Thanksgiving Jasper or not?

Mar 21st, 2014, 02:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 999
Thanksgiving Jasper or not?

Hello fellow fodorites. I am planning a trip to Jasper to visit my daughter who will be finishing up a summer job on Oct 17th.
It's early in the planning process but have a couple of key questions before we book flights:

What are the pros or cons of being there for Canadian Thanksgiving?
Her birthday is the 8th and I would like to be there for that but don't know whether to clear out before the weekend or stay on because of the weekend?

Secondly, a friend is coming with me and will probably have a week longer leave than myself (I will have 2 weeks total, coming from Oz.) I have visited this area previously, she has never been to Canada and is thinking perhaps of doing Vancouver Island on her own.
If so, would she be better doing that the week before we meet (late Sept/early Oct) or after I leave (mid October.)

Thanks very much in advance. More questions to come }
ozgirl is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,503
Here are the temperature ranges for last October from AccuWeather. Be prepared.
Southam is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 581

For Vancouver, I don't think it will make a huge difference between those weeks. It will be colder as the year progresses, but it's not like the mountains where you quickly start getting into the potential for winter weather.

Thanksgiving weekend can be kind of a last hurrah for experiencing the Rockies pre-winter - a lot of tours, (some) hotels and services tend to shut down for the winter after that weekend. So if you want to do any tours, you'll want to come before Thanskgiving.

The holiday tends to be more about family & friends, so it's not something with a lot of related festivities or celebrations. So for you, your friend & your daughter, there may be no real reason to hang out for Thanksgiving other than to enjoy a nice meal (which might be cheaper another weekend).

The advantages to leaving before Thanksgiving would be to avoid the spike in accommodation prices that accompanies a holiday weekend and reducing the risk of encountering the first nasty blasts of winter. October can be unpredictable weather-wise, but the earlier you come, (theoretically) the lower your chance of getting an early season snowstorm. (No matter, make sure to bring layers, mittens and hat as the weather can go from glorious to snowy very quickly!).

The mountains don't tend to be overwhelmingly busy for Thanksgiving (compared to summer holiday weekends), but the they are small, so you need to make reservations for the weekend as soon as possible for accommodations and book ahead for a meal at a restaurant. Some places may require you too book a 2 or 3 night package over the weekend - not an uncommon practice around long weekends.
kgsneds is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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"What are the pros or cons of being there for Canadian Thanksgiving?"
In the mountains, weather always has potential for adventure, any time of year. That being said, we have spent some glorious warm days over Thanksgiving around Jasper, with even some flowers still a-blooming! (Think afternoon highs of 18-22 degrees C, much cooler nights.) But there could be lots of snow too. So depending on your perspective, weather could fall as a pro or con. Helpful, I know.

Prices tend to go up for accommodations as it is a long weekend but definitely should be booked in advance; many restaurants will offer Thanksgiving type dinners that you might enjoy, a kind of cultural experience. I don't think Oz has a similar holiday??

"would she be better doing that the week before we meet (late Sept/early Oct) or after I leave (mid October.)"
I cannot think of any reasons why Vancouver Island would be better at one end or the other - the main consideration is that she books in advance for the Thanksgiving long weekend, if it becomes part of the travel schedule. Maybe others will have other ideas to offer on this question.
out_and_about is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,466
have her use her week alone before...chances are the weather will be better and after a week alone...she'll enjoy having company.
ltt is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 02:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 999
Thanks everyone!
Itt, she may enjoy a week alone after 2 weeks with me !
This info is a great help in all seriousness. What about road conditions at this time of year? Last time we visited it was July and despite "the wrong side of the road thing" I was comfortable driving. Not so confident in snowy conditions which we don't experience?
ozgirl is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,466
there is likely going to be snow at the higher elevations. the lower elevations could be sunny and warm and beautiful. or we could get an early winter snowstorm. watch the road reports and keep some flexibility in your plans. if it snows, might only be for a day and will be melted the next day.
ltt is offline  

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