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Jasper to Banff

Old 07-06-13, 01:39 AM
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Jasper to Banff

Has anyone done this tour? I'd be curious to find out more details...
I am trying to figure out if it is possible to take the train from Vancouver to Jasper and pick the return train to Vancouver from either Banff or Lake Louis.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:11 AM
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I have cycled between Jasper and Banff, and portions of that route, more times than I can count. I've lived in that area for much of my life, and started cycling along the Icefield Parkway and in surrounding areas, when I was a child.

You should be able to take Via Rail from Vancouver to Jasper on certain days, but you will not be able to take a train from Banff or Lake Louise (named after a lady) to Vancouver ... it doesn't go through Banff or Jasper. However, you should be able to catch a bus ... if you opt to do that, you might have to check on their bicycle policies.

https://www.viarail.ca/
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Old 07-06-13, 02:19 AM
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And just in case you're interested ... photos of that whole area taken when I lived near there between 2005 and 2009 ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7619203595712/
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Old 07-06-13, 09:24 AM
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hey Macha.
thank for your input. The place looks beautiful indeed.
yeah I noticed that there is only a train that goes to jasper. Apparently I would only be able to carry the bike in a box. I need to look into the coach options for the way back. I've also read that the campsites or even the couple of hostels on the way, may not have running water or electricity. I've never carried water and food for more than a day in previous tour, so the whole mission sounds a bit challenging.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:40 AM
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Beauty of a ride. Was chilly at night & morn (freezing) in 70's in late June. Machka would have a better take on current weather patterns.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ch3
hey Macha.
thank for your input. The place looks beautiful indeed.
yeah I noticed that there is only a train that goes to jasper. Apparently I would only be able to carry the bike in a box. I need to look into the coach options for the way back. I've also read that the campsites or even the couple of hostels on the way, may not have running water or electricity. I've never carried water and food for more than a day in previous tour, so the whole mission sounds a bit challenging.
I can't help you too much with transportation because I've either cycled or driven into the mountains. I've never used the train or bus there ... but yes, chances are you'll need to box your bicycle. There are bicycle shops in both Jasper and Banff, so they might be able to help you with that.

Jasper to Banff is only about 300 km. I've ridden it in one day, and I've ridden it in 3 days. Even if you take your time, it probably won't take you more than a week.

You should be able to find food and water at various places along the way between Jasper and Banff. I've never had trouble locating either. Jasper is a reasonable sized town with a grocery store, so you should be able to find a variety of food choices and should be able to buy enough to carry with you for a couple days. You should be able to get supplies at the Columbia Icefields, Saskatchewan River Crossing, Lake Louise, and of course, Banff.

If you are planning to go soon, the hostels will likely be booked. They are small, and they are usually booked well in advanced. But yes, some of the hostels along there are wilderness hostels and will be a bit rustic ... that's their appeal. And I wouldn't expect much in the way of electricity in very many of the campgrounds. Some do have it, but where there is electricity, those sites will likely be booked.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:12 AM
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You might also check out these threads:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tour-itinerary


https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ight=Icefields
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Old 07-06-13, 10:50 AM
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Back in '73, our family was on vacation and spent time in the Canadian Rockies, traveling from Glacier National Park north to Calgary for Stampede, then Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. At one campground we 'adopted' a young couple that were touring by bike because the campground was full, and the next one was 30-some miles away and much too far for the couple to get to by nightfall on loaded bikes in the mountains. They set up their little tent next to ours. I remember the park rangers being quite miffed that 'we' had two tents in our campsite. Dad told the ranger that we were simply 'meeting up with our two oldest kids' that were on bikes....

The couple was very friendly, and they and dad sat up and swapped stories late into the night.
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Old 07-06-13, 01:50 PM
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Mechka these two other posts have plenty of information. That's great, I am very grateful.
I just need to check on transport and see if I can work something out. You see this will just be a warm up to a 2 month tour down the coast all the way to LA. So together with my relocation back to Europe, I have many things to plan ahead. It's just that want to visit Rockies one more time before I leave the west coast.
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Old 07-15-13, 03:12 PM
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And what about wildlife? How do you deal with a situation like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtTYQ0PGl9U
=\
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Old 07-15-13, 07:56 PM
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Pay attention to the warnings.

Keep your distance.

Leave the wildlife alone.


Visit the Banff and Jasper National Park websites for warning etc.
https://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/index.aspx
https://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/index.aspx


Here, for example, are Jasper's warnings ...
https://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jas...emergency.aspx

And Banff's list of warnings and closures ...
https://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/ban...-closures.aspx
https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/Rec_R...p?opark=100092



If that video has anything to do with a wolf and a cyclist ... I believe that was in Alaska. Different place from the Icefield Parkway. Thousands of km in between the two places. Not saying that there aren't wolves in the Banff and Jasper National Parks, but the area along the Icefield Parkway is fairly populated and there's lots of traffic.


If you follow the advice on those websites I linked above, you'll be in more danger from the wild RVs roaming the parks.

Last edited by Machka; 07-15-13 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 07-16-13, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
If you follow the advice on those websites I linked above, you'll be in more danger from the wild RVs roaming the parks.
Boy am I glad our family did our camping 40 years ago - before the advent of RVs. Nothing worse than trying to enjoy nature and have an RV with it's generator running all night, and the RVers inside watching satellite TV...
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Old 07-16-13, 01:54 PM
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The ride between Jasper and Lake Louise is spectacular. I did it two years ago during a rainy period and still got fabulous pictures. It is not an easy ride and the repeated cracks in the payment on the shoulder can be annoying but the views make it all worthwhile. You may be able to catch a Greyhound bus from Banff. They insist on the bikes going into boxes for transport and charge $30. They have boxes available at certain stations for $10. You would have to check ahead of time but Banff strikes me as one that would make sense having boxes available. If not I am sure a local bike shop would have some.

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Old 07-16-13, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj
Boy am I glad our family did our camping 40 years ago - before the advent of RVs. Nothing worse than trying to enjoy nature and have an RV with it's generator running all night, and the RVers inside watching satellite TV...
I know this goes against the grain for many (so what's unusual, you may ask), but the last time we camped in Jasper for our wedding, it was the really, really dense woodsmoke from the firepits that seemed to be more invasive.

Fortunately, we were camped away from the worst areas (in fact, I think in a no-fire tenting zone), so it wasn't particularly a worry for us.
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Old 07-16-13, 07:00 PM
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I just checked in Vancouver Pacific Station and the train company charge $25 to put the bike in one of their boxes. The box itself is much bigger than the normal bike boxes and is seems the bike will fit in it without removing any parts, but just rotating the handle bar by 90 degrees. That's super convenient, as it means I will be able to cycle to the station and then I won't waste much time putting the bike back together.

On the way back greyhound requires to bring your own bike box to put it in the coach ($30). Not sure if they provide anything in the lake louise station, but I just phones a local bike shop and they give those away for $15.
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Old 07-17-13, 05:41 PM
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ok I just bought my tickets!
yay
=]

Do you know by any change what's the deal with the camp sites? Do I need to reserve in advanced, or just turn up?
I assume I will be arriving in each one fairly late in the day, so is there a chance that they may turn me down? Or will they show mercy to a tired cyclist?
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Old 07-17-13, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ch3
ok I just bought my tickets!
yay
=]

Do you know by any change what's the deal with the camp sites? Do I need to reserve in advanced, or just turn up?
I assume I will be arriving in each one fairly late in the day, so is there a chance that they may turn me down? Or will they show mercy to a tired cyclist?
When are you going? If you are going in July or August ...

1. Get to the campgrounds by 4 pm. Any later, and there's a good chance you won't get a site. And really, you don't want to be out there much later than that anyway.

2. You can book at some campgrounds, such as the large one outside Jasper, the one at Johnson's Canyon, and some around Banff. I'd suggest you do that.

3. The other campgrounds may be a first-come, first-serve, self-registering style. And you won't be able to book at those ... you just have to arrive by 4 pm. But just in case you're entertaining the idea of sneaking in, the Parks officials are quite aware of what's going on and they do check.

4. Some campgrounds have a walk-in/cycle-in tent only area (Waterfowl Lakes had that a number of years ago). You have a better chance of getting a site at those campgrounds because the RVs can't set up in those areas.


If you are going in late August or early September, you shouldn't have any trouble getting a site.


Also note that some campgrounds and roads were closed because of the recent flooding in the Banff area. Read the Banff National Park site for more information about that.
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Old 07-18-13, 03:28 PM
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So I am going 5th to 10th of August. I know that's probable the busiest and worst week to visit, as it also starts with a long weekend... but I didn't have any other option as I need to be back in Vancouver to plan other things before leaving Canada for good.

So the train arrives at Jasper at 4pm and I was hoping to cycle 50km south and camp to Honeymoon lake. But I guess I may be risking not finding a spot, so I may have to stay in Jasper for the night and next day try to cover double the distance.

I am not thinking to try and sneak into the camp site, but I just wondering what my options could be if I turn up to a full campsite. Cycling another 50km to the next one, may not be a good idea.
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Old 07-18-13, 04:16 PM
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I would recommend staying in Jasper the first night. Arriving there at 4 pm, then cycling 50 km through the mountains with a loaded touring bicycle would get you to Honeymoon Lake about 8 pm ... and there's a good chance that'll be too late.

If you turn up to a full campground, there isn't much of an option except to keep going ... unless you can convince someone in the campground to let you pitch on their site.

Have another look at the map, you might find that accommodations are available a bit more frequently than 50 km apart. I'd recommend starting to look for a place to stay by 3 pm at the latest each day.
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Old 07-19-13, 09:37 AM
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oh dear...
I guess I'll have to wake up early and attempt to cover twice the distance at least the first day to get to Wilcox Creek. I am hoping to have an extra day in Lake Louise, so I can go hiking to the lakes near by (hoping my legs will be able to cope that).

I better get on with my training!
=]
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Old 07-19-13, 10:29 PM
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You might also want to have a read through this thread before you go ... https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...boy-Trail-area
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Old 07-22-13, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ch3
I am not thinking to try and sneak into the camp site, but I just wondering what my options could be if I turn up to a full campsite. Cycling another 50km to the next one, may not be a good idea.
When I rode the Parkway two years ago I arrived at Lake Louise to find the campground full. I asked if I could check to see if anyone would share a site with me. They not only let me in but suggested a few areas to try first. Within in five minutes I had arranged to share a site with two other cyclists and paid my one third of the cost. Great site, great rate and found two new friends.
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Old 07-23-13, 08:08 PM
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I booked the first night at the Wabasso Campground 15km south of Jasper just to be safe.
I think with $28+$10 for reservation fees for just one person and a tiny tent, I should be looking for others to share my spot.
=]

I am sure it's worth it.
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Old 07-28-13, 12:37 PM
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Between Jasper and Lake Louis, how many grocery stores should I expect to find for supplies?
I am just trying to estimate how much food I should be carrying with me.
As far as I see, most of the camp grounds have potable water, so I should be able to refill every 40-50km.

First night I am planning to stay in Wabasso, second at Wilcox Creek and then 3rd depending on how it goes either make it to Lake Louise or just to Waterfowl Lakes.

I am starting to get more excited than nervous about this.
=]
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Old 07-28-13, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ch3
Between Jasper and Lake Louis, how many grocery stores should I expect to find for supplies?
I am just trying to estimate how much food I should be carrying with me.
As far as I see, most of the camp grounds have potable water, so I should be able to refill every 40-50km.

First night I am planning to stay in Wabasso, second at Wilcox Creek and then 3rd depending on how it goes either make it to Lake Louise or just to Waterfowl Lakes.

I am starting to get more excited than nervous about this.
=]
Between Jasper and Lake Louise there could be 2 grocery stores.

There might be one at the Columbia Icefields, although they have been making changes up there, and I can't guarantee anything. Look up Columbia Icefields and see if they say what they've got there now.

And there is one at Saskatchewan River Crossing.


These are small, and not well stocked, but you should be able to get something to eat.


There is also a restaurant at Beauty Creek, should be one at the Columbia Icefields, and there is one at Saskatchewan River Crossing.
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