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Driving from Whitefish, MT to Lake Louise

Driving from Whitefish, MT to Lake Louise

Jun 19th, 2000, 10:31 AM
Diane Moll
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Driving from Whitefish, MT to Lake Louise

We will be driving from WhiteFish, Montana to Lake Louise early September. I believe the drive will be approx. 7 1/2 hours and we will have my husband's parents with us. We are thinking about breaking the drive down and staying mid way the first night. Any suggestions?
Jun 19th, 2000, 11:49 AM
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I would say to drive through to Lake Louise. We drove straight through from Whitefish, MT to Banff with a five year old. We stopped for a picnic lunch along the way. Last leg of the drive is very pretty.
Jun 19th, 2000, 02:28 PM
Bob Brown
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Hi Diane. Unless you are the world's slowest driver, I see no reason why you could not drive all the way from Whitefish to Lake Louise in one day. However, you might want to stop and enjoy Princeton Hot Springs. It is a pleasent place to relax in natural hot water fed by underground springs.
I think that would be a very pleasent way to soak away the aches and pains.

The best route from Whitefish to Lake Lousie is to follow route 93 through Kootney National Park.
From Whitfish, drive north on US 93 to the Canadian Border. This route takes you through Eureka to the Port of Roosville. Follow BC route 93 north all the way to Radium Hot Springs. At Radium Hot Springs, stay on route 93 and enter Kootney park. The route through Kootney is very scenic. The most interesting short walk is to Marble Canyon, which is a narrow cleft cut into the limestone by a small stream. At places the canyon is about 2 meters wide and over 100 meters deep.
From the intersection of Route 93 and
the Trans Canada Highway (known as Castle Junction), turn north again on the Trans Canada. Lake Louise is just a few miles up the road from the junction.

An alternative, but longer, route is to continue on Route 95 to Golden and then approach Lake Louise by way of Yoho National Park. The drive out of the Columbia Gorge to Kicking Horse Pass is most spectacular. This route, however, is considerably longer. But it is also considerably more scenic.
The total distance is about 300 miles via Castle Junction. At a conservative speed of 50 miles an hour you would be there in 6 hours total driving time. We made it in something like 5.5 hours actual driving time, but with numerous stops, it took us all day to get there.

One word of caution. For some reason when we entered Canada at Roosville, we were questioned about fruit. Unfortunately we had just bought a dozen plums. We were told we could either eat them or put them in the garbage. Well, we ate them. My wife consumed 6, I ate 4 and our son manfully ate 1. The last one we donated to the garbage. I suppose that the border patrol was sensitive at that post because so much fruit is grown in that part of BC. It is the only time I have ever been stopped for long in over 20 border crossings. And the only search I ever saw was at the Chief Mountain entry port. Some guy in a van ahead of me in line lipped off to the border officer about firearms and liquor. As a result he was detained and searched. As we drove up the way, I glanced in my rear view mirrow and could easily see that the insides of the van were rapidly coming outside.
Poetic justice!!
Jun 24th, 2000, 03:45 PM
Diane Moll
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Bob, your vast knowledge never ceases to amaze me. You have provided me with so much wonderful information about Switzerland, which we just returned from there last month and I plan to write to you directly about my experiences, I can't believe you are now giving me some great advice about Canada. I always print out your posts and carry them with me wherever I go, thanks for sharing. Diane Moll
Jun 25th, 2000, 01:28 PM
Bob Brown
Posts: n/a
Hi again Diane. The common theme there is scenic mountains. We went to Switzerland specifically for that purpose. We spent 14 days there in '98 and 9 days in '99. People ask us why we don't go elsewhere and my answer is that I like mountains and my wife likes to go with me. We did spend 5 days in Paris last year, and enjoyed it.

The area on the west side of the Great Divide, north of Whitefish, up to Golden is scenic. I think other regions may be more scenic, but around Princeton Hot Springs you will find some nice resorts. I have not stayed there, but have driven by them. Stopping over in Kimberly or a similar town is something on the agenda for a later visit.

If you have the time, I suggest approaching Lake Louise by taking the long way around through Golden.
This route takes you through Yoho National Park and over Kicking Horse Pass to Lake Louise via the Trans Canada. The road out of the Columbia River trench up to Kicking Horse Pass gains over 3,000 feet and is quite spectacular. On the way, you pass near Emerald Lake, which is beautiful, and Takkakaw Falls, which is spectacular to say the least.
We normally stay in the little town of Field at in an apartment, which is much cheaper than motels and hotels around
Lake Louise. Several private homes in the village have converted basements and the like into accommodations that feature a bed, sitting area, and kitchen (with a bath or shower).
From Field, it is about a 14 mile drive via the Trans Canada to Lake Louise.
The back road from the Lake O'Hara parking area has been closed for the last two or three years. If that route ever reopens, the drive is less than 13 miles to the parking area for Lake Louise itself.
We visited in Field last summer before our trip to Paris and Switzerland.
Jun 25th, 2000, 01:33 PM
Bob Brown
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I think that rumbling sound people in Tuscaloos just heard was my high school English teacher shifting positions.
I do know how to spell "pleasant".
At least I was consistent in my error.
Again, for practice, p l e a s a n t.

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