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  1. #11
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    In November, snow is a distinct possibility (on the ground already, or falling) so the hiking may be off limits, depending on how things have gone. You might be stuck to working near the highways.

    That having been said, there is a lot to do near the highways. Mount Edith Cavell and Maligne Canyon are close to Jasper townsite and are impressive. The Icefields Parkway will take you the better part of a day to journey, if you photograph like I do, and you won't have very much daylight in November (Edmonton is at 54 North, so you will get between 8 and 10 hours of daylight depending on what part of November). If you do the Parkway, plan for it to be a one-way trip and spend the night in Calgary, Banff townsite or Lake Louise.

    Jasper National Park is my favourite national park in Canada. It's much less busy than Banff National Park and just as beautiful, if not moreso. Fresh snow on all the mountains will make for some beautiful photographs.

    Take the weather seriously. Unless you live in the Sierra Nevada, the weather even in November may surprise you. -20 C is possible; -10 C is probable. To most Canadians this is not too bad; to someone from California, this might seem impossibly cold. Dress for the weather.

  2. #12
    blansky's Avatar
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    You may also want to rent a 4x4. The roads are all 4 lane, heavily snowplowed and well maintained. BUT if there is a big snowstorm, it can be pretty slow going.

    Nobody is trying to scare you but you do need to be prepared.

    I also wanted to mention I have ripped through these roads at 80-90 miles per hour in a Corvette in the middle of winter too. Nice sunny day, lots of snow everywhere but on the roads, and little traffic. Just depends on the weather.

    Michael
    Last edited by blansky; 07-08-2006 at 08:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #13
    Craig's Avatar
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    Michael, the only roads that are 4 lane at the moment are all outside the park, and the park gate to Castle Junction on Highway 1. They are working on twinning the road between Castle Junction and Lake Louise, but it won't be done until next year sometime. The Icefields parkway is all 2 lane.

    Edmonton to Jasper or Edmonton to Banff (via Calgary) is the same driving time, about 4 hours. November is a nice time to visit, the sking hasn't started yet and the tourists have gone home so things are not crowded and its shoulder season for the hotels. You might have snow, or you might not, it just depends upon the year.

  4. #14
    kaiyen's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    First, thanks for all the info. There is much to assimilate. However, bear in mind that this is like 3-4 days _after_ a conference that is _in_ Edmonton. It seems, though, that Jasper>Banff would be pretty neat. I'll keep reading, but is it a good idea for me to start out on a trip like that on the icefield parkway by myself? I don't want to get in over my head.

    allan

  5. #15
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    I drove the highway in November with a Bolivian client who had never seen the Rockies before. Snowed the whole damn day, and couldn't show him the most beautiful view from any road in Canada. Still got to Calgary in a day from Edmonton using the Jasper-Banff Highway. The next day it was clear blue sky. Don't worry about driving the road by yourself. It's a public well-maintained winter road, not a goat trail. Be prepared, as someone said though. Take warm clothes and some power bars no matter how nice the weather seems when you leave Edmonton. It's most unlikely you'd ever have to get out of the car if you didn't want to do so.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  6. #16
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiyen
    ...but is it a good idea for me to start out on a trip like that on the icefield parkway by myself? I don't want to get in over my head.
    I wouldn't get too worried about it as this road is the 'jewel in the crown' of Canada's mountain parks as far as accessability goes...over 1,000,000 people a year drive that road and I've never heard any "Donner Party" type stories yet They have enough snow removal crews and equipment to keep all those tourists happy and willing to come back again to spend more money.

    Nobody is trying to scare you here, it's just that while traveling in mountainous areas you should expect weird weather at any time of year, and we don't want to give you the impression you can stroll through there dressed only in a thong and a pair of plastic flip flops on your feet. It can rain in January and snow in August...you just never know!

    You're on the right track thinking you should visit the Canadian Rockies since you'll be in Edmonton anyways...just get your butt to Banff because it's calling your name, then you never know what will happen or which direction you'll head from there

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  7. #17
    Craig's Avatar
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    The Parkway is a paved road, you'll be fine driving it by yourself, just be prepared for winter conditions. You'll pass through a number of micro climates on the way, so I wouldn't be surprised to get sun, snow, sleet or rain, or any combination on your trip.

  8. #18
    kaiyen's Avatar
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    Cool. I will think about this option.

    thanks for the info,
    allan

  9. #19
    kaiyen's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    As a final update...this is what I've decided to do, at least date-wise. Conference ends on 11/9. I will drive to banff that day, and check into wherever it is I'm staying (not sure yet). Then do the icefield highway the 10th and 11th, then drive back to Edmonton on the 12th for my flight. I can't miss anymore work so the 12th is the latest I can fly back.

    Obviously still gotta figure out specifics. But I'll get something out of it, I think, even if it's not as much as I had hoped. It's better than not going at all.

    thoughts?

    allan

  10. #20
    KenM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    Hi Allan,

    I haven't spent a lot of time in the Rockies, but for the most 'bang for your buck' you might want to scoot over to Jasper then drive to Banff on the Icefields Highway. It'll get you into alpine and take you through some jaw dropping mountain valleys. This is a MUST DO when visiting the Rockies.
    Yes, yes, Yes, YES!

    If you're in the area, take advantage of it. That time of year, the mountains will be in spectacular form....I drive Hwy. 93 at least 6 times every winter....and it's worth it, every time. Doesn't matter if the weater is good or not, or if you take your camera out of the bag or not. It's still worth it.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

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