Realistic Expectations

Aug 3rd, 2006, 01:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Realistic Expectations

We will be leaving from Invermere, BC early morning traveling to Jasper the same day. Question is realistically how much can we see on this day along the Icefields Parkway if we want to be in Jasper by 6pm? We will also be leaving Jasper via the Icefields Parkway a couple of days later going to Kananaskis so we could see some places on this route although both days are long travel days.
travelsnoop is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
You will not be able to stop much along the Icefields Parkway on this
day. You'll need to postpone some of the "usual suspects" until the
day that you drive from Jasper to Kananaskis.

On your two big travel days (Invermere - Jasper and Jasper - Kananaskis), you can leave your departure points at 8.00 a.m. and arrive at your destinations around 6.00 p.m. if you do the following:


5.5 hours for the drive
1.0 hour to see Emerald Lake
1.0 hour to see Takakkaw Falls
1.0 hour to see Moraine Lake
0.5 hours to see Peyto Lake
1.0 hour for lunch somewhere along the way


5.0 hours for the drive (give or take)
0.5 hours for Athabasca Falls
0.5 hours for Sunwapta Falls
1.5 hours for Snocoach ride at Columbia Icefields (worst case scenario)
1.0 hours for the lake of Lake Louise
1.0 hour for Banff townsite
0.5 hours for lunch
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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Posts: 15
Thanks Judy. I should have stated our complete itinerary for 2 senior couples as follows:

Day 1 Fly into Calgary 3pm, drive to Banff for short sightseeing up Norquay road, stroll Banff avenue, drive to condo in Canmore for dinner and lodging

Day 2 Drive to Banff, visit Cave and Basin site, gondola to Sulfur Mountain, drive to Johnson Canyon, then to Lake Minnewanka, return to condo in Canmore

Day 3 Early morning drive to Lake Moraine, short hike and lunch at the lodge, drive to Chateau LL, walk around, if sunny take the gondola, leave for twilight golf at Stewart Creek at 3:24pm. return to condo in Canmore

Day 4 Morning in Banff, lunch at Fairmont Banff Springs resort, golf at 2pm at Silver Tip, return to condo in Canmore

Day 5 Drive to Panorama near Invermere, BC--question is how much to see that day? Take 93 thru Kootenay Nat Park and stop at all sights, check in at condo in Panorama by 7pm or try for Tak Falls and lunch at Truffled Pig and maybe Emerald Lake??

Day 6 Golf at 9am at GreyWolf, afternoon drive to Fairmont or Radium for hot springs, return to condo in Panorama

Day 7 Day trip--Hwy 95 to Golden, gondola at Kicking Horse, Emerald Lake, lunch at the lodge, walk the lake, Tak Falls then down 93 again to Panorama or time to go to Rogers pass, glacier nat park and back 95 to Panorama??

Day 7 Drive from Panorama to Jasper need to arrive by 8pm at OVerlander Lodge east of Jasper, 93 to Icefields Parkway, stops ????, night at Overlander Lodge.

Day 8 Jasper tram, then to Patricia Lake for lunch? and Pyramid Lake, then to Maligne Canyon and Lake, lunch?? then to Miette Hot springs for late afternoon, back to Overlander for late dinner and night

Day 9 Leave Jasper drive to Mt. Engadine Lodge via Icefields Parkway then hwy 40 thru Kananaskis to Mt. Engadine lodge, need to arrive by 7pm, which stops this trip????

Question is how to work in all the major stops on the Icefields Parkway either going to Jasper or leaving Jasper?

Day 10 Golf at Kananaskis all day, return to Mt. Engadine lodge for dinner and night

Day 11 Drive to Calgary via 40 south then on Cowboy trail, sighsee Calgary, night in Calgary

Day 12 Flight 2:50pm from Calgary home

I hope this clears up the questions presented. Is this itinerary realistic?
travelsnoop is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hello travelsnoop,

I'm in kind of a rush at the moment. Your itinerary is feasible. I'll return at a later point and suggest a couple of tweaks.

There's just one observation I want to make for now. The Overlander is in Hinton, which is an hour's drive east of Jasper townsite. I wonder if you're aware of that.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 07:11 PM
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Travelsnoop, as a first shot across the bow, your draft itinerary was excellent.

I will recommend some tweaks. I will not mention the days that I agree with. I will mention only the days that I believe could use some refinement.

Day 1 – I think you will find, once you’ve cleared immigration and customs, driven to Canmore and checked into your accommodation, that a stroll through Canmore’s town centre and dinner in Canmore will be enough. In my opinion, you have more than enough visits to Banff townsite built into your itinerary, and you can build in a drive up Norquay Road and a stroll along Banff Avenue into those other visits. But you don’t have to decide that now. You can see how you feel after you’ve settled into your Canmore accommodation.

Day 2 – I recommend that you visit Moraine Lake and Lake Louise on this day. It might be pushing it a little to try to do justice to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise (which, remember, are further from Canmore than Banff is) on Day 3 and get back for your golf game at Stewart Creek at 3.24 p.m. on Day 3.

Day 3 – Since Banff is closer to Canmore than Lake Louise is, I recommend that you do your Banff activities on this day. I don’t remember your saying when you would travel. If it’ll be in September, the sequence won’t matter so much. If it’s in the busy month of August, go to Johnston Canyon first thing, because it’s popular and its parking lot fills up. If there is any Banff-based sight or activity that you don’t manage to accomplish on this day, you can let it spill over to the morning of Day 4.

Day 5 – Drive through Kootenay National Park to Panorama. I recommend against visiting Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake or the Truffle Pig on this day. They would be out of your way, and would add a considerable amount of time to your drive.

Day 7 – I recommend that you do a day trip to Revelstoke on this day. You could consider a visit to Canyon Hot Springs en route to Revelstoke.

Oops, your itinerary mentions Day 7 twice. I’ve sometimes made that mistake in itineraries too. If, in order to repair that mistake, you’re forced to eliminate a day from your draft itinerary, I suggest you cut out the day trip to Revelstoke – much as it pains me to make that suggestion.

More ..........
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Day 7 (or 8?) – On the way from Panorama to Hinton, drive through Yoho National Park and see Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls. Once you’re on the Icefields Parkway, stop to see Peyto Lake. Naturally you won’t need to stop and see Moraine Lake, as I’d suggested before I knew your full itinerary. On the other hand, the hour that you’ll save by skipping Moraine Lake will be consumed by driving the extra distance to Hinton.

I have never eaten at the Truffle Pig in Field, BC, so cannot comment on it from personal experience. From comments I’ve read on the travel discussion boards, people seem to love it or hate it. Amongst those who love it, it seems to have a very loyal following. There were two places in the Field area in which you wanted to eat. One was Emerald Lake Lodge, and the other was the Truffle Pig. From what I have heard about the Truffle Pig, it must be a totally different experience from Emerald Lake Lodge. I believe you can approximate the Emerald Lake Lodge experience if you have lunch at Deer Lodge (close to the lake of Lake Louise) on the day that you visit Moraine Lake. The restaurant at Moraine Lake has a view of the lake, and that is something that Deer Lodge lacks. However, the restaurant at Moraine Lake is modern, whereas Deer Lodge is old and quaint. In addition to that, to my taste the lunch at Deer Lodge is better than the lunch at Moraine Lake (albeit the lunch at Moraine Lake is very acceptable). Anyway, if it was my trip, I would balance things out by having lunch at Deer Lodge on Day 2 and then I would live dangerously and try the Truffle Pig in Field on Day 7 (or is that Day 8?).

Day 8 – You have way too much stuff packed into your day in Japser National Park. It will take you an hour each way to drive to Jasper townsite and back again. The drive from Jasper townsite to Maligne Lake takes an hour each way. I like to spend a couple of hours in Maligne Canyon, but I guess you could spend only an hour there. And so it goes on …….

I suggest you cut out Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake for starters. They are pleasant places, but they do not constitute Jasper National Park’s premium scenery. I would recommend that you take the tram up Whistler’s Mountain, drive to Mount Edith Cavell, and visit Maligne Canyon. If you have enough time left over, drive to and from Maligne Lake. Alternatively, if you could use the time that you would have used in driving to Maligne Lake to drive to Miette Hot Springs. The number of things you were trying to cram into this day was one of the reasons that I suggested you visit Canyon Hot Springs en route to Revelstoke, if indeed you can afford a day in which to visit Revelstoke.

Day 9 – Drive from Hinton to Mt Engadine Lodge. The recommendations in my earlier post, with the exception of the visit to Lake Louise, still stand. But again, the time saved by skipping Lake Louise will be consumed by driving from Hinton to Jasper townsite.

It would not make sense to approach Mt Engadine Lodge from Hwy #40. That would be a long way round. It would be more efficient to turn south onto Route #742 (Spray Lakes Road) at Canmore.

Day 12 – If you’ll be flying out on a US-bound flight, remember to check in 2 hours before departure time.

The TIPS section of my website, if you have not yet stumbled on it, has information on weather, what to pack, national park entry fees, driving distances and times, etc.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Thanks very much. I understand why fellow travelers appreciate your suggestions so much.

Actually, the second day 7 should have been day 8 and the rest thru day 13. We will arrive Aug 28 and depart Sept 9.

I am reworking our itinerary as you suggested. I wonder if on day 2 we could do the following:

Drive early am to Lake Moraine, spend 2-3 hours there. Drive to Tak Falls, 1hour, then to Emerald Lake for late lunch and 2 hours on the lake, back to Lake Louise for the rest of the daylight hours. Drive back to Canmore in pm. Doable in one day??

I was very concerned about Jasper. Since the Overlander lodge is east of Jasper, I had hoped we could do the tram in or near Jasper, then go east to the road leading to Maligne Canyon and Lake, then to Miette Hot Springs and then to the Overlander all east of Jasper in one day. The visit to the other lakes would have been nice.

On the trip from Jasper to Mt. Engadine We thought about adding the drive to Mt. Edith Cavell but thought the ice coach and other stops on the Icefields missed coming to Jasper were more important. You are correct the shortest drive to Mt. Engadine is the road from Canmore not Hwy40. We will add that also.

Your idea of sightseeing in the area where we are golfing on a particular day makes sense. This is where we can place the trip to Fairmont Banff Hot Springs Resort Hotel and then golf in the afternoon.

If we could do Tak Falls and Emerald Lake on day 2 then on the day trip from Panorama we could indeed go to Rogers Pass, Glacier Park, and Revelstoke. Thanks.

The hot springs in Fairmont is pretty much a firm idea as the ladies will not be playing golf at GreyWolf in Panorama but will be sightseeing in small towns south of Fairmont Hot Springs. We guys will meet them at Fairmont for a dip.

The plan for the hot springs at Miette is because it is close to the Overlander and would be the last thing to do before dinner that evening at the Overlander.

The big concern was how many places near Jasper could we see that morning before going to Maligne Canyon and Lake. Looking at the map it appears that the road to Maligne Canyon and Lake connects with Hwy 16 east of Jasper so that is why we tried to plan in that direction for the afternoon.

Thanks again. I hope we can return the favor someday.

travelsnoop is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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>>>>>>Thanks very much.<<<<<<

You’re welcome.

>>>>>>I wonder if on day 2 we could do the following:

Drive early am to Lake Moraine, spend 2-3 hours there. Drive to Tak Falls, 1hour, then to Emerald Lake for late lunch and 2 hours on the lake, back to Lake Louise for the rest of the daylight hours. Drive back to Canmore in pm. Doable in one day??<<<<<<

Yes, it's doable, as the following time breakdown shows:

1.25 hours – Drive from Canmore to Moraine Lake.

2.0 hours – At Moraine Lake.

1.0 hour – Drive to Tak Falls.

0.5 hours – Look at Tak Falls.

0.75 hours – Drive to Emerald Lake.

2.0 hours – At Emerald Lake (lunch and viewing the lake).

0.75 hours – Drive to the lake of Lake Louise.

1.0 hours – Look at the Lake Louise.

1.0 hour – Drive back to Canmore.
10.25 hours – TOTAL

If I were you I would go to Moraine Lake, then Emerald Lake, have lunch, then visit Tak Falls and Lake Louise, and finally return to Canmore. if you follow your proposed sequence, your lunch at Emerald Lake will be very late indeed.

Some of the driving times I have given you may surprise you. If you base your estimates on the nominal number of miles between one place and the next, you may not appreciate how slow the drives to those places are. The side roads to Moraine Lake and Tak Falls, for example, are winding.

More ..........

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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As far as I can tell, getting Tak Falls and Emerald Lake out of the way on Day 2 (August 29th) will allow you to see everything else on your wish list. Here's what you could consider:

Sept 2 - Day 8 - Drive from Panorama to Hinton.

5.5 hours – Drive to Hinton
0.5 hours - Peyto Lake
2.0 hours - Jasper tram
1.0 hour - Patricia and Pyramid Lakes
1.0 hour - lunch somewhere along the way
10.0 hours total

Sept 3 - Day 9 – Explore Jasper National Park.

2.0 hours – driving Hinton - Jasper - Hinton
2.0 hours - Maligne Canyon
2.0 hours – drive to Maligne Lake and back
1.5 hours – cruise across Maligne Lake to Spirit Island (optional)
1.5 hours – Miette Hot Springs
1.0 hour – lunch somewhere along the way
10.00 hours total

Sept 4 - Day 10 – Drive from Hinton to Mt. Engadine Lodge.

4.5 hours for the drive
0.5 hours to pick up take away lunch in Jasper (cafeteria at Columbia Icefields is dismal)
1.5 hours for Mount Edith Cavell (without Angel Glacier / Cavell Meadows hike)
0.5 hours for Athabasca Falls
0.5 hours for Sunwapta Falls
1.5 hours for Snocoach ride at Columbia Icefields
1.0 hour for lunch
10.0 hours total

Wow, when I first saw your itinerary, I thought you would not be able to fit everything in, but now I think you can.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 01:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Wow Judy!

I knew you could figure out how for us to see everything. Changes are already being made. You are the expert.

Actually, the difficulties arise from us trying to cram two trips into one trip. First a golfing trip and second a sightseeing trip.

Oh, for the readers, we purchsed our Parks Passes by phone 403-292-4401 and the parks service mailed them to us already.

Anyway, many thanks Judy.

travelsnoop is offline  

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