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Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

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Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

We'll have 18 days, 17 nights to visit Canadian Rockies and Glacier NP (USA). Our main interests are scenic drives and hikes, natural wonders and wildlife. We are both decent hikers and can hike up to 20 miles a day. Our longest single hike this earlier this year was about 19 miles. Our longest cumulative day hikes were about 31 miles last year. We're energetic travelers so my itinerary may seem like a workout to some, but of course, we'll adjust the pace as we see fit. We like to have a lot of alternatives in place in case of bad weather, bear closures or cannot get a group of four, etc.

Currently, I can change all my lodging reservations, but not sure if I can coordinate availability. If it's truly worthwhile, I will consider moving the dates around, otherwise, this is what I have booked: 7 nights at Banff, 3/4 nights at Jasper, 6/7 nights at Glacier NP (USA). I really need to firm up my plan so I can cancel my double booked nights at Jasper and Glacier as described below.

All feedbacks are appreciated (trails/hikes suggestions and logistics, scenic routes to take, scenic local drives, and any unforeseen problems, anything at all...) Thank you in advance:

August 31: Drive to and Overnight at Banff. Explore town, get provisions, etc.

Sept 1: Overnight Banff. Drive Bow Valley, Tunnel Mt. Drive, Bow Falls, Bow Peak hike, Johnston Canyon,

Sept 2: Valley of Ten Peaks/Sentinel Pass

Sept 3: Overnight Banff. ???Suggestions???

Sept 4: Overnight Banff or LL. Iceline Trail and Lake of LL's Plains of Six Glaciers.

Sept 5: Overnight Banff/LL . Morraine Lake & Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass. Emerald Lake (canoe?) and/or Takakkaw Falls.

Sept 6: Overnight Banff/LL. Lake O'Hara Shuttle 8:30am. Can you help me plan about 15-16 miles worth of hike in this region??? Last shuttle leaves 6:30 pm, so will have 9 hours to hike.

Sept 7: Overnight Jasper. Icefield Drive and scenic stops. Parker Ridge and/or Wilcox Pass hikes.

Sept 8. Overnight Jasper. Maligne Canyon, Athabasca Falls, Opal Hills hike.

Sept 9: Overnight Jasper. The Skyline (27.6 miles) or Mt. Edith Cavell and Sulphur Skyline Trail

Sept 10: Overnight Jasper/Glacier. What else to do in Jasper or can head to Glacier NP (USA) via Hwy 22 and 40 thru Waterton to Many Glacier.

Sept 11: Overnight Glacier. Logan Pass/Highline to Swifcurrent w/ Grinnell Glacier Overlook (17 miles)

Sept 12: Overnight Glacier. Pitamakan-Dawson Hike (18 miles)

Sept 13: Overnight Glacier. Cracker Lake or Grinnell Glacier

Sept 14. Overnight Glacier. Chief Mt. Trailhead to Swiftcurrent (20 miles)

Sept 15. Overnight Glacier. Hidden Lake and Siyeh/Sunrift Gorge

Sept 16. Overnight Glacier. ???

Sept 17 : PM flight home.

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1. Re: Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

Sorry, Sept 2 and Sept 5 have duplicate hikes. So need to figure out what to do for another day.

I want to hike Larch Valley/Sentinel/Paradise Valley. If hitch a ride, where should we leave our car (Paradise Valley or Moraine Lake?) How easy to get a free ride or paid shuttle b/t these two trailheads?

If you're reading this and interested in doing this hike b/t Sept 1-Sept 7 (not Sept 6) please let me know -- I'm flexible and we'll need at least 2 more people.

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2. Re: Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

Also, has anyone done the Skyline in 1 day? Is there a very early AM shuttle that connects one end to the other or do we have to rely on hitch-hiking?

Is the water at campsites potable/drinkable or have to be filtered?

I really really want to do this hike, but not sure of logistics. I think 27.5 miles/44km w/ Elevation Gain: 1,380 m (4,526 ft) is doable (maybe) or am I crazy? Since there's water at campsites, I can run/hike faster without having to carry 2 gallons of water.

What are your thoughts?

If anyone is doing this hike on Sept 8 or 9 would like company or share a ride to trailheads, please private message me? Thanks.

Edited: 17 July 2013, 09:10
Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

krp is going to be your hiking expert for this area, I'm sure she'll be along shortly. All I'm going to do is draw your attention to Mt. Robson Provincial Park, which is quite near to Jasper and another popular hiking destination.


[The BC Parks website isn't very helpful I find, just gives you the basic lay of the land, but once you have identified trails and places of interest, you can google them to find hiking websites that contain more detail]

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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4. Re: Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

Whew - lots of questions to answer! Let's see... starting with your first post, regarding Sept. 2 and 5 hiking at Moraine Lake, are you aware of the "tight group of four" restrictions? They are now in place, and are usually in force until the end of the hiking season. Oh - but I see you've mentioned needing two more people for the Paradise Valley hike, so it would seem you do know (but I will leave this paragraph in case it is helpful information for others).

I have never hiked at Lake O'Hara so can't recommend trails based on my own experience, but have heard amazing things about the Alpine Circuit, which is on my wish list. Search for posts by "Pudgy_Groundhog" - she has hiked there in the past and given links to her online photos (and will hopefully pop in to give her two cents worth).

It is possible for very fit hikers to hike the Skyline in one day - I know a number of people who have done this, some do it every summer. It's 44 km, and takes about 10 - 12 hours. The record for running it is about 6.5 hours. You would definitely want the next day to be a rest day or a driving day.

Maligne Tours operates the only shuttle up to the lake (in conjunction with their boat cruises) so I would check out their website ( www.malignelake.com ) for information on that. Some of the local taxi companies also advertise trailhead shuttle services but I think that might be pretty pricey. If the shuttle is not early enough for you and you do wind up driving to the lake and parking your car there, I would think that hitching a ride back up to the lake from the SIgnal Mountain parking lot (north end of the Skyline) wouldn't be too difficult - there will likely be other hikers at the Signal parking lot doing the 2-vehicle shuttle so you might get lucky and be able to get a ride without even hitching. Or you could arrange for the shuttle to pick you up and take you back up to the lake (the Signal parking lot is just a short walk from Maligne Canyon).

Water at campsites is not potable and should be filtered - I do occasionally take a chance on drinking unfiltered water when I am up really high in relatively sparsely visited places, however, the Skyline and valleys surrounding it are very popular, so it is not an area where I would chance it. The one exception is at Little Shovel campground where the water gushes out of a spring, just a couple of feet below the trail. I know lots of people who have drunk this water without filtering and with no ill effects, but if you have a filter available, imo, you may as well use it - better safe than sorry. With two of you, I would suggest carrying a litre bottle each and a water filter, and pumping/refilling as needed. You would want to have full bottles before you head up "The Notch", in fact, maybe from the base of (Big) Shovel Pass onwards. After Shovel Pass, you traverse the upper basin above Curator CG - I don't recall if there are any reliable water sources, and you won't want to lose elevation to go down towards the campground. Once you get up on top of the Notch, it's the 5 km "skyline" portion of the trail, and then a long (and beautiful!) descent into the valley behind Mt. Tekarra - so it's quite a long stretch with no water.

As V67 mentioned, Mt. Robson Provincial Park also has beautiful hiking - the Berg Lake trail. It is similar length to the Skyline, and some very fit folks hike to the lake and back in a day. In fact, there is also a marathon held on that trail up to Berg Lake every year in early September. (Would not want to be hiking it on that day!) Another option, with the Berg Lake trail, is that there are heli drop-offs available at Robson Pass on Mondays and Fridays (@ approx. $230 pp), so, weather-permitting, you can be dropped off and then hike out the 23 km.

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5. Re: Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

Do you know if there are hiking forums/chats for Alberta,Canadian Rockies or Jasper where I can post info on "needing hiking partners, ride, etc." I signed up for clubtread.com but it's been several days and haven't hear back yet (checked my spam folder and all). I wonder if I need to sign up again. In the meantime, do u know of any other websites?

Of course, I will also post the info here on TA as well at a later time.

Lastly, can you please rate the order of these hiking trails (most to least favorite)? The Skyline, Sulphur Skyline, Opals and Berg Lake? Thanks

6. Re: Please provide feedback on my itinerary? Thank you.

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