Jasper to Banff in bad weather?

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John Canfield

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We are in a nice campground in Valemount, BC (about 1.5 hours west of Jasper) and we want to travel down 93 from Jasper to Banff in a couple of days.  Problem is the weather - it seems a cold front is coming and the forecast is for possible flurries in the higher elevations in the park: "Rain. Amount 5 to 10 mm. High 11. Wednesday night..cloudy with 70 percent chance of showers except flurries over higher terrain. Low plus 3."  (Celsius of course!)

What is the elevation along the route?  Any weather insight?  We prefer dry roads so we can use the Jake brake - how hairy are the grades?

Mucho thanks!
 

Ron from Big D

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John:

    I don't recall any significant grades between Jasper and Banff, but you might encounter some when you leave Banff.  Seems that the Ice Fields Parkway tends to follow valleys all the way, with the exception of an occasional grade or pass.

    If you are returning from Alaska, you will find the scenery along this route to be as good or better than anything you saw in Alaska.

 

Jeff

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I don't remember the name but there is one pass a few miles south of the icefields thqt  goes up to 5500' or so but the road is almost straight all the way up and can't be more than a 5% grade. Coming south there is one hairpin curve but again very gentle grade.

It would take a pretty good storm to make travel a problem.

Banff to Calgary is all four lane highway.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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93 is an excellent road all the way. We have traveled it in rain and occasional sleet and had no difficulties at all, except that the glorious scenery near the Jasper end was pretty much invisible until te sun broke thru.
 

John Canfield

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Lucky us - there has been snow falling in the park (on both ends) for about two days and the weather report is for another 4 to 8 inches.  We are going to drive the Jeep to Jasper and look around at the conditions for ourselves this morning. Might have to save this trip for next summer  :mad:
 

DougJ

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there has been snow falling in the park (on both ends) for about two days and the weather report is for another 4 to 8 inches.  We are going to drive the Jeep to Jasper and look around at the conditions for ourselves this morning. Might have to save this trip for next summer

On the other hand, John, why not continue fulltiming in Valemont until the snow stops falling in the Jasper / Lk. Louise / Banff / Calgary region, and then move.  The roads will be quickly cleaned up and the scenery will be quite a wonderland with the fresh snow.

An alternative would be to come south on #5 to Kamloops and then head back further south into the USA either through Vancouver or through the Okanagan. 

Doug (living in greater Vancouver area and have lived in Calgary)
 

Marsha/CA

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John,

I'm reading these posts with great interest!!  Tim and I are in Edmonton, Alb. waiting for our replacement windshield on the driver's side.  We are having sleet, heavy rain and they are predicting snow showers here.  Today is Friday.  We had a hawk hit our winder and the replacement window is in customs now and the glass people are waiting for it to be released so they can install it for us. 

Our weather says that things are clearing for Sunday/Monday and we are still going to try for Jasper/Banff.  We don't mind the snow, just don't want it on the roads and we're not afraid of the grades as long as they are dry.

My problem is finding a campground that has at least 30 amp, so we can run the heat pumps, and is close to Jasper.  I've found one in Banff.

We have actually extended our trip for another 2 weeks so that we could see Jasper and Banff.  We have come so far that we really don't want to miss it; so we are hoping this will work out.  I sure didn't expect snow the middle of Sept; but I should have guesses.  I knew it could happen, I just didn't think it would.... ;D

Keep me posted on what you find.

Marsha~
 

Ned

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Marsha,

Tunnel Mountain Village in Banff has 30A electric and some satellite friendly sites too.
 

John Canfield

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This morning we drove the Jeep to Whistlers campground and Jasper and talked to the rangers at the Info Station in Jasper about the road conditions to the south.  Mid-day, the official report was for "poor winter driving" conditions along hwy 93.  They were plowing and sanding so in a couple of days maybe all will be clear.  The weather forecast doesn't seem as bad as originally thought but snow is still in the forecast for tonight.

Highway 16 was clear from Valemount (Hwy 5) to Whistlers/Jasper but you could see cars and trucks loaded with snow that had come from the east on 16 (Edmonton.)

Unfortunately the full hook up sites at Whistlers were all taken which surprised us to no end - I had no idea the park would be so busy so late in the season.  Due to the weather and the popularity of the full hook up sites (our water pump is broken) we are throwing in the towel and headed south on Highway 5 in the morning.  We will wind up in about three days in Great Falls, Montanna.

Oh well - there is always a next time  ::)
 

Ned

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John,

Sorry you had to hit such bad weather.  I wouldn't think that the full hookups would be full either, but maybe it's the late departers, like you, that are stuck there.

Since we lost a water pump a few years ago at Quartzsite, we carry a spare.

Safe travels.
 

Betty Brewer

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John Canfield said:
.? Due to the weather and the popularity of the full hook up sites (our water pump is broken) we are throwing in the towel and headed south on Highway 5 in the morning.? We will wind up in about three days in Great Falls, Montanna.

Oh well - there is always a next time?

John,

There is no place like the good old USA!  Happy  travels home.

Betty and Terry
In Junction City awating couch recover
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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the full hook up sites at Whistlers were all taken which surprised us to no end - I had no idea the park would be so busy so late in the season.

They were full when we were there in late September, 2002.  Ya gotta get there  in the morning to have a shot at a full hook-up! We arrived about 2 pm and they were already gone.  Th epark was still quite busy, even that late in the season.
 

Ned

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Whistler isn't satellite friendly either.  I think we found one site that might work, the rest were in the tall trees.  We did spend 2 internet-free days there :)
 

John Canfield

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Jane and I would like to come up to the mountain parks again and we will make reservations and plan more carefully.  So much to see and so much to do!  We have seen as many rental Class Cs around here as we saw in Alaska - there must be five of them in our park right now.

It will be good to get back to the 48 and back in the land of a working King Dome - for three months it has only been a roof decoration  ;D  .

The weather forcast was for rain/snow in parts of Montana this weekend - <sigh> guess we are about two weeks behind the curve.
 
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