My H and I did an 11 day road trip through the Canadian Rockies! We got married at Emerald Lake in fact.
I am in the middle of creating a blog of our trip, I hope to have it finished this week. I can send you the link when it’s done!
The road to Moraine Lake doesn’t open until late May or early June.
Here is what we did. We drove up in one day from Utah, but I won’t count that as Day 1.
Day 1: visited Kootenay NP, hiked in Stanely Glacier trail, ate dinner in Banff, walked around, camped in Banff (frankly Banff is cute and all, but I’m not a shopper and TOO many people)
Day 2: visited Hoodoos in Banff, hiked Tunnel Mountain in Banff (super busy), visited Johnston Canyon’s upper and lower falls in Banff NP (super busy), visited Moraine Lake’s Rockpile (lakeside trail was closed due to bears/berries, the other trail was limited to groups of 4 only), grabbed dinner in Lake Louise Village, camped near Field, BC.
Day 3: hiked Emerald Basin/Emerald Lake in Yoho NP, ate dinner at Catheral Mountain Lodge (VERY Fancy and good!), stayed at Emerald Lake Lodge
Day 4: hiked to Laughing Falls/saw Takakaw Falls in Yoho NP, had our wedding day at Emerald Lake Lodge, stayed at ELL (pricey but nice for the privacy and nature)
Day 5: drove Icefields Parkway (starting from Field, BC), up to the Athabasca Glacier, hiked Parker’s Ridge, ate dinner back at ELL’s Cilantro on the Lake, stayed at ELL again, utilized their 22 person hot tub finally
Day 6: visited Lake Louise, hiked up to the Plains of the Six Glacier tea house and had lunch up there, drove to Golden, ate at Golden Taps, BC where we camped at the town campground
Day 7: big hike in the Bugaboos Provincial Park (google it!), ate dinner in Golden’s Eleven 22, camped in Golden a second night
Day 8: drove through Glacier NP and Mnt. Revelsokte NP, hiked in each of these parks, stayed in Revelstoke BC, ordered Emo’s Pizza to our hotel room
Day 9: drove from Revelstoke to Nelson, BC, hiked in Kokanee-Glacier Provincial Park, I wanted to visit Halcyon Hot Springs
Next day we drove back to Utah – 15 hours!
My FI is a little hesitant to drive everywhere ourselves
We drove ourselves from Utah, I don’t think you’ll have any issues. And our SmartPhone did not work well, so we relied on good old paper maps and teamwork! I would not do the train, you cannot visit places besides the stops.
I was told that Jasper was much smaller and the mountains are not as grand there. Although it’s a very outdoorsy town (with more locals), it did not have the PaPow views. However, you can certainly drive there and back to Banff in a day. I didn’t think it was bad.