Corners of the World

Banff & Jasper Trip Plan

Banff & Jasper is known for beautiful serene views, gorgeous turquoise lakes, glaciers, wildlife and waterfalls. We did a week trip of 6 nights and 7 day trip to both these places. The number of days totally depends on the type of activities you would want to explore at these places.

Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1: Radium Hot Springs in the morning and Marble Canyon, Vermillion Lakes in Kootenay National park and head towards Banff
  • Day 2: Johnston Canyon Hike, Caves & Basin in Banff downtown – Skip Caves & basin as this was much hyped place but total waste of time. You can get to know the history of national parks which you can read from internet and save time for other things in Banff
  • Day 3: Lake Louise and Lake Moraine
  • Day 4: Tunnel Mountain hike, Hoodos trail (if you have time), Lake Minnewanka and Spiral Tunnel – I would recommend Spiral tunnel day 1 of your trip as its on the way to Banff
  • Day 5: Columbia Icefields Parkway – Glacier adventure, skywalk, Athabasca falls
  • Day 6: Jasper National park – Maligne canyon, medicine lake, Maligne lake, spirit island, night stay in Valemount
  • Day 7: Leave Valemount towards Kamploops trail and head towards Seattle – This is a beautiful scenic route
  • Transportation options

    Travel by Air : You can fly to Calgary and Banff is approximately 1.5 hours from Calgary airport. However the price is anywhere between 350 $ to 400 $ if travelling from north west of US. You may be able to get a cheaper price if you book in advance but I could not find lesser than 300 $.

    Travel by Car: For those living in the north west region, it takes around 9-10 hours of travel time to Banff. You might need to consider break time into your travel plan.

    Travel Route from Seattle to Banff

    Go via I-90 East (if needed take a break in Spokane)
    At Exit 12, take US-95 North
    Highway 95/Highway-3 (For radium hot springs)
    From Radium hot springs, road name changes to HWY-93
    HWY-1 East takes you to Banff

    Travel Route from Jasper to Seattle

    Park Entry Fees
    There is an entry fee associated with the rocky mountain parks and you do not need to purchase a separate pass for every park. The fees will cover access to Banff, Kootenay, Yoho and Jasper National parks. It’s a flat entry fee on the number of days that you will be inside these parks. For a seven day trip, the entry fee is approximately
    98$.

    Where to Stay in Banff & Jasper ?
    I would recommend to book your lodging at these places at least 3 months in advance. If you are visiting in summer, the reservations to many of the hotels get filled up pretty fast. Accommodations in the Banff region is slightly expensive. Canmore is ~ 1 hour from Banff and has plenty of lodging options that is economical when compared to Banff.

  • Rocky Mountain Springs lodge in Radium Hot springs
  • Lodges at Canmore – resort style townhomes with several amenities
  • Glacier View Inn inside Icefields discovery center
  • Pine Bungalows in Jasper – we did not stay in this place but received good reviews from friends & forums
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