Author Topic: Jasper to Whitefish, or Whitefish to Jasper?  (Read 1200 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fat or Thin Wheels

Jasper to Whitefish, or Whitefish to Jasper?
« on: March 31, 2011, 11:19:24 am »
We are trying to decide on a best route between Missoulla (MT) and Jasper, AB in early July and thinking of riding south (starting in Jasper or Banff riding to Whitefish or Missoula)?  Is there any reason (other than national holidays) to ride in one direction or the other?

Are there any best routes to use (other than Adventure Cycling's wonderful maps) that one would suggest?  We are thinking about using touring bikes, not mountain bikes.

Thanks!

Offline valygrl

Re: Jasper to Whitefish, or Whitefish to Jasper?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 11:41:11 am »
I don't think there are any strong on-the-road reasons to pick either direction.  Wind isn't much of a factor for most of it.

Don't miss the Jasper to Lake Louise section, though - that's the best part!

Heading out on the Seeley-Swan (Hwy 83) is way better than staying on Flathead Lake - but if you have to ride Flathead Lake use the west side.  Try to go through Glacier National Park.

Come to think of it, if you do go that way, there's a slight bias for going north to south as that would put you going over Crowsnest Pass in BC west to east, which is with the wind.  There's a (west) wind farm at Pincher Creek.  That also puts you going over Going to the Sun highway east to west, which I've heard is better.  I did this the other way, though, and loved it (apart from the west wind on Crowsnest Pass), so really I guess it doesn't matter which way you go.

Really you just can't lose with that tour.  :)

Offline indyfabz

Re: Jasper to Whitefish, or Whitefish to Jasper?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 10:55:53 am »
Can only opine about the lower portion.  I did a loop out of Whitefish in '09.  Followed one arm of AC's Great Parks route, crossed the border at Roosville, then took PR 93 to Elko to pick up the other arm of the Great Parks route and followed that back to Whitefish.  Sparwood is home to the largest truck in the world and has a nice, wooded campground right on the edge of town.  Waterton Village has a nice town campsite along the lake and is a great place for a day off.  There are several day hike options available there.  Going to the Sun Road is a magnificent ride.  If you camp at Rising Sun and get an early start you can easily get to the top before the heavy tourist traffic picks up for the day.  And climbing east to west will give you more road room.  The west slope is narrower.

Here are some photos from our trip:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/sets/72157620763740044/

Note that we were forced to ride around Glacier National Park because Going to the Sun was closed to repair damage caused by a massive avalanche during the winter.  We did, however, get to ride up and then back down the west side.  I did the entire thing in '99 and the west slope again in '00.


Offline Fat or Thin Wheels

Re: Jasper to Whitefish, or Whitefish to Jasper?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011, 10:03:00 am »
Thanks for the information, ideas, and photo links!   

Offline rvklassen

Re: Jasper to Whitefish, or Whitefish to Jasper?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2011, 10:52:22 am »
We are trying to decide on a best route between Missoulla (MT) and Jasper, AB in early July and thinking of riding south (starting in Jasper or Banff riding to Whitefish or Missoula)?  Is there any reason (other than national holidays) to ride in one direction or the other?

Are there any best routes to use (other than Adventure Cycling's wonderful maps) that one would suggest?  We are thinking about using touring bikes, not mountain bikes.

Thanks!

Can only comment on the section from Jasper to Banff (actually Lake Louise).  It is spectacular, and better taken north to south.  The high point is near the Columbia icefields, and heading north you get lots of switch-backs as you descend.  Going south it's pretty much one switchback (and you're on the mountain side of the curve), which doesn't require the same degree of speed control, so you can pretty much enjoy it going down.   But there may be other sections that are better south-to-north...