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Canada trip in June

Hi all,

We have booked to go to Canada in June and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions re sight seeing that we have not already looked into. The flights and hotels are booked so I do not need any suggestions re these items, just things to do whilst out there.

We are planning to go Whale watching, we have booked the Rocky Mountain Railroad and we have booked a trip on the Ice Road. 

Our itinerary is as follows:

Flying into Calgary – overnight stay

Banff for 3 nights.  Hoping to do national parks, gondola, hot springs and lakes.  Also doing the Ice field etc.

Lake Louise for 1 night. 

Jasper for 2 nights – again national park, sky tram etc

Rocky Mountaineer through to Vancouver

Vancouver for 3 nights

Vancouver Island for 3 nights in Torfino and 2 nights in Victoria – hoping to do sea plane and boat to hot springs, whale watching, bear sightings etc

Thanks

Mike

Comments

  • sounds to me as though you've pretty much got it all covered .. enjoy ((:>) .. is this self drive ?
  • I hope the whale watching goes well, we had an amazing experience in the St Lawrence.
  • Agree with Lincs, you have nailed the itinerary. You will have an amazing trip, beautiful part of the world.  Interested to hear about the Rocky Mountaineer.  It's on my bucket list. We did a camping/ocean kayaking trip on some islands south of Tofino some years ago - it really is breathtaking there.  Enjoy!

      
  • Whilst your in Lake Louise I would recommend Lake Moraine if you have time, it's no more than 10 minutes further on than LL known as the seven peaks lake and is stunning, less busy than LL there are signposted hiking trails but not sure you can hire canoes there where as you can at LL.
    We did almost the same itinerary as yours a few years back but in reverse was absolutely brilliant.
  • edited February 3
    The Whyte museum iin Banff is worth a visit.
  • Depending on what time you get into Calgary (and how bad your jet lag is!) if you are interested in geology / dinosaurs, Drumheller is well worth a visit - 70 miles NE of Calgary.  The local "Badlands" landscape is a stark contrast to the Rockies!
  • edited February 3
    Great itinerary mate! You've pretty much got it covered, in all honesty. 

    If you've time, maybe try and add a white water rafting trip. We did it near 'Hope' (where a lot of the original 'Rambo, First Blood' was filmed), about 150km from Vancouver, it was fantastic. Plenty of opportunity, I recall, in and around Jasper (beautiful town) as well.

    Again, whilst you're in Jasper, and if you've time, a trip to Mt Robson (highest peak in the Canadian rockies) is well worth it for the views and the walks (Berg Lake trail). It's about an hour west of Jasper. 

    Sea plane trip when in Vancouver / Vancouver Island won't disappoint, and Granville Island in Vancouver itself is 'cool', really quite quirky.

    Although it will be out of season, don't forget to visit 'Rogers Arena', the home of the best NHL team in Canada, the Vancouver Canucks. 

    You'll have a great time mate; it's simply a wonderful country.
  • If you’re staying at the Chateau at Lake Louise, see if you can get a room on the lakeside. 
  • Just one word of caution---you may be there in June but you can get more variable weather on the eastern side of The Rockies than here.My sister and family live in Calgary,we were there in early August one year and it was 5c! And it was 36c in the previous July.No rhyme or reason to it so do take some warm and water-proof clothing,too.
    I'm sure though that you'll have a wonderful time there. Vancouver and Vancouver Island are superb.
  • Sorry for the late reply all, thank you very much for the tips and I am pleased we seemed to have covered most of it, however I will sit down and look at the above suggestions.
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  • sounds to me as though you've pretty much got it all covered .. enjoy ((:>) .. is this self drive ?
    Part and part Lincs, the train ride through the Rockies and a few days either side we do not have a car however we plan to move between destinations driving so we can pull over when something takes our fancy.  
  • Hi all,

    We have booked to go to Canada in June and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions re sight seeing that we have not already looked into. The flights and hotels are booked so I do not need any suggestions re these items, just things to do whilst out there.

    We are planning to go Whale watching, we have booked the Rocky Mountain Railroad and we have booked a trip on the Ice Road. 

    Our itinerary is as follows:

    Flying into Calgary – overnight stay

    Banff for 3 nights.  Hoping to do national parks, gondola, hot springs and lakes.  Also doing the Ice field etc.

    Lake Louise for 1 night. 

    Jasper for 2 nights – again national park, sky tram etc

    Rocky Mountaineer through to Vancouver

    Vancouver for 3 nights

    Vancouver Island for 3 nights in Torfino and 2 nights in Victoria – hoping to do sea plane and boat to hot springs, whale watching, bear sightings etc

    Thanks

    Mike

    my mate Harry and his missus Meghan might be up for a night out, shall I ask?
  • edited February 4
    Our Texas trip has been pushed back to next year as I can’t get the leave but I’ve just paid deposit on a 3 week fly drive around New England and a bit of Canada.
    We’re going to Quebec and Montreal. Any suggestions as to what to see and do in these cities?
  • Montreal is a real foodie and bar city.  Very lively and tons of great restaurants. Obviously known for poutine, smoked meats and bagels but there is a large diversity of restaurants including some really good ones in the china town section. Hogan’s and beaufort, helicoptere, and chez tousignant were some of my favorites.  A very active nightlife ranging from cocktail bars to music venues to dance clubs to some more risqué venues(rumored to have the best strip clubs in the world or so I have heard).  The biodome and botanical gardens are interesting if you are into nature.  The basilica is beautiful.  A number of farmers markets if you go during the summer.

    Quebec City is a little more reserved.  The old city section is quaint and pretty.  There are no real must see tourist sites but it is just fun to leisurely wander around the old town for shopping and eating.
  • Banff is a real delight. Loads of good places to  eat; you've got to try the sour beers. As Baldy says the Whyte museum is good, with a history of how the Rockies developed as a resort. Excellent First nations museum close to it, and a charming public gardens.There are some really good walks along the river to Bow falls. if you get time. Discover Banff tours are a real marvel. Their tour guides are beyond class; know their stuff and go way beyond that extra mile (as did guides from other companies in Vancouver). As someone else mentioned white water rafting is a must. Calgary have a decent football side - we saw them beat Vancouver Whitecaps in a cup quarter final last year. Get to see them if you can  - nice football there, but not a lot of passion. 

    Think we did a tour from there to a glacier, which was a first class experience.

    Enjoy your hols - its a great country with great people

  • edited February 5
    Resident of Alberta here. Are you renting a car or taking bus trips? A lot of my tips assume you’re driving, but there will be bus tours to a lot of these places too. I think it’s sun dog tours in Jasper. Not sure about Banff. 

    Banff and Lake Louise can get oppressively busy in the high season - get to Lake Louise as early as you can to avoid the worst of the crowds. Morraine Lake is on the road up to Lake Lousie and is well worth a visit, it's arguably prettier than its more famous neighbour, but it has a tiny car park so again get there super early, or you can get shuttle buses from Lake Louise Village at the bottom of the hill. Once at Lake Louise there are several good hiking trails, and the hordes of far east tour groups rarely venture onto these, so the crowds soon thin out as you get away from the main landing area at the tip of the lake. A good one, that is not too long, although all uphill, is up to Lake Agnes. It's forest all the way up, but, once there, there is a little tea room (may be cash only) and some views back down the valley. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/canada/alberta/lake-agnes-trail?u=i
    There’s also a 3 mile ish loop hike along flat terrain the starts in Lake Louise Village and follows the Bow River. A very pleasant walk and achievable if you’re not so fit. 

    You can rent canoes at Lake Louise and Morraine Lake. Definitely something to do at least once, but you will pay through the nose somewhat. 

    This is my favourite restaurant in Banff. https://www.parkdistillery.com/. The maple leaf is also excellent. Good ice cream at “Cows”. 

    If you want to escape the crowds of Banff but stay in the mountains, visit Canmore (town) or Kanaskis (provincial park). @Oakster can give you the low down on Canmore. 

    The drive from Lake Louise to Jasper will be about 3 hours up the Icefield Parkway, but allow much longer. It has to be one of the best roads in the world for scenery and you are going to want to stop and look at/photograph it at many points along the way. En route are the Columbia ice field where you can take a giant bus onto a glacier. It’s not exactly cheap (I think $50) but I think it’s worth it if you’ll only be here once. Alternatively you can hike up but I think it’s quite a long walk, or there’s an easy stroll down to the toe of the glacier. Do it on the way to Jasper as it’s still
    a fair way to Jasper so you’ll save time vs driving back from Jasper. 

    Another spot en-route worth seeing is the Athabasca falls. These are closer to Jasper so you could pop back. You can also drive up to Mount Edith Cavell where there is a steep long hike to the top or a less steep and shorter hike to a small Glacier. This is the only road where I’ve seen a Grizzly although they are certainly to be seen elsewhere too. Again, both have pretty small parking lots and can get very busy in summer. 

    I prefer Jasper to Banff as it’s quieter. Drive/bus the road up to Maligne Lake. The lake is beautiful, think you may be able to canoe there too or there is a boat cruise. The road there is a good wildlife spotting route during dusk and dawn (never any guarantees though), although you might see also see Elk wandering down the high street! Maligne Canyon is a popular hike. The gondola is worth doing, and is cheaper than the one in banff, but in Banff has bit more in the way of walking trails at the top. The lake Louise gondola is a bit meh. Pyramid lake is pretty too and there is a hotel/restaurant there. Inside Jasper and Banff everything is walkable.

    Take a dip at a hot springs. Banff is nice, I prefer Meite but they’re a little bit outside Jasper so require some travel. You’ll love either I’m sure.

    For cheaper eats in Jasper, there’s a pub called De’d Dog, that is decent. More up market, I like Fiddle River fish restaurant. Jasper Brewing company for some craft beers.

    If you’re hiking, google Bear safety and educate/equip yourself accordingly. Bear spray would be recommended. In all likelihood you wont need it, and bear attacks are even rarer than bear sightings, but you’ll sure be glad you have it if you do need it.  The real things will do more than steal your pickernic basket, so take the warnings seriously. If you see wildlife on your travels, treat it with respect - even the docile ones out here can do you serious damage if spooked. Not trying to scare you, but I have seen many tourists doing really stupid things in the quest for a closer look at some wildlife.

    Weather should be good in June. You may still have some snow covered peaks though. I think schools break up towards the end of June so will get busier again when that happens. Sun can be quite intense in the dry air if Alberta - it’ll feel cooler in the mountains but you’ll still potentially burn - don’t forget the sunscreen!

    I haven’t done much west of the Rockies so others will have better advice. You may not have time, but if you can route through the Okanagan it is both beautiful and great if you like wine, and doesn’t seem to be well known outside Canada.

    Whatever you choose to do with your time, I’m sure you’ll have an incredible time. Western Canada is a fantastic place. 
  • Thanks for detailed write up Exiled, some great tips. We have booked the trip on the Ice Glacier bus so we have that covered. I think the wife might be packing some mosquito spray but I better double check she has put the Bear spray in.  :)

    Thanks again 

    Mike
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