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Driving from Glacier National Park to Canmore Alberta

Driving from Glacier National Park to Canmore Alberta

May 18th, 2000, 10:40 AM
Doug Walton
Posts: n/a
Driving from Glacier National Park to Canmore Alberta


I will be driving from Rising Sun in Glacier National Park to Canmore, Alberta during the first week of July. I know the fastest route, but would appreciate suggestions on the most scenic route.

Also, what kind of weather can I expect in the Banff, Jasper, etc. area the first three weeks of July? I live in Florida where there is no mountain weather!

Thanks for your help!
May 18th, 2000, 05:05 PM
Bob Brown
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Hi Doug. You may find this hard to believe, but in late August I have walked in falling snow near Banff, light, fluffy stuff that was quite pretty.
I would take a light jacket and rain gear of some description. What you take is a function of how much trail walking you intend to do. No trail = small umbrella. Long trail = rain outfit.
It all depends on the cloud cover and which way the wind is blowing. One year that part of Alberta had a summer without a summer. If I could predict the weather accurately, I would not have to take so much equipment with me.
Just remember "Mountains make their own weather."
If you know the quickest way to Canmore, you already know the most scenic route.
On the assumption that your "quickest" route is to go through Calgary, let me tell you the most scenic, which is not the quickest if you stop to admire the view, but otherwise is probably faster because Calgary can slow you down and it is longer that way.

From Rising Hovel (not my favorite place), head toward the Chief Mountain border station. Don't give the Canadians any lip about tobacco and fire arms and you should sail right through.
Continue on to Waterton Park where you take the boat ride to the other end of the lake. (You did ask for the scenic route!! And to miss this one is nearly criminal because it is world class scenic. Also drive up to the Prince of Wales Hotel and take a gasp down the lake.) From Waterton, continue north to Pincher Creek.
From Pincher Creek, go WEST on route 3 toward Crowsnest Pass. A short distance west of Lundbreck, turn north on route route 22. Stay on 22, which is not heavily used, to Longview. Just north of Longview, take route 541 west.
This route become route 40 south of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and continues north to the Trans Canada Route.
I would turn down into the park if scenery was the objective. From Lougheed there is a dirt road, well graded, north to Canmore. Or you can return to Route 40 and continue north to Canmore via the Trans Canada.

I don't think you want the most scenic route of all, which is to take forest roads north, starting about 24K north of Lundbreck. That one is a little slow because it is hilly and winds around.

Route 40 by the way at one point is the highest paved road in Alberta, even higher than Kicking Horse Pass over the Great Divide.

When you get to Canmore, drive to the western interchange and exit. Backtrack to a shopping center. In the shopping center near a bank is a hardware store. The proprietor gives good exchange rates.
Last year he offered to give me even parity on all my US dollars. Generous fellow who also has a sense of humor.

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