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Possible road/pass closures, May 2017

Ross-on-Wye, United...
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Possible road/pass closures, May 2017

We arrive from the UK in Vancouver on 2nd May 2017. We are spending all of May in British Columbia/Alberta rockies, driving from Vancouver via Nelson northwards via Vermillion Crossing, Castle Junction, Kootenay NP, Banff, Icefields, Jasper, Maligne Canyon, Rogers Pass etc, etc before heading over to Whistler, Sunshine coast, Vancouver Island.

Question. Are we likely to encounter any weather hazards or will most of the roads/passes/parks likely be clear of snow/ice ?

Any comments would most welcome, likewise any tips, advice, suggestions.

Many thanks, John & Henrike, Ross-On-Wye, UK.

5 replies to this topic
Calgary, Alberta
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1. Re: Possible road/pass closures, May 2017

You'll want to keep a watch on the local conditions once you arrive. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!



Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Possible road/pass closures, May 2017

By early May, you should be OK as far as weather. Still quite possible to get snow in the higher elevations, but it's more likely to be the kind that melts off the highway. But be alert for ice/black ice.

As to the parks themselves - early May is still very early spring in the higher elevations. Lake Louise and Sunshine ski resorts are open until as late as mid May. You will likely encounter a fair bit of snow on the Icefields Parkway as well as in Rogers Pass.

As such, hiking will almost certainly be limited to valley bottoms - which will be starting to green up by then. Higher trails, like those at Lake Louise will almost certainly still have significant avy risk. Seasonal roads will also still be shut - so no access to Moraine Lake, Takkakaw Falls and Edith Cavell Meadows. Probably not much to do in Glacier NP yet as the nice hiking will still be snowbound/snowy.

There should be some nice walks/hikes in the valley bottoms, particularly in Jasper and Banff. Make sure to have plenty of layers and good footwear that can handle snow, ice, mud and wet. You'll probably encounter all of those.

A more significant factor is likely to be construction. They are doing fairly major construction on the TransCanada between the BC border and beyond Revelstoke. So allow time for delays due to construction.

Penticton, Canada
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3. Re: Possible road/pass closures, May 2017

April 01 is when the snow tire requirements in BC comes off. You still need to build in some flexibility in your schedule just in case. So booking hotels with no fee cancellation is a good idea for the Rockies but not needed on the West Coast.

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Possible road/pass closures, May 2017

just a side 'ote...in nelson, have a look at the hume hotel. it is really nice. get the 3rd or 4th floor. great complimentary breakfast. you have a choice of about 5 meals. the library restaurant is really good and beautiful. in a good location. check out kokanee creek provincial park. lovely campground to walk around and beautiful beach.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Possible road/pass closures, May 2017

One seasonal risk in BC during the warm months is road closures due to mudslides. Just check DriveBC before you head out.

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