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Rocky Mountaineer or drive from Jasper? Opinions pls

Discussion in 'Canada Timesharing' started by bdurstta, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. bdurstta

    bdurstta Guest

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    Rocky Mountaineer is expensive, but is it better to ride the train or drive from Banff/LakeLouise/Jasper to Vancouver?
     
  2. djyamyam

    djyamyam TUG Member

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    What time of the year are you going to be there? How much time are you allotting for your trip?

    Personally, I would drive as it gives you more flexibility - if going during the summer. If winter, I would suggest the train.
     
  3. bdurstta

    bdurstta Guest

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    We are thinking of this June.
     
  4. Mosescan

    Mosescan TUG Member

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    The trains and highways between Vancouver and both Jasper and Banff follow the same paths so either way you will see the same scenery. With a Car you can stop where/when you wish to take a picture or pause to admire the views. It's a long drive, you may want to stop for a night somewhere in the middle to really allow yourself time to see the mountains and the scenery and the wildlife. It is still able to be done in one day, but it can be a long day at 10 hours. Although rare, you can get snow in the mountains in June so don't be surprised if you see some white stuff.
     
  5. CanuckTravlr

    CanuckTravlr TUG Member

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    Agree with the comments and recommendations of both djyamyam and Mosescan. I have done this journey both by train (but Via Rail, not Rocky Mountaineer) and by car. In June there will certainly still be snow in the higher elevations, but generally the roads should be OK, but keep an eye on the weather forecasts. I would also recommend staying at least one or two nights somewhere on the trip. Having a car and breaking it into two or three days also allows you to stop and see some of the sights along the way. It is a beautiful drive.
     
  6. sfwilshire

    sfwilshire TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We drove from Jasper to Banff in a June and loved it. Stopped and took a ride out onto the glacier.

    We also drove from Vancouver to Jasper and from Banff to Vancouver. It has been a few years, but as I recall, we stopped for at least one night to break up the drive both ways.

    We ran into people from the train a couple of times. It looks like it would be great fun if money was no object, but you would lose the flexibility that having your own vehicle provides.

    Great trip!

    Sheila
     
  7. Mosescan

    Mosescan TUG Member

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    The Icefield Parkway between Banff and Jasper is the only place I have ever seen mountain goats. You will see lots of bighorn sheep in both parks but goats are pretty rare YMMV. The Columbia Icefields is also a great way to spend an afternoon. It's amazing walking up there and seeing all the crevasses but go with the guided tour unless you have experience and the right equipment. You will see/hear the glacier calving pieces off the side of the mountain in the afternoon occasionally again YMMV. I spent a lot of time there teaching on mountain operations courses.

    Enjoy your trip.
     
  8. djyamyam

    djyamyam TUG Member

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    I don't typically see goats in Banff area but you can see them fairly regularly in Jasper area. #1 place is the parking lot of the Miette Hot Springs - have even seen them up in the back of a guy's truck where he had some seed scattered in the truck bed from something or another. You'll see them also around the turnoff off the highway to the JPL, just before Jasper townsite
     

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