history and great trails for hiking. However, read the rules - there's somewhat limited access, so you need to plan out which day & bus your family will use. http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/bc/YOHO/activ/activ15a_E.asp

1a. If you're in Yoho anyway, the Iceline hike, Takakkaw Falls, and Emerald Lake are all in the should do category. I'm not sure how fit you are, so no idea how much you want to do per day.

2. In Banff, I think the Paradise Valley-Giant Steps-Sentinel Pass-Valley of the Ten Peaks hike is sublime. However, it's long & tiring and often closed for bears. http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/activ1c_e.asp If you're rushing to see things in the Lake Louise area, maybe Fairview or Tower of Babel instead.

2a. While it's very late in the season, taking Sunshine Village's chairlift to Sunshine Meadows and then to Healy Pass shows what an alpine meadow looks like (just won't have many flowers) - and a great view of Mt. Assiniboine). Mt Bourgeau's another good one for change of elevation, flora and scenery.

3. If you're heading towards Columbia Icefields, then Parker Ridge is an obvious choice - low-effort, high reward. Wilcox Pass is longer, but has great views across to Athabasca.

Keep in mind that the weather in mid-Sept can wildly swing. For example, I was there 3 years ago - 30 degree temperatures followed by snow 2 days later. Be prepared - on every hike.

One last thing - seeing as this is a canoeing site, you could always do the Banff to Canmore paddle (just start below the falls as it's a doozy). The shuttle can be tricky - maybe rent bikes?


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