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Old 06-11-2019, 10:03 AM
 
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I've summer skied on glaciers in sunglasses, shorts, and a tee shirt. I've also summer skied on glaciers on refrozen coral reef that chatters the fillings out of your teeth wearing winter ski gear. You can easily get 50 degree temperature swings within 24 hours. Hope for shorts, tee shirt, and sunglasses weather. Pack at least a thicker sweatshirt and lightweight gloves.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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It can vary. Take a polar fleece, and you'll be covered for almost anything. August tends to be dry, but have moments of rain. Bigger issues will likely be smoke from wildfires. The cold is different too. If you're from the NE, it's nothing. The air is so dry, simply adding a layer has you covered. The only surprising thing is that when the sun goes down, it's cold immediately. There's no heat held in the air, so rapid temperature drops are common. You can easily go from the 80's to the 50's in the space of an hour or two.


Banff/Lake Louise are really well marked, well trafficked trails. Most of the common ones are paved. Decent sneakers/athletic shoes will cover you for 99.9% of what you're doing. I'd recommend getting up early one morning to do the walk up Johnston's Canyon before the crowds hit. It's delightful, easy, and very scenic.


https://www.banfflakelouise.com/johnston-canyon


and make the effort to go to Peyto Lake


Is Peyto Lake Really That Blue? | BanffandBeyond
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Unrelated to weather, get a up and go as early as possible to see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. We were near there last year and the crowds and traffic were so bad you had to park a couple of miles away and take shuttles. It hadn't been like that when I was there 9 years ago.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty2011 View Post
Unrelated to weather, get a up and go as early as possible to see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. We were near there last year and the crowds and traffic were so bad you had to park a couple of miles away and take shuttles. It hadn't been like that when I was there 9 years ago.
Now it's starting to sound like a bigger version of the White Mountains, Kancamagus Highway, and the Flume during peak season. We also booked a hotel in Calgary so it's about a 1.5 hour direct drive to Lake Louise (I was planning to take it slowly anyways). Oh well, we'll have to plan for it somehow. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty2011 View Post
Unrelated to weather, get a up and go as early as possible to see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. We were near there last year and the crowds and traffic were so bad you had to park a couple of miles away and take shuttles. It hadn't been like that when I was there 9 years ago.
Was it like that in August?

When we went to Glacier 3 years ago, we kept hearing how crowded it would be, how we would need to get their early and take the shuttle everywhere... But once we were there, it really wasn't that bad. We'd stay in the park all day and by 5-6pm, it felt like we had the whole park to ourselves. We did one hike midday where we rarely came across other people. We kept thinking we were lost and must have gone off trail, but nope.

I haven't been to Banff or Jasper, but desperately want to go. I was considering going in early August next year since that time of the year was perfect for Glacier. I hate being out in nature with hoards of people, but want to go at a time when it's still nice enough to enjoy everything.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Now it's starting to sound like a bigger version of the White Mountains, Kancamagus Highway, and the Flume during peak season. We also booked a hotel in Calgary so it's about a 1.5 hour direct drive to Lake Louise (I was planning to take it slowly anyways). Oh well, we'll have to plan for it somehow. Thanks for the tip!
Weekends are busy. The drive out is nice. Don't forget you'll need a park pass. Once you have it, you don't need to stop again, you just drive through. Even with the crowds, there are still shuttles out to Moraine, and lots of parking available in Banff and Lake Louise. The icefields parkway up to Peyto towards Jasper is much less crowded, and going back from Lake Louise, take the 1A Bow Valley Parkway, it's a relaxed drive through the forest. Banff townsite has lots of free parking garages, and a really good bus that goes up to the Gondola/Hot Springs or Banff Springs Hotel from town. It's only $2 if memory serves.


Calgary traffic has the potential to be crap, and they are deeply, deeply in love with red light/speed cameras everywhere. Where are you staying in town?
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
Weekends are busy. The drive out is nice. Don't forget you'll need a park pass. Once you have it, you don't need to stop again, you just drive through. Even with the crowds, there are still shuttles out to Moraine, and lots of parking available in Banff and Lake Louise. The icefields parkway up to Peyto towards Jasper is much less crowded, and going back from Lake Louise, take the 1A Bow Valley Parkway, it's a relaxed drive through the forest. Banff townsite has lots of free parking garages, and a really good bus that goes up to the Gondola/Hot Springs or Banff Springs Hotel from town. It's only $2 if memory serves.


Calgary traffic has the potential to be crap, and they are deeply, deeply in love with red light/speed cameras everywhere. Where are you staying in town?
Thanks for the tips Mikey! We'll be sure to drive slowly while in Calgary. We're staying close to the U. of Calgary campus so right off the Trans Canada Highway. I'm a transit lover so I'll probably drag my family to sample the C-Train for a day. We'll only be driving the rental car to visit Banff.

Now Calgary's weather ought to be normal summer weather right?
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Thanks for all of your replies! I was concerned I'd encounter a New England winter while on our trip which is why I'd like to plan ahead. No we won't be doing any strenuous hiking as neither I nor the rest of my family are experienced at it (I hiked up a mountain only once in my life - wearing ordinary sneakers and only slept in a tent once in my life too). I'd be interested in taking snapshots of mountains and lakes from the comforts of the side of a road, similar to what we did at the Columbia River Gorge three years ago. So it looks like some long sleeves and a light to medium jacket, maybe add a pair of gloves and a light winter hat. That sounds doable. BTW is August really dry up there? How much rain should I anticipate?
Be sure your jacket is waterproof or pack a cheap foldup rain poncho. Montana typically does not have much rain in August, but if it does rain it will likely be a gully washer. Keep in mind that any place over 5000 ft will get colder immediately after sunset-- summer night temps in the mountains can be brisk. But sunscreen & sunglasses definitely should be on your list. Enjoy Glacier & don't pass up huckleberry milkshakes from drive-ins in any of the nearby towns.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Brew City
4,770 posts, read 2,841,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Thanks for the tips Mikey! We'll be sure to drive slowly while in Calgary. We're staying close to the U. of Calgary campus so right off the Trans Canada Highway. I'm a transit lover so I'll probably drag my family to sample the C-Train for a day. We'll only be driving the rental car to visit Banff.

Now Calgary's weather ought to be normal summer weather right?
The public transit in Calgary is pretty good. Depending on when you're in town the downtown area can be dead on weekends. It's a great walkable area though.

Calgary is in the plains so the weather is more predictable.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,941 posts, read 11,503,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Thanks for the tips Mikey! We'll be sure to drive slowly while in Calgary. We're staying close to the U. of Calgary campus so right off the Trans Canada Highway. I'm a transit lover so I'll probably drag my family to sample the C-Train for a day. We'll only be driving the rental car to visit Banff.

Now Calgary's weather ought to be normal summer weather right?
Yep. Rapidly cools as the sun goes down. It's really dry, and you're at 3600'. 80 degree days, with high 40's nights are common. Motel Village there has it's own C-Train station. You can take the train down to Sunnyside, walk along Memorial Dr. and take the fancy schmancy Calatrava bridge across the river to Prince's Island, and then up to Eau Claire and you're in Downtown. You can ride the train anywhere downtown along 7th Ave for free, just so long as you get off before it leaves downtown. 8 Ave is a pedestrian street during the day, lots of decent places to eat/grab a cocktail.


Have fun!
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