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Old 09-04-2015, 06:36 PM   #11
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Re: September in Alberta

When we made out Banff/Jasper road trip a couple of years ago, there was no problem taking bear spray across the border. They were very interested in whether we had firearms and we had to dump some fruit, but the bear spray was fine.

I went online before the trip to check what Canadian customs would allow. I seem to recall that they distinguished between bear spray and smaller personal defense pepper sprays.

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Old 09-11-2015, 09:02 PM   #12
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Re: September in Alberta

We have the trip pretty well laid out. Trying to keep the driving down to about four hours a day so that we have time to stop and see the sights along the way. Have outlined the route and where we are staying below. Am interested in your feedback on alternate places to stay or things to do and see along the route.

We picked the route because we needed to be in Moscow, ID for a meeting. The route home after Jasper was picked because the roads looked interesting to drive on a map and we wanted to visit friends in Vancouver. We also wanted to camp near rivers and lakes. In addition, we liked some of the town names along the way, like Lillooet and Tete Juane Cache, that we saw on the map.

After our meeting in Moscow we slide into Canada on US95/BC93. To get to Moscow we will be taking the back road from La Grande on OR3/WA129 through the Blue Mountains. Neither of us have been in that area before.

The first night in Canada will be at Moyie Provincial Park south of Cranbrook on Moyie Lake. Then off to the Banff area, on BC93, for two days. Next is Red Dear via AB93 and AB11 to visit friends. Along the way we will be stopping at Kootenay Planes Park on the Saskatchewan River.

After the visit we will backtrack to Jasper to get a t-shirt for my daughter and spend the night at the park. Then it is on to Emar Lakes Provincial Park by traveling on CA16 to Tete Juane Cache then south on the Yellow Head Highway 5 to Little Fort. From there it is west on BC24 to Emar Lakes Provincial Park and stay at either Goose Lake or Phietta Lake.

Then on to Lillooet, via BC24, 97, and 99, with a stop at Marble Canyon Provincial Park off of BC24. Will spend the night in Lillooet in a B&B that is right on the Fraser River. From there it is down to Vancouver, on BC99, for a couple of days and then on to Whidbey Island,WA and finely home.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 09-12-2015, 01:35 PM   #13
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Re: September in Alberta

You can bring bear spray into Canada, cannot bring smaller cans of self defense pepper spray. As long as it is marked bear spray and in the bear spray sized cans you are OK.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:15 PM   #14
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Re: September in Alberta

The trip was awesome. We had a great time, saw some beautiful country and spent time with friends. Weather was perfect except for one night of rain. The trip report is about half done. Sorting thought the several hundred photos is taking some time.
"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points but it is by no means the most interesting". Jon Pertwee as Dr. Who, The Time Warrior.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:35 PM   #15
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Re: September in Alberta

Sounds like a great trip! Looking forward to the report.

Was fun to see you mention Moscow. I grew up around there and graduated from the UofI!

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Old 11-19-2015, 09:46 PM   #16
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Re: September in Alberta

This first part should probably fall in the doofus category: Was out the door on time on Saturday, September 19th headed for Moscow, ID to visit friends and pick up my delightful wife who was attending a meeting. Got all the way to Hood River and realized that I forgot my passport. Turned around and headed back for it. Was glad that it only added 100 miles to the trip. It could have been worse.

Sunday morning we headed north to Kingsgate, ID and crossed the border into Canada without issue. Spent the night at Moyie Lake Campground.

The next day we headed to Cranbrook and then on to Radium Springs along the Kootney River.

Along the way we stopped to see Columbia Lake which is the source of the Columbia River.

We spent two nights at the Moraine Lake Lodge in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Moraine Lake is about seven miles southeast of Lake Louise. Was able to get up early and photograph the lake and peaks as the sun was coming up.

Because we were staying at the lodge we got free canoe rentals.

From Moraine Lake we headed to Calgary and then up to the Edmonton area and Caroline to visit friends for a few days. Traveling along Alberta 93 we passed under animal bridges. There is a eight to ten foot fence all along the road that funnels the animals to bridges and underpass where they can safely cross the road and not be a danger to motorists.

From Caroline we headed back across the Rockies at Rocky Mountain House on Alberta 11 which follows the North Saskatchewan River. We then took the Icefields Parkway up to Jasper along the Athabasca River. We took a break from driving at Athabasca Falls.

We stopped at the Icefields Visitor Center for a rest. The ice field was socked in with clouds but the gift shop was open.

In Jasper we spent the night at Whistlers Campground which had great showers.

From there it was back across BC headed for Lillooet. On the way we spent the night at Bridge Lake Provincial Park. We were there the last day it was open for the season.

On the way to Lillooet we traveled along the Frasier River. The Frasier has never been damed because of its silt content which would build up behind the dam very quickly.

At Lillooet we stayed at a nice B&B that was just above the Frasier. We listened to it roaring by all night.

From Lillooet we took BC 99 headed to Vancouver. BC 99 is an interesting road. Most of the road between Lillooet and Pemberton is very curvy and narrow with a steep drop on one side and a vertical rock face on the other. The down grades are impressive and vary from posted 10% to 13% and 15%. Having been in a car that lost its breaks on a steep downhill I was being very careful. We did great until the final 15% grade outside Pemberton where I felt the brakes start to get mushy. We made it around the last hairpin turn on to the flat with no problems. When I tried to slow for the next corner there were no brakes. We carefully drove into Pemberton and stopped at a park to eat lunch.

After lunch the breaks were fine so we continued on to White Rock which is near Vancouver to visit friends.

Our last stop before heading home was on Whidbey Island in Washington.

This was a two week trip. We traveled about five to hours a day including rest stops and lunch. The trip was a total of 2,600.3 miles from our front door and back again. The van averaged 12.5 MPG with a high of 13.7 and a low of 10.7 MPG. The average price per gallon we paid for gas was $3.21. The van ran great and gave us no problems.

The end of September is a great time to plan a trip into Alberta and BC. There is hardly any traffic, and the weather was beautiful. The trees are starting to turn yellow and there is snow at higher elevations but very little at road level. The only thing to keep in mind is that the many of the campgrounds close between mid September and mid October. The temperatures were in the low 60's during the day and we woke up to light frost a couple mornings while camping. It rained one night and we saw snow flurries on the Icefields Parkway other that that we had dry pavement all the way.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:33 PM   #17
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Re: September in Alberta


Thanks for taking us along.


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Old 11-20-2015, 09:49 AM   #18
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Re: September in Alberta

Amazingly my wife and I just agreed this morning that we want to take a trip to Glacier, Banff, and Jasper this summer. But, after reading this post, perhaps we should put it off until September so we don't have the crowds. I'm assuming there is still snow in May, so maybe that's not a good time to go. We both definitely don't like crowds!
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:39 PM   #19
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Re: September in Alberta

What a nice trip. Those areas are beautiful and I agree with Mac, I'd like to go in September as you suggested. Thanks for the trip report.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:30 PM   #20
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Re: September in Alberta

Very nice! Thanks

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