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Advice for November Travel

Crestline...
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Advice for November Travel

I am headed to Jasper and Banff with two friends in November. We plan on landing in Calgary renting a car then doing the drive either to Jasper or Banff first and the other on our way back to Calgary. We will be there a week and want to see everything , especially the dark sky preserve in Jasper. Any advice, tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

calgary
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1. Re: Advice for November Travel

First question is do you have experience driving on mountain roads in the winter?

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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2. Re: Advice for November Travel

I'm sure you've looked at average temperatures for November. And you couldn't pick a better time of year for dark skies. I'm sure you know that you need to be experienced drivers on snow and ice.

On arrival, you will want to head for Banff, not Jasper. The Icefields Parkway is too beautiful to travel in the dark, and at that time of year, you will be much safer travelling it between 9 am and 4 pm, to ensure that other cars might come by, should you need any assistance.

These pages may be helpful:

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g153339-c55003/Canada:…

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g659487-c74055/Canadia…

Depending on when you are here, you may want to take in part of the Banff Mountain Book and Film Festivals: http://www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/

Crestline...
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3. Re: Advice for November Travel

cruiseryyc - Thank you for asking, I currently reside in an area that gets very icy and snowy winters so I have experience in those driving conditions. I will be renting a 4X4 vehicle and I educated in chains if those are available and required.

Crestline...
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4. Re: Advice for November Travel

Thank you very much. I was concerned as to which direction to travel to first. I am prepared with my snow boots and negative temperature winter clothes.

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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5. Re: Advice for November Travel

kristaketter - it's all the same direction. Banff is about an hour and a half west of Calgary on Highway 1, and Jasper is another 4 hours northwest of Banff mostly along the Icefields Parkway. You cannot visit Jasper "on our way back to Calgary". You would visit Banff, then Jasper, then drive back through Banff to Calgary.

Crestline...
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90 reviews
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6. Re: Advice for November Travel

Thank you! Does anyone have recommendations on places to stay in those areas?

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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7. Re: Advice for November Travel

Tripadvisor is just the place for those recommendations.

tripadvisor.ca/Hotels-g154911-Banff_Banff_Na…

tripadvisor.ca/Hotels-g154918-Jasper_Jasper_…

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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8. Re: Advice for November Travel

Most (probably all) rental vehicle contracts prohibit the use of chains. I would suggest ensuring your vehicle is equipped with winter tires (even if 4WD), not all season ones. You usually have to request these and you usually pay a bit extra. They are required by law in some provinces, but not in Alberta.

You will probably want to keep your plans flexible, and check the weather and road conditions before you head up #93N, the Icefields Parkway. It is not patrolled or maintained after 4 pm, and there are no services open along it at that time of year, and no mobile phone service for much of it.

The Jasper Dark Sky Preserve is the entire national park. Once you get out of the townsite and immediate area, the skies are very, very dark. Even in the townsite, the skies are dark enough that I can see aurora sometimes from my back doorstep. Google tells me that the new moon is the 22nd of November, so coming around that period will be the darkest skies. Of course, there will have to be clear weather to be able to see anything. When there are clear weather nights in November, it is often very, very cold so bring some warm clothes.

Seasonal attractions and access roads will be closed, but there is still lots to do and see. It does tend to be a dark and somewhat dull/drab time of year, due to the short daylight hours and because we don't always get much snow in the valleys until closer to month-end or even Christmas to brighten things up. Some of the area ski resorts open during November... anytime from mid-month on, depending on weather and snow conditions.

Accommodations can be found here in TripAdvisor, or on the official tourism sites for the area. www.banfflakelouise.com has a great searchable database - plug in your dates and sort the results by price to easily see what the range is and find your preferred budget range. Jasper hotels are listed at www.jasper.travel . Private home accommodations and B&Bs are at www.stayinjasper.com November is a time of very high vacancy rates - really no need to book much ahead.

Crestline...
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9. Re: Advice for November Travel

Thanks so much for the info! It is nice to have first hand advice :)

10. Re: Advice for November Travel

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