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Jasper stay July 4-6

Decatur, Alabama
9 posts
Jasper stay July 4-6

Hello!

We are looking forward to our first visit to the Banff/Jasper area next week and are seeking feedback on our tentative itinerary. Group of four 30-somethings with a 3-year-old.

July 4 - Arrive in Jasper from Banff via Icefields Parkway; explore downtown and Skytram

July 5 - Athabasca Falls, Maligne Lake Cruise, Pyramid and Patricia Lakes (*What order do you suggest?)

July 6 - Travel to Calgary via the Icefields Parkway, Athabasca Glacier Adventure Skywalk, Columbia Icefield Tour

Thank you in advance!

7 replies to this topic
Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
1,252 posts
114 reviews
1. Re: Jasper stay July 4-6

The drive up the parkway can take all day, so leave early! Stop at the falls on your way up. You'll pass it so it's a time waster to drive back down and then back to Jasper.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
22,020 posts
130 reviews
2. Re: Jasper stay July 4-6

>> July 5 - Athabasca Falls, Maligne Lake Cruise, Pyramid and Patricia Lakes (*What order do you suggest?)

As mentioned, Athabasca Falls is located 30 kilometres south of Jasper townsite on the Icefields Parkway, so is one of the stops you can make on one of the Icefields Parkway driving day, either July 4 or July 6.

On July 5th, I'd head up to Maligne Lake first, stopping at Maligne Overlook, Maligne Canyon and the Medicine Lake viewpoint on your drive up or down the valley. Then come back through town and up to Pyramid Lake. Park near the end of the road and walk over to Pyramid Island. This would make a good late afternoon or evening activity.

Are you set on the boat cruise? With all the driving time you have, yours is not the most child-friendly itinerary. Adding another 90 minutes of sitting (which is also what most of the sno-coach tour is too, as well as the bus time to and from the skywalk) makes for a lot of "sitting" (and not "doing") time. The cruise boats are small - they hold about 40 or 45 passengers and have a very small deck on the back for photo taking (maybe 4 to 6 people can stand there at a time), and there is a narrated tour. Other than the 10 or 15 minutes at the Spirit Island dock (and there is a short walk to the photo-op spot), your child will be sitting or standing on your lap on the boat. So if your child is fed up and has a meltdown, there will be a boatload of other people who have each paid around $70 with you.

Bristol, United...
Destination Expert
for Messenia Region, Laconia Region, Magnesia Region
Level Contributor
6,901 posts
71 reviews
3. Re: Jasper stay July 4-6

We’ve just been in Banff and Jasper. On both Lake Minnewanka and Maligne Lake we thought the cruise boats were just like floating buses where you are jammed in with 50 other people with limited views out. On a nice day it's much more enjoyable to rent a small boat - a motor boat on Minnewanka and a canoe on other lakes where motor boats are not allowed.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
22,020 posts
130 reviews
4. Re: Jasper stay July 4-6

Either lake cruise is definitely a "mass tourism" product, that's for sure! However, the Maligne Lake cruise has spectacular views. I have lived in the Rockies for almost forty years... did the Maligne cruise my first summer here, and then not again about six or seven years ago... and really enjoyed it. (Have also canoed to the end of the lake a couple of times...) I haven't done the one on Lake Minnewanka, so can't comment on that but would expect it also would have amazing views. But yes, it's not an experience of "mountain solitude" ... and it's definitely not cheap, but if it's in your budget, it can get you someplace that there is basically no other way to get there.

Canoe rentals on Maligne Lake are pricey, and the lake is huge, so you won't get to see much of it in just an hour or two. It can also be quite chilly out on the lake ... and again, considering there is a three-year old in the group, canoeing would be another "sit still" event.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
271 posts
5. Re: Jasper stay July 4-6

July 5 - In my opinion, Pyramid and Patricia lakes are best done as evening as a kind of day-winding-down sort of thing.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
126 posts
11 reviews
6. Re: Jasper stay July 4-6

As others have said, visit Athabasca Falls on one of your Parkway driving days. I would be a little leery of a long boat ride with a three year old. I would suggest hiking down the Maligne Canyon trail to the fourth bridge. We liked the Wicked Cup and Coco’s for breakfast. We also liked Miette Hot Springs and the drive up there.

Decatur, Alabama
9 posts
7. Re: Jasper stay July 4-6

I sincerely appreciate all of your feedback!

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