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Suggested Route for Road Trip and Hikes in early June

Fernandina Beach...
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Suggested Route for Road Trip and Hikes in early June

Hi there!

My husband and I are renting a compact 20' RV in Calgary for 2 weeks 6/1-6/15. I have been looking over suggested itinerraries and am a bit overwhelmed. Suggestions of places to see/camp/hike? We don't like the real touristy places. Some of the hikes that have been suggested (Wilcox Pass, Opal Hills, Cavell Meadows) will we be able to access the trailhead with our RV? Any places to see/hike/camp that we won't want to miss would be greatly appreciated!

Maligne Adventures
Sightseeing Tours, Walking Tours, River Rafting & Tubing, Hiking & Camping Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Brewster Sightseeing
Sightseeing Tours, Bus Tours
Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Suggested Route for Road Trip and Hikes in early June

Hi Liz M. and welcome to the TripAdvisor forums!

Most of those hikes you mentioned may not yet be accessible in early June due to snow in the high country. The road to Mt. Edith Cavell doesn't typically open until mid-June (but yes, a 20 ft RV can go up it, but vehicles longer than that are not supposed to use the road), and hiking on the trail isn't permitted until it's had a chance to dry out, to prevent damage to the fragile subalpine ecpsystem - it is usually late June or even into July before it usually opens. Whether it will open at all this year remains to be seen (due to damage to the road and parking area from a glacial ice fall and subsequent flooding in August 2012).

Wilcox Pass has a southern aspect, so depending on weather - how much more snow we get this winter and how warm spring is - it may be at least partially accessible.

In Lake Louise, the Plain of Six Glaciers hike is sometimes under avalanche warnings in early June because the trail traverses avy run-outs. You can't see the danger up high on slopes above. Lake Louise itself doesn't usually completely thaw out and become ice-free until sometime in the first few days of June; when I was last at Lake Agnes in mid-June a few years ago, it was still almost completely ice-covered, there was only a small bit of open water at the lake's outlet.

The Moraine Lake road usually opens in late May or early June. When we hiked the Larch Valley trail about the 18th of June a few years ago, once we were up in Larch valley, the snow was knee deep in spots.

There are lots of hiking options at lower elevations. The best thing to do will be to visit the Parks Canada trail offices once you are here in the national parks, to find out info on current conditions and any wildlife sightings or closures.

Early season hiking at higher elevations will mean snow patches - be sure you have sturdy footwear with good treads. Light gloves or mitts and a warm hat are also a good idea - I keep these in my hiking pack all summer long, and have used them in every month of the summer. Last time I hiked the Plain of Six Glacier trail in Lake Louise in mid-June, we hiked up in near-freezing temperatures with snow falling and limited visibility; once we got to the tea house, the weather turned and it got warm and sunny. A rain jacket and extra layers are also a good idea... remember, there is no such thing as a "warm rain" in the Canadian Rockies!

If you check the camping pages on the relevant park's website, you will find a list of the campgrounds that will be open - some don't open until into June, and others not until the end of June. www.pc.gc.ca/banff and www.pc.gc.ca/jasper ... and then go to "Visitor Info/Where to Stay/Camping" in the left hand menus.

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2. Re: Suggested Route for Road Trip and Hikes in early June

Thanks so much for the information! I will be sending a box with our heavy fleece jackets ahead of time ( we live in Florida) and will be sure to throw in some gloves and hats. Will look into some lower elevation hikes. I think I'm going to purchase the Patterson Trail Guide to check out some good hikes! Will try to send some warm, tropical breezes your way around the end of May! :-)

3. Re: Suggested Route for Road Trip and Hikes in early June

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