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Icefields Parkway Northbound or southbound?

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View Poll Results: So what direction is best on the Icefields Parkway?
Southbound is always the best option.
1
10.00%
Northbound is the way to go!
1
10.00%
Don't matter. Either direction ids fine.
8
80.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

Icefields Parkway Northbound or southbound?

Old 07-24-17, 06:32 PM
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Icefields Parkway Northbound or southbound?

So what I have read about the Icefields Parkway, it is best to go southbound, climbs are bit better going south, supposedly the prevailing wind is at your back most of the way? and the views from the road are a bit nicer south.

But I have also read that northbound is best because the views keep getting more fantastic.

So what is your opinion?
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Old 07-24-17, 09:00 PM
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Personally, I'd start in Jasper and head south to Banff ... with a couple extra side trips (Hwy 11 - my favourite highway, and Hwy 93 - the one of Grizzly fame from another thread).
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Old 07-24-17, 10:28 PM
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I said no difference. All depends on whatever travel logistics work for you. I have an elevation map of the route and it shows more uphill going north-south which I thought accurate but nothing about the route either way is a show stopper. You will get basically the same work and views either way.

A consideration for air travel is that Edmonton (nearest airport) is 4 hours away from Jasper while Calgary (other nearest airport) is 1.5 from Banff. People poo poo the ride from Calgary to Banff but I like it because you travel into the mountains and get some pretty good scenery. For me flying to Calgary and taking the train home from Jasper made sense.

Either direction is worth it.
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Old 07-24-17, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
I said no difference. All depends on whatever travel logistics work for you. I have an elevation map of the route and it shows more uphill going north-south which I thought accurate but nothing about the route either way is a show stopper. You will get basically the same work and views either way.

A consideration for air travel is that Edmonton (nearest airport) is 4 hours away from Jasper while Calgary (other nearest airport) is 1.5 from Banff. People poo poo the ride from Calgary to Banff but I like it because you travel into the mountains and get some pretty good scenery. For me flying to Calgary and taking the train home from Jasper made sense.

Either direction is worth it.
I have not ridden it from south to north, but we did ride it from Jasper to Calgary; and it was a great ride. It was the longest contiguous stretch of spectacular scenery I have ever ridden.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-25-17 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 07-25-17, 03:35 AM
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I rode Banff to Jasper. Liked so much I turned around and rode back to Banff. Makes no difference which way you go, both are spectacular.
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Old 07-25-17, 08:15 AM
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Only ridden it north to south (but once drove south to north). Wind wasn't a major factor on our trip and varied from day to day. I think it would have been a great ride in either direction (my answer would be different on a west coast ride).
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Old 07-25-17, 05:39 PM
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I guess I should have mentioned my thread here

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/11...companies.html

where I will likely be doing this supported. But I did not want to muck up this thread two much with anything but the subject in the OP as I think it will be useful for others that might come along. So if I use a company my itinerary will be set. Direction will be determin ed by the company chosen or picking the direction will give weight which company to choose.
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Old 07-27-17, 04:33 PM
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Spinnaker, We are currently cycling across Canada and have dropped down into the States heading for Sault Ste Marie.
We rode the Icefield North to South. Check out our blog on Crazy Guy.
Beautiful!!!!!
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Old 07-27-17, 07:16 PM
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Tom, is your journal "Across Canada with Diligence?
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Old 07-28-17, 07:25 AM
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I've done both, doesn't matter. Northern part is more spectacularly glacier-y, south is more tree-cover. Wind was not an issue for me either way.
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Old 07-29-17, 04:49 PM
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Bruce, just saw your post. Yes that is us. We are in Marquette, Michigan.

QUOTE=Doug64;19750022]Tom, is your journal "Across Canada with Diligence?[/QUOTE]
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