Canadian-US National Park Roadtrip: North Cascades-Jasper-Banff-Glacier  » Travel  »
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  • Don’t ask me how I know that Jasper is a small mountain town with the rockies in the backdrop
  • I recommend starting your stay with the Gondola ride or hike and then picking the lakes you want to visit

    • by Vince Thorne

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      Start in North cascades National Park in Washington, USA. Most of this park has a low traffic. Its popularity in Washington is third behind Olympic NP and Mt. Rainier NP. But it is beautiful and quiet. Accommodation is relatively cheap and easy to get. Food choices are limited but adequate. Baker and Ross Lakes are huge and must see. They have a little bit of a glacier left.

      It is a long drive getting to it but the reward is huge. There are several waterfalls there to explore and hike. I would not spend more than two nights in North Cascades National Park on a road trip. That will keep you wanting to come back for more. It’s a 10 hour long drive from North cascades to Jasper National Parl. Better start early are border crossing can be filled with delays. The highway 1 is a fast drive and don’t be surprised if you make good time on it. Don’t ask me how I know that Jasper is a small mountain town with the rockies in the backdrop.

      The town has lots

      of restaurants and gift shops. Try and eat a meal while gazing at the rockies. It is an experience you will savor. Jasper has several places to stay at relatively decent prices. Jasper itself has quite a collection of lakes, each having its own beauty. My favorite is Lac Beauvert for its pristine secluded tranquil look. The Gondola is cool and the restaurant at the summit offers a summed up view of the locale. I recommend starting your stay with the Gondola ride or hike and then picking the lakes you want to visit.

      I did not make it to the Jasper hotsprings. They are a fair drive from Jasper. If you are in Jasper you must do the Columbia Icefields parkway. DO stop at Edith Cavell. That is the northern most glacier I have been too and the serenity is blissful. There are several waterfalls along the way. If you are pressed for time skip them and do the glaciers instead. The Columbia Icefields are not as extensive as they once were.

      If you are planning a trip go there sooner ...

      • rather than later as the ice is melting. It is a spectacle nonetheless. You should take an entire day to reach the Banff National Park. Stop at Lake Louisse enroute as it the most beautiful lake you will see on the trip. The melting glacial waters give it a hue of green you will not see elsewhere. Stay at the Fairmont hotel on Lake Louisse. It will be quite the experience. Banff itself is a much busier town than Jasper.

        Banff has a Gondola as well and you get to take a short hike at the summit where you walk on the top of the mountain. The hike has splendid veiews of the rockies on both sides and views of the town below. Do it, you will like it. The Banff springs are at the base of the Gondola. Drop in at the end of a busy day to wash away your troubles. The water has healing properties, they say. I just know that it is soothing. Banff has a couple of drives.

        One through Tunnel mountain and the other around the

        lakes and around the Banff springs hotel. You can do these on a restful day if you feel like taking a break. Banff has lots of restaurants and food choices as well as lots of places to stay. Back in USA, the glacier national Park is half a day’s drive. Stay overnight at one of the inns at the eastern end of Going to the sun road. Eat at the restaurant at St. Mary’s lodge. Start your next day early.

        Going to the sun road is the most difficult road to plough in USA and you will see why. The drive is scenic. I can see how this once would have been. The glaciers have almost melted now, but have some ice to view. The lakes are scenic. The Logan pass still has heavy thoroughfare of tourists. The road gets pretty backed up with tourist vehicles so be prepared. The road has hardly any food options except at both the ends.

        So carry your food and water with you. I would still recommend doing the road though it is not as pretty as the Columbia Icefields parkway.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in May, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3825051576670231/k2311a0525/5.25.12
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