Rockies Portion of X-Cda Rd Trip

Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:27 AM
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Rockies Portion of X-Cda Rd Trip

We can only spare a couple of days in the Rockies as we plan to head as far as Toronto and have only 10 days to fit it all in (including stops in Chicago & Stratford, ON but thats for another thread!).

Ive learned a lot already (thx bob_brown & Judy_in_Calgary for your detailed replies to others from which I have lurked much info, including J_i_Cs website). One of the differences in our itin is our routing is west to east.

My DH & I (late 30s reasonably fit) are travelling by car and doing a budget trip. We plan to visit the Rockies again more thoroughly in the future so this is just a highlight trip. As some one recommended, well use our itinerary as a guide and enjoy what we do see rather than worry about what weve missed.

Having said that, were fairly quick travellers and would like to see as much as we can. Ive stayed at the Chateau Lake Louise before, weve both been to Banff and the hot springs there. I think were more interested in the part north of LL/Banff.

Heres our proposed itin:

Aug 20: leave Vancouver, early morning drive to Jasper, Meitte Hot Springs

Aug 21: Maligne Canyon, Athabasca Falls, do Ice Walk tour at Athabasca Glacier (need to arrive by 10:40 a.m.), Columbia Icefield Centre, Peyto Lake, Crowfoot Glacier

Aug 22: Yoho National Park: Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls; Moraine Lake, Lake Louise area; Johnston Canyon and Banff Gondola, drive to Drumheller via Cochrane & Airdrie Royal Tyrell Museum
Aug 23 Badlands viewing then drive to Moose Jaw

A few questions:
Whats the approx distance from Jasper to Meitte Hot Springs? Im thinking of maybe staying around Meitte HS the first nite instead of Jasper.

Was considering staying in LL area for Nite 2 since there seems to be a lot more affordable lodgings there than in Field. Any thoughts?

Whats the diff btwn Sulphur Mtn Gondola in Banff and the one in Jasper? Id planned to do the one in Jasper but the Banff one gets repeated mentions. Obviously given our time constraint, well only do one or the other.

Does one get a pretty good feel for the glacier from the viewing areas provided by Jasper Nat'l Park or is it worth it for a tour?

Is there a National Park Rockies combo pass?

Thx a mint for any feedback!
klam_chowder is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:56 PM
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I realize you stated that this is a highlights visit and that you're quick, but, wow!, you're sure trying to pack a whole lot in in a couple of days. I don't think you'll be able to do all that you have listed, even if all you did was just drive from one location to the next.

It's been a few years since I've been to Miette, but I recall the drive from Jasper townsite to the springs being at least 45 minutes (away from Banff, so add that to your drive time when going to Banff). We stayed at a motel (can't recall the name) that was right next to the hot springs that had very small rooms but was clean and serviceable.

Where were you planning on staying the night of the 21st?
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:23 PM
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It seems like the drive from Vancouver to Jasper is awfully long. I'd be tempted to take the trans-Canada to perhaps Golden at about 450 miles (600? km)for the first stop then do the Yoho/Banff/Jasper park routing, exiting east through Edmonton, then down to Saskatoon and on through Regina on the way to Winnipeg.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:54 AM
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Thx a mint for the replies and feedback.

When I looked at it I thought Aug 21 was a bit tight - I'll guess we'll have to cut something out.

Good to know that MHS is about 45 min from Jasper - I couldn't find both of them on an on-line map with mileage and couldn't tell from the maps I saw.

Aug 21 nite will be either in Field for an early start in Yoho or LL and head to Yoho first thing. The decision will be mostly based on cost/availability I think.

I never thought about going northbound and going out of Edmonton - that's why these boards are great! I'll have to see how that works as I think my DH will really enjoy the dinosaur museum (I've been there before), and it'll probably be a highlight for him so I wouldn't want to miss it.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Vancouver to Jasper is doable in a day trip. We have done it often. I wouldn't recommend heading up to Miette when you arrive though as it does take 45 minutes or so. If you did still want to go there you might want to think about staying right at Miette Hot Springs. There is a motel / cabins with a restaurant right on site and also
Pocohontas Bungalows is on Highway 16, where you would turn off up to Miette.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 03:58 AM
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lunabug, thx a mint for your reply. It's good to know that Van > Jasper is doable in a day. Sometimes the on-line maps indicate one thing but the reality is something else so it is reassuring to know.

The lodging tips are appreciated as well. Will probably stay around the hotsprings for the first nite then.
klam_chowder is offline  
Old May 29th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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I remember my parents driving from Jasper to Vancouver in one long day. We left in the morning and arrived in Vancouver late at night. It's one long day in a car, but it can be done.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2007, 03:32 AM
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We just drove from Vancouver area to Jasper. It's a haul---we ended up staying in Clearwater for the nite.
The following morning we shot up to Jasper, had an early lunch, and were enjoying the M-Canyon hike by 1 p.m.

FYI: The Golden route was closed twice last week due to mud-slides.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Aug 22 is just as tight as the 21st. You are essentially driving from Vancouver to Moose jaw in under 4 days and that is 25 hours of straight highway driving.

You cannot hope to see all of the things you have listed in any meaningful way.

Take a look at what you really want to do, budget the time from off the highway driving and enjoy yourself.

Takakkaw will take you 2-3 hours alone but it's can't miss site.
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 04:01 AM
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Thx a mint for all your continued replies, Fodorites!

I hear what you're saying and based on it, I think we'll leave Yoho NP to another trip altogether. We do plan to come back to this area when we retire (20 years from now!). The reason for this trip is to drive a car from Vancouver to the east.

It's good to know in advance the drive to Jasper will be a long day. We're probably fine with it since it's just the 2 of us, my SO loves driving, and I can spell him off too of course.

Anyone know if there's a National Park Rockies combo pass? I couldn't find one on their website but I seemed to recall that I'd seen them on-line (when we went to Newfoundland a couple of years ago and was researching the pass combos).

I very much appreciate all your points of view.
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