Monday, August 1, 2016

Moving to Alaska: Part Three

Location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to Banff, Alberta to Jasper, Alberta
Lodging: Two Jack Campground and Jasper Gates 
Mileage: 687 miles
Weather: 40-60°F

This part of the trip was the stretch where we passed through Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, and it was truly something to see.  Cody and I were extremely excited about this portion of the trip because we'd skipped it last time in order to save a day of driving. This time we knew that we didn't want to miss it, so we set aside the time. As we left Moose Jaw, the hills slowly became bigger, and as we hit Calgary the huge mountains of the national park were looming in the not-so-distance.

The first night that we arrived in Banff National Park, we decided to camp.  Originally, we had reservations, but they were double booked, which we found out on arrival.  This kicked us out into one of the "overflow" campgrounds.  Much as I would have liked to have been in an established camp with fire pits and such, I actually found the overflow area to be pretty nice. It had bathrooms and a ton of space. (However, I don't recommend this as a plan, as the rangers were even turning people away from overflow because it was so busy.)

A notice upon arrival let us know that our campground was under a "Wolf Warning."  I'll admit, this was equal parts scary and cool.  Wolves, up to this point, hadn't even really been on my radar as potentially dangerous predators because I was so worried about the bears. The rangers told us that a pack of wolves had been demonstrating aggressive behavior and approaching camps to take food. Luckily, no wolves tried to accost us while camping, but it was kinda fun to admit that we'd been under the warning.

Our second day in the park we wanted to drive the historic Icefields Parkway.  Now, if you are going to do this trip you have to make time for this drive. It only takes a couple of hours from end to end and the scenery and wildlife viewing is otherworldly.  There are literally hundreds of glaciers just outside your car window.  There was also wildlife around every turn, and it never ceased to surprise us.  We saw bears, deer, elk, and mountain goats just in the span of an hour or two.

After one of the most scenic days ever, we headed out of the park and towards the little town of Hinton, Alberta.  Before calling it a night though we first stopped in Jasper (the town) for some dinner and ended up falling in love with it. It reminded us both of the time we drove through the Colorado ski towns (Vail, Aspen, etc). We would totally go back to Jasper in the future, it'd be a great place to spend a long weekend.  Our busy and beautiful day wrapped up with a stop at one of my favorite hotels of the trip - Jasper Gates Resort.  It was a pretty and modern log cabin complex right inside the park gates.

All in all, I'd recommend the trek through Banff and Jasper if you are looking for a spectacular and unique vacation.  We would certainly do it again in the future, and even maybe just plan a flight into Jasper to rent an RV.  Lots of options in this mountainous destination!

Stay tuned for the next installment of our moving adventures!

Your turn...What is your favorite State or National Park? 
Currently listening to...As We Ran - The National Parks


  1. I wouldn't say I have a favorite because they all have such different beauty. I really like Pierce Stocking and the Smokey Mountains forests.

    1. I've never been to Pierce, but I LOVED the Smokey Mountains when I went there. It's a very beautiful place!

  2. Yes, a "wolf warning" would have definitely been equally thrilling and scary. I'm all about nature and animals, and while I would love to see them in their natural habitat, I would prefer for that to be during the day and while I'm fully awake. LOL It looks like an incredible beautiful place. I can't wait to hear more about your new adventure!

    1. That's totally how I felt about the warning too! We did see one run across the road a few days later, which was more how I was hoping to see one. Haha.

  3. What a trip and adventure. Looks like you are truly enjoying the nature's beauty along the road.

    1. We are certainly trying to enjoy it as much as possible!

  4. WOW! What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing the pictures!


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