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Open Roads Forum  >  RVing in Canada and Alaska

 > Banff to Jasper on Icefields Parkway in Alberta.

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doncatedge

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Posted: 02/27/12 03:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am planning a trip to Alberta in the July/August timeframe. I have a 30' Class C towing a Subaru Forester. I will driving from Banff to Jasper on Icefields Parkway which has numerous great things to stop and see. Are there a lot of places for me to park the rig at 'sights' or am I better off finding an RV park and using the Subaru for running around?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts......Don

Ka Ron

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Posted: 02/27/12 04:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last time we took that trip we had no problems finding places to park with our 36'

It would be a long day trip to use the toad between Jasper and Banff


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Macktee

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Posted: 02/27/12 05:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are lots of spots to park, at most of the scenic spots. As well as at Sask. River Crossing (most expensive fuel etc. in the country) and at the Ice Fields look out. If you have time take the coach tour up on the glacier, it is great. No problems along the highway, except one very large steep hill. Just enjoy. Macktee


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Pangaea Ron

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Posted: 02/27/12 05:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were offered free dry camping at the ice fields, and unfortunately chose to drive to the Park CG in Jasper. The Jasper CG was very full and without much character. The ice filed would have been a much better option.


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paulj

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Posted: 02/27/12 07:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are some side trips in Jasper where the Subaru would be a good choice - such as the hot springs, Medicine Lake and Edith Cavel. For those you could leave the RV at a large campground near the town.

romore

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Posted: 02/27/12 08:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leave the coach at the cg and take the toad on the Bow Valley Parkway, it is the old #1 highway. Nice drive in a car.

96Brigadier

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

paulj wrote:

There are some side trips in Jasper where the Subaru would be a good choice - such as the hot springs, Medicine Lake and Edith Cavel. For those you could leave the RV at a large campground near the town.


Correct. You could get the RV to the hot springs but I don't recommend it, this past summer we followed a 30' MH and he struggled due to the narrow, winding, up/down road. A MH can't get to Edith Cavell at all, the road has multiple switch backs that a 30' MH would be hard pressed to make it around, and if there is oncoming traffic it would be impossible. The road to Edith Cavell is only 15 minutes from Jasper though so no problem leaving the MH behind and taking the Subaru.

On the Ice Fields Parkway itself there will be pull outs that you won't fit in with the MH and Toad, not because they aren't big enough but simply because there will be too many other vehicles for you to get something that large into. When we go to Jasper (every summer for the past several years) I don't/can't stop at any of the pull outs with our fifth wheel.


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JN_B

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Posted: 02/28/12 08:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

+1 Daytrip it with the subaru. As mentioned, Most of the places are designed to handle bus tours, so they have the room, but July/august is an insanely busy time in that area.

Personally, Jasper is overrated. By that I mean if you spend a day there, you will see it all.
I'd stay close to Banff, and day trip it from there.


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robanddi

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Posted: 02/28/12 09:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Isn't it odd how different people have different perspectives (I'm speaking of JN_B and us). We love Jasper much more than Banff! Our priorities are wildlife, scenery, historic, marvels with lots of locals thrown in. Banff is too touristy for us (but we are old and NOT hauling around young people who will love Banff).

We normally stay at Tunnel Mountain for a day or so and then take a slow drive up the Icefield Parkway. There are lots of look offs with plenty of room to park. Taking the tour on the icefield itself is a fun thing. Once we get to Jasper we prefer Whisper (without any hookups) and get to see lots of elk roaming about (especially late in the season). Once in Jasper the tow vehicle will be usefull for all sorts of excursions in all directions.

Diann

* This post was edited 02/28/12 10:10am by robanddi *


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JN_B

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Posted: 02/28/12 10:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^^yep.. But I guess it really depends what you want to do. For me, unless you are making regular trips up here, I'd spend more time visiting different sites, than just staying in one place. Banff (while touristy), is the better "hub" to take off from. There are soo many day trips you can do from Banff, that'll keep everyone happy.

Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs Hotel (for the history buffs)& hot springs, Radium hot springs, Kananaskis lakes/park, Icefields parkway, Banff Shopping (if that's your thing), windermere/invermere, thousands of lakes/hiking/biking/walking trails, World class golf courses, Calgary, Field (spiral mountain train tunnels), Cochrane. All within 1-2 hours of Banff.

While Jasper is worth visiting, It's kind of isolated compared to Banff. Remember that Jasper is ~3.5-4hours away from Banff, and that's w/o stopping. While there is lakes & trails there also, there is a reason Banff is a tourist trap. It's centrally located to ALOT of different venues.

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