Author Topic: Great parks Route- N to S or S to N?  (Read 4244 times)

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Offline kellydough

Great parks Route- N to S or S to N?
« on: June 29, 2008, 03:22:54 pm »
My partner and I are planning to do the Great parks route in June and July of 2009 from Jasper to Durango.  Does anyone have recommendations as to whether it's better to go south or north?  Thanks!

Offline mdxix

Great parks Route- N to S or S to N?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 01:48:48 pm »
We rode Jasper to Jackson Hole in August of last year and was a spectacular trip. Make sure you have lots of space in your camera for the pictures.

We rode south for no particular reason other than it was 50% of our choices. We met many people riding the other way, and did not hear any comments that would make it seem better one way or another.

Traveling south helped in a couple of minor ways: we avoided the big climb (and the timing of it) through Glacier on Going to the Sun road. We also had a net elevation advantage (Jackson Hole is at lower elevation than Jasper).

On the other hand, it seemed that head wind was constantly against us. I clearly recall descending a long hill in Kootenay, while standing on the bike, hardly going at 10-12mph. I can hear those traveling north saying the same.

Good luck, this is a fantastic trip. I would do it again.

Offline robo

Great parks Route- N to S or S to N?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2008, 07:34:24 pm »
I just returned from a Great Parks tour from Wyoming through the Icefields Parkway and on to Prince George.  From our perspective, the winds were blowing hard in our faces or at our sides and the hills were both long and steep.

People we met along the way seemed to think the hills were long and steep, but that they had a lot more tailwinds.

As snow kept the Going to the Sun Road closed until July 2 this year, bikers going both directions had to bypass the park.

I think you might make your decision based on logistics.  Shipping a bike to Canada can be very pricy, and your bike could be held up in customs, as my friend's cycle was.  (She also had to pay 5% duty and taxes on the value of the bike before it was released.  She estimates it cost her over $500 to get her bike from Denver to Banff.  And she had been given no warning about this by Fed Ex or the bike shop to whom she shipped the bike.)  We carried the bikes as luggage on our flights home for $50 each.

It's my belief that headwinds, hills, and long days in the saddle make us stronger and promote great memories.  So maybe the direction doesn't really matter at all.  The amazing scenery and people along the way make up for the hardships.