Hi-Looking for advice about visiting the Canadian Rockies in Sept. (2014) We would probably stay in Banff/Canmore area and drive to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway. Have general information about the weather/climate and widlife. etc., but would appreciate hearing about personal experiences and photo hotspots. Thanks in advance.
If stopping at Lake Louise, the hike up to Lake Agnes Tea House and then down following the Little or Big Beehive trails can yield some great vantage points. At Lake level, it can be very crowded with tourists. The majority do not attempt the hike along Lake Louise, and even fewer make the longer, steeper hike to the tea house, so don't be put off by the crowds.
Rode through there on my Harley in 2006 on the way back to Alaska from Sturgis. We hit Glacier's Going to the Sun, then wound our way north through Kootenay, Banff, and Jasper. It was absolutely clear weather.
North of Saskatchewan Crossing on the Icefields Pky before you hit the town of Jasper there is a spectacular switchback you should stop at if it is a clear day. You might be able to see all the way back to Montana. At that time, the highest concentrations of wildlife were on 11 eastbound from Jasper. You will be fairly close to glaciers along the road.
I know others who have been through there when the weather was low with reduced visibility, rain, fog, and snow in July and August.
Hi Mike, That sounds like a fabulous trip up the Rockies-Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP is beautiful and a rather amazing bit of road construction. Must have been fun on the motorcycle. Looking forward to more spectacular sights further north in Alberta. The switchback near Jasper will be a definite stopping point. We plan to stay for several weeks so we should have some good weather. Thanks for your comments!
Having done this route in 2010, I have a few suggestions:
If you are staying for a few days or more, I suggest you look into staying in Jasper. There are several people that rent houses or parts of their houses for a few days or a week. It's more economical that saying in Bannf.
If going to Lake Louise - go early. If you can get there just after sunrise, the lake is usually like glass, and there are very few tourists.
Take the side trip to Peyto Lake and take the short hike to the lookout - a great spot for a panorama.
Just south of Jasper there is a small road that takes you to Athabasca falls, just off the Parkway. After your visit to the falls, follow this road north (you will be west of the river)until you get to the turnoff for Edith Cavell mountain - take this road up to the end - there is a great spot there with trails and many photo opportunities.
Hi Ron, Gerry, and Antero, Thank you so much for the comments, suggestions, and tips. Lake Louise, the Falls, Peyto Lake are definite stops with many more places and hikes to consider; we do plan to stay in Jasper for several days so Gerry's suggestion sounds great. Love seeing your gallery, Antero, especially the bears! Ron, I will be checking out the books about photographing in the area, that should be a great help to us. Best wishes
You might consider Yoho National Park. It is just a short distance from Banff, kind of close to Lake Louise. Not to far off your track. It is a road less traveled and bears can be observed with out the crush of the crowds. Don't miss Moraine Lake and take a little walk across the bridge over a stream and up a path that takes you to the top of a huge rocky slope. It is probably a glacial moraine. Once at the top be ready for wide angle or panorama shots. The little picas of the rabbit family are fun to catch on the rocky slopes. Just a few ideas.
Perfect time to visit. Be sure to take the gondola ride up the mountain in banff . In the Jasper area you should consider taking a small cruise on Lake Mangolin. Unbelievable photo area. Honestly every turn on your drive will make you want to stop to take pictures. If I could figure out how to post pictures I could give you some shots. I'm a new member and just figuring things out. This will be a trip to remember.
Dan-thanks for mentioning the cable car and Parks Canada Visitor Center in Jasper. I've had so many great suggestions from people here-the hard part will be to sort all of this out and make plans. Glad we started looking a year ahead. Very sorry to hear of all of the flooding in Canmore and Calgary.