Commuting from Lake Louise to Jasper, Mountain Man style

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Lake Louise and Jasper, Canadian Rockies

When you call a place like the Canadian Rockies home, full of world-class destinations such as Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper National Parks, and the Columbia Icefields, you meet a lot of people from all over.

Peyto lake, one of the many reasons Icefield Parkway is a drive, not a commute.

Peyto Lake, one of the many reasons Icefield Parkway is a drive, not a commute.

Access to all these people makes me privy to all sorts of information about what life is like all over the world. One thing I’m always hearing about is how much people hate driving.
In fact they don’t even call it driving, they call it “commuting,” which makes driving sound like a horrible chore. It took me a while to understand this, and then, while off visiting a relative in the big city, I got a little taste of “commuting.”
The difference between what I normally do, i.e. driving, and this commuting thing, is all in the view. Commuting involves staring at the bumper in front of you, cursing the air conditioner or the heater (depending the season) flipping through radio stations to try and find one that isn’t all commercials, and trying to keep yourself from getting out of the car and walking in the direction of the nearest mountain.
Driving is a completely different thing.
When the Mountain Man gets in his rusted-out 1974 Volkswagen Thing, he doesn’t commute, he goes for a drive.

A scene from Icefields Parkway, a drive that'll make you forget your destination.

A scene from Icefields Parkway, a drive that'll make you forget your destination.

In the Canadian Rockies, the drive to wherever you’re going is part of the experience. It’s like hiking. You don’t hike while listening to the radio, drumming your fingers on your chest, sucking down cheap coffee, and thinking over and over, “Are we there yet?”
No, when you hike, or drive, in the Canadian Rockies, you enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Which brings me to one of the best journeys/destinations in the Canadian Rockies, the trip from Lake Louise to Jasper. Along the way, you’ll see a beautiful chateau, one of the most famous views in Canada, gorgeous Lake Peyto, one of the largest Icefields in the world, glacier, waterfalls… It’s truly amazing.
Instead of complaining about traffic, grinding your teeth and kneading the steering wheel, you’ll be trying to pay attention to the road as some of the most beautiful sites in the world pass by your window.
Which reminds me. Safety tip for driving between Lake Louise and Jasper: stop often.
That’s right. Don’t be in a hurry or you’ll end up careening off a cliff while bedazzled by some beautiful waterfall. Stop often, take photos, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Eventually, when you’ve taken in as much beauty as one person can for a day, you’ll find yourself in Jasper, which offers another whole world to enjoy.

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0 comments on “Commuting from Lake Louise to Jasper, Mountain Man style”

  1. Sydney

    Do you have any recommendations for an inexpensive place to stay in Jasper National Park July 15 – 22 for 5 people?

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