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Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

Western Australia
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Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

Is it preferable to drive north-south or south-north along the Icefieds Parkway. We will be going in May.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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107 reviews
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1. Re: Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

It's beautiful both ways, and each way is different. If you can't do it twice (and many people do), make your decision based on the rest of your itinerary. Where else are you planning to go before/after the Icefields Parkway and the Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks?

Ohio
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244 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

It doesn't matter. We like to drive it both ways--that gives you 2 days to get clear weather. We did drive it once on a rainy,cloudy day--couldn't see a thing. That was really disappointing.

This year we had fabulous blue skies when we visited. We divided up our stops and did one hike each way. www.canadianrockies.net has a wonderful guide for the drive. We love the Parker Ridge trail on the parkway, but I don't think it will be open in May. Many other beautiful waterfalls and stops along the drive.

Greater Sydney...
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15,550 posts
71 reviews
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3. Re: Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

G'day Sandgroper,

We did the IP both ways in very early June, and can only comment on the northbound trip, which was absolutely fantastic, as our south bound return a few days later was hampered by bad weather, including snow flurries and 1c temperature readings. But that was supposed to be summer! :)

I agree with both of the above posters, particularly krp in that you should fit the IP in with the remainder of your itinerary, whichever way you choose to travel this fantastic stretch of road.

You cannot do anything about the weather, unless you have flexible plans for your travel days.

Whatever you choose, I hope that you might enjoy the experience as much as we did. The short side diversions are a must do.

Happy planning, and if I may be able to give further assistance I would only be too pleased to help.

Greater Sydney...
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71 reviews
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4. Re: Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

Have a look at a few photos I have in my profile. Peyto Lake is staggeringly beautiful I think when still having some ice cover.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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17,900 posts
107 reviews
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5. Re: Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

>> including snow flurries and 1c

Frommy, that IS summer in the Rockies! ;-)

I imagine you ran into these conditions at the higher elevations along the highway? (near the Icefields or Bow Summit?) Your comment is a good reminder that it can snow in any month of the year in the Rockies. Summer temps can also reach into the 30's c - anything is possible!

Greater Sydney...
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15,550 posts
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6. Re: Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

That's correct, Karen. It was near Bow Lake that we drove in the snow flurries for about 10 km. But it was also the begining of that trip that we spotted the black bear near Jasper as well where conditions were still very good.

I want to come back (Insert sad face here) but only when it warms up. :) And the $ rate is shocking at the moment considering it was nearly at parity when we travelled. Today is showing $AU buys $US0.66, although I note your currency is holding strongly at the moment $CAN0.80.

7. Re: Which direction along Icefields Parkway?

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