Glacier Natl, MT & Banff itinerary ??'s

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Aug 1st, 2006, 10:24 AM
  #1
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Glacier Natl, MT & Banff itinerary ??'s

I am in the process of planning a trip next summer to Glacier Natl (USA) and Banff. We are going to fly in and out of Calgary. How does this preliminary itinerary sound?

Day 1: Arrive Calgary, begin drive towards Glacier. Stay in Waterton or maybe in Babb, MT.

Day 2 & 3 Stay at Many Glacier Hotel

Day 4 & 5 Hike in and stay at Granite Park Chalet

Day 5 & 6 Stay at Lake McDonald Lodge

Day 7: Drive to Banff. Where to stay along the way?

Day 8, 9, & 10 Stay in or around Banff. Suggestions?

Day 11: Depart Calgary

We have two children, ages 10 & 12. Both are fit and the hiking should not be a problem. Should we stop in Waterton? How far is the drive to Banff from Lake McDonald? Is Jasper too far to add to this trip?
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Aug 1st, 2006, 11:00 AM
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mms
 
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Not in Banff, but in Lake Louise is Baker Creek Chalets. Fabulous place to stay! We have been there several times, including with our kids. They have cabins with a bedroom, then a loft with 2 twins, as well as two bedroom cabins. If this is a place that you think you might like, definitely reserve now because they book FAR in advance!
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Aug 1st, 2006, 11:32 AM
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We've always liked the Branff Springs Hotel, which is now part of the Fairmont group. We've also rented condos in Canmore several times, which we found ideal especially with kids. It's very convenient to Branff, but it's also easy to make day/side trips from there. Branff can get grid-locked in summer, so staying in town can sometimes make it more time-consuming to get out of town is you're headed to other places. There used to be a web site for Canmore that gave a lot of info on the condos, etc, but I frankly haven't checked it lately.

I think trying to add Jasper is pushing it for the time you've got. You've got a pretty full schedule. The drive up the Glacier Highway is spectacular, but it's not an expressway and there's enough to see and do along the way that we've always found it turns into an all-day trip in itself (although well worth doing). And this is just getting to Jasper - think you'd enjoy it more if you saved this for another trip.
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Aug 1st, 2006, 12:12 PM
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You must do the going to the sun road in glacier! I t is fab!!! Good hiking from the visitors center. Many Glacier hotel has a great hike as well...boat/hike/boat /hike we saw a bear on that hike. Waterton is nice...stop in for tea at the prince of wales hotel...great view!!
Have fun and go quick be4 the glaciers all melt away!!!! lol
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Aug 1st, 2006, 03:03 PM
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Don't forget next year everyone will need a passport to visit Canada.

You might want to leave your vehicle at Many Glacier and take the park shuttle service over to Logan Pass. Take the Highline Trail(this is a spectacular hike especially good for wildflowers and mt goats (usually))
to Granite Park Chalet. The next day hike over the pass and down to Many Glacier. Since you don't have that far to go the 2nd day and most of it is downhill might want to take the hike up and look down on Iceburg Lake which turns off the Highline Trail about .25 mile before you get to Granite Park.

I trust you know Granite Park Chalet is rustic. You need to bring your own water in from .25 mile way. They will rent you sheet & blanket as well as sell you food which you will have to prepare on their stove along with 35 other folks. It books quickly.

Glacier's entrance fee is $25 and is good for a week. Banff & Waterton Lakes offer either a daily rate or annual pass only.

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Aug 1st, 2006, 04:17 PM
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Where did you find water .25 mile from Granite chalet?
From the loop, the chalet is approx. 4 miles. From Logan pass, it's a little over 7 miles.
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Aug 1st, 2006, 05:54 PM
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John there is a backcountry campsite about half mile down hill from the chalet towards The Loop. This is where I stayed and had a very nice stream about 100 feet from my tent. Got the quarter mile number off the chalet's website. Not sure where they get theirs if not from this same stream which may run nearer to them.
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Aug 1st, 2006, 07:46 PM
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Hope you boiled or sanitized the water!
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 06:31 AM
  #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. I like the idea of leaving my car at the Many Glacier Hotel and hiking in from the visitors center and out to the Many Glacier side. I wasnít sure what to do with the car during our stay at Granite Park Chalet. As far as water, I will preorder water and food that will be at the chalet when we arrive. It may cost more, but it will be convenient.

Iíll check on the Baker Creek Chalets and Canmore accommodations. Any other suggestions on Banff lodging is appreciated!
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 07:57 AM
  #10
 
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I would check car rentals in Calgary and make sure you can take them into the U.S.

We also wanted to do a Glacier/Banff trip but ended up spending the whole time in Canada.

We are hikers and Banff/Lake Louise/Yoho/Jasper is our favorite hiking destination. The scenery is spectacular and even the views while you are driving are "take your breath away" gorgeous. I can't imagine going to the area and missing the drive and hikes on the Icefields Parkway that takes you to Jasper. We loved Jasper and saw lots of wildlife--more great hikes.

If I were you I would spend the whole time in Canada. There is so much to see and do. We also want to see Glacier but will save that for another visit.

Read posts on the Canada board. Judy in Calgary and Bob Brown give great advice. Judy has her own website that I wish I had found before our visit.

We are returning next year.
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:22 PM
  #11
 
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We stayed in the Rimrock Resort in Banff and loved it. The views from our room were stunning. The hotel has several very nice places to dine including a breakfast buffet that was very good. There is also a lovely pool/exercise/spa area in the hotel that we took advantage of every day. You ought to check out their website. Banff to Jasper is definitely doable in a day, but you may wish you had more time to linger.
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