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Canadian Rockies and Montana in 6 Days - Is it doable?

Canadian Rockies and Montana in 6 Days - Is it doable?

Old Jun 12th, 2010, 05:09 PM
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cnn
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Canadian Rockies and Montana in 6 Days - Is it doable?

My husband and I have six fulls and would like to visit Glacier, Banff and Jasper. Is this doable? If we have to prioritize the priorties what would it be? Our starting point is in Calagary. We arrive on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM and leave the following Saturday at 6:00 am. I prefer not to stay the night in Calargy but head towards the wilderness. Where would you suggest we stay the first night?

What route would we take to enjoy all three parks without backtracking?

Also we plan to rent a car. Is there any problem taking the car between US and Canada? We are heading to Calgary at the end of July.

cnn
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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We did this in 7 days. We flew into Calgary, drove to Banff and spent several days exploring Banff, the Icefields Parkway and Jasper. We hiked in Banff, walked on a glacier, took a boat cruise on Lake Maligne, white water rafted the Kicking Horse River and rented mountain bikes for a few hours in Jasper.

The road was closed near Banff due to a mudslide, so we had to go down to Glacier a western route. On the way, we visited the Ft. Steele historic site, which I thought was really interesting.

We then had 2 days for Glacier. We loved Going to the Sun Road and hiking the Avalanche Lake and Hidden Lake Trails. I did feel that we short-changed Glacier (which is a stunningly beautiful park), and we have made a return visit since.

We are active travelers, and if you are, too, I'd say Go For It. It will be a wonderful trip.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 04:19 AM
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I have not been to Glacier--it's on our list-- but with only 6 days, I would spend them all in Lake Louise/Banff and Jasper. I would also skip Calgary and head to Lake Louise or Banff(they are only about 40 minutes apart)

The Canadian Rockies is one of my favorite places to visit.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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Skip Calgary, but don't skip Glacier.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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You could certainly reach Banff before dark on your arrival day. The drive would take less than 2 hours, and sunset won't be until about 9:30 pm.

We spent a week at Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. I can't imagine adding Glacier NP, all that driving, plus two border crossings in only 6 days. Google maps calculates your plan would entail 20 hours of driving, not counting the driving around you'd do in each destination. That's an average of more than 3 hours a day. I'd skip either Jasper or Glacier NP. If you choose Glacier, you might look into flying out of Missoula rather than returning to Calgary.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 01:38 PM
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In my mind, these are places where you spend 6 days EACH. I would focus your limited time on Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. You are going to be plenty busy trying to do this. Ideally, for myself - I would spend the 6 days on just one of these 3 areas, but that's how I travel. These are immense National Parks - with plenty of amazing scenery and things to see and do.Save Glacier and Waterton for another trip. From Jasper to Glacier is roughly a distance of 900km!! You'll be spending a lot of time in your car. While this is tour is achievable, it sounds way to busy.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Skip Glacier. It's a similar type of scenery as the Canadian Rockies, but a much smaller portion. It's stunning, but it just doesn't work on this trip, and you'll see equally stunning scenery in Canada. If you had extra time it's other adjacent Canadian parks you should add--Yoho is amazing and right next to Banff. On one side of a mountain ridge is Banff's Lake Louise, with tour buses disgorging thousands of tourists every day and people driving around looking for parking places; on the other side, in Yoho, is equally beautiful but much less visited Lake O'Hara.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 05:38 PM
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Do it all! If you don't think you'll be able to go back any time soon, I'd hate to miss seeing any of it. So you won't get to hike a lot. There's lots of daylight in the summer, so your days can be long. Of course we'd all like to spend more time everywhere - I'll take what I can get! And don't skip Glacier. It's one of America's jewels.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:02 PM
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It is always better to have more time than less, but you can easily get an overview in six days. Banff is about 80 miles from Calgary. You can spend your first night there.

On your way to Glacier NP it would be worthwhile to visit Canada's Waterton Park, which adjoins Glacier NP. It's quite beautiful.

Enjoy.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:06 PM
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I also think Glacier is beautiful, and with different scenery than in the Canadian Rockies. (Glacier is my favorite US National Park).

Like people have said, leave Calgary and drive to Banff as soon as you land. It's not that far, and you'll be ready to explore the next day.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:21 PM
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I agree with christabir, Do it all! Don't skip Glacier, they are all beautiful, but in my opinion, glacier is the best of the bunch. Ye,s there is a lot of driving but it is worth it. Enjoy!
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Old Jul 12th, 2010, 05:35 AM
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How do you plan to get from Canada to US? We are having difficulty finding a one way car rental?
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Old Jul 12th, 2010, 07:32 AM
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CNN, what airport do you plan to fly home from? Back to Calgary? That would eat up one of your Glacier days. Flying out of a US city would be a problem with the car, as international drop-off will be either impossible or crazy expensive.
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