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Canadian Rockies/Glacier NP, MT Itinerary -- Please Help

Canadian Rockies/Glacier NP, MT Itinerary -- Please Help

Apr 8th, 2009, 07:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 22
Canadian Rockies/Glacier NP, MT Itinerary -- Please Help

My family of four (2 kids under 10, good travelers) is planning a trip to Glacier NP, MT and the Canadian Rockies in August. I'd appreciate feedback on the following itinerary:

Day 1 -- arrive late in Calgary, overnight at airport
Day 2 -- drive through Waterton to Glacier, stay at Many Glacier Hotel
Day 3 -- Many Glacier Hotel
Day 4 -- Drive Going to the Sun Road, ovenight in Bigfork, MT
Day 5 -- Bigfork, MT
Day 6 -- Drive to Lake Louise, stay at Chateau LL
Day 7 -- Chateau LL
Day 8 -- Drive to Jasper, Jasper Park Lodge
Day 9 -- Jasper Park Lodge
Day 10 -- Jasper Park Lodge
Day 11 -- Banff
Day 12 -- Banff
Day 13 -- Drive back to Calgary, fly home
Htrav04 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2009, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,477
I have not been to Glacier but the Lake Louise/Jasper/Banff portion of your trip looks good. I posted a trip report last Sept. You can click on my name to find it.

Looks like a fabulous trip. We love the area.
LindainOhio is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 70
I have been to the Rockies several times. I think you maybe trying to do too much in the time available. Waterton and Glacier is a beautiful place and if you want time to relax hike and see the park properly I would suggest this be a seperate trip.

Banff/Lake Loiuse/Jasper would be pressed to see all of that in 2 weeks. I would choose to do this first...there is so much to see and do...Johnson Canyon, Morraine Lake, Emeral Lake, Lake Ohara, Sunshine Valley etc etc. I love the rockies and like to do 2 and 3 hour hikes...picnic...driving looking for wildlife...enjoying the lakes...it is beautiful.

To do your Itinerary you would be spending all your time driving from place to place and not having enough time to relax and enjoy the beauty.
barryozed is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 88
Although the drive from Calgary to Glacier takes you "through" a tiny corner of Waterton Park, it does not take you into the townsite. You would have to make a very short (15 min) side-trip for that.

Bigfork is a bit south of Glacier Park so that's extra driving time "to and from".

You did not post your routing from Bigfork to Lake Louise: I'll presume you are planning on US 93 north and up through British Columbia via #93. I would stay on #93 at Radium (turn right) and take the Stevens Pass through Kootenay Park into Banff Park: there's not a heck to see by staying "straight" onto #95 and taking the #1 at Golden (except for the spiral railway tunnel and Emerald Lake) and it's going to be a longish day as is.

I might be tempted to trade one of your "extra days" at Jasper for one at Lake Louise but it's a close call.

My general comment is that I see a lot of "backtracking" in your itinerary: although it's true that you can get in "the opposite view", why not consider eliminating some of that driving and getting in more sight-seeing? Your schedule might then look like:
Day 1: Arrive Calgary, stay over at Hotel
Day 2: Drive to Many Glacier (highway #22 south, #3 East, #6 south), stay overnight.
Day 3: Bigfork via Going-to-the-Sun Road There will be lots of time for sight-seeing, interpretive centre at the top, photo stops.
Day 4: Bigfork
Day 5: Drive to Banff via Radium Hot Springs
Day 6: Banff
Day 7: Banff
Day 8: Banff/Lake Louise
Day 9: Lake Louise
Day 10: Lake Louise/Jasper (with the obligatory ride onto the Columbia Icefield in the Tundra Bus)
Day 11: Jasper
Day 12: Jasper/Edmonton
Day 13: Edmonton/Calgary/home

If you really push it you can do Jasper/Calgary in one shot but that depends on your stamina, traffic, and flight departure time!

You have a very ambitious schedule but it looks like a blast. Just don't forget that you're there to see the scenery, not the highway!
Tootsall is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 88
I forgot to add: the speed limit is no more than 50 mph in most of Banff/Jasper park with the exception of the Trans-Canada through Banff to Lake Louise; in spots the speed drops to as low as 35-40 mph. Combine that with the sight seeing and your average is going to be fairly low so plan accordingly. The highway from Edmonton to Calgary is a 70 mph rip, although you'll still likely be the slowest thing on the road!
Tootsall is offline  

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