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Author Topic: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers  (Read 450 times)

vetmom

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Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« on: May 19, 2018, 03:23:15 PM »
We will be heading up into Canada, Banff and Jasper National Parks, for our first time this July.  We will be in Glacier end of June beginning of July so first question is best route, will be on the west side so should we go 93 or go around to the east side and head up 2 or 22?  Right now we also don't have reservations, it looks like I can get a few days here and there still but I'm also seeing many Provincial Parks.  Are there any recommended near the National Parks that would be a good option and is it recommended to have reservations for those also?  We're just not very good at having a set plan so hard to know exact dates if we don't have too.  Thanks for your help!
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Dream Chasers

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 09:16:47 PM »
We went to all 3 of these last July. All are very busy at that time as their season is so short.  Highly recommend you make reservations now. We came from the North, so we stayed at Glacier on the West side. We stayed in Columhia Falls. It was nice but next time we will try and get much closer. We stayed right in Jasper and loved it. Very convenient to bike to everything. At Banff we stayed at Spring Creek in Canmore. Terrible experience and will never stay there again and it is very far to Banff. We recommend trying to stay right in Banff to avoid so much driving.

All 3 parks are very, very beautiful and we will definitely return another time.

Enjoy and safe travels
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vetmom

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 09:29:22 PM »
Thanks for your reply!  I guess I'll have to try to pin us down a little more ;) :).  Will be sure to stay away from Spring Creek!
2000 Damon Escaper DP
2013 Honda CRV
Frederick, Maryland

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2018, 09:10:40 AM »
Jasper abounds with wildlife and has the best/most viewing opportunities of any place we've ever been in 20 years of RV living (including Alaska).

The entire area around Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise and Glacier are extremely crowded all summer and well into fall, so either have reservations or plan on finding your site early in the day. There is a high turnover daily at the provincial parks, so we found we could get a site at most if we were there and waiting in line around check-out time. Many more boondock sites and hook-ups available, though.
Gary
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jackiemac

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2018, 11:35:14 AM »
We will be heading up into Canada, Banff and Jasper National Parks, for our first time this July.  We will be in Glacier end of June beginning of July so first question is best route, will be on the west side so should we go 93 or go around to the east side and head up 2 or 22?  Right now we also don't have reservations, it looks like I can get a few days here and there still but I'm also seeing many Provincial Parks.  Are there any recommended near the National Parks that would be a good option and is it recommended to have reservations for those also?  We're just not very good at having a set plan so hard to know exact dates if we don't have too.  Thanks for your help!
We headed from Gardiner to Mary Lake and took the 2 which was a great drive. We then took the 2 to Flathead Lake and then on to Spokane. It's a beautiful road, quiet no particularly steep grades that we can recall. Driving through forests and by the river. Think it is part of Lewis & Clark route. Libby has a nice brew pub for a quick bite to eat and a growler fill.

We also drove to the Canadian border from St Mary and the road was good so that may be an option.

Hopefully others will have a good route for you.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 11:39:02 AM by jackiemac »
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vetmom

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 05:56:32 PM »
Thanks Gary, that is what my husband is really looking forward too, lots of wildlife sightings!

Good to know about the Provincial Parks, will be looking into that.  Also sure don't mind boondocking so maybe we'll have to be doing some of that too.

Thanks Jackiemac, sounds like 2 would be the way to go.  Did you stop on your way up or do it in one day?
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jackiemac

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2018, 07:11:32 PM »
Thanks Gary, that is what my husband is really looking forward too, lots of wildlife sightings!

Good to know about the Provincial Parks, will be looking into that.  Also sure don't mind boondocking so maybe we'll have to be doing some of that too.

Thanks Jackiemac, sounds like 2 would be the way to go.  Did you stop on your way up or do it in one day?
We drove to Glacier from Gardiner in 1 relaxed day. Stopped a few times. The scenery is amazing! Flat land for miles then suddenly the mountains appear. You are in for a treat! Browning isn't a great place, we refuelled and headed on to St Mary. Plenty of places there to stay.... we saw a lot from there. We visited the Backslope Brewery in Columbia Falls, beer and food really nice.

You could consider staying St Mary side and touring in your Honda (quite a few campgrounds). If you do, the Two Sisters Cafe huckleberry things are awesome, and a nice steak place in Babb, the Cattle Baron Supper Club.  Also drive to Looking Glass Hill Road (49) and stop in one of the pullouts opposite Spot Mountain and you might see bears on the slopes or in the woods below, we saw 3.  Down at Many Glacier Lodge there were lots of  mountain goats up in the cliffs.  You do need binoculars to get a good view.  Well worth an early start to do the High line Trail even if you don't do it all, not difficult but 12 miles one way, bus takes you back to car.  We also walked up to the beaverponds near St Mary and saw 2 bull moose. Take bear spray wherever you hike!

Happy travels.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 07:25:34 PM by jackiemac »
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vetmom

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2018, 08:30:21 PM »
Thanks for all the great suggestions!  Really getting excited about going!
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ceedill

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Re: Banff and Jasper National Park first timers
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2018, 12:06:53 AM »
the banns to jasper route is beautiful and lots of scenery, but a s Gary said very busy in the summer.  there are lots of places to camp along the way especially is you have  generator, and if you are willing to go off the beaten path a bit.  Canmore is only 20 minutes from the Banff townsite. I would recommend going about an hour west of Banff to Radium hot springs.  this is a favourite stop of ours beautiful place in all seasons. about 1/2 way between band and Jasper you go go east on highway 11 to Nordegg about an hour away, lots of hiking and scenery there also about an hour east of there is rocky mountain house, there is lots of camping there but getting farther away from the mountains.  there is a lot of camping South of the Jasper Townsite but can't remember campground names as we always go further west to Valemont, and Tete Jaune camping its about an hour West of Jasper, as far as routes the ice fields parkway(AB 93)is a narrow busy road, but also slower, you can go up the cowboy trail (AB 22) through Pincher creek Bragg creek Cochrane, Sundre and Rocky Mountain house. less busy a bit further away from wildlife more along foothills not the mountains, lots of campgrounds or short hauls off highway into boondocks camping areas. North of Rocky Highway 22 is not much for scenery, you could also go West into BC, you are still in the mountains with lots of scenery and wildlife as well.
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