1

For visiting Banff and Jasper (a map here), when is the earliest time to visit given the following assumptions 1-4? E.g., will late May or early June be too early? The traveller:

  1. must avert higher accommodation prices, and so cannot visit, during the peak season (ie: late June to early September).

  2. wishes everything (e.g. businesses, trails, etc...) to have (re)opened and resumed.

  3. does not hike regularly or professionally, and intends only some easy or moderate hiking.

  4. wishes to experience this region as close to summertime and the summer season as possible, without any elements of winter that shall have disappeared and melted (e.g. ice, snow, etc...).

5

Giving you a detailed answer is difficult, as we don't know exactly what you are interested in, and different businesses are going to run to different schedules. However...

There is a very good rule of thumb for outdoor non-winter and tourist activities in Canada. That rule of thumb is that the summer tourist and activity season runs from the Victoria Day to Labour Day. Victoria Day (or 'May two-four') is a long weekend in late May, and Labour Day in early September. Exact days can be looked up. In the time spanned by those, (and including them) you can usually bet that most touristy and outdoor things are open. Outside that time there is a likelihood, but not a guarantee, that they will be closed.

Prices almost always drop the further away from the peak July-August eason. So in most cases, booking a period right after the Victoria Day holiday (but not on it, since it is a holiday!) will get you the cheapest prices where everything is open and accessible. Snow and ice will have dispersed in almost every part of the country, and the weather will probably be warm enough for outdoor activities (but no guarantees). However you will need to specifically check anything you are interested in. If you want to go before Victoria Day you will get cheaper rates, you should check even more thoroughly that the stuff you want is open.

  • +1. Thanks. Before I accept any answer though, wish you me to clarify and expand on anything in my post (because you wrote Giving you a detailed answer is difficult, as we don't know exactly what you are interested in)? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Apr 18 '16 at 20:12
3

The high temperature in Banff and Jasper today is mid-50s (F). There's mention of brief road closures for avalanche risk, but not for unplowed snow. Hotels are available. Unless there is a particular activity you need to check on, I'd think now. (I'm not sure what you mean by snow disappearing; if you look high enough up, you'll see snow any time.)

  • +1. Thanks. I answer your last parenthesised sentence I'm not sure what you mean by snow disappearing; if you look high enough up, you'll see snow any time.: I mean the absence of any ice or snow on accessible, public roads or routes or trails. I do NOT intend to ascend or climb any mountains; so I did not mean to refer to snow on summits. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Apr 18 '16 at 20:13
  • I mean, I'm not sure how much snow you want to have melted away. I don't know how to check which trails are open, but there's probably a site or you could contact the park managers directly. – Andrew Lazarus Apr 18 '16 at 20:39

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