My wife and I just toured the Icefield Parkway in Alberta, Canada...she rode and I drove as the result of herniating a disc about 6 weeks before our trip start. Just thought it might be handy to list prices of hotels for those planning a trip. This trip can be done Jasper to Icefield Chalet, then Icefield Chalet to Num Ti Jah, then Num Ti Jah to Banff. Those distances are within the range of experienced cyclists...remember you are at some altitude though. My Wife added stops at Sunwapta Falls Resort between Jasper and Icefield Chalet and a stop at Lake Louise between Num Ti Jah and Banff. Here's what the lodging costs were in Canadian dollars:
Jasper Bed and Breakfast.... about $90 (StayinJasper.com)
Sunwapta Falls Resort....nice room with 2 double beds $159.00
Icefield Chalet.... double bed plus loft with 2 singles...$288.00 nice room with view...I think all the rooms are similar
Num Ti Jah.... old lodge, room a bit funky but clean; includes dinner for two and breakfast (there is no where else to eat)....$580
Deer Lodge, Lake Louise... mediocre room but I think they have some nice ones....$about 250 (our bill was 377 but included dinner charged to the room
Banff---lots of places to stay...we had a friends house in Canmore so $0 for us. Lodging in Canmore is much less than Banff.
Would I repeat? Absolutely, but I would do the 3 day version listed in the top paragraph. The scenery is absolutely fantastic and the road is great...wide shoulders and reasonable grades all the way. The biggest hill heading south is the hill up to Num Ti Jah that is probably 7% in a few places but the major part of the hill is only about 5 kilometers.
There are plenty of campgrounds for those who want to camp...I think this would be a great ride for a group of many 10 riders who rented a Van and either hired or brought along a driver to sag the trip, carry all camping gear etc. You'd be able to have ice chests, decent tents, hot showers through a solar shower set up with either solar heated water or water off the stove since you wouldn't be limited in fuel.
I assume most people who read this forum are in shock after seeing those prices. We might as well add the Chateau Lake Louise to the list. They have an off-season special right now for $350 (plus tax) per night. That must be the price for the room right over the dumpster in the back alley. The last time I stayed there (on business, so I was not paying) the rack rate on the room I was in was $1100 per night. It was a pretty nice room though. It was bigger than my apartment. There was also a free bar of soap with sand and nice smelling stuff embedded right into the bar. I took the soap home with me.
I don't think I would spend more than $1000 per night when cycletouring. In fact, lately I have been spending around $0 per night and I bring my own soap.
unfortunately, on the Icefield Parkway...it appears the rack rate is the only rate. We didn't feel like we could just show up and hope there was a room at Icefield Chalet since it was about 90kilometers down the road to NumTiJah. And Num Ti Jah is the only spot between Icefield and Lake Louise. It was completely full the night we were there...which was after Labor Day so the start of the less travelers time...but still, those charges are straight off the Visa bill that just arrived.
I assume most people who read this forum are in shock after seeing those prices.
Not at all. But then I've lived near and travelled in the Canadian Rockies most of my life. I remember the days when the cabins just outside Banff went for about $45 per night, and you could get a Granny Cabin in Banff for about the same price, possibly less. And I've been there through all the price increases.
That's why I camp when I travel through the Rockies. Camping is still somewhat expensive, but not overly so.
Charlene, I am so old that I can remember staying at the old Tunnel Mountain hostel in Banff when it was just some temporary platform tents. I will be doing my annual trip to Jasper and Banff next week and I will have the whole road to myself because there's already snow up there. The off-season on the Icefields Parkway is within my price range these days.
I just got back from the Icefields Parkway of the north and it was dirt cheap - even cheaper than the Banff Jasper Parkway in the olden days: