Canada Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Waterton Lakes NP or Banff NP ... or maybe Jasper?

Jump to last reply

We are planning to spend a few in Glacier National Park, MT, and we could possibly plan some additional days for additional siteseeing. If we could only do one, which is better for scenic drives and hiking: Banff or Waterton Lakes National Park? Our trip looks something like this:

Day One: Arrive in Montana in the late PM
Day Two: Drive to Glacier National Park (about three hours); spend time in the park
Day Three: Spend time in Glacier National Park
Day Four: Drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road (then either Waterton or Banff)
Day Five: Would really like to get to Banff
Day Six: Would love to drive up to Jasper, but don't want to be in the car "the whole time" -- also don't want to shortchange one area for a glimpse of another area.
Day Seven: Have to drive back to Montana (8 hours from Banff)
Day Eight: Flying Home

Looking at this, would it be better to spend additional time in Glacier NP? We definitely want to see Banff; should we focus on that and forget about Waterton? Is it really unrealistic to try to go up to Jasper as well (my interest there is the Icefields Parkway.)

Any expert advice would be welcome! :-)

  • Report Abuse

    Last summer I took my adult daughter to Glacier NP in Montana. Being Married with a 6 year old she always want less days and I, of course always want more.

    We settle on 4 days plus travel.

    We spent 3 1/2 days in Glacier (way too little in my opinion).
    We came and left from Calgary so going to Waterton lakes for a few hours was barely out of our way.

    We photographed the hotel from afar, went inside for a few minutes went over to see and photograph the waterfalls and did the most strenuous hike of the trip; Bears Hump.

    Upon returning I immediately started to makes plans to return to Glacier this August (next week). I'm spending a week (with a friend) in the park and then barely over two days going to Banff and Jasper.

    I was in Banff for several days a couple of years ago so I feel I can pick exactly where we'll go in Banff. I haven't been to jasper so my plan is to stop at most of the viewpoints along the Icefields with one or two short waterfall hikes.

    I've picked out two routes very close to the town of Jasper for wildlife potential and scenery. Cavell Road and Maligne Road. I'm not sure if we'll get to both.

    Then we'll end up in Calgary where we sleep over and return home the next morning.

    There's a pretty good chance that the trip to Banff and Jasper will just be a scouting trip for a more extensive trip in a year or so.

    That's my plan.

    Now about your.

    When are you going?
    Where are you flying into and out from?
    With the amount of time you've allowed for Glacier I expect you don't plan on going to the Many Glacier area. This is the most spectacular part of the park.

    It's a 5 hour drive from Rising Sun Motor in about 5 miles along GTTS Road from the St Mary entrance to Banff Townsite.

    I suggest you save Banff and Jasper for another time, add a day to Glacier and spend half a day going to Waterton Lakes.

  • Report Abuse

    if you want to see Banff...you could stay there for your last two nights before returning to Montana. you would only get a "sample" of what's there but it is beautiful to see and if you don't mind driving, i'd do it if you are the type who enjoying benging in the car and enjoying the scenary. definitely can't fit jasper in.

2 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcements:
  • Writers Needed for Mexico
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 24, 14 at 12:19 PM
  • Writers Needed for Georgia Coast
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
  • Writers Needed for Rwanda and Uganda
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
View all Canada activity »
  1. 1 Montreal & Quebec City - advice needed
  2. 2 Niagara Falls Canada
  3. 3 Please Help!... Nova Scotia Road Trip
  4. 4 10 full tourism days in NS & PEI
  5. 5 Trip Report Vancouver Trip Report with stay at Four Seasons
  6. 6 Any good ideas for Western Canada?
  7. 7 Banf
  8. 8 4 days in Vancouver Island
  9. 9 8 days in Nova Scotia & PEI
  10. 10 Fine Dining in Vancouver
  11. 11 Montreal and Quebec with 12 year old girl
  12. 12 Hoping for Autumn Colors
  13. 13 Tofino -Are 5-6 days long enough or too long for family with preschoolers?
  14. 14 Trip Report New Brunswick & Nova Scotia
  15. 15 Gaspe
  16. 16 Tours
  17. 17 Chip Credit card or will swipe work?
  18. 18 Part of Larch Valley Hike Banff versus Going to Yoho
  19. 19 Driving from Calgary to U SA
  20. 20 ATM for cash in Vancouver
  21. 21 cross country and downhill skiing in Quebec
  22. 22 Vancouver Island: Scenic Drives
  23. 23 Niagara/Toronto to Quebec & Maybe Montreal--need advice
  24. 24 Alberta Wildfires
  25. 25 Fall travel - need hotels Montreal & Ottawa
View next 25 » Back to the top