Ultimate Canadian Road Trip... Banff and Jasper National Parks

Day 1:  Flight to Calgary
Greg and I were excited to take our girls on a road trip from Banff to Jasper National Parks.  We did this trip once before (a longer version starting in Seattle→Canada→Salt Lake City) and knew Charlotte and Cicily would love all the wildlife.
 We took a late flight to Calgary on June 5, 2015... Everyone was sleeping except Cicily. 😅  Because of our late arrival we stayed in a hotel near the airport.


Day 1:  Arrived in Calgary
Day 2:  Calgary to Banff  
Day 3:  Banff to Jasper
Day 4:  Jasper
Day 5:  Jasper to Banff
Day 6:  Banff to Calgary
Day 7:  Flight home

Video from our trip...

Day 2:  Entering Banff National Park
We left Calgary and headed out on a two hour drive towards Banff National Park.  
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
We love this hotel!  It opened in the late 1800's.  It's fun to wander and check out the Architecture.  
We arranged horse rides behind the Fairmont Banff Springs. It was a beautiful ride! Unfortunately Charlotte's eyes swelled up and we realized Charlotte is allergic to horses. 😦

Day 3:  Banff to Jasper
We got an early start since we had lots to see and there aren't places to stay between Lake Louise and Jasper.  It took us about an hour to drive from Banff to Lake Louise on Highway 1A.  We made a few stops to watch bears... One walked right in front of our car.  Lake Louise is crowded but worth a stop.  The turquoise water is breathtaking!

We walked along a path that follows Lake Louise.  After our walk we treated the girls to ice cream at the Amazing Fairmont Chateau.
Moraine Lake is a few miles from Lake Louise.  It has equally beautiful views!  The drive time between Lake Louise and Jasper is about 3 hours but it's really an all day drive with all the stops you'll want to make.

One of the many stops along the Icefields Parkway.

Athabasca Glacier
We didn't reach the Colombia Ice Field until later in the day... I think we took one of the last tours available.  The tour takes you on the massive Athabasca Glacier.  We were able to get out and walk and touch the ice.

We had to get a picture In front of the Glacier bus... The tires are huge!  After visiting the Colombia Ice field we headed to Jasper.  It was a long day and we were ready to get dinner and relax.
Day 4:  Jasper

  Miette Hot Springs
A beautiful scenic drive leads you to the Miette Hot Springs.  The 4 pools have different temperatures and the views were fantastic.
Maligne Lake
We love Maligne Lake!  On our last visit we took the Maligne Lake Cruise to Spirit Island.  This time we explored some of the different trails.  

Cicily was a trooper...luckily we stopped a lot to view the scenery and watch the animals!
 Day 5:  Jasper to Banff
It's pretty amazing to hear the water crashing over the rocks and feel the mist of spray on your face at the Athabasca Falls.  The walkways and bridges give you a great view on both sides of the Falls.  Our girls loved all of the trails especially the trail that leads to the river.

  Back to Lake Louise
We stopped at Laggan's for a sandwich.  They have picnic tables out back near the river.  Perfect stop before we headed back towards Banff.
Johnston Canyon 
We loved this trail!  You can see 7 waterfalls but we didn't make it that far. ;) We reached the lower falls in about 20 minutes.  The girls loved the cave and close up view of the falls.

Day 6:  Banff Upper Hot Springs
Soaking up the beautiful views on our last day in Banff. 
Calgary Alberta Temple
We made one last stop to see the Calgary Alberta Temple before we headed to our hotel.  We took an early flight home the next day.  The girls loved this vacation and the Canadian Rockies didn't disappoint.  This is one of the most beautiful road trips I've been on and can't wait to return!