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11. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

Quoting SamSalmon

How much experience do you have doing winter driving in the mountains?

Also dropoff charges for the vehicle will be steep.

Consider flying Vancouver-Calgary with Westjet and renting there.

I checked with nationalcar and they're quoting me CAD 450 for the week and then the flights from Calgary were working out at about 180 each so all in all the car and flights would be cheaper for the two of us than buying to canrailpass tickets

12. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 7y

Winter driving can be scarey, and in the mountains, even scarier. So I would definately caution you before you'd ever drive from Van to Banff/Jasper. If you aren't used to snowy/icey streets in the wintertime, you are going to be utterly petrified once you hit the mountains. The Roger's Pass, in particular, gives me a case of the nerves in the summer. Sooo, I would recommend the other route suggested. Calgary to Banff is not a difficult route to drive, and rental agencies should outfit the car with winter tires; you should be fine.

About the comments about there still being some life in the Rockies in November so it isn't too boring of a drive . . . The Canadian Rocky Mountains are completely majestic and picutresque during the winter months, peaks capped with snow, all of the trees covered . . . absolutely magical . . . absolutely beautiful. No, you definately won't be bored driving through the Rockies in the winter, or else any time of the year. They always blow me away, and I've lived here for decades.

Have a great trip.

Steph

13. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

Quoting bluewaav

Winter driving can be scarey, and in the mountains, even scarier. So I would definately caution you before you'd ever drive from Van to Banff/Jasper. If you aren't used to snowy/icey streets in the wintertime, you are going to be utterly petrified once you hit the mountains. The Roger's Pass, in particular, gives me a case of the nerves in the summer. Sooo, I would recommend the other route suggested. Calgary to Banff is not a difficult route to drive, and rental agencies should outfit the car with winter tires; you should be fine.

About the comments about there still being some life in the Rockies in November so it isn't too boring of a drive . . . The Canadian Rocky Mountains are completely majestic and picutresque during the winter months, peaks capped with snow, all of the trees covered . . . absolutely magical . . . absolutely beautiful. No, you definately won't be bored driving through the Rockies in the winter, or else any time of the year. They always blow me away, and I've lived here for decades.

Have a great trip.

Steph

Thanks for the great info Steph

I guess there's no easy way to avoid Rogers Pass other than flying from Vancouver to Calgary, hiring a car, driving up to Banff as you suggest, stay for a while, drive back to Calgary and fly on to Toronto?

I presume then that driving from Banff to Jasper is not recommendable either?

I don't have mountain driving experience but I'm no stranger to single track twisty bendy back-roads. Not that that counts for much in the mountains.

14. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 7y

Hey heda,

No problem! :) To clarify, I definately wouldn't recommend driving from Vancouver to Banff if you aren't used to winter driving. However, Banff to Jasper isn't quite as bad. Make sure that you have winter tires, anti-lock brakes (standard on all new cars, pretty much, from my understanding), and air bags. Drive slowly and cautiously. Go as slow as you need to go and don't let anyone pressure you into going faster. Allow the faster vehicles to pass, if permitted by the dotted line on your side of the road. It is courteous, but by no means the law, to allow the faster vehicles to drive in the left lane of a two lane highway. This may help you to at least not get honked at

The road to Jasper, if I can recall, is pretty straight, so you won't need to worry about winding roads or a lot of sharp turns. The reason why the Roger's Pass is so dangerous is because it is a windy road through a mountainous canyon that is really deep and there are tons of tunnels to go through to boot. However, there is nothing that bad going from Jasper to Banff and vice versa. At least, as far as I can recall, as it has been a while since I've been up there (though I'm pretty sure).

It really is up to you though. If you think you can handle it and are up to the challenge, then go for it, just be careful. If it makes you too nervous, then you should leave Jasper, as beautiful as it is, out of this trip if you're driving. Also, I should point out, the roads are very good going from Banff to Jasper and they should be snowplowed.

One website where you can look up up-to-date road information is the AMA (Alberta Motor Association) website. This link is to the road reports for the province of Alberta. Just click on the region that you want (mountain) for more specific info. Don't go unless the roads are rated "fair" or "good." You never know; you might get lucky. There are a lot of chinnoks in the Calgary area (which means it warms up for a week or two every now and then in the winter, and I mean above freezing), so sometimes the roads are in summer conditions: dry and bare. If that's the case, I wouldn't miss Jasper. But you might have to make the final decision once you get here.

Have a great trip!

Steph

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