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Jasper to Kamloops

Northants
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Jasper to Kamloops

We will be driving from Jasper to Kamloops en route to Whistler and Vancouver next July, having driven from Banff to Jasper the day before. We are planning to stop for one night somewhere between Jasper and Kamloops. Should we go via Well Grey Park or via Revelstoke? Which has the more impressive scenery and things to see and do without mamouth hikes? Our aim is to see a little bit of as much as possible as we've never been to Canada before.

Calgary, Alberta...
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1. Re: Jasper to Kamloops

Hello suzie_smudge,

If you are dead set on sticking to the agenda you've described, I would say it would be better to drive from Jasper to Kamloops via Clearwater (from which point you can make a detour into Wells Gray Provincial Park to see Helmcken Falls).

If you were to go through Revelstoke, you'd be forced to return south along the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise, then turn west to Golden, Revelstoke, and Salmon Arm before reaching Kamloops. That would make for rather a long day's drive.

Although Wells Gray Park and Helmcken Falls are great, I do slightly prefer the scenery between Lake Louise and Revelstoke (even if the TransCanada Highway is busy and does have big trucks travelling on it).

Basically you can't lose. Each route is beautiful.

If you were to go via Revelstoke, it actually would make more sense to make Revelstoke your overnight stop. That would break the journey into sections that were more equal in length.

It's difficult to give advice without knowing the larger context into which this segment of your journey fits. I hope that, before setting out for Jasper, you will have had a chance to see Moraine Lake (14 km from Lake Louise). Its' a gem.

Please feel free to look at my personal web site, if you haven't already stumbled on it from my previous posts here at TripAdvisor:

…msn.com/CalgaryandCanadianRockiesTravelTips

If you look at my suggested itineraries, you'll get ideas of landmarks to see in the Canadian Rockies.

If you follow the links from my TIPS section, you'll find links to practical information like Weather, What To Pack, etc.

Also have a look at the "Recommended Circle Route around BC" that Vancouver resident Paul Beddows has published. His suggested route sets out from Vancouver, goes to Jasper, swings down to Lake Louise, and then returns to Vancouver via a more southerly route. He provides a good explanation of what there is to see from Vancouver to Jasper. The only wrinkle is that his directions are for a west to east journey, whereas you'll be doing it from east to west. So naturally you'll have to reverse his instructions to fit your case.

http://www.vancouver.hm/drivebc.html

Hope that helps.

Cambridgeshire, UK
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2. Re: Jasper to Kamloops

I can recommend the route via Clearwater, and Wells Grey was a great experience. But to get the best out of WG park you really need to be able to spend some time in there. You did not actually say if you are also staying over in Kamloops. If so that drive is not too bad so you might get a bit of time in the park before you leave. We spent 2 nights in Clearwater and can recommend this - http://www.bbexpo.com/redtop/.

If you plan to stay around Kamloops we can recommmend http://www.lakesideinn.bc.ca/index.html at Savona on Kamloops Lake

The route from Jasper is so interesting with many potential stopping points that you will really find your timetable tight. Incidentally Banff to Jasper can be a long day if you take in a few 'small' diversions.

Do you have accommodation in Jasper? This B&B (http://www.mountainreach.com/) is good but about 30 miles east of Jasper so it might not work well with your plans.

Roger

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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3. Re: Jasper to Kamloops

Just a correction - the B&B mentioned in the last post "Mountain Reach" is in Valemount, BC - about an hour and a half WEST of Jasper. According to one site I found, it's 122 kilometres (about 80 miles) between the towns of Jasper and Valemount.

Cambridgeshire, UK
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4. Re: Jasper to Kamloops

Thanks for pointing out my mistake. It should have been Mountain Splendour at Folding Mountain Village/Hinton.

(http://www.bbalberta.com/mountainsplendour)

Sorry about the confusion. We did actually stay at Mountain Reach as well (although I see it has since changed owners) and with everywhere having a Mountain in its name I picked up the wrong one.

Roger

Calgary, Canada
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for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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5. Re: Jasper to Kamloops

Hi Suzie,

Just so you know, the town of Savona as referenced in a previous post is actually about 30 miles (50 km) WEST of Kamloops, so it would not be on the way from Jasper to Kamloops. Although if you are interested in driving the extra distance, the area is quite scenic, with Savona situated right by the lake. I can't comment on the inn that was mentioned, as I have never stayed overnight in Savona.

Oshawa, Canada
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6. Re: Jasper to Kamloops

Hi Suzie!

The route via Revelstoke is much more scenic than going through Valemount/Clearwater, although the side trip to Wells Gray Provincial Park is well worth the time to see it. There are 3 spectacular waterfalls on the trip into the park (each about a 5-10 minute walk from the road): Dawson Falls, Spahats Falls and, of course, the most dramatic of them all, Helmken Falls. Heading west from Jasper along the Yellowhead Hwy, there is also a photo-op at Mt. Robson (the highest peak in the Rockies) and Rearguard Falls - also a short 10 minute walk off the Hwy.

If you choose to go back down the Icefields Parkway, the biggest bang for your buck

Oshawa, Canada
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7. Re: Jasper to Kamloops

If you choose to go back down the Icefield's Parkway, the biggest bang for your buck can be found at Athabasca Falls, just a few kms south of the Jasper Townsite. I have yet to see a photograph of the entire falls, it is so enormous, cutting its way through a magnificent gorge. There are bridges and footpaths to explore, taking you down to the bottom and great views of the Athabasca River.

At the highest point of the Icefields Pky is the Columbia Icefields. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take a Snocoach from the Icefield's Centre out onto the Athabasca Glacier, past massive millwells and morraines and hanging glaciers above. Once on the glacier, they will allow you to get out and walk around. Bring along a container to get some of the meltwater to drink....the purest, freshest water in the world created from snow and ice that formed thousands of years ago, long before the industrial revolution and acid rain.

Halfway between Jasper and Banff is The Crossing: a motel, gas bar, restaurant and gift shop. The gift shop is quite large and usually has some good bargains, especially clothing. Don't recommend you get gas here. Make sure you fill up in either Banff or Jasper (depending on which way you're heading) since this is the only gas station between the 2 townsites and they definitely charge accordingly.

About 3 kms south of The Crossing is Mistaya Canyon - a 5 min walk from the main road. Much less touristy than many of the other natural attractions, it offers a quiet retreat near the Mistaya River as it plunges suddenly into a limestone canyon, making all kinds of unique pot-holes and swirling rock formations along the way.

Peyto Lake, about 37 kms south of The Crossing, is one of the most popular viewpoints in the Rockies. It takes about 20 mins to walk to the main lookout, a deep emerald-green lake surrounded by snow-covered peaks.

Heading west from the Hwy 93/TransCanada junction is Yoho National Park. If picnicing is your thing, take the 14 km detour off the TransCanada to Takakaw Falls. There are lots of steep switchbacks and fantastic scenery along the way(trailers can be left at the start of the drive, if needed)leading to a large parking area. Picnic Tables are all around the trailhead, with excellent views of the falls. The walk to the base of the falls takes about 20 mins. Don't let pictures of this falls fool you...it may look tall and skinny, but it is mighty. At over 400 metres high, it thunders down the steep cliffs below.

Between Golden and Revelstoke is the Roger's Pass, the highway that goes through Glacier National Park. It has a fascinating history and breathtaking scenery throughout. The hwy goes through many avalanche tunnels, adding to the beauty of the drive. At the Summit is the Roger's Pass Centre. The roof is made of grass and inside you can explore models and stories about the pass, including the buiding of the railway. Admission is free with your National Park Pass.

Once you get to Revelstoke, I highly recommend Three Valley Gap as a great place to stay, right on the TransCanada about 12 kms west of Revelstoke. (www.threevalleygap.com). In addition to its unique architecture and location on a tranquil lake at the base of 3 mountains, it has a very cool ghost town next door, made up of actual historic building from the Revelstoke area. The tour through the town is worth every penny of the modest entrance fee (~$10). They usually host a kind of campy Cowboy show in the Walter Moberly Theatre at nights.

From Three Valley to Kamloops, the road mostly follows Shuswap Lake (after Sicamous), with lots of little shops and lookout points along the way. Salmon Arm has many good restaurants and places to go shopping.

If this is your first trip to Canada, the route through Revelstoke will give you the most to see and do and you will not be disappointed. Let us know how it goes!

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