This tip is for you if you are planning to visit Jasper National Park or Banff National Park – or anywhere in the Rockies with a tramway or gondola ride to the top of a mountain.
My advice is to do the ride to the top of the mountain during the first day of your vacation that the weather is clear.
Firstly, if you wait until the last day of your trip to do the Jasper Tramway or Banff Gondola (Sulphur Mountain Gondola) or other mountain ride, it may be too foggy or raining hard or even snowing hard. You’ll get to the top and will either have an obstructed view or won’t be able to see anything at all.
During my last trip to Jasper, we took a chance on the Jasper Tramway on a foggy day with low-hanging clouds. It worked out ok, but it was too cloudy for hiking at the top and the view while riding the tramway car was obstructed, as you can image from the pictures below.
Secondly, seeing the views early in your trip gives you perspective. You’ll better appreciate the vastness of the Canadian Rockies.
Here’s one of the views from the trail on the top of Sulphur Mountain, a worthy excursion after reaching the summit on the Banff Sulphur Mountain Gondola ride.
Thirdly, in the case of the Jasper Tramway or the Banff Gondola, once you are dropped off at the upper terminal, if the weather is good, you can explore the summit area for even more great views.
That being said, a little cloudiness is to be expected. As long as the clouds are above the mountains, the views are spectacular. If you are in doubt, you can always call the information desk at the popular Jasper and Banff attractions to find out the current weather conditions at the top of the mountains.