Glacier & Banff

Old Jan 31st, 2012, 06:00 PM
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Glacier & Banff

We are planning a trip this summer to hopefully include Glacier NP and Banff. First question is what month? Also will 2 weeks be enough to really enjoy both areas? We are not big hikers but like to get out and explore. We don't want it to be one of those times we have experienced before where we are rushing and not enjoying our time. Thanks!
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 06:12 PM
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I think so. We did both on our first trip to Banff. If you are not big hikers, then a day or two is plenty for Glacier. You could then go on up to Waterton via the internal Glacier route, spend another night there, then go on up to Banff.

Do you have any specific plans as to where you will fly into, etc?
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 06:31 PM
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I'm guessing the last 2 weeks of July would be good. GTTS road should be open and beautiful.
If you are flying, Kalispell is the closest airport.
I like riding the Empire Builder and getting off at Whitefish.
Don't forget to have your Passport to go into Canada.
I have a trip back east scheduled in late May and will be back to Glacier on June 1. I am a bit doubtful that the GTTS road will be open all the way through. Two weeks should be enough.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 08:47 PM
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We love Glacier NP, especially the Many Glaciers part of the park.

Waterton Lakes NP (in Alberta) is the Canadian extension of Glacier NP. It is beautiful, and it would be worth your time to include it on your visit.

While in Banff, drive the Icefields Parkway at least as far as the Columbia Icefield.

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Old Feb 1st, 2012, 04:43 AM
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I was in banff last year in mid-July and the weather was fine.

Late July or early August should be great just to make sure everything is dry and free of any snow.

Remember, there's a Glacier NP in Canada that's located not far from Banff. Don't confuse them.

I went with my wife so the only hikes we really did were Tunnel Mountain in Banff Townsite (nice short, easy hike with great views of Banff at the top) and Bow Summit (nice short hike but in elevation with spectacular views of Peyto Lake).

Make sure to spend some time in the Lake Louise area. While Lake Louise has the rowds and is very nice, Morain Lake about 15 miles from there is absolutely gorgeous.

When you get to Moraine lake and begin to leave the parking lot, look to you left so see the Rock Pile. I saw a couple of people climbing it. No need. There's a path and rock stairs around the back that lead to several viewing locations.

This is a spot you want to visit at several times of the day and just sit there. This is the view on the back of the old Canadian 20 dollar bill.

You can see my trip report where I describe a lot of things we did and the wildlife I saw and where.

If you want to see my photos go to:

I'm going to Glacier NP (US) this summer.
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Old Feb 1st, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Two weeks will be fine. In between Glacier and Banff, don't miss Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. As Dave Barry would say, we are not making this up.
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Old Feb 1st, 2012, 06:36 PM
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Thanks for all the help, this is always such a good way to begin planning travels. Love looking at the photos too!
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