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Canceled Italy, Thinking Canadian Rockies instead

Due to the Coronavirus and obvious travel restrictions, we’ve just had to cancel our 3 week trip we had planned for Italy Mid-April.
We’re trying to plan a trip for this year that doesn’t involve European travel and thought possibly about a Canadian Rockies train trip. Can anyone share their experiences with me or advice on a trip like this? We’re thinking about September or October...

Posted by
9684 posts

October is late for the Northern Rockies. I follow weather in Yellowstone (and visit at least once a year - sometimes twice) and intermittent road closures related to wintry weather for Yellowstone started Sept 20 in 2019. Your target is further 600+ miles further north.

Posted by
6868 posts

I think the Rockies would be great in summer, but not as late as October (high elevation = cold; plus, late in year = gets dark early). Also, consider Vancouver and Vancouver Island. I would highly recommend both (stunningly beautiful, easy to get around, great food, etc), but anytime after end of May or so so that you get long days and good weather. The exchange rate makes Canada a great option. There are very good online resources for these regions so start with those, as well as some library books.

Posted by
303 posts

We spent a wonderful 2 weeks in May last year in Banff, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, driving the Icefields Parkway to Jasper and time in Jasper. The Fall would not be a good time for this trip, however. We flew into Calgary, rented a car and explored this part of the Canadian Rockies. The Icefields Parkway is as amazing a drive as you could imagine.

Posted by
311 posts

September, or maybe early October, can be a lovely time to visit the rockies. The trees will be starting to turn colours. I often try to get in a hike near the last weekend of September to see the yellow larches. But you can hit bad weather, there can be snow.
It is a popular time, so you should look at booking accommodation ahead of time. I would also encourage taking a bit of time to check out some less visited spots. Lake Louise and moraine have become so busy on weekends that it is really not a quiet mountain experience.
If you do rent a car be aware as well that there may be highway closures near Golden BC. It wont affect you if you do banff and Jasper, but could if driving from Calgary to Vancouver

Posted by
31471 posts


For a trip to the Canadian Rockies, I'd suggest making it September if at all possible. October is a bit late and the weather could be colder, especially at night. The weather in September should be better, but of course no guarantees.

Which train trip are you considering? Hopefully the rail blockades and disruptions in transportation will be settled by that time. I haven't checked the VIA Rail website recently, so not sure if they're back to normal operation or not?

As someone else mentioned, you could also spend a few days in the Vancouver or Victoria areas. One other suggestion you could consider is to spend some time in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. There are over 100 wineries in the region, several beautiful lakes, some great hotels and restaurants, golf courses and other attractions, and an international airport.

Posted by
14891 posts

Last time I was there was the end of September, the elk were guarding their harems and bugling - wonderful experience. The best place to see them in Banff was the stunningly beautiful golf course - about an hour before sunset. I flew into Calgary and rented a car. The driving is easy and very scenic. This was about 6 years ago, no crowds and everything was open.

Posted by
5457 posts

We did the Canadian Rockies in Late August, Early September and it was nice.

We had a wonderful and inexpensive bus tour for four days from Vancouver with a firm called Key West Tours.