Banff National Park

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Banff National Park

Postby Emily » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:02 pm

Hi all, I am headed to Banff National Park for a few days in mid-November (flying into Calgary on 11/13 and leaving on 11/18). Has anyone spent time up there? I am looking for some suggestions -- fun peaks, hikes, scrambles, easy ice (if anything is in yet) near Banff or Canmore. I would also welcome recommendations on places to stay and other things to do/see in the area. Thank you!

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby cougar » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:09 pm

I'm sure conditions will be much different in November vs. August (they started getting steady snow in mid Sept) but some good classics there are:

Lake Louise -> Lake Agnes -> Glacier View (there's a loop system of trails if I recall)
Castle Mountain - all the way to the summit is a bit long, but there's a big alpine lake (Rockbound Lake) halfway up before the scrambling starts - you can decide from there whether to continue.

Moraine Lake - famous views, couloirs

Around Canmore, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park borders Banff - it's in the Kananaskis rec area, and has some nice spots - lake hikes following streams, and you may find some ice up there. I did a hike to Three Isle Lake on a rainy day, which was recommended but there are probably better options. The view from Lake Kananaskis dam is pretty good in itself. There are plenty of waterfalls all over, and ski resorts.

I don't know if Icefields Parkway (Jasper) is open in Nov but that's a highlight for sure.

The Castle Mountain hostel in Banff is very nice, centrally located, and you can get a lot of info and recommendations there from the host
The Lake Louise Hotel is luxurious

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby tjerasdave » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:36 pm

Be sure to check out Emerald Lake as well.

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby mtnview » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:05 pm

You are kind of coming in the off season where hiking is diminishing and skiing is not quite ready.

A couple of trips I do recommend is Ha Ling Peak which overlooks Canmore 2hours to the summit.

Also the hike up Sulphur Mountain in Banff. Trail starts near the Banff Hot Springs and hikes switchbacks beneath the Gondoloa to a nice restaurant on top of the mountain. As of now you can take the gondola down for free.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (of his return), as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby Cthulhu 2008 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:29 am

I fly to Banff Sunday for a conference. This is a timely thread. Keep the ideas coming! :-D
Cthulhu 2008 - Why Vote For A Lesser Evil

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby Ross_Browne » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:20 pm

My favorite hike in that region in the Iceline trail in Yoho national Park. It is immediately adjacent to Banff, it has spectacular views above treeline, and multiple giant waterfalls. I actually prefer Yoho to going up the parkway to Jasper. Yoho has impressive, jagged, glaciated peaks, towering cliffs and waterfalls, and lakes. Technically it is not part of Banff but it is very close to Banff. The hiking is challenging and scenic, yet the trailheads are accessible via paved roads and easy to find.

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby ahrendse » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:24 pm

In addition to the lakes and glaciers mentioned above, Tunel Mountain was a pretty and easy hike that starts in the Banff townsite. If you head up to Lake Louise, hike up to Lake Agnes and grab some tea at the tea house (assuming it's open) and then go up Big Beehive which gives a different perspective of Lake Louise.

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby Emily » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:07 pm

Thanks so much for the input! I really appreciate it. I realize that this is the off-season, but it's the only time that would work out for us to go. I have been looking at the Alpine Circuit around Lake O'Hara and the Alpine Club of Canada huts. If anyone knows of a decent guidebook for peaks in the area please let me know :)

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Re: Banff National Park

Postby steelfrog » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:08 am

Huts are great.

Alpine circuit Lake O'Hara great


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