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Route recommendations

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Clemson, South...
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Route recommendations

Our trip to three of the Canadian National Parks is just around the corner and I have one last question. We will arrive in Calgary and drive to Banff for the first two nights, then the next two in Field for Yoho NP, and then three nights in Jasper before returning to Calgary for our last night before our flight home. Since we will have driven up highway #1 and then the Icefields Parkway to get to Jasper we are wondering if it would be better to return to Calgary that last day by way of highway 16 to Edmonton and then to Calgary or back down the Icefields Parkway to highway 11 to Red Deer and then on to Calgary just to see a different part of Alberta. Would the extra time/distance be worth it or would the experts recommend backtracking the whole way to Calgary.

Thanks for any help.


Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Route recommendations

Hi NationalParkHiker ~

Once you have driven up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, you will see right away that it would be just a treat to do it southbound as well. The road to Edmonton > Calgary simply can't compare. The IP hands down.

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Route recommendations

I strongly recommend that you backtrack down the Icefields Parkway. It is well worth seeing a second time, and the southbound views are different from the northbound views. If the weather hid the views on your northbound trip, it will give you a chance to see them for the first time, which is good because they are not to be missed.

If you really have had all the mountains that you can stand, I would suggest taking the David Thompson Hwy (Hwy 11) east at Saskatchewan River Crossing to Rocky Mountain House, then the Hwy 22 south to Cochrane. From there, take the 1A east into Calgary. Fewer mountains, but still scenic, unlike Hwy 2 (Edmonton-Red Deer-Calgary) which is pretty darn boring IMO.

Here's that route on Google Maps:


You can visit some sights in Nordegg ( http://www.travelnordegg.com/ ), check out Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, and then stop in Cochrane for their famous ice cream cones and some shopping before heading into Calgary.

Edited: 30 July 2012, 21:53
Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Route recommendations

Just in case you were wondering - listen to the above. They know about what they speak. :>

4. Re: Route recommendations

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