13 hours in a car with a baby sounded like a nightmare, thank goodness we have a great little traveler!
Banff has been on my bucket list for years but I just hadn’t been able to make time to travel to Canada. We currently reside in Jackson Hole and thought this would be a good opportunity for us to go to Banff. It’s a 13 hour car drive and up until this point, Sloane had only been on one road trip and that was when she was 3 months and slept most of the day.
Day 1: Jackson to Glacier National Park
On our first day we drove from Jackson to St. Mary’s campground in Glacier National Park. The drive was gorgeous and we went through mainly national forest land. Sloane did amazing and slept a good portion of the trip. We stopped a few times along the way to stretch and eat lunch. Once we arrived at Glacier, we found a camp site (before June 1st you can do walk up), and set up for the night. This was a good place to stop but we would not stay at this campground if we planned to be at he park for more than a night. It was crowded and too close to other people.
Day 2: Glacier to Banff, Alberta
We lucked out with gorgeous weather on this travel day. Sloane crossed into her first country other than America. Once we arrived in Banff, we got a campsite at Tunnel Mountain. These campsites were surrounded with trees, had bathrooms, showers and fire wood included. We really liked this particular location for our arrival day because across the street was a trail, which offered amazing views and had Hoodoos. We set up the tent and went for a hike. Something to remember is that there is wildlife everywhere! Make sure to have all your food locked away in your vehicle before leaving your camp site and bring bear spray with you. We had many elk wondering around our site.
One of the highlights during our walk was meeting other visitors. We met a nice gentleman from Germany, who had been traveling alone and checking off items from his bucket list. He had some great stories to tell. We also met two little German boys, who Sloane followed and wanted to play with. Traveling with Sloane makes conversations so easy. If there is one thing we all share in this world, it’s the love we have for our children and the beauty of their interactions with one another.
After our hike, we went back to our site and let Sloane explore while we cooked dinner. If you ever want an amazing meal while camping, go with my husband. We had lamb, asparagus and potatoes.
Day 3: Lake Louise
Before heading to Lake Louise for the day, we went to breakfast at Tooloulous . It was so delicious! We got there right when they opened at 0800 and they filled up quickly.
The drive to Lake Louise followed along the river. So many beautiful views along the way. I recommend arriving to Lake Louise early. The first parking lot was almost full when we arrived and it was only 10am. It was a chilly, windy day, so we bundled up and headed out for a hike. We hiked up to the Tea House, which was not open for the season, yet. I believe it opened a few days later on June 1st. It was a moderate hike and the weather changed many times along the trail. On your way up to the Tea house, you will pass a few lakes. Make sure to take rain wear with you.
On our way back we stopped at the hot springs to warm up a bit. It was quite hot but I found a shallow spot to hang with Sloane.
We camped at Two Jack Lakeside. My understanding from a local is that this campground books quickly. I wish we would of had more time to stay at this camp site. The views were incredible and it was so peaceful.
Day 4: Fairmont Banff Springs
Our last day and night, we stayed at the Fairmont Banff Springs. This is one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen. The building and the grounds are both very well maintained and are very inviting. We took turns enjoying massages at the Willow Stream Spa and had dinner at The Vermillion Room , which had just recently opened. Sloane enjoyed the warm outdoor pool and running down the long hallways. If you choose to stay here, I recommend upgrading to a Fairmont Gold room. This allows you to use the lounge, which offers breakfast and other amenities throughout your stay.
Day 5: Driving through BC and back to Montana
We took our time driving back to the states through BC, what a beautiful place, I can’t wait to go back someday. We camped in a National Forest in Montana for the night. Our tent was leaking on night 3 from all the rain, so we decided to sleep in the truck. Sloane thought this was the greatest idea, ever!
Day 6: Drove home
We had such a wonderful trip and I never imagined it would go as smoothly as it went. Sloane was incredible the entire trip and Banff has so much to offer. We look forward to going again someday.