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Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

Vancouver, Canada
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Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

I'm travelling back home to BC at ebd if the week. Plan to stay overnight in Banff snd Kelowna on the way through. I am starting in Edmonton.

Trying to decide if its worth going via Jasper to Banff to see the ice fields or not? It's an extra 200km to do so and I'm travelling on own so not a tourist trip as such. Thanks for your tips/advice !

Edmonton, Canada
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for Edmonton, Yellowknife
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1. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

If you have never done the drive before, I would say it's worth it, your other option is Highway 2 through to Calgary or turn off at Airdrie, but that highway is boring, especially if you are alone.

You could also try the Cowboy trail, which is a nice drive as well, but not in the same category as the icefield's parkway.

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

The main attraction on the Icefields Parkway is NOT the Icefields Explorer bus tour. When they finish building that scenic bridge thingy, that won't be the main attraction either. The main attraction has always been the scenery between Jasper and Lake Louise: Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, Sunwapta Falls, Tangle Falls, and all the mountain peaks and little glacial lakes tucked along the way. That's why forum regulars often recommend planning to drive the Icefields Parkway both northbound and southbound - different perspectives, and a second chance at all that scenery in case poor weather blocks the views on the first go-round.

Edited: 21 May 2013, 05:10
Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

National Geographic classifies that piece of road as one of the top 20 drives in the WORLD. It is an iconic highway with scenery that takes your breath away. That you even have to ask mystifies me.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

Wow don't have to be nasty about it! I'm moving so extra mileage and cost is a strong consideration too and time. Nasty person. Geeze!

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

Thanks as I've only read about the south- north direction as preferred. I just concerned I may not have time to really appreciate it, stop etc. as I'm trying to make Edmonton to Banff in 1 day. :-(

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

It takes us about 4 hours to drive from Edmonton to Banff on Highway 2, and we turn off at Airdrie. I'm sure you could do the icefields parkway in a day. You could even take highway 2 south and turn off at Rocky Mountain house and still see some of the parkway.

Burlington, Canada
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7. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

I hope you do realize that the extra 200 kms should run you no more than about $15 more in gas.

If you want a truly memorable experience eat the $15 and the few extra hours and enjoy a magical ride.

You only live once.

Edited: 22 May 2013, 03:29
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

I'm going to do it , because you only live once :-)

Burlington, Canada
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9. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

Excellent. If you could do us a favour.....once you've done the drive could you please tell us if you thought it was worth doing. I'd love to know your thoughts. Have a safe trip!

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Is Banff via Jasper from Edmonton Worth It?

Wow. Not nasty, just honestly mystified that people would ask if the Icefields Parkway is "worth it", which you did. Glad you have been convinced. Enjoy your trip.