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Where to stay between Glacier NP and Banff?

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Jun 24th, 2018, 08:54 PM
  #1
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Where to stay between Glacier NP and Banff?

We are making a last minute trip to Glacier NP and Banff this summer. As such, we are tight on lodging and trying to figure everything out quickly. Below is what we have booked and where we still need to book lodging. Specifically we need lodging for day 7 and days 11-13. We would appreciate any advice on worthwhile places to visit and explore that may have lodging.
Day 1-3-- booked a dude ranch in Whitefish, MT
Day 3-6-- booked a hotel in Glacier NP
Day 7-- **Two of our sons fly into Glacier early afternoon-- we would like to make it about 1/2 way to Banff-- any recommendations??
Day 8-11-- booked a hotel in Banff
Day 11-13-- **Need suggestions for somewhere to stay. We would love to go to Jasper but have been unable to find accommodations. We have also considered Calgary which has plenty of rooms but feel that three days there may be a bit too much. Any suggestions of somewhere south of Banff?
Day 13-14-- by the airport in Glacier NP
Thanks.
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Jun 25th, 2018, 11:58 AM
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When is this trip?? Exact dates matter because holidays may affect the availability of accommodation. Frankly, at this point, your choice of stops is likely to be heavily dictated by where you can find a place within your budget.

There is no airport IN Glacier NP - the "Glacier NP Airport" is in Kalispell, which is well SW of the national park. So you need to ensure you have time to get there -- Glacier NP is huge, so it really matters timewise where you are staying - could be 2-4 hrs difference in terms of drive time, depending on where you are staying. Only one road through the park, and that can be VERY slow during the day.

On Day 7, from Kalispell, the fastest way to Banff is via eastern BC. For that, Cranbrook would about half way. Depends on how long it takes to cross the border and how much traffic & construction you hit. There is construction on 93S, but going back through Glacier NP on the Going to the Sun Road could be VERY slow. So I suspect BC is your best bet.

For those last days, you need to get all the way back to Kalispell. I am a bit confused - does Day 11-13 mean two nights or three nights. And do you have one or two nights planned in Kalispell? If you only have two nights, then Jasper is really too far. You're talking about 10+ hrs of wheels turning time between Jasper and Kalispell, not counting stops, crossing the border, construction, traffic etc.

I would want at least two nights IN Jasper, then another on the way to Kalispell. For Jasper, finding accommodation there at this point is going to be very tricky. Hotels have been booked up for many months with the occasional open space or cancellation. I also wonder how you are searching for accommodation. Using third party sites is fairly useless for Banff/Jasper/Lake Louise in May-October because demand is so high that places rarely need to use sites that charge fees/commissions. You need to call/e-mail the accommodation directly or use their own website. For Jasper, your best bet is often Private Home Accommodations (inspected and licensed): www.stayinjasper.com Most will have at least a two night minimum stay.

That said, I don't think you have time for Jasper. Instead, I'd look to more time in Banff, or Lake Louise. You could easily fill 5-6 days in that area alone. Or look for something else in the mountains/BC. Perhaps Revelstoke or Golden, or down in Cranbrook/Fernie area. Or even Radium/Invermere area.
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Jun 25th, 2018, 07:42 PM
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kgsneds, We are traveling next month. Yes, I know that the airport isn't in the park and where it is relative to the park. As mentioned,we plan to spend the night before our flight by the airport so no worries there.

I will check into Cranbrook and see what our options may be. I have inquired directly with a number of inns, hotels, motels, etc. and have checked the stayinjasper web site. I was hoping that someone may have a recommendation that I haven't considered. Thank you.
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Jun 26th, 2018, 08:51 AM
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On our ride from Glacier to Banff we stayed at the Fairmont Hot Springs resort. Nice rooms and had a great time hanging out in the pools. Nice leisurely ride through Kootenay park the next day stopping for a couple of hikes at the Paint Pots, Marble Canyon, and Stanley Glacier (didn’t go all the way up to the hanging valley this time). https://www.fairmonthotsprings.com/

Good luck with Jasper, we got a relatively short notice (six weeks out) cabin at Becker Chalets just south of town in 2016 Jasper Cabin Accommodation Becker?s Chalets
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Jun 26th, 2018, 11:54 AM
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Jasper is very small, so there isn't going to be something beyond the hotels and PHAs. And for next month, you will have to be very lucky and patient to find something - even since 2016, things have gotten much busier. That said, as I mentioned, I don't think you really have time for Jasper. Given the length of drive (which includes the border crossing), you would want to spend at least one night along the way to Kalispell, plus the night in Kalispell.

Fairmont Hot Springs isn't a bad idea - near Invermere/Windermere. The only issue might be that trying to find something at this point that's not really expensive. Note, as mentioned, they are repaving 93S in the park (again), so could be delays on that drive. They are also schedule to start construction around the Marble Canyon parking lot soon - when that happens, there will be no parking/access to Marble Canyon from that parking lot (only from the Paint Pots).
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Jun 29th, 2018, 01:00 PM
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jeanned,
having spent a significant period of time throughout the area you are attempting, including 3 weeks just last year in the Canadian portion, first let me say that the miles you are attempting to cover-especially having to drive all the way back to Montana-is not your best choice. breaking this trip into two trips one to dude ranch/Glacier/Waterton and one to Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper would be much simpler and create twice as many memories. That being said, and not knowing your preferred route north, here are some options to try for accommodations: Heritage Inn-Pincher Creek, King Edward Hotel-Pincher Creek, Lazy Bear Lodge-Cranbrook, Bighorn Meadows Resort-Radium Hot Springs, Solara Resort-Canmore, and if Field, BC looks like an option do a search on Burgess Lookout Cabin. I think we booked it through Turnkey.com. I have a detailed trip report from our 2017 trip on another site that starts with an F if more details are desired. I look forward to hearing about your travels.
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Jun 30th, 2018, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions-- I'll check into them!

Melproffit, originally we were going to fly into FCA and out of YYC however we changed our plans after looking at it closer for two reasons. First the flights to and from FCA are nonstop whereas the flights to/from YYC would add 3 hours each way to our trip. Second, and the real reason we decided to do this, is that we save USD3000 by going roundtrip via FCA. We are five and the flights cost over $400 more to fly out of YYC instead of FCA. In addition, all of the rental cars charged a one way fee. In total, we would have to pay USD 3k for the luxury of flying out of YYC. For us, it is well worth saving USD3,000 to do this schedule!
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Jun 30th, 2018, 03:12 PM
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Does anyone know and recommend Copper Point Resort in Invermere?
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Jul 2nd, 2018, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jeanned View Post
Thanks for all the great suggestions-- I'll check into them!

Melproffit, originally we were going to fly into FCA and out of YYC however we changed our plans after looking at it closer for two reasons. First the flights to and from FCA are nonstop whereas the flights to/from YYC would add 3 hours each way to our trip. Second, and the real reason we decided to do this, is that we save USD3000 by going roundtrip via FCA. We are five and the flights cost over $400 more to fly out of YYC instead of FCA. In addition, all of the rental cars charged a one way fee. In total, we would have to pay USD 3k for the luxury of flying out of YYC. For us, it is well worth saving USD3,000 to do this schedule!
jeanned-i know exactly what you mean. i am doing a trip later this year flying in and out of 2 different airports and not 1 but 2 one way car rentals. it gets pricey. just thinking if you were able to divide your trip in to two you would have much more time to enjoy each area and less road time. i know you will want to plan another trip to the Canadian Rockies/Jasper after your upcoming trip is over.
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Jul 8th, 2018, 11:58 PM
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have you thought of drumheller, where the royal tyrell museums feature dinosaurs. the museum is surrounded by park where digging occurs?
cheers AndrewDavid
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Jul 9th, 2018, 01:07 PM
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There is a little bit of digging right by the museum, but it's mostly for show and not active. Dinosaur Provincial Park, where they do the big digs is in Brooks, which is 1.5+r hrs away.
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Jul 19th, 2018, 10:01 AM
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AndrewDavid, we considered going to Dinosaur Provincial Park but felt like we didn't have the time to do so.

Quick Question: How long does it normally take to cross the border?

Since my post we have solidified plans. Our schedule is now:
3 nights at a dude ranch in MT
3 nights in Glacier NP
1 night in Cranbrook
4 nights in Banff
1 night in Calgary
1 night in Kalispell

Thank you for all of your help.
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