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Old 01-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
DoubleM OP
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Best time to ride from Missoula to Jasper AB

I am planning my first trip with my wife in this area. I made this trip a few years ago without her but our youngest is in college so now I don't feel so bad about the two of us being on a bike. What is the best time of year for a two up ride thru GNP and then on to the ice fields parkway? I would like to miss the worst traffic but not have to avoid any snow.
Any must see advise would also be appreciated.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleM View Post
I am planning my first trip with my wife in this area. I made this trip a few years ago without her but our youngest is in college so now I don't feel so bad about the two of us being on a bike. What is the best time of year for a two up ride thru GNP and then on to the ice fields parkway? I would like to miss the worst traffic but not have to avoid any snow.
Any must see advise would also be appreciated.
You're at the mercy of when Going to the Sun Road opens for going thru Glacier.... but aside from that section, June is when I've been up Icefields Parkway most often. This year we rode it in August due to my wife's work schedule.

Traffic up IP wasn't bad, but Banff is typically crowded as heck every time I've rolled thru. Not a lot of other choices that are as handy to base out of to take a couple of days to see the area.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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I was up there in late July and it was nice. A bit of traffic though, and of course hot when not in the mountains.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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There can be snow on the parkway until mid June and and I have had snow in July ( 2011 ) that almost brought my ride to a stop as I was head to Jasper from Banff. Traffic is a tough one, tour bus's / motorhomes create the slow traffic. I leave Jasper or banff around 8am and seem to miss most of the traffic as they sleep in. Your best bet for a nice ride, less snow is anytime after June. I can post up on this thread when its clear as I am always clocking the miles on my bike and in that area on my way to the Kootenays.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info- I rode last time up there in August and it was hot in places. Have more of that then I want down here at home.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:15 AM   #6
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Your main stumbling block of when to ride, is if you are wanting to ride The-Going-To-The-Sun Road in Glacier NP!

I have been thwarted in riding it twice in recent years, due to them still plowing the road up near Logan Pass. 1st time was in late June (2009) and again in 2011, when we visited on July 8/9, before heading up to Banff/Jasper.
I finally got to ride TGTTSR later that year, when I was there Aug 25/26.

A buddy of mine rode it (TGTTSR) 6 days after they finally got it opened, which was July 13th that year. .....





As for the Kananaskis Trail/Banff/IFP/Jasper, pretty well anytime from June on to mid Sep will see good conditions, but don't be surprised to see it snowing, as I've run into snow in and around the Canadian Rockies at any time of year!! (I used to live in Penticton, BC)

This shot was hurriedly taken just north of Banff, on Sept 14/2006





.... Yet just north of there, near Lake Louise, there was only a couple of inches that had fallen in the valley.

Advice ...... time your visit to Glacier NP for mid July, to ensure you get to ride TGTTSR, either on the way up, or on the way back. The Canadian Rockies will be fine either side of that date/time frame. The town of Banff is always a zoo .... Jasper not so much.
Best road to ride through Banff NP to Lake Louise/IFP, is the Bow Valley Pkwy, and not the Trans Canada (Hwy 1)!! Much more scenic, laid back and you have a much higher likelyhood of seeing wildlife.






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Old 01-12-2013, 04:23 AM   #7
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Thanks Dusty- will take your advise on Medicine Bow road.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:24 AM   #8
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Sorry meant Bow Valley Parkway- not enough coffee yet
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:27 AM   #9
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Went through IFPW 2nd week in July on the way to Alaska in 2010. It was 32 and snowing almost the entire way. On our return we stopped in Kamloops to check on the weather to determine if we should return and see what we missed. The forecast was for 32 and snow. We came home through Washington. IMHO, it's a crapshoot. Best of luck, I hear it's really beautiful! I hope to go back some day.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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Double M, are you an Auburn or 'Bama guy?
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
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I would say no earlier than mid-July if you want to be sure the GTTS highway is open. I have been there when it was still closed July 1st.

As far as heat, even our worst days won't hold a candle to what you are used to back home! I spent May through August on a bike last summer across most of the lower US on the TAT and only saw 2 days below 100F until we got to New Mexico. (see my trip report in my sig line)

If you need a place to park/camp for the night and/or do any maintenance, I'm just outside Missoula on Hwy 93 north headed towards GNP. It's only about 2 hours from my house.


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Old 01-12-2013, 12:29 PM   #12
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3Dchief- thanks for the kind offer on camping/maint. Also thanks to all for the tips on trip planning. I did not realize snow could be such a factor in the middle of summer.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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Mylsmkj

War Damm Eagle! I am a Auburn fan although last year was a long one for us. Hopefully next year will be better.
I took a trip out to Moab with my brother to ride dirt bikes. What a wonderful place to live.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:09 PM   #14
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Done that ride many times without the capabilities of dual sport tires. Best time of year for little traffic, snow avoidance, and great views is early September.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Mylsmkj

War Damm Eagle! I am a Auburn fan although last year was a long one for us. Hopefully next year will be better.
I took a trip out to Moab with my brother to ride dirt bikes. What a wonderful place to live.

I love the passion of the SEC, I'm a Duck fan myself. I'd love to see Fairley get his head screwed on straight! And Cams the man, but needs to get his sh..tuff together. Cam the greatest AU Tiger since Bo!

If you come out to Moab again I'll show you the good stuff!
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