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Banff and Jasper in early June or August?
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Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Banff and Jasper in early June or August? on 02/13/2013 18:22:22 MST Print View

Hi everyone, I'm heading out west for a road trip this summer. I'll be starting first week of June. I've got the whole summer. It will take me about 4 days to get to Banff by car. I had originally thought of spending a couple of weeks in the Canadian Rockies at the beginning of my trip but I'm thinking I'd be able to get to nicer hikes like the skyline trail (jasper-maligne lake) if I were to end my trip in the Rockies on the way back (so I suppose somewhere around the 12th of August to the 25th).

I tink I'll try a couple of days to stretch my legs and do the roadside atrraction thing in June, maybe some day hikes and then push on to other places (the focus is supposed to be Northern B.C., Yukon and Alaska).

What do people here think? I'm trying to get a head start on backcountry reservations so am starting to plan now . . . I have the don't waste your time in the canadian rockies and canadian Rockies trail guide and it seems early June is a bit ambitious for alpine trails. I guess I'm hoping someone who has spent a lot of time there to confirm that I should just focus on August and worry about reservations in May (reservations can only be made 3 months in advance I believe).

Any insight would be appreciated.

Edited by human on 02/13/2013 18:23:25 MST.

Peter Evans
August on 02/15/2013 09:27:16 MST Print View

There will be a lot of snow in high passes in june... more bugs too.
Your intuition is correct, if you are going to hike at high elevations wait until later in the season.
Check out the Brazeau loop (~5 day hike) I've done the skyline trail twice... I liked the Brazeau loop more, it is not so busy and there are some really nice peaks along the way if you want to do some easy peak-bagging.

Edited by NLslacker on 02/15/2013 09:30:10 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Banff and Jasper in early June or August? on 02/15/2013 10:20:33 MST Print View

June is a little early - there is snow and some avalanche warning. Some passes will be difficult to traverse given the cornices. July is much better. August, Sept, and Oct are the best.

To add - the Brazeau Loop is a decent trek although the first 12-14KM is very boring. Last year there were several bridges washed out so if you plan to do this one, book it but keep a contingency plan / trip available.

The Skyline as indicated can be a bit busy. But I found it prettier than Brazeau although it is shorter. Easily a 2 day trek (some run it in a day).

I would recommend the Assiniboine Loop. Start at Sunshine Ski Hill in Banff (take the bus to the top) and hike to and around Mt Assiniboine and back again. I believe it would be about 80 KM with 2/3 rds or more of it above treeline. Lots of Grizzly, however. Bring spray.

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Re: Banff and Jasper in early June or August? on 02/16/2013 15:42:18 MST Print View

Thanks for your comments! I'll look to making reservations in May for mid August. Still not sure on which hikes to focus on, Skyline and Berg Lake are at the top of the list right now. The Assiniboine region also looks great. Decisions, decisions . . .