seek information on Jasper

Old Aug 5th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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seek information on Jasper

On a pervious trip we drove from Banff to Jasper and want ot return and spend more time there.
Can anyone advise of best time of year to avoid the crowds yet still have decent weather for hiking?
In addition I wonder if 7 days there is overkill?
tnmikey is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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I like the latter half of June as well as the month of September.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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September and even the first half of October are a lovely time - usually sunny days but cool crisp (frosty) nights. Unless there is an unusually early snowfall, all the trails will be open and dry - perfect for hiking. Only downside is that the days are not as long as in summer, so you'll want to end your hikes by about 6 p.m.

As for 7 days in Jasper - to me it sounds like a dream come true!! It's a beuatiful place and you will love it especially if you prefer to spend your time quietly in a natural setting.
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Old Aug 6th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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I think 7 days in Jasper per se are a bit of overkill. After 3 visits there, I think 4 full days would suffice, but I must add a few qualifications.

There are few long hikes you can take, and, if you are into backpacking, the hike would take you out of Jasper for perhaps 2 days, with 1 night on the trail. So subtract long hiking days from the 4 mentioned above.

Also to some extent it depends on how much you want to do in a day. For example, I took spent 3 hours wandering around the flat area of the Whistler, but it could be done in 2 hours. For a hiker who wanted to really explore, it could take 5 hours or more.

Mount Edith Cavell, the same situation. How much of the surroundings do you want to see and how long will they hold your interest?

Maligne Lake ditto. I spent 40 minutes one afternoon geting a good photograph of a bull elk in the trees. No danger, with that rack of antlers no way that big boy could come charging trough the thick trees. Besides, I had a telephoto lens on my SLR which meant I could keep my distance. Mr. Elk was more interested in eating than he was in me.
(I think the boat ride is something of an expensive letdown, but many people take it.)

One excursion I highly recommend for a clear day is a visit to Mt. Robson which lies over the border in British Columbia. I suggest hiking as far as Kinney Lake where the lake provides a natural opening in the forest that allows you to gaze straight up 8,000 feet towards the summit.

The trail itself goes all the way to Berg Lake, but a round trip to the lake is too long for a day trip unless you are among the fastest hikers around.

Camping at Berg Lake requires a permit because it is one of the most popular destinations in all of the Rockies.

In all there is plenty to do. So by the time you tack on two full days out the Jasper area, you could stretch my original estimate of 4 out to 6.

As the Germans say: Es hängt von dir ab.
Up to you.
bob_brown is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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OOPS Add LONG hiking days to my 4 day estimate. Don't subtract them.
Senior moment, so make the correction for me.

Another adder-oner = soaking in the hot springs at Miette where the water is cooled to 103 degrees F.

And of you go to the springs, also take the drive through Fiddle Valley. That might add a day as well.

So again, it all depends on what you do!!
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Old Aug 7th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Be forewarned - hiking at higher elevations (most of the popular hikes such as Cavell Meadows, Opal or Bald Hills, Sulphur Skyline, Wilcox Pass) can get a little "iffy" by early October - or even the end of September -because of snow. At that time of the year, if it is raining in the valley bottom (town), it is snowing up higher. If the weather warms up, the snow may melt.

Last year, we had generally exceptional warm sunny weather into October, with only a few rainy days, and I was able to hike to Wilcox Pass on October 7th. There was, however, one hair-raising ice-covered portion of the trail, in the forest where the sun had not completely melted the snow and it had thawed and re-frozen, covering the trail with ice. The trail is on a slant there, contoured into a steep sideslope - very hard to get footing, and a slip would not have been good! While there was a dusting of snow in the pass, the rest of the trail was bare and dry.

I have hiked Opal Hills (at Maligne Lake) in MID September in a blizzard with absolutely no visibility. One year, I did a canoe/camping trip to Coronet Creek at the end of Maligne Lake in the 3rd week of September. We had a nasty snowstorm overnight. In the morning, the snow melted back to just above the lake's elevation. I was up at Maligne again a couple of times in the next couple of weeks, and that snow never did melt - it was the beginning of the winter's accummulation.

Hiking in the valley - places like the Pyramid Bench above/behind Jasper, Valley of the Five Lakes, Old Fort Point etc. will be fine - into October and November. But if you are planning on hikes into the subalpine & alpine, to be on the safe side, plan them before the last week of September.
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Old Aug 7th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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Just a warning about weather in the mountains, it's always unpredictable. I hiked the Skyline a few years back the first week of September and we had snow (~5-10cm) each night. The days were gloriously sunny and the daytime temps were fine, but at camp at night, we had all our fleece on and it made for very muddy campsites.

As the scouts say, be prepared.
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Old Aug 7th, 2007, 09:40 PM
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Just to add to the "you can never tell about the weather" stories, we hiked the Opal Hills trail one mid-October (a few years ago), and it was cool but perfectly clear and sunny, not a speck of snow anywhere, although we did see a bit of hoar frost in shaded places.

Because we live not far from Jasper, we tend to travel there frequently, and have made a tradition of travelling on Thanksgiving (the Canadian version in the second week of October), and haven't faced snowstorms on any of our October trips.
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