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jasper/banff bound

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innerkip, on
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jasper/banff bound

We are flying out west for my mom's dream trip and none of us have been there before. I'm hoping if I give my timeframe and the places were hoping to cover, maybe someone can give me some idea whether I can fit all of this in. Besides seeing the incredible scenery we're hoping to do some nice hikes that aren't toooo strenuous for a 75 year old. Here goes:

Sept 26 driving from Edmonton to Jasper. Leaving in the morning so want to stop at Miette Hot Springs and wondered if there's anything else we're 'going by' on our way to Jasper? We have one night booked at the Jasper Park Lodge and then have 2 nights booked at Patricia Lake Bungalows. While in Jasper we're wanting to see Maligne Lake, Mt Edith Cavell (do I find the Angell Glacier/Cavell Meadows hike here?), Athasbasca Falls, Kerkeslin Goat Lick and Jasper Tram..

Sept 29,30 & Oct 1 we have booked at Douglas Fir REsort. Driving from Jasper and are wanting to see the following via our drive and over the next 2 days - Sunwapta Falls, Stutfield Glacier, Columbia Icefield (snocoach if time) peyto lake, Lake Louise (possible to have time to hike the Valley of the 10 peaks?) Moriane Lake, Emerald Lake, Banff Gondola, Johnston Canyon, Yoho Nat Park (Tak Falls and Kicking Horse Pass) . I've also read about Parker Ridge and Plain of 6 Glaciers/Lake Agnes. Have no idea where this might be.

On Oct 2nd we're off to Calgary and need to be there around 11 a.m.

If anyone can give me an idea of what my itinerary should look like and out of this list what I should 'pass' on or what I don't have marked that is a 'must see'. Thanks in advance!

Calgary, Alberta...
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1. Re: jasper/banff bound

>>>>>>Sept 26 driving from Edmonton to Jasper. Leaving in the morning so want to stop at Miette Hot Springs and wondered if there's anything else we're 'going by' on our way to Jasper?<<<<<<

I think a visit to the Miette Hot Springs area is enough for that day.

>>>>>>We have one night booked at the Jasper Park Lodge and then have 2 nights booked at Patricia Lake Bungalows. While in Jasper we're wanting to see Maligne Lake, Mt Edith Cavell (do I find the Angell Glacier/Cavell Meadows hike here?), Athasbasca Falls, Kerkeslin Goat Lick and Jasper Tram.<<<<<<

Yes, the Angel Glacier / Cavell Meadows hike is at Mount Edith Cavell. Without knowing how mobile your mother is, it's hard to know whether or not the hike is suitable for her. That said, the drive to Mount Edith Cavell is beautiful. It's worth doing it regardless of whether or not you go on the hike. Stop a couple of times on Cavell Road to look down into the Astoria River Valley.

You have not mentioned Maligne Canyon. I highly recommend it. If you take it at a relaxed pace, I believe your mother will be able to view it.

Athabasca Falls is on the Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93), on the way from Jasper townsite to Lake Louise. I think you would be better off stopping to see those falls on the day that you drive to Banff.

Kerkeslin Goat Lick is even further south along Hwy #93 than Athabasca Falls, so the same comment applies.

It is quite easy to devote a full day to Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake (especially if you do the optional cruise across Maligne Lake to Spirit Island).

Depending on whether or not you do the optional hikes, it is possible to devote a full day to the Jasper tram and Mount Edith Cavell. But they would not come close to occupying a full day if you did not do the optional hikes associated with them. In that case the two attractions together might occupy half a day.

If you run out of stuff to do in Jasper National Park, you could take a run out to Mount Robson Provincial Park, which is about an hour's drive to the west of Jasper townsite.

More in next message .............

Calgary, Alberta...
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2. Re: jasper/banff bound

>>>>>>Sept 29,30 & Oct 1 we have booked at Douglas Fir REsort. Driving from Jasper and are wanting to see the following via our drive and over the next 2 days - Sunwapta Falls, Stutfield Glacier, Columbia Icefield (snocoach if time) peyto lake, Lake Louise (possible to have time to hike the Valley of the 10 peaks?) Moriane Lake, Emerald Lake, Banff Gondola, Johnston Canyon, Yoho Nat Park (Tak Falls and Kicking Horse Pass) . I've also read about Parker Ridge and Plain of 6 Glaciers/Lake Agnes. Have no idea where this might be.<<<<<<

I suggest the following:

Sept 29 - Drive down the Icefields Parkway. Suggest you stop to see Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, the Columbia Icefields and Peyto Lake. I have never been to the Stutfield Glacier, but have read that it is between Sunwapta Falls and the Columbia Icefields. If you do justice to these places, that's all I think you'll have time for on that day.

The Parker Ridge hike departs from the Icefields Parkway. However, it's about a 3-hour hike, and I don't know enough about your mother to know if it's feasible for her or not.

Oct 30 - Suggest you visit Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, the Spiral Tunnel Viewing Point, Kicking Horse Pass (no big deal, because the TransCanada Highway traverses it en route to Field, British Columbia), Takakkaw Falls, the natural bridge over the Kicking Horse River, and Emerald Lake. I believe that's all you'll be able to fit into one day.

You could do the Larch Valley hike that departs from Moraine Lake or you could do the Plain of Six Glaciers hike that departs from Lake Louise. Either of those hikes is a good half-day hike. Again I don't know if either hike is feasible for your mother.

If you do the Larch Valley or Plain of Six Glaciers hike, you only will have time to visit Moraine Lake and Lake Louise that day. You will not have time to visit the attractions in nearby Yoho National Park (Spiral Tunnel Viewing Point, Kicking Horse Pass, Takakkaw Falls, natural bridge over the Kicking Horse River and Emerald Lake).

Oct 1 - Visit Johnston Canyon, ride the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, and stroll through the town of Banff.

Oct 2 - Allow at least 3 hours to drive from Lake Louise to Calgary Airport.

Here is a link to maps on which you can look up the locations of the attractions that you are interested in:

canadianrockies.net/convention_planner/parkm…

I believe you would benefit enormously if you would consult the book entitled WALKS AND EASY HIKES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES by Graeme Pole. He gives good descriptions that help you to figure out if a hike is suitable for a person with a given degree of mobility. If you don't want to buy the book, perhaps you can borrow it from your public library.

If you have not already done so, it would be helpful if you would read TripAdvisor's Inside Pages about Banff National Park, especially the ones about Weather, Clothing and National Park Entry Fees:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-s1/Banff-Nati…

Hope that helps.

texas
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3. Re: jasper/banff bound

note>>>>>>> Have rain gear readily available.

DONT feed the ELK. Stay away, rut season.

Dont forget, there are BEARS up there, stay away, even on highway

going to Jasper.

texas
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4. Re: jasper/banff bound

note>>>>>>> Have rain gear readily available.

DONT feed the ELK. Stay away, rut season.

Dont forget, there are BEARS up there, stay away, even on highway

going to Jasper.

Orange Park, Florida
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5. Re: jasper/banff bound

Just a quick note on Stutfield Glacier - it is a viewpoint at a pulloff along the Icefields Parkway, on the west side of the road. There is no trail or hike there, so it should take you only 5-10 minutes to stop at this viewpoint - depending on how many photos you may want to take!!

innerkip, on
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6. Re: jasper/banff bound

Thanks everyone for your help. I'm not sure if this is where I post the reply to say thanks as I'm not real computer 'savy'!

Judy my mom is in great shape and an avid walker so I'm sure most hikes will be fine.

Jasper, Canada
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7. Re: jasper/banff bound

Hi da50,

I was up at Cavell Meadows today with my 73 y/o dad (very fit - 2 hours at the gym every second day, cardio and weights. Hard to believe he became a great-grandpa early this morning when my niece had her baby!) Here are a few tips -

After you go up the part of the trail that climbs up the moraine, look for pikas among the rocks along the last section before you go into the forest - you will be hiking with the moraine on your right and the forest on your left. Also, after the switchbacks through the forest (no mosquitos this time of year :-), when you come to the junction, I suggest you continue ahead, and do the loop counter-clockwise. This way, the elevation gain is more gradual, and it makes the hike more enjoyable. Be forewarned - anyone who hasn't done any downhill walking recently will have seriously sore thighs the next day.

I was a little concerned that it might be snowy today as we have had a few days of rain and the snowline is down almost to treeline, but although there were some patches beside the trail, all of the trail except for a little bit at the very top, on the ridge, is clear. (A lot of people don't go up the final ridge, and just start on the downward part of the loop when they get to the base of the ridge.) With an improving weather forecast, it will be even drier when you are here. The temperature at the top was only just a bit above freezing, so be sure that you are prepared for that - an extra layer, mini-mitts or lightweight fleece gloves.

Time: we were an hour and 45 minutes from the parking lot to viewpoint #3 on the ridge, and exactly half that coming down - just over 50 minutes. Add about 15 minutes at the top for pictures, for a total of just under 3 hours. The sign at the trail head suggests 3-6 hours.

Something else to consider, if there are any in your group that aren't up to the Meadows hike.... there are two easier walks at Mt. Edith Cavell. First, the shorter and more level "Path of the Glacier" trail - 1.6 km/1 mile, and you could also have a short walk to Cavell Lake. Park at the trailhead to the Tonquin Valley (near the hostel, a couple of km. down from the parking lot at the end of the road) and go down the trail just a short way, and left to the lakeshore. This is the site where the postcard views of Mt. Edith Cavell are taken. Cavell Lake is a miniature version of the more famous glacial lakes in the Rockies, and it has a very striking turquoise colour right now.

innerkip, on
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8. Re: jasper/banff bound

Thanks Krp329! I know my mom could do that hike too so I guess it'll depend on the time factor. Should we be worrying about picking up bear spray for our hikes?

Jasper, Canada
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9. Re: jasper/banff bound

About the bear spray .... if it gives you peace of mind, then go for it, but I would suggest that having it is an *additional* measure of safety, over and above all the usual hiking precautions. For instance, you should be making lots of noise as you hike, especially if you have the wind in your face, or are near running water - clapping, hooting and hollering etc. Bear bells are useless (and annoying), leave them at home. I don't think you are permitted to take bear spray on flights, even in luggage, so you will either have to ditch it, or leave it with someone in your party who is not flying.

According to the info Parks Canada has been putting out lately, you are more likely to encounter a bear at this time of the year (but it is still not a common occurance) because they are in overdrive feeding mode, preparing for hibernation. This week's Jasper NP update says that they feed as much as twenty hours a day at this time of the year! With the snow at higher elevations, they are now at lower elevations.

To answer another of your questions, from your original post - Parkers Ridge is just south of the Columbia Icefields. It is a 2.4 km hike (you can see the entire trail from the highway) and when you get to the top, there are great views of the Saskatchewan Glacier, another of the glacial outlets from the Icefield.

The Plain of Six Glaciers and Lake Agnes are both hikes that start at the shore of Lake Louise - Plain of Six takes you toward Mt. Victoria, the backdrop of Lake Louise, and the Lake Agnes trail goes up from the lake to the right, to a beautiful hanging valley with a small lake (and from there you can also hike up the Beehives). Both have tea houses although I am not sure if they are still open. These are all great hikes; it's just a question of how many do you have time to do. Do check conditions at the trail office to find out whether they are snowy.

10. Re: jasper/banff bound

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