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Driving Distances and Lake Louise

Laindon, United...
Level Contributor
23 posts
Driving Distances and Lake Louise

Can anyone confirm the realistc driving distance from the Icefields Parkway to Jasper?

Starting point is Banff, We will allow at least 4 hours or more. Going to stop for a glacier tour the on to Jasper.

We'd rather spend time at Lake Louise from either Banff or Jasper. Can anyone recommend the better option

21 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
68,054 posts
66 reviews
1. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

The Icefields Parkway is the 230 km road between Lake Louise and Jasper. It can be driven in about 3.5-4 hours. But that would defeat the purpose. Many visitors spend up to 10 hours to explore along the way because it has so much to offer, is spectacular and is the magnum opus of the area.

The Icefields Parkway is rich with viewpoints and attractions which you can see in this map:

https:/…ParksCanada_IcefieldsParkway_map.pdf

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
22,022 posts
130 reviews
2. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

Banff to Jasper is 285 km. You can drive between Banff and Lake Louise via the TransCanada highway #1 or the slower Bow Valley Parkway, then at Lake Louise, head up #93N, the Icefields Parkway.

Straight driving time from Banff to Jasper is about 3.5 to 3.75 hours, but as mentioned, many people take twice that length of time, or more, to make the drive, with all the lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, viewpoints etc.

Note that unless Pursuit/Brewster changes their policy next summer, the sno-coach tour on the glacier is "bundled" with the skywalk (which is not as popular); according to their website, you should allow 2.5 to 3 hours to do them both. (Or were you planning to do the small group, guided "ice walk" on the glacier with this company www.icewalks.com ? They offer 3 and 5 hour hikes.)

Laindon, United...
Level Contributor
23 posts
3. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

Thanks, We're thinking of allow4 hours or more from Banff to The Icefield Parkway. Stop and do a glacier tour. From here on to Jasper but not sure how long this section would take to drive

Laindon, United...
Level Contributor
23 posts
4. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

If the glacier adventure tour, sno coach and sky walk may take up to 3 hours next year, going early July. Would it now be better to do while in Jasper?

I'm not sure a 8-10 slow drive to Jasper and a 3 hour glacier tour would be realistic to do in one day?

Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
21,141 posts
113 reviews
5. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

It would help to know more of your plans because the excellent advice always given here, which I absolutely agree with, is to drive the Icefields Parkway both ways. That being the case there is time either one way of the other. Personally, I did the Icefield Explorer years ago before the ridiculous skywalk was built and the view was free from that location, and it was worth it then, but consider it to be much less attractive now that the two are bundled together, so costly in both $'s and time.

Only doing the glacier only as we did on our first trip, and stopping at all the scenic spots along the IP, we had a most comfortable 9 hour trip.

Edited: 19 October 2018, 16:41
Laindon, United...
Level Contributor
23 posts
6. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

Our itinerary is:

Fly into Calgary and drive to Banff for 4 nights.

Drive to Jasper for 3 nights

Drive to sun peaks for 1 night

Drive to Whistler for 3 nights

Then Vancouver for 4 nights and fly home.

Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7,086 posts
34 reviews
7. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

If you only allow 4 hours including a stop you will be late.

The complete driving time is just under 4 hours. Why would you drive, and not plan on seeing it. The driver would not be able to enjoy anything as his eyes must remain on the road. Allow time to other drivers to slow down to pull off and pull back on. Plus this is where you might spot a bear or a moose, if you keep your eyes open.

I know you think it’s a road between two mountain towns, but you can not possibly imagine the beauty you will miss by not planning on stopping at a few of the pull offs. There is more to the Rockies that the two towns. Jasper and Banff are two towns that lie within borders of Banff National Park and Jasper National Patk. Those two parks cover over 16,000sq km. The whole drive is through the parks and between mountains.

Sometimes we need to focus less on the destination, but the journey to get there. Sometimes you need to stop and just BE. The Rockies are a good place to learn that.

https://youtu.be/cDyyKVp7QFw

Edited: 19 October 2018, 21:01
Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
21,141 posts
113 reviews
8. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

Sun Peaks? We now know where you got your draft planning from. No-one here would recommend Sun Peaks.

Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
2,822 posts
59 reviews
9. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

What do you plan to do in Whistler for 3 days? If it were me, I'd cut out Whistler, drive back down the Icefields Parkway after Jasper, add a couple of nights in Lake Louise, and then drive across to Vancouver.

Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7,086 posts
34 reviews
10. Re: Driving Distances and Lake Louise

Sun peaks is where tourist busses stop, nobody ever recommends stopping there.

Don’t copy a boring bus tour. There are better places to stop.

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