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drive from Edmonton to Jasper

Los Angeles...
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drive from Edmonton to Jasper

We are leaving Edmonton Sunday morning to drive to Jasper. We are staying in Sunwapta. I was thinking it might be a good idea to visit Maligne Lake area on that day on our way.

What do you think? We will be in Jasper 2 nights then move on to Banff. Will do Icefields Highway on way to Banff, where we will be for 3 nights.

Any other suggestions for how to handle Jasper since we are staying south of the park?

Looking forward to your help.

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: drive from Edmonton to Jasper

Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon. I would also take in Mt. Edith Cavell which is well worth the short trip to see.

Don't forget Athabasca Falls when you're down in Sunwapta.

Don't forget to fill up your gas tank before leaving Jasper.

You meant to say you're staying south of the town. Jasper is a National park as well as a townsite.

Calgary, Alberta...
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2. Re: drive from Edmonton to Jasper

Hello GrandmaDi,

I typed a message to you but, before I hit the post button, I checked to see if anyone had responded before me. I see that onward has beaten me to the post. However, since my prepared response includes some more detail about the times it would take you to do things on the Sunday, I'll go ahead and leave it as it is. However, I'm interested to see that onward has recommended the same sights / sites as I recommended.

Onward also included an excellent tip that I forgot, and that is the precaution of filling up with gas before you leave Jasper.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the message that I had typed before I saw onward's response.

Yes, GrandmaDi, I think that would be a good idea. It will take you 4 hours at the most to reach Jasper, and probably less than that. You'll probably reach Jasper around lunch time.

You could go into the town of Jasper for lunch. Alternatively, you could turn off without going into the town itself, and head towards Maligne Lake on Maligne Valley Road. Then, 7 miles out of Jasper, you'll reach Maligne Canyon. There is a restaurant at the edge of the parking lot, and you could have lunch there.

After lunch you could walk in Maligne Canyon a bit. Maligne Canyon is really neat. You can walk as much or as little of it as you like -- anything from a full day's walk down to a walk of a few minutes. I personally think it would be a shame to spend less than an hour there.

Then you could do the drive to Maligne Lake, which takes almost an hour.

Keep in mind that the main roads in the national parks have a speed limit of 90 km/hr (about 56 MPH). The main roads are the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy #16) from Edmonton to Jasper, the Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93) from Jasper to Lake Louise, and the TransCanada Highway (Hwy #1) from Lake Louise to Banff.

However, the side roads (Maligne Valley Road, Moraine Lake Road and the like) have a speed limit of 60 km/hr (37 MPH). What with the lower speed limit and the fact that we've always seen wildlife on Maligne Valley Road, which has necessitated a stop for a better look, it usually has taken us close to an hour to drive from Jasper townsite to Maligne Lake.

If you want to take the optional cruise across Maligne Lake to Spirit Island, the return cruise takes 90 minutes.

If you do all that, you may feel ready for dinner by the time you get to Jasper townsite. You might consider dining in the town.

If you dined in Jasper, you'd have about a 40-minute drive to reach Sunwapta Falls after dinner.

The next day you could drive back up the Icefields Parkway a little way and see Athabasca Falls. At Athabasca Falls you then could take Hwy #93A and visit Mount Edith Cavell.

It's been a while since I had a meal at the restaurant at Sunwapta Falls but, when I did, it was pleasant. If it's anything like it was then, I would say it would be a good place to dine on your second night in the area.

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: drive from Edmonton to Jasper

Thanks to you both for your tips.

Judy, as always you give the greatest tips. I like the details

you provide. So I'm glad you sent me your response as well as the one from Onward.

And definitely thanks for the gas tip. These are things you just don't know when you've never been someplace before.

4. Re: drive from Edmonton to Jasper

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