Hi, I'm hoping to take my husband hiking in Banff National Park in August for his 40th birthday. We're both experienced Northeast summer hikers. We've hiked most extensively in NH and Maine, but also did Middle Teton and hiking in that area two years ago. We're looking for suggestions for towns and places to stay that would help us get the most bang out of our vacation. We haven't been away in over a year and are desperate to make the most of our time. Typically, we like to put in anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of decent hiking a day, head to a hotel or inn for a shower and then hit a restaurant and bar for cocktails at the end. Other than knowing Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the world, I've no idea what area to look to stay in that can acommodate our desire for nature by day and a relaxed night atmosphere where you can enjoy a beer at the end of the day and then plop into bed and do it all over again. We're not completely adverse to one or two days of camping, but I'm not thrilled about packing for both tent camping and hotel living in one trip, but I can be talked into an awful lot. Our camping experience is really limited to bike tour camping (fairly recent) and I've done some isolated lake camping (about a two mile haul in, but I'm older now and like a shower.) Also, the absolute best guide book on hiking I've ever owned (two or three times, because it updates trails periodically, and necessarily) was the AMC guide for NH. Is there an equivalent guide book for the Banff area? I'd love to purchase something that would help us better prepare our trips. We try to do loop trails, but it's not always possible. If there are any park restrictions, I thought I saw something regarding grizzly areas and hiking group numbers, please let me know if that's true and how best to arrange to hook up with other hikers. We hiked in Wyoming with just the two of us in an area that had some grizzly population, but no restrictions. I can be one noisy little hiker when necessary; I'm not into surprising any bears, although noisy did nothing to stop a mountain lion from shadowing us for a half a mile.
Any suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I need to book flights within a week or two.
You can check out my Banff National Park page for places to stay.
For upscale accomodations (I do like my jacuzzi tub and 300 count sheets at the end of a hard day on the trail) check out the utterly rustic elegant Post Hotel in Lake Louise (www.theposthotel.com) And, they have a pub and elegant lounge to enjoy your beer.
For downscale accomodations: HI Lake Louise Hostel.
For good hikes, purchase: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies by Kathy and Craig Copeland (you can order it on Amazon)
The Moraine Lake area requires that you hike in a group of 6 or more. you can usually pick up with other hikers.
e-mail me if you want more info, and have Fun!!!!
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