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Help Please for Canadian Rockies and surrounds

Help Please for Canadian Rockies and surrounds

Aug 31st, 2002, 12:13 AM
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Help Please for Canadian Rockies and surrounds


My husband and I are going to the Rockies in Canada after driving from Calgary down through Glacier National Park and into Montana. I have been told that Cour d'elane is a lovely place but the person who said that hasn't been there for many years. From there we are going up to Banff and further up the Icefield Highway to Jasper. If anyone has some ideas on what is a "must see" en route please let me know. Also what would be the best sights to see coming from Jasper to Vancouver via Kamloops. I don't want to stay in Kamloops but would love to stay in something typical Canadian out of the way place which has some ambience to it. Thanks in advance

Aug 31st, 2002, 08:54 AM
Bob Brown
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I have been in the Rockies several times; in fact, I was there in July.
From Kamloops to Jasper is boring, frankly, until you get to the vicinity of Mt. Robson. We stayed overnight at Valemont so we could take an 8 mile hike at Mt. Robson. You might also investigate driving off the main road to Wells Grey Provincial Park.
Never did it myself.

Along the Icefields Parkway, I know f several nice destinations for a short walk. You might ask a warden how to find Panther Falls. It is unknown to 97% of the tourists who pass within 200 yards of it, but it is the highest falls in Banff NP.
It is reached from the parking lot on Sunwapta Pass, and it is south of the Icefields Center.

The Icefields Center is where you take the snow coach onto the glacier. It is fun once, at least. If Parker Ridge is open, it is worth a short walk to overlook the Sascatchewan Glacier. I also think you would enjoy the short walk to Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls, just south of Jasper.
Also the view of Peyto Lake is nice, and if the day is clear you can get a look at the Peyto Glacier.
Closer to Lake Louise, take a stop at the Bow Glacier and get a view over Bow Lake at the glacier. I don't recall the name exactly, but Crowsfoot sticks in my mind. It is near Num ti Jah Lodge, which is just off of the parkway.
One drawback to this stop is that every tour bus and its cousin stops there to let the passengers use the most important building on that stretch of the parkway.
You might also enjoy walking to Mystaya Canyon. The trail is short and flat.

Around Jasper, I like Whistlers and the tram ride up. And the premier attraction is Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier. Quite a spectacular sight, particularly if you walk up the Cavell Meadows Trail high enough that you are above the icefall that leads out of the main mass of the glacier. That way you get the full perspective of the glacial basis, the ice itself, and the peak of the mountain.

Maligne Lake is secondary, with some interesting geology in the region. The boat ride is marginally worth the price, and the scenery is ok. I think it the whole area were elsewhere, where it had less competition, it would appear relatively more spectacular. As it is, Maligne is in the heart of some highly scenic country.

On the way to Maligne, you pass a canyon that is very deep and very narrow. It is also worth the effort to walk to one of the bridges and look over into it.

The jewels in the crown, however, that one can access from the highway are Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Nothing quite like them for beauty on a sunny day. Lake Louise is best viewed in the morning, particularly if you can get there before the tour bus hoards arrive. At Moraine Lake the best view is from that rock pile at the east end of the lake. We climbed up on it for some spectacular views. It, too, is best for photography before noon so that the sun is to your side.

In Glacier, the Sun Road is interesting. If the High Line Trail from Logan Pass is open, it is the most interesting of the bunch that you access from the Sun Road. You can walk out about as far as you want. If you get as far as Haystack Butte, there is a good chance of various wildlife appearing. We once met a group of about a dozen rams coming down the trail. (mountain sheep) We moved off the trail and so did they. So we passed without incident. I think they are like mountain goats, don't make any sudden moves or threatening gestures and they will leave you alone.

Aug 31st, 2002, 08:57 AM
Bob Brown
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Part II. That blooming editor cuts off long answers without warning.

Along the High Line Trail, there are also mountain goats and marmots. The marmots run around the trails almost as if you were not there. They have become quite habitutated to hikers.

Goats are more gregarious and have seemingly lost their fear of humans,if they ever had any. At one of the chalets in the backcountry, they congregate on the porch at times. And they have been known to lick salt off of hikers' arms. Up on the Sperry Glacier there is a stair case leading to the glacier itself that was hacked into the rock. Two or three of the mama goats have learned to use it because it makes getting up and down easier for the little goats. We had to stand aside one day while mama and her son came up the steps. Then we did sort of a waltz to pass each other. Those goats have sort of a quizzical look anyhow and she seemed to be saying to me, "What the heck are you doing up there?" Good question. Well, I was leaving.
Aug 31st, 2002, 02:30 PM
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Bob, have you thought of becomming a tour book writer? - what you have give me is a wonderful travel expose' of the area. As a virgin traveller to that area what you have given me is invaluable and will certainly aid in making our trip very memorable

Aug 31st, 2002, 03:41 PM
Bob Brown
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I am a published author with a couple of books out, plus some ancillary material to go with a text book by a very well know author: Patrick McKeown.

I do this for fun; and believe me, when you write for publication there is a lot of work, and not a heck of a lot of money in it.

I do this and there is no editor to tell me what I said wrong.
Sep 1st, 2002, 12:42 AM
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You are not Bob Brown AKA Bill Bryson are you?
What I would appreciate most of all now is some idea of travel times i.e. Glacier National Park though to Banff and/or Banff to Jasper and/or Jasper to Hope and/or Hope through to Vancouver. We want to see the best of the northern area of Montana and of course the Canadian Rockies ( something we have wanted to do for many years) so any ideas would be terrific. Thank you again in advance.
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