Banff, Jasper, Glacier, Waterton

Old Feb 16th, 2023, 09:54 PM
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rkf
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Banff, Jasper, Glacier, Waterton

We are a family of 5 with older teens and we love hiking, biking and river rafting/canoeing, not so much seeing the scenery from a car window. We are flying into and out of Kalispell Montana in late June and would like to visit Banff, Jasper, Glacier and Waterton. We have a total of 13 days including travel days.
The big question is in what order should we go? We were thinking of starting with Glacier, then Waterton, then Baff and lastly Jasper, but am worried that the high elevation roads in Glacier might not be cleared by June 18th.
How much time in each place and what towns should we stay in?
Any must do hikes? We are OK with up to 10 mile hikes
Thanks for any help.
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Old Feb 17th, 2023, 05:13 AM
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You are correct that the Going to The Sun Road will not be completely open by June 18. I think the rule of thumb is that it is usually completely open by July 1 - 4. So you should put your Glacier visit at the end of your trip. But you need to find out how long it will take you to drive from Kalispell to Waterton.

Regarding Glacier, at this late date you won't be able to find accommodations inside the park. You can try St. Mary's Lodge at the eastern gateway, which is literally right outside the park but I tend to think that might be full by now as well. You could also stay in Whitefish, which is lovely. It's about 30 miles from Glacier. We stayed in Hungry Horse, which is about 13 miles from West Glacier. Another town that is close by is Columbia Falls. We went to a rodeo in Columbia Falls. It was all locals, lots of fun!

We spent 3 nights at St. Mary's Lodge and 2 nights at the Tamarack Lodge (very rustic) in Hungry Horse so a total of 5 nights. That might be too many for you since you are visiting other parks. I wonder if you are trying to do too much?

Can't help with 10 mile hikes. We are in our 70's and did very easy hikes in Glacier, which is not what you might be looking for. I do recommend visiting Many Glacier. We think it's the most beautiful, rugged and wild section of the park.

If you wish, you can click on my name to read my trip report from September 2021. You might enjoy a few of the hikes we took, especially the hike in Many Glacier. I also give restaurant recommendations.
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