Author Topic: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop  (Read 1070 times)

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Offline tomw

Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« on: December 18, 2013, 11:13:22 pm »
Hi,

I'm planning a loop from Jasper south on 93 (have the AC map), west on 1 to Kamloops, north on 5, and west on 16 back to Jasper.  I searched and found several short posts on it that were helpful and PM'ed the posters, but some of the posts are fairly dated (2005).  Would appreciate it if anyone can point me to websites, blogs, or other info sources on road conditions, best direction to do it (counter or clockwise), camping, etc.  Thanks!

Offline geegee

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 08:42:59 pm »
The climbs are generally less steep in the direction you described (clockwise). I've cycled on most of the roads you mentioned except for the 5 between Tete Jaune Cache and Kamloops. The northern 93 aka the Icefields Parkway is probably one of the most scenic bike rides around. Lots of campgrounds along this route but it will cost you being inside the boundaries of national parks. The Trans Canada Highway (#1) is quite busy and there might be continuing construction on the Kicking Horse Canyon, so if you have a bit of time, I would suggest continuing on the 93 through Vermillion Pass and Radium Hot Springs where you can stop for a soak. There are generally less headwinds here, too because you zigzag through the Kootenay valley and always have tall mountains baffling the prevailing winds

I rode into Jasper last summer from Prince Rupert on the Yellowhead (Hwy 16) and it is the easiest pass to climb over the Rockies even though it goes beside Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. You will likely have a tailwind pushing you up.

Offline tomw

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 10:21:25 pm »
Thank you, very useful!  Are there good shoulders on the roads on this route - including the route via Radium Hot Springs?

Offline geegee

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2013, 05:03:43 pm »
British Columbia's main highways are generally excellent for cycling, with ample shoulders. Where you have to watch out is on the downhill stretches through steep passes prone to gravel being washed onto the roadway. Sand and pebbles often accumulate on the shoulders and if you are coasting really fast, a pile might catch you by surprise. The Kicking Horse and the Rogers passes in particular are susceptible to landslides.

Also watch out for the Texas gates going in and out of Lake Louise, they are made of tubular metal. I made a mistake thinking I could ride over them in wet weather — I slipped and fell but was lucky I did not break a bone as my right leg went into the cavity.

Here are some photos of typical road conditions on Highway 93, the first is on the Icefields Parkway, the second is along the Kootenay Valley heading towards Radium Hot Springs.





This is Highway 16 heading up the Yellowhead Pass last summer with Mount Robson looming ahead. Despite looking so daunting, the climb around the side is not too steep, I did it on my middle chainring.


Offline tomw

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2013, 08:45:55 pm »
Beautiful! Thanks!

Offline zzzz

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2013, 09:06:44 pm »
Hi Tom:

I started in Jasper on the Great Parks North rides this last September which takes you through the Kootenay Valley and Radium Hot Springs as geegee suggested.  The pictures posted are very representational of what you'll be riding. The roads are good and the scenery is stunning.

I did want to add this story from my trip. After I climbed up Vermillion Pass and started the descent into Kooteney Valley I came upon 3 signs about a mile apart each. First sign warned of an active wildfire and beware of emergency vehicles. Second sign warned of low visibility due to smoke from wildfire. The third was a blinking sign that said "WOLVES ON ROAD".

Now, I'm not a religious guy, but at that point I started to try to remember the words to the 23 Psalm.

FWIW: I never saw any fire, or smoke, or wolves

pm

Offline tomw

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 11:16:01 am »
Ha! Would be great to see some wolves, provided they weren't too hungry.

Has anyone ridden Shuswap Rd E out of Kamloops as an alternative to hwy 1?  Also thinking of camping at Paul Lake PP and heading east on the road from there, eventually to hwy 1.

Someone told me hwy 5 is a main truck route and pretty narrow and busy. Does it have good shoulders? 

Thinking of going hwy 16 west from Jasper, then south on hwy 5, east on hwy 1 eventually to hwy 93 north back to Jasper.

Offline Norsman

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 03:19:39 am »
I did this route starting in Kamloops in 2011. Even with crappy weather for virtually the whole trip it was great.  The Icefield Parkway is fabulous. Even the route along the Trans Canada Highway in this area is beautiful.  I particularly love the stretch alongside Shuswap Lake. You may run into some headwinds riding towards Kamloops but overall your route should be wind neutral or better. I think your decision to ride this route clockwise is the right one.

The TCH has decent shoulders except for the short bridges where you have to pick your time and ride quickly. The trickiest part of the TCH is getting through the snowsheds/tunnels around Rogers Pass.  I made it through or around them without too many problems but they can be a bit intimidating. The Parkway road has decent shoulders but quite a few cracks in the surface. So get used to little speed bumps.  But the view makes it all worthwhile.  Highway 5 also has decent shoulders. There is a fair amount of truck traffic on Hwy 5 but it is not a huge issue.  Hwy 5 and Hwy 16 to Jasper is fairly easy cycling.

Check out my journal of the ride for more detailed info. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=8698&v=Tx

Contact me through that site or this one if you have any other questions.

Offline tomw

Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 09:34:05 am »
Thank you very much Norsman!  Went through your blog...maps, elevation profiles, notes... of the exact trip I plan! What more could one ask?! Well one thing, better weather than you had.  I'm hoping being there the latter half of August will help in that regard.  Thanks again!

For all: I contacted the Transportation Ministry and they assured me there is no construction planned for the Kicking Horse Canyon in summer of 2014 and I should have no problem going through if I elect to go that way.  They also gave me this link for road conditions: http://drivebc.ca/.http://www.backroadmapbooks.com/main/index.html, which have campgrounds, back roads, trails, etc. Info on PP camping can be found here: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/