We did this trip two years ago. At Banff, you can walk into town for some shopping or visit the hot springs. At Jasper, you can rent kayaks or bicycles (which is what we did), or just relax on lakeside chairs and enjoy the scenery. Your Tauck director will have lots of suggestions. We loved this trip. You'll have a great time.
It's been quite awhile since I did the Grand Canadian Rockies, but my friend and I each did our own thing when we were there. We didn't do anything in Lake Louise because it's not near anything (or it didn't used to be) so we just hung around the hotel and walked by the Lake. In Banff, we walked into town and they also offered horseback riding. On our tour, we were only there a day, so we just went into town. At Jasper Park, I took a wildlife tour in a small van and went horseback riding. My friend took a tram to the top of a nearby mountain and also rented a bike. We also rented a paddleboat and paddled on the lake at the hotel. None of these was included in the tour. This seemed to have the most choices of things to do in our down time.
We are doing this trip on August 9th and are making plans for the “free day” in Jasper. Did tours sell out? Did anybody book in advance of the trip?
We were there last month on the Canadian Rockies/Glacier NP tour and we made plans the night before we went on a rafting trip in Jasper. Anyone who wanted to go rafting (there are quite a few choices) were able to get what they wanted. We didn't want to book in advance in case the weather was bad. Turned out we rafted with temps in the mid-50's and rain on the horizon. Didn't stop us from having a great time. I believe your TD will also help if need be. I don't think anyone missed out on any activity they wanted to do. Have a great trip!
We went up the tram at Jasper. Expensive for what you got, unless you want to hike up to the top. Basically got out and had a snack at a mediocre restaurant. Enjoyed the walk around the lake. Our float trip in Banff was cancelled because I think the water in the Bow River was low, although we were told it was cold. We got $25 for that? It was not that cold. This was late September. You should have more options in August. Our Director told us to ask the concierge who was disinterested and not helpful.
I know the original post is from 2018 but others might benefit from reading about activities. There is so much to do at the Jasper Park Lodge that you really do not need to leave the grounds unless you want to. We chose to take advantage of the free day by relaxing, paddle boating on the lake and taking a walk around the lovely grounds. My husband enjoyed sitting on the adirondack chairs and reading. While I was walking on one of the trails, a very kind ranger told me I could not proceed farther because of bear sightings. He graciously escorted me back a portion of the way.
We loved the Grand Canadian Rockies so much that we took the tour twice and could easily do it again. It clearly is not a cultural tour but very much a scenic one with the majestic Rockies as a backdrop, hence the tour's title. For a blend of culture and scenery, we also enjoyed Canada's Capital Cities with stays at four (4) Fairmont properties.
Jasper was a wonderful place but the activities offered are very limited at the end of September, early October, unless you golf. The trails are nice but ...
I guess I don't do Tauck to go to a resort and relax. :-)
Perhaps you could link up with ‘young422’. We went horseback rising at Jasper, walked around the lake, and really had a good time. It’s a beautiful place. The locals call it the JPL. We enjoyed the stops, but hated the bus rides. British I think may be the opposite … loves buses and hates boats. Each trip is not for everyone. If you like bus trips, you probably should not sign up for a boat trip. They are a totally different experience. We can’t wait to get on the boat, unpack, and stop living out of a suitcase. If you like packing every day, go for it.
Perhaps you could link up with ‘young422’.
@Sealord - what is that supposed to mean? Isn't it bad enough that you tried to silence me on my own thread because I don't post often enough for you and you didn't agree with my message? Now you are going to try to bully me on completely unrelated threads.