Is this a good reason to skip Jasper?

Old Jun 11th, 2008, 08:33 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is this a good reason to skip Jasper?

I would appreciate your advise greatly.

I live in Boston and to save a lot of money (made these decisions before gas prices spiked) my husband and I decided to drive to NY and fly out of JFK to Spokane, WA instead of to Calgary and on to the Canadian Rockies. This was by far the least expensive route. With the price of gas, in hindsight we would have been better off paying more and having more direct flights, but oh well, I am sure all of our driving will be beautiful. We leave a week from today. We have a week of timeshare in Canmore which begins on Friday.

Our trip to the Rockies will be 11 days not including travel days. We are staying in Spokane Wed.night because it will be very late and then Thursday morning we will be heading off. To where, is my big question.

At first we planned to drive about 10 hrs. that day straight to Jasper, stay over Th. night and then spend the day on Friday in Jasper and traveling down the parkway. We would stop along the way and do some hikes and other stops.

During the week in Canmore we plan to go to Lake Louise and Lake Moraine, etc.

Some people my husband knows who were just visiting Banff and Jasper strongly advised him today to just go up the the icefields on a day trip from Canmore and NOT to go to Jasper. Both of them separately said that it wouldn't be worth all of the driving and that Jasper is a run down old town and there is so much beauty every where else. He said there are so many other wonderful hikes and places to go like Yoho closer to where we will be based in Canmore.

I am confused because everyone on this site always raves about Jasper; I don't think I have ever seen anyone say not to bother going. Also, to be that close and not go seems strange although with doing the extensive driving we will be doing and gas the price it is I want to try and carefully choose what we do.

If we don't drive our first very long day to Jasper, what do you suggest that would be a great alternative? Is this a good reason to skip going all the way to Jasper or would we be making a mistake?

Sorry this was so long. Any advise would be wonderful based on our circumstances I have described.

Juldie is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 10:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My personal opinion - I have been to the Rockies only once in my life (last year), and liked Jasper for maybe the same reason that make those people call it "run-down" - it doesn't feel as much as a postcard, touristy village as Banff and Lake Louise do. Yes you will have lots to see and do in the Canmore/Banff/Yoho area only, so if you want to spare some driving, you will still have a wonderful holiday. But if you decide to go up to Jasper, you should really stay two nights there. Don't get there after a 10-hour trip, then back out on the Icefield Highway the following morning for another full day of driving and sightseeing - that wouldn't do Jasper justice in my opinion.

With or without Jasper, the Rockies are magnificient! But I am really happy I saw Jasper and its surroundings (Maligne Lake, Medecine Lake, Mount Edith Cavell, etc.) Have a great trip!
ventdest is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 04:28 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,357
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's really a question of whether you want to do the driving. There is enough to do without ever getting to Jasper to keep you busy for your 8-9 full days. Personally, on your schedule, I would not go all the way. Not because jasper is sub-standard but because of what your friends said.
Aramis is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:03 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I personally agree with both ventdest and Aramis - if you go to Jasper, you need to spend more than 1 night. We have now been to the Rockies 3 times, and have added time to our Jasper stay each time. There is a lot to do there, and also a relaxing time. And the drive each way on the Icefields Parkway is just wonderful.

But there is also enough to see in Banff, Lake Louise area, and Yoho, and even Kootenay, that you can fill your days without going to Jasper. Maybe your next trip! If you are like so many of us, you will plan another trip!!

No matter which approach you take, you will find it wonderful! Our 4th trip is planned for this September - can't wait!
newretiree is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've never been to the area, but we had a timeshare booked Sat - Sat on Vancouver Island and one the following week Tues - Tues in Canmore. We elected to spend the first night in Kamloops, then drive on to Jasper where we will spend two more nights. I've found plenty of things in the guidebooks that interest me to keep us busy for a day around Jasper. Then we'll make the leisurely drive down the Icefields Pkwy to Canmore.

I leave in about an hour. Hope it works out.

Sheila
swilshire is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:03 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We've been to the area many times and think Jasper is well worth. As mentioned there are plenty of beautiful places near it, it's not over the top touristy, and our stay one yeaar at the Jasper Park Lodge was a great experience. I do agree that 1 night is not enough. I think with your schedule you could do 2.

My only other comment - I wouldn't recommend a day trip on the Parkway from Banff. It's an amazingly beautiful drive and you'll want to stop often just to take in the views, maybe hike, and see the wildlife. The last time we did it, we were going from Banff to Jasper and it took us 6 gorgeous hours. Just my opinion.
dfr4848 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 08:04 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you decide not to go to Jasper, a day trip up the Icefields Parkway is definitely doable (I lived in Canmore for many many years and we did it all the time with out of town guests and they very much enjoyed it) - bear in mind it is a long day if you stop alot, which you will.

As for Jasper, it is a personal decision. In my honest opinion, if you are doing Canmore/Banff/Lake Louise, you can well afford to miss Jasper.

Have a wonderful trip.
NinaM is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 08:30 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 172
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love Jasper - even lived there for several years but when I'm on holidays I try to minimize my car time. There's more than enough around Canmore and Banff to occupy your 11 days.

I'd spend my first night in Lake Louise or maybe Storm Mountain Lodge. If you like hot springs, you could stop in Radium on the first night, then go up through Golden to Yoho.
Heather49 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 10:31 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 593
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jasper is not a run-down town - because it's in a national park, development here is tightly controlled; there are strict architectural guidelines. The biggest industry is tourism. I hear from people over and over again what a "quaint" town it is. It is substantially smaller then both Banff and Canmore. Jasper has a population of about 4500, Banff about 7500 and Canmore about 12000. Of the three towns, I would say that Canmore is the least attractive, as it is not subject to park development regulations and has had unbridled development over the past twenty years - but it is still a nice place.

The whole area is full of beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery - glaciated peaks, waterfalls, canyons etc. If you don't want to drive all the way to Jasper, I would suggest going as far as the Columbia Icefields (100 km/60 miles south of Jasper). That way, you will see most of the Icefields Parkway (www.icefieldsparkway.ca).
krp329 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 07:39 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for your input. I am sorry I couldn't respond sooner. I am not able to post while at work.

I have considered all you have written and haven't had a chance to talk to my husband about it because he is immersed in the Celtics getting destroyed by the Lakers.

Heather49, have you stayed at Radium Hot Springs? Is there a main lodge or other properties? The area looks cool - I love hot springs as long as they are natural and the real thing.

As far as staying more than 1 night in Jasper I would rather not spend the extra money since we are paying for the entire week of timeshare already.

So if we decide on going to Jasper what do you think of us driving straight to Jasper the morning we leave Spokane and do no stopping. Then the next day drive the parkway very leisurely to Canmore, stopping for hikes. If we feel like we want more of it we can go one day during the week from Canmore and go back up perhaps to the icefields.
Juldie is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2008, 04:25 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,357
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Juldie;

You need to check driving times.

Spokane to Jasper is over 13 hours without stops and Canmore to Jasper is about 5 hours, presuming you are going in the summer. You will get slowed down on single lane highways by campers, etc..

You will want to stop to hike and view things so what you seem to want to plan will be exhausting.

I really suggest you don't go any farther than the Icefields parkway, on a day trip from Canmore - about 2 hours. You can do Lake Louise, Moraine, and Yoho National park (see Takakkaw Falls!) on another day.

Aramis is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2008, 05:55 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 172
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry Juldie

I stay with friends in the Radium area so I'm not familiar with the hotels. There are many hotels there though and perhaps someone else can comment on them.

Spokane to Jasper will be a very long drive. In some places, it can also be slow and frustrating because of heavy traffic and slow moving RVs.
Heather49 is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2008, 03:46 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,737
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If it is my choice. I skip Banff and stay in Jasper. Banff is too commercialized.

I guess if you like to see bars, shops and expensive restaurants, by all means, go to Banff. You will enjoy the crowded sidewalks and heavy street traffic.

If you like small town charm, then Jasper is the place.

Here is something to illustrate my point: There are lots of fast food restaurnts in Banff, including MacDonald's. (Not that there isn't any fast food chains in Jasper)

You are going to the Rockies to see natural scenic beauties, not a commercialized modern metroplois that pretends to be something that it isn't anymore. (Banff was charming many years ago)
Eschew is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2008, 07:56 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eschew - I am booked into a timeshare for a week in Canmore so it really isn't an option to do what you suggest. Aramis - I appreciate what you said and just going as far as the Icefields Parkway is the option I am considering. We mapquested the trip from Spokane to Jasper and we come up with 10 hours, not 13. Perhaps you are figuring in realistically what it will be with traffic and all.
Juldie is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 09:36 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,439
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Juldie,
You have received so much good advise already; but what the heck! Here's my two cents worth. The drive up the parkway to Jasper is incredible. This scenery was more rugged and awe inspiring for us than the Trans Canada Hywy stretch of the Rockies. We took 6 hours to get from Banff to Jasper because of the stops, not including the Ice Fields. What no one has mentioned so far is that the Ice Fields themselves are worth a couple of hours at least to take the tour etc. Our opinion is that you cannot do the Jasper trip justice. You will end up tired and frustrated as you drive by Peto Lake, Athabasca Fall, Bridal Vail Falls and all the glaciers without being able to take the time to stop or get off the main road. From Canmore you can definitely do great day trips to the Ice Fields and Peto Lake.

With respect to Peto Lake. Don't just go to the viewing area with the rest of the bus tour crowd. Take the hiking paths and before you know it the crowds will be left behind and it will be just you and the incredible expanse of beauty.

Have a wonderful time!
stanbr is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 01:45 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jasper is wonderful, but given the constraints of your trip, you should skip it. It will not be worth it to arrive in the evening and leave the next morning... you won't have a chance to enjoy any of the natural beauty that is what makes Jasper great. Yes, the town is small and cute, but you're not going there for the town. Save Jasper for your next visit to Canada. The suggestion of a day trip from Canmore to the Icefields is an axcellent one.
msteacher is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 02:35 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can never get enough input. Sometimes I read what someone says and even if it is very similar, the way I read the post helps clarify my thoughts and it all comes together for me. After reading your post standbr I am thinking now that maybe we should find a place to spend the night between Spokane and Banff and then check in to out timeshare. During the week we get up early one morning and take a very leisurely ride up to Jasper stopping where we want and then spend the overnight in Jasper. The next day we will have the whole day to do the same thing.

After reading msteacher's post I agree that it will be frustrating and likely feel like it wasn't worth it to drive all that way to feel so rushed and not relaxed in what we can do. So I think that if we are going to go all the way to Jasper we should do this plan,otherwise just do a day trip to the ice fields. It will cost us for 1 additional night's lodging but I think it has to be that way. Thank you very much. If this is what we do I would love any suggestions of where to stop the first night that will be fabulous, but don't want to spend over $200/night, perhaps in Yoho, or Kanaskis?
Juldie is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 05:55 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Honestly, from Spokane to Jasper (with staying 1 night en route) - Radium would probably be your best place to spend the night.
NinaM is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Scotia
Canada
4
Jul 22nd, 2010 11:01 AM
Celiaanne
Canada
6
Jul 22nd, 2008 06:28 PM
myomy
Canada
5
Jun 19th, 2007 07:34 PM
RHINOWIN
Canada
9
May 9th, 2006 05:58 AM
mikety
Canada
5
Jun 26th, 2003 05:26 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:09 PM.