This is a most do if you have a car,..........
Take a drive along the Icefield's Parkway, and make sure you allow a full day so that you can stop and look at everything.
The Parkway runs between Lake Louise and Jasper. For people like me, coming from a warm climate, the beauty of this drive and area was overwhelming, I wanted to stop and take photo's all the time, and did for a while, until my husband said we will never make it to Jasper in daylight!......so then I had to take them through the front windscreen.
There was so much to see, that we looked properly at the start, and then returned from Jasper to have a look at the sights nearest Jasper, this was the only way we could see everything, so bear that in mind if you "want to see everything!'
There are wonderful Mountain scenes, Glaciers, stunning Lakes & waterfalls, lookouts and wildlife, this National Park was stunning!
Fondest memory: Map of the Icefield's Parkway..............
The drive to Banff was awesome with craggy peaks looming in the distance. Once in the mountains we found our misfortune of the day before (heavy rain during the day followed by frigid nighttime temperatures) had translated to a heavy coat of fresh snow blanketing the peaks. Just gorgeous! We had been hiking steadily for a few months a this point and were quite fit, but Jae hadn’t been out much that summer and explained that he would only do a short hike with us. I pick out the hike of the Ten Peaks to Eiffel Lake.
It started out innocently enough and it was even more beautiful with the fresh fallen snow. Much to Jae’s dismay, we continued past the lake ever higher and then trudging through snow to Wenkchemna Pass, one of the highest maintained trails in the park, though obviously not maintained that day!! He complained a bit but at the top of the pass knee deep in snow and laughter, a snowball fight couldn’t be avoided. After admiring the views, we made out way down best we could often skiing and eventually sliding down on our butts. Jae never complained again.
Get your butt out of Calgary and head to the National Parks of Banff and Jasper, a mere stone's throw away.
Fondest memory: We drove into Calgary hoping to meet up with a buddy we had met on a camping trip in Western Australia. I hadn’t called ahead, just hoped to catch him if he was around. Of course, he wasn’t and it was pouring rain.We spent most of the day drinking beer at a pub called the Mill down by the river. The owner had taken a liking to Kristin, gave us some free ones and an order of oysters on the house as well.
We looked for a room, but it was pretty expensive and since it had cleared we decided to camp. The stars were so close; you’d swear you could touch them. This beautiful display came with the attached coldness you might expect that time of year in late August. We froze out little tushies off, but woke up to clear sunny skies and decided to hightail it up to Banff.
I called Jae one last time to leave a message on his machine and of course he was now home. Torn between hitting the mountains while it was nice and reliving some memories, we decided to pay him a visit. One of those late night chatting affairs ensued and he said he’d go up to Banff to show us around a bit. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
Favorite thing: While in the mountains, watch out for these interesting gray birds. As soon as you stop somewhere for a bit longer, they might appear flying close by and observing you. They fly from brench to brench with an amazing swiftness. I had a feeling that they were waiting for me to drop something.
Lived in Wainwrite for about 11 years. This was about 18 years ago so I never gone back. I heard it's been developing ever since it had a population of 200,000
Fondest memory: West Edmonton Mall, back then it was freaking huge... I'm sure it has expanded and has lots to see. I remember they had tonnes of shops and of course, an amusement park inside it ! Didn't get to ride the rides but i think the roller coaster is still in it.. oh forgot to mention the wave pool too.
Banff National Park is the oldest National Park of Canada and is famous for its impressive scenery all over the world. Together with Jasper National park it is located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, stretching from Columbia Icefield till Banff.
Besides the mountains Banff NP offers some spectacular lakes with amazing turquoise coloured water like Peyto Lake, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. The park is easy accessible through the Trans Canadian Highwa # 1 and the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff.
Banff can be considered as the capital of the Canadian Rockies and is a rather crowded town in the heart of this stunning mountain scenery. In some places it can be a little bit overcrowded, but the park offers a lot of hidden gems and off the beaten path destinations. Banff is an excellent starting point for day trips in Banff NP.
An entrance fee is applicable if visiting Banff National Park. We paid for a 3 days pass for 2 persons CAD 42,-. Tickets are to be clearly visible on your car's dashboard at all times and valid in all national parks.
See for the valid fees the website of Banff NP.
The Banff Information Centre is located at 224 Banff Avenue, Banff, Alberta. See for opening hours and all other information their website: www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff
Fondest memory: Somewhere in Banff National Park we were on our way from a car park to a waterfall. Suddenly a man cried "Look out a bear". He is kidding we thought, but when we looked around we saw a real black bear strolling around. He/she was moving away and afterwards we could make this picture from our car.
The most 'wild' encounter we ever had in our lives.
Jasper National Park is one of the oldest and the largest NP's in Canada and is situated in the middle of the impressive scenery of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. On our way from the prairies of Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta we could see the mountains from about 125 km’s away. And the scenery was getting more and more impressive and ‘wilder’ when driving westward along Yellowhead Highway # 16.
We had heard and read a lot about the wildlife in the Rockies, but it was amazing to see so many animals. Sometimes so close to our car, almost unbelievable; at least for us 'Dutchies'. It started just before the East Park Gate, when a couple of deer were grazing along the road. And immediate behind the gate we ‘had’ to stop again to take photos of some deer.
There are so many 'hot spots' you have to visit. Because we just had one day to spend, you will find specific tips of the several sights along Icefields Parkway (road nr 93 or 93a) and Maligne Valley, close to Jasper. The town is situated in the National Park with the same name and a good starting point for day trips in the park.
We made our trip from Jasper to Banff and the scenery we did see was just overwhelming !!
An entrance fee is applicable if visiting Jasper National Park. We had to pay an entrance fee at one of the gates. We paid for a 3 days pass for 2 persons CAD 42,-. Tickets are to be clearly visible on your car's dashboard at all times and valid in all national parks.
See for the valid fees the website of Jasper NP.
The Jasper National Park Information Centre is located at 500 Connaught Drive, Jasper, Alberta. See for opening hours and all other information their website: www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/jasper
Fondest memory: The number of wildlife we saw during just a short stay in Jasper National Park.
1. Kilometers per hour are NOT the same as miles per hour
2. Canadians, generally, don't have the same lead feet as their American neighbors do
3. There is 'something' between the local Ukranians, and the Canadians, that dates back to WWII
4. This area used to be undersea ... so the bedrock is a combination of sandstone, limestone & dolomite.
5. "Rock Flour" are the teeny bits of rock that are suspended in waterways. This determines the water's color even at far away distances from the originating glacier.
6. There is a 'thing' called a Trihydrogeo (sp?)/ Triple Divide. There are only 2 triple divides in the world. The triple divide above the Columbia Ice Fields in Jasper National park feed the Atlantic ocean, Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.
7. Innukshuk is cute AND functional
8. With a short warm season ... seasonal work like road construction and rail road maintenance are darn busy in the summer!
9. Canadians camp ... alot ... and their campground bathrooms are so darn CLEAN!
10. Saskatoons are yummy :)
Because of the root systems of the pine trees in this region, paths are pretty much everywhere. this also means that it can be difficult to determine what is a path, and what isn't .... attention is needed to help keep you from getting lost while wandering about.... especialy since the trails are not well marked :) You can also see how easy it would be to trip of you are tired ..........
I can't believe just how pretty this sort of forest walking can be - like natures veins over the soil - bringing life ......
As I traveled through the Alberta Province, I was pleased and delighted with the help I received at the various visitor centers I took the time to wander into.
The Hinton center went above and beyond! They not only helped me plan an itinerary for my day of local exploration up into the Willmore, but the next day they helped me plan a detailed itinerary into Jasper and Banff ... including helping me decide which features to pass on, and which ones to explore more fully. Getting this information from locals was a Godsend! They helped me with my timing, and hand drew maps for me to find locations not so well visited by typical travelers ....
Fondest memory: I can't even begin to express my appreciation and gratitude at their help. Without these folks, my visit to Jasper and Banff would not have been so jam packed and amazing :)
This map of the province shows the routes that we travelled on our visits of 2001 and 2004.
In 2001, we flew into Calgary and then drove north toward Edmonton for a bit before veering off to the west into Jasper National Park. We emerged from its upper end and then travelled through Hinton to the Drayton Valley (and Brazeau Lake) area just west of Edmonton. Finally, we drove into Edmonton before heading straight down to Calgary.
Our latest trip, in 2004, involved flying into Edmonton, from where we drove east to Cold Lake. To then make our way to Calgary, we drove due south before cutting to the west in a series of sharp jogs (they don't like diagonal roads in Alberta!) before reaching our destination. While there, we took a day-trip to Banff and Lake Louis in Banff National Park. In returning north to Edmonton, we diverted off the main highway at Red Deer and took some scenic secondary roads the rest of the way.
Favorite thing: The JASPER INFORMATION CENTRE is a National Historic Site. The building itself is beautiful. Wander inside and receive information on what to do and see in the area. A good selection of brochures are available.
Another common sight throughout Alberta is Hay Bales. They come in a number of forms with the most common being square and round. The square bales usually weigh between 50-70 pounds while the round ones weigh anywhere betwwen 800-1200 pounds.
Fondest memory: I remember when I was young and I would go playing on piles of round bales at the farm.
If you are in Edmonton, Alberta during the period of around the 22-31 of July you should check out Klondike Days. K-Days as it is locally known is Edmonton's giant exhibition. It has all your standard fair stuff such as crazy rides, greasy foods and games where you when cheap prizes. It also has a couple of stages where bands play which sometimes includes pretty big Canadian artists (included in admission price as with most things expect for rides and the usual). Arcades, a casino, lots of different exhibits, chuckwagon races and the list goes on. If you are in Edmonton before K-Days starts you can buy an advanced pay one price which gets you on everything except those expensive independant rides and it includes admission. K-Days takes place at Northland Parks which is right next to the Rexall Place.
Fondest memory: http://www.klondikedays.com/flash.html
Favorite thing: If you are in the city of Edmonton, Alberta at the end of July, you should check out "A Taste of Edmonton." It is a food fair of local restaurants (around 40 of them) that serve about two items from their menues. You buy tickets (75 cents Can. this year) from a booth and you use them as payment at the restaurant stands. It is usually held at Churchill Park but this year it was held at Abbey Glen Park which is only a couple of blocks away. The festival runs at the same time as Klondike Days (usually around July 22- 31). This is an excellent way to sample the local restaurants in a short period of time without wasting too much money.
Bar none- Le Germain is spectacular. I couldn't classify it as boutique becuase it caters to such a...more
Pyramid Lake Road, 5 km from Jasper, Jasper, Alberta, T0E 1E0, Canada
Good for: Business
The Met is a lovely boutique hotel located on Whyte Avenue. It is in a excellent location. There is...more