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shannondk Feb 4th, 2018 09:36 PM

Trip itinerary advice! Please!! Glacier national national
We will be flying into Kalispell the last week of August. We would like to spend a couple of nights at whitefish and explore glacier national park, then proceed to Banff and Jasper and back to Kalispell to fly home. I donít know what would be the best order of places to go or how long at each place, we would like to do some short hikes, but mostly just sightseeing and enjoying the scenery, we have ten days. Any advice on the route to take or order we should see the places would be greatly appreciated!
Also, anything extra to see or do, Iím not familiar with the area at all.
Places to stay?

Thank you

tomfuller Feb 5th, 2018 10:30 AM

Check with the car rental company about the policy on taking their cars into Canada. The Canadian Rockies are no more beautiful than Glacier and the Northern US Rockies IMO. I've been to both.
If you want to go into Canada, try the Waterton Lakes International Peace Park which is just across the border.
Instead of Whitefish try for the Meadow Lake Resort in Columbia Falls if you can't get lodging inside Glacier NP. Probably going across the Going to the Sun Road from west to east would be good.
Going into Waterton is off US 89 which is east of Glacier NP.

kureiff Feb 5th, 2018 11:22 AM

Whitefish: We like both the Whitefish Lake Lodge and the Firebrand. They're owned by the same company. the Lake Lodge sits on the lake and is very pretty. The Firebrand is right downtown so it's easy to walk to restaurants.

wave725 Feb 9th, 2018 12:00 PM

I've also heard that most car rental companies won't let you take a car across the border, so that can definitely change your plans! We spent three weeks last summer in both Glacier and the Canadian Rockies, but drove our personal car. Glacier is spectacular and is also my favorite national park in the country. The Canadian Rockies are beautiful, however, the best way to see that area is hiking...IMHO.

For Glacier, I would not stay in Whitefish. It's about a 40 minute drive from Whitefish just to the west entrance of the park. From there you'll be doing a lot more driving to explore the park - Glacier is spread out! Also, the best scenery is along the Going to the Sun Road and on the east side of the park in Many Glacier. The drive between the west and east side of the park along the GGTS Road takes several hours without exploring - so plan on an entire day. I would recommend exploring the GTTS Road on your transition day from east to west. There's lots of lodging on the west side, check out Bailey's Bed'n Bale, Great Northern Resort or Moss Mountain Inn. For the Many Glacier area, try to get lodging at the Many Glacier Hotel or Swiftcurrent Inn within the park. If it's booked up for August, it's best to call the main reservation number to see if there are any cancellations rather than checking the website.

For easy hikes in Glacier, I would highly recommend Hidden Lake Overlook where you're almost always guaranteed to see mountain goats, Redrock Falls, St. Mary/Virginia Falls, Swiftcurrent Lake loop. One of the premier trails in Glacier is the Highline Trail. It's one of those trails that you can hike out as little as you like and still see amazing scenery! This site has great information on the hikes in Glacier: Best Easy Hikes in Glacier National Park

If you do end up going to the Canadian Rockies, the drive from Banff to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway is a full-day experience with lots of places to explore along the way. Once in Jasper, there's not much to see unless you hike. We stayed at the White Brick Inn in Japser, which is actually a basement apartment and was one of the top rated lodging spots on trip advisor. It was very nice, but pricey, but we wanted to be able to prepare our own meals. If you stay in the town of Banff, there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, etc.. The drive from Banff to Lake Louise is about 45 minutes.

With 10 days I'm not sure you're allowing yourself enough time to enjoy both areas since you'll be spending so much time in the car. You may just want to save one of these areas for another time!

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