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Old 06-16-2014, 07:59 PM   #11
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I would go to Lake Louise stay 1 night then head up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper early in the morning. On the way to Jasper consider a 2-3 hr hike up Parker Ridge just south of the Icefields, visit the Icefields Parkway centre to purchase a Skywalk ticket, while waiting for the ride out to the Skywalk, drive across the road to the Athabaska glacier parking lot and walk the short loop. When not camping we like to stay at Becker's Chalets just south of Jasper - quiet and clean. I would then stay 2-3 nights and consider visit places like Mt Edith Cavell and Maligne Lake. You could head back a little quicker via Valemont to Kamloops then over the Coqihalla to Chilliwack - about 8 hrs driving in total. Suggest stop at Mt Robson on your way to Kamloops.

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Old 06-16-2014, 08:23 PM   #12
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GHarper and I must have been on the same tour bus. The recommended itinerary of Lake Louise, the Icefields, Parker Ridge, Maligne Lake, Mt Edith Cavell and even Becker's Cabins is identical to a trip we took last fall without the Escape. Check out the Wilcox Pass hike, most hikes are well described on line.

I thought the Icefields Parkway was beautiful, I thought the Icefields Visitors Center was a bust and would not recommend the stop. As the two of you are familiar with US National Parks, this facility is not anything like you are used to. There is a movie that you pay for, eating establishments that cater to bus loads and a ticket booth to book a ride over the glacier in a balloon tire bus. There is no orientation program, help desk, brochures, exhibits or warm friendly facility. I would compare this place to a bus terminal. But the area around the facility is superb, just skip the bus station.

I would say again the best areas are Lake Louise and Jasper. If time is an issue, skip Banff. Also be prepared for tourist prices, everything is expensive.

Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:02 PM   #13
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Though Banff is closer for me, I do prefer the Jasper area. Could be because I head out to Banff area lots every year, mountain biking, skiing, visiting, or just driving through. I do try to avoid the townsite if possible.

The Icefields Parkway has to be one of the most beautiful drives I have done, and even after around 100 trips on it, I still enjoy the beauty
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:07 AM   #14
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Location: Nanoose Bay, British Columbia
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Hi Tash,

I'm going to suggest something quite different... as a third generation Albertan.

Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper are certainly beautiful. However, I've had the good fortune to travel a fair bit of the US. All mountain scenery is beautiful, but all said, quite similar. On the other hand, seeing things unique is something again... eg. Mt. Rushmore... Stone Mountain in Atlanta... Lewis & Clark Caverns in Montana... Old Faithful at Yellowstone... need I go on.

Therefore when out here, consider the following:

Turrell Museum in Drumheller, AB... Dinosaur Provincial Park... Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump... Frank Slide...

All of these have world class interpretive centres and can only be found here. Like the Great Wall of China, that I visited on a number of occasions.

One can Google these for more direction & info. If you go... I'll bet a lunch that they will blow the hell out of Banff, Jasper, etc... LOL

Okay you fellow Albertans... let me have it!!!

Travel Safe,

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Old 06-17-2014, 02:54 AM   #15
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For me the big problem with these places is that they are all really interesting and that I want to see it all. On a short trip like the one tash has planned it is not possible to see it all. No matter which route you chose you can be assured that it will be a great experience.

I have lived in both northern and southern BC for over 60 years now and traveled extensively in both BC and a fair bit in Alberta. I am always amazed that there is still more to do and see out there. I guess that is what keeps us all out in our Escape trailers enjoying both new experiences and repeating old ones that we love.
Sometimes the more advice you get the more difficult it is to chose what you can fit in. There are no wrong choices so just enjoy the ride.

We are headed to Japser this week and ending up in northern BC for a family wedding. Done that trip many times but still looking forward to it again.

I do vote for Jasper over Banff. But I do have more experience staying in the Jasper area than Banff. I guess part of the decision is what you like to do when you are visiting these new places. Ride bikes, motorcycles, hike, fish, eat, drink, museums, bus tours, ski, canoe/kayak, boat tours, wildlife watching or just relax and smell the roses.

The Icefield Parkway is definitely a must do.

The drive form Longview, south of Calgary Alberta up through Kananaskis on Highway 40 is another beautiful drive. End up in Canmore and then Banff. This is a popular drive to do on motorcycles.

Reading this forum has enlightened me on several places that I have never been to but would love to go. Utah and Arizona are on my to do list. Hopefully I will get to strike them off the To Do List some day and add them to the completed list.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by NuthatchBC View Post
We just drove the Columbia Ice Fields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper and the road is terrible. Lots of frost heaves and cracks. Extremely bumpy. We lost the glass turntable for the microwave and a casserole from one of the shelves. We were only driving at 80kph. Many of the facilities are not yet open. Very disappointing.
We had the same problem (microwave turntable falling out, denting the stovetop and shattering) on a drive to the campground at Fundy National Park down a bad washboard road. We took it that we had not completely latched the MW door. Checking such is now on our preflight mental checklist.
Happy Motoring
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:14 PM   #17
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Thank you all for your insights and recommendations--really appreciate the feedback! Only 25 days until we leave Illinois for Chilliwack!

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