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Canadian Rockies in August

We are planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies in August, starting in Edmonton and ending in Calgary. We are meeting family in Fort St. John and then heading to Jasper for a few days. Our plan is to then head south and see Banff which puts us close to Calgary for the flight home. Accommodations are booked for Jasper and Banff. We have four nights to fill in between these stops and are seeking advice.

  • Fort St. John August 5-8
  • Jasper August 8-10
  • considering heading to the Revelstoke area for 2 nights. This allows us to travel the Icefields Parkway.
  • then considering heading to Penticton/Kelowna for 2 nights
  • Banff August 14-16
  • flight home late on August 17. We are considering staying east of Kootenay along route 95. Or should we stay near/in Calgary on the last night?

We will have a car and have not been to Calgary. Does any of this make sense? Other suggestions?


Posted by
2526 posts

Just a brief comment that Calgary is huge, with much auto traffic, and personally holds little charm compared to the smaller communities in Alberta and British Columbia and, of course, the fantastic but HUGELY popular Rockies.

Posted by
5784 posts

Departing Jasper driving south on the Icefields Parkway:

Consider an overnight stop at Lake Louise and/or Yolo NP (Hwy 1 west of Icefields Parkway). For a Yolo NP overnight splurge consider the Emerald Lake Lodge.

A lot of lodging options in Banff. A lower cost lodging alternative is Canmore, just east of the NP boundary and less than a 90 minute drive to YYC.

Posted by
1353 posts

Just echoing the recommendation for Lake Louise. You'll want to give the icefields parkway an entire day - it's very amazing!

Posted by
5784 posts

Lake Louise:

Park visitor's center is at the highway exit and is a worthwhile stop.

The Chateau Lake Louise (and Banff Springs Hotel) are Candian Pacific grand railroad hotels built to attract well to do railroad tourist. Chateau Lake Louise is up the hill from the Lake Louise visitors center. (At one time the railroad had a tram that would convey railroad passengers up the hill to the Chateau. The tram route is now a "rails to trails" ski (during the winter) trail.

Posted by
914 posts

I loved canoeing at Emerald Lake in Yoho NP and recommend it as a possibility for your trip.

Have a wonderful time! And, yes, Lake Louise is a must.

Posted by
996 posts

Another vote for Lake Louise. The pictures do not do it justice. And you can always hike up to the tea house while you're there!

Posted by
311 posts

Hi David
A few thoughts. My first is that the dates you are looking to book are over a weekend. Accomodations tend to book up very early through the Rockies ( we were looking at a couple of our favourites for July and they are gone). So this may end up influencing your decisions.
I think Revelstoke is a nice idea. I personally would not drive to Kelowna for 2 nights. If you really want to do Kelowna, then I'd make it at least 3 nights. You could also consider staying up at Sicamous or Shuswap which would save quite a bit of driving. In my experience the drive time estimates down to Kelowna are a bit short. Particularly in summer/construction season.
The ice field parkway has some nice spots to stop and you don't want to rush it. Lake Louise at the end of that day is a good option, but is also hugely crowded. You could consider Field BC if you'd like a unique stop for the night. The Truffle Pig Lodge and Restaurant is a great one nighter. Emerald Lake Lodge is also a nice splurge.
Regarding your last night, I'm not sure where you mean East of Kootenay, do you know the town? . I'd personally stay an extra night in Banff if you can. I don't know what time your flight is, but rush hour starts around 4 here in Calgary

Posted by
107 posts

Hi Folks

This is an update on our plans, thanks for all the notes.

We are late planning this trip and accommodations are limited but I think a decent plan is coming together.

  • August 5-8 in Fort St. John

  • August 8-10 in Jasper

  • August 10-11 in Revelstoke for 1 night as a stopover on the way to the Okanagan Valley. We will travel the Icefields Parkway.

  • August 11-14 in Penticton or Summerland, still looking at accommodations

  • August 14-16 in Banff

  • August 16-17 maybe Radium Hot Springs area along highway 95?

  • August 17 depart Calgary airport at 22:45

Are there any other thoughts on the Okanagan part of this trip? It looks interesting to us as we enjoy wine but in no way are we connoisseurs!

Is there another thought for our last night in Radium Hot Springs? Canmore is not available. A ranch area might also be interesting for us if it is not too far out of the way.

Posted by
3303 posts

3 days in Jasper? Really? I'd cut that back to 1 day and then add the other 2 days to Lake Louise which doesn't seem to be an interest of yours. That is too bad as it is breathtaking.

Posted by
311 posts

If you like wine, maybe take a look at Naramata ( right by Penticton). There is an inn there. There are tons of wineries along that short stretch of road.

Posted by
1353 posts

I agree with Continental. Jasper is nice, but Lake Louise area is incredible!

Posted by
107 posts

Hi Folks, thanks for all the comments so far. We are late planning and are working around existing availability while trying to stay under $200/night.  We do realize that we cannot see everything on this trip but expect to return often since we now have family in the area.

I arranged our journey by nights rather than days so it is easier to see.

  • Night 1 - Fort St. John
  • Night 2 - Fort St. John
  • Night 3 - Fort St. John
  • Night 4 - Jasper
  • Night 5 - Jasper
  • Night 6 - Revelstoke
  • Night 7 - Okanagan
  • Night 8 - Okanagan
  • Night 9 - Okanagan
  • Night 10 - Banff
  • Night 11 - Banff, hoping to visit Lake Louise
  • Night 12 - Calgary
  • Night 13 - Home


Posted by
311 posts

While in no way criticizing Lake Louise, which is lovely, I feel I must give a word of caution. When I say busy I mean, no parking after 9 am. I've been trying to attach a link for Parks canada, but can't seem to. It suggests going before 9 am or after 7 pm, through the summer. It does detract from the beauty to fight that much traffic.

Peyto Lake off of the Icefields parkway is also that lovely blue green with less crowds. It is worth a stop if you can.

Enjoy your trip David!

Posted by
107 posts

Hi Lisa and thanks for the tips!

We are still deciding on spending three nights in Okanagan or in the Shuswap region. I reviewed the Shuswap website and fear that three days might be too many. Thoughts?

If we decide on the Okanagan, do you think Penticton is a good base for the area? Or Summerland? Perhaps visit Naramata from there. Apparently the Peach Festival winds up on the dates we are looking at.

Also, our last night is now planned for Calgary since we have not visited. We are looking at the hotels near the University of Calgary which apparently are near the transit for downtown. Does this sound reasonable? Our flight is not until late on Friday evening so this leaves us some time to spend in and around the city. Maybe downtown Thursday night and then more exploring on Friday, we will still have the car.

Thanks again!