Banff/Jasper in late October

Aug 30th, 2006, 05:30 AM
  #1  
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Banff/Jasper in late October

Any thoughts on the weather in late-October in Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper? How cold will it be?
Is this a bad or good time to go for non-skiers? We are looking to hike.
doc04 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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Good morning Doc04:

Late October in the mountain parks is either at the start of winter or very close, if not in winter, depending on the fates.

I do not have exact dates, but I believe that the highway from Banff to/from Jasper would be closed. You can check with Parks Canada on the web.

I would expect that at the time of year you are looking at, bears would be in hibernation, but gain, that is another question for Parks Canada.

We have been to Banff and Jasper many times as we live close by. Rain clouds can get hung up on the high mountains and so can be present for a long period, making a visit not too pleasant.

If you could manage it [for next year perhaps] a visit in mid to late September would be better. School is in so there would be less people to compete with. Wildlife is more likely to be seen and the weather can be pleasant as well. An alternative would be early spring. We spent a few days in Lake Louise this spring, stopping at Baker Creek Chalets. Recommended. That is about a 45 minute drive to Banff on a quiet road. We went to Banff every day to the hot pool and sometimes for dinner. On every drive we spotted wildlife. Even after 45 years of visiting the parks, it was still a thrill to see the majestic wild animals.

I am sorry that this reply is not what you would hope for, but better to know ahead of time and make an informed decision.

Woodie.
woodie is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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According to the Trip Planner feature of the Weather Underground website, Banff's average daily high during the last week of October is 42 deg F and its average night time low is 28 deg F. However, day time highs can get as high as 53 deg F and night time lows can get as low as 21 deg F. Well those figures are based on the last 6 years. If you go back 70 years, Banff has been known to get as high as 79 deg F in October (but I don't know what date in October) and as low as -7 deg F (-21 deg C).

More in next post ............
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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WINTER CLOSURES

Banff and area

Sulphur Mountain Gondola : Open year-round.

Lake Minnewanka Loop : Open year-round.

Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy #1A) : Road stays open year-round.

Johnston Canyon : Open year-round. However canyon ice walking in the winter is best done with a guide who knows which areas are safe and provides you with appropriate equipment such as cleats for your boots. I don't know when the canyon would start to get slippery with ice.

Lake Louise and area

Moraine Lake : Road closes any time from the beginning of October onwards and opens in late May. Road is a cross-country ski trail in winter. I like this lake so much that I would be willing to plan my trip around the ability to see it.

Lake Louise : The 5 km (3 mile) road from the village of Lake Louise to the lake of Lake Louise stays open year-round.

Yoho National Park

Spiral Tunnels : The viewing point 8 km east of Field on the TransCanada Highway closes from October to April. The viewing point on Yoho Valley Road is closed from early October to late June.

Takakkaw Falls : Yoho Valley Road closes to vehicles from early October to late June. The road becomes a ski trail in winter.

Natural bridge over the Kicking Horse River , just off Emerald Lake Road : Open year-round.

Emerald Lake : Open year-round.

Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93, the road that connects Lake Louise and Jasper)

Icefields Parkway : In theory the road is open year-round. In practice it occasionally closes for up to three days at a time because of ice storms, avalanches, etc. (But I believe the chances of such a road closure in late October are extremely slim.) Also note that, while the road is open, all of the facilities along it are closed in winter. From about the middle of October through the middle of April, there are no restaurants, gas stations or flush toilets. Also note that cellular phones do not work along much of the Icefields Parkway.

Peyto Lake : The parking lot is not kept clear of snow, and the viewing point becomes inaccessible later in the winter. I think you still would be able to access it in late October.

Columbia Icefields : The Ice Explorer rides onto the Athabasca Glacier close from October 15th to April 15th.

Sunwapta Falls : Accessible year-round , sometimes at the cost of clambering over mounds of snow (but not yet in late October).

Athabasca Falls : Accessible year-round, sometimes at the cost of clambering over mounds of snow (but not yet in late October).

Jasper National Park

Mount Edith Cavell : Road is closed from early October to mid June.

Jasper Tramway : Shuts down from just after Canadian Thanksgiving (second Monday in October) till mid April.

Maligne Canyon : Open year-round. However "canyon crawling" is best done with a guide who knows which areas are safe and provides you with appropriate equipment such as cleats for your boots.

Maligne Lake : Road is open year-round. Cruises to Spirit Island usually stop just after Canadian Thanksgiving (second Monday in October) and resume in the latter part of May.

Miette Hot Springs : Road closes just after Canadian Thanksgiving (second Monday in October) until early May.

More in next post ...........
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 08:42 AM
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>>>>>>An alternative would be early spring. We spent a few days in Lake Louise this spring, stopping at Baker Creek Chalets. Recommended. That is about a 45 minute drive to Banff on a quiet road. We went to Banff every day to the hot pool and sometimes for dinner. On every drive we spotted wildlife. Even after 45 years of visiting the parks, it was still a thrill to see the majestic wild animals.<<<<<<

I don't know what woodie's idea of early spring is. In some places spring means March / April. But not in the Canadian Rockies where people are still skiing.

Spring in the Canadian Rockies is May. Most of the lakes thaw around the end of May. But a few of them don't thaw until early June. If you are a first time visitor, I think it would be a shame to miss the turquoise colour of the mountain lakes. You cannot be assured of seeing Moraine Lake at its best until after the first week of June. I think it would be safer to target the middle of June.

My website has more info.

http://groups.msn.com/CalgaryandCana...kiesTravelTips

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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If you want to hike in the fall, the fall colours in the Kananaskis and Banff townsite areas peak in the middle of September, when the aspen trees turn yellow.

The larch trees around Sunshine Meadows, Moraine Lake, Lake Louise and Lake O'Hara turn gold after the first really good frost, usually after the middle of September. Typically they are at their best in the later part of September.

Jasper is at a lower elevation than Banff and Lake Louise, and its fall colours peak around the first week of October.

The Larch Valley hike that departs from Moraine Lake is very beautiful but also very popular.

If you want to get away from crowds, you can go to two places that are much quieter by virtue of the fact that you have to turn yourself into a pretzel to reach them.

One of them is Lake O'Hara. If you go there as a day tripper, you have to book a seat on the bus up to three months ahead of the date on which you want to ride the bus:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/bc/yoho/activ/activ15a_E.asp

Another area that is only accessible by bus in the summer and fall is Sunshine Meadows. It's a wonderful place to go for the sake of the wildflowers in the summer. In the fall it's an equally wonderful place to go because of the spectacular views of larch trees that it gives you:

http://www.whitemountainadventures.c...ne.htm#shuttle

Another place that is interesting and beautiful to hike to is the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park. Because it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you have to go in the company of an approved guide. Hiking trips are available from the beginning of July to the middle of September. People typically book 4 or 5 months ahead:

http://www.burgess-shale.bc.ca/

In talking about the peak times for fall colours, I should have clarified that we get mostly yellows and golds in this part of the world. We do not get the oranges and reds that the eastern half of the continent gets. Nonetheless, if we get a clear blue sky, which is not uncommon on a fall day, the yellows against the blue still look pretty.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 07:38 AM
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Hello doc04:

I can not argue with Judy_in_Calgary about "early spring".

To me, early spring is when there is still snow on the ground but the streams are running water. Also, it is before the season rush.

We went in late May - my early spring - and had a great time.

I do believe that any time in the rockies would be a "great time".

Woodie
woodie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 04:51 PM
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Doc, Late October in the rockies can be a lovely 15 degrees celsius day or, at worst, a brutal minus 20 celsius or colder. Likely you will see nights cooling down to about minus 10 and highs in the day at about plus 5 celsius. There will be snow in the higher hiking trails for sure and there may be snow in the valleys. I would say about a 50% chance.

The out of town accomodations (Jasper) pretty much close after our Thanksgiving which is the second monday in October. The end of October - through November - is the slowest season of the year for tourism. Rooms should be the cheapest that you would see all year and some of the restaurants do close for this time.

lunabug is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 11:26 AM
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Sending this to the top for riddlekitty2.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
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