Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-16-2019, 07:27 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Piggy Bank's Avatar
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,377
Best Route East Glacier into Canada/Banff?

Asking for route advice from those who may be familiar with the area. Both in regard to roads and also border crossings.

We are going to be in East Glacier at the St. Mary's KOA for 3 nights in July. From there we will be heading to Lake Louise in the Banff area.

There are 2 possible routes.

Option 1 is US highway 17 crossing more to the West,turning into Canada highway 6.

Option 2 is US highway 89-/turns into Canada highway 2--more to the East.

Thank you in advance
__________________

__________________

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2019, 07:40 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
2019 22' Sport
High River , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 435
They are both perfectly fine options. Rural paved 2 lane highways, reasonably well maintained on both sides of the border. The western crossing (Chief Mountain) is probably less busy, but Carway is relatively quiet too. Check the open hours - Chief Mountain is seasonal, and both are probably closed at night.
The real question is the route you want to follow. The western route takes you through Waterton Lakes national Park and through Pincher Creek, and is the logical route to Highway 22. This would take to Highway 40 which is a beautiful road over the Highwood Pass on your way to Highway 1 to go to Banff National Park.
The eastern route makes sense if you want to take the four lane to Calgary first.
__________________

AlbertF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2019, 05:57 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Piggy Bank's Avatar
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,377
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF View Post
They are both perfectly fine options. Rural paved 2 lane highways, reasonably well maintained on both sides of the border. The western crossing (Chief Mountain) is probably less busy, but Carway is relatively quiet too. Check the open hours - Chief Mountain is seasonal, and both are probably closed at night.
The real question is the route you want to follow. The western route takes you through Waterton Lakes national Park and through Pincher Creek, and is the logical route to Highway 22. This would take to Highway 40 which is a beautiful road over the Highwood Pass on your way to Highway 1 to go to Banff National Park.
The eastern route makes sense if you want to take the four lane to Calgary first.

We don't have any need to go to Calgary. That day will start in Glacier and end at Lake Louise. So just a travel day.

What type of driving conditions are on each road? Is the western path curvy mountain driving, or more straightforward?

Will one route have a noted longer travel time based on traffic and roads?

Also we will need to get groceries for the thing we are not able to cross the border with (meat, veggies, etc). Based on the likely western route, any recommendations for that?

Thank you,
__________________

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2019, 07:15 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
2019 22' Sport
High River , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
We don't have any need to go to Calgary. That day will start in Glacier and end at Lake Louise. So just a travel day.

What type of driving conditions are on each road? Is the western path curvy mountain driving, or more straightforward?

Will one route have a noted longer travel time based on traffic and roads?

Also we will need to get groceries for the thing we are not able to cross the border with (meat, veggies, etc). Based on the likely western route, any recommendations for that?

Thank you,
The western route is more curvy, a bit more hilly - but it's foothills until you get to Highway 40 through the Kananaskis area. Highway 6 to Pincher Creek might have a couple of sections that are about 5 to 6% grade, but these are short.
No long pulls until you get to the Highwood Pass on Highway 40, where you will experience a 3 to 4% grade, and maybe a couple of miles at about 6% near the top. Traffic is usually light up there at 7,000 feet. You will find the roads to be built and maintained to a good standard. They are not narrow goat trails by any means.

I'm not sure if driving time would differ, but the western route avoids Calgary city traffic, and is more scenic. The only busy portion on a week day would be Highway 1 heading west to Banff.

For groceries and fuel, plan to stop at Pincher Creek. There's a Walmart just north of the traffic circle, and a Co-op supermarket and fuel station and a Shell station on the opposite side of the traffic circle. That fuel stations are very easy to navigate with a combination. Actually, since you are bypassing the Calgary area Pincher Creek will be the best option for groceries until you get to Banff.

There is a 70 mile stretch of Highway 22 with no services, so stopping at Pincher Creek (or Longview at the north end) are good options.

Some final notes. 1. It may be windy out there, so don't be surprised by that - although it's usually calmer in the summer. You will drive through open range country on both sides of the border, so watch for cattle on the road. 3. If you like Mexican food, you might consider having lunch at the general store at Twin Butte. It's a rather unlikely looking place in the middle of nowhere, but they've got a restaurant and it's one we enjoy stopping at. Highway 6 north of Waterton. 4. You can expect to see wildlife at some point during this drive. Feral horses on the Montana side, elk and deer, perhaps a bear, and bighorn sheep at the Highwood Pass are all possibilities.
AlbertF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2019, 10:05 AM   #5
CC
 
1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 34
AlbertF, you are very well informed on the area. I plan to keep this in mind as well for future travels.
I just want to add that traveling through Calgary is relatively easy, if need be.
PG, you could almost wave at AlbertF as you go by; High River is located south of Calgary.
CC
Camper Crazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2019, 12:20 PM   #6
jcl
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,740
AlbertF has posted great detail on the two routes across the border.

I would just add a comment in support of AlbertF's point, that I would select your border crossing based more on your planned route north after the crossing.

We greatly prefer Hwy 22 to Hwy 2. Hwy 22 is more scenic in our opinion. Hwy 2 is a little more like an interstate. More lanes, more truck traffic.

With either route north, you can go around Calgary on the north via Hwy 2 (the Deerfoot) to Hwy 1 (the TransCanada), which isn't bad unless it is rush hour, skirt Calgary to the south on Hwy 22x (there is construction underway for a new ring road), or if you are on Hwy 22 already just stay there until Hwy 1. That would be my default route.

An additional option already mentioned is that once you get closer to Calgary you can take Hwy 40 (Highwood Pass) if you are already on Hwy 22. It is amazingly scenic, and a good road, but it is the highest paved mountain pass in Canada. If you are comfortable with ascents and descents, go for it. If you want to avoid the up and down, stay on Hwy 22 to Hwy 1.

Hwy 40 is famous as an amazing bike ride, very popular. The photos are from our last trip there on bikes, along with family from Calgary.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1384.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	239.7 KB
ID:	340973   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1387.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	316.0 KB
ID:	340974  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1412.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	293.5 KB
ID:	340975   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1420.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	480.4 KB
ID:	340976  

jcl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2019, 03:49 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2015 23' FB International
2007 19' International CCD
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 617
We drove this route in September 2017.

We camped in East Glacier then drove to Waterton. I believe this is worth at least a two day visit. Then without a doubt, take the highway 40 route. It is a spectacular drive and you will not be disappointed. We easily drove from Waterton to Banff Tunnel Mountain Trailer Park in one day.

I was told that the highest concentration of Grizzlies live in that valley. It was a memorable drive. Don't miss it!

The Chief Mountain border crossing was easy and no lines.

We did this trip pulling our 23FB with a Tundra.
Steamy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2019, 03:56 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
2015 23' FB International
2007 19' International CCD
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 617
Also, I was told that Waterton is the windiest place in Canada and to check the weather forecast. It truly is a spectacular place. Camp in the town campground. make reservations.
Steamy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2019, 07:09 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
2019 22' Sport
High River , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 435
We are very privileged to live in proximity to places that people from around the world want to come and visit. For many people, these are dream vacations, once in a lifetime events. Iíve found that you meet some of the nicest and most interesting people on hiking trails.

Waterton is our favourite Canadian national park. It was heavily affected by the Kenow wildfire in September 2017 (which simply means that we will enjoy a new kind of beauty as the forests regenerate), but the townsite was preserved. The townsite RV park is very nice. Full hookups, surrounded by mountains, and you can walk to have a nice dinner if you donít want to cook!

I could go on about our experiences, but you can find lots of information online. PM me if you have specific questions, and Iíll try to answer them.
AlbertF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2019, 08:30 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Piggy Bank's Avatar
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,377
Thanks for all who took time to answer.

Jcl those pictures are really nice.

Albert, that you for your offer. I may have some questions as our dates get closer, and will PM if we do.

Steamy we also will be pulling with a Tundra. We will watch the winds.
__________________

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2019, 09:26 PM   #11
Len and Jeanne
 
Len n Jeanne's Avatar
 
2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,678
Unless you have a particular reason to visit Calgary, I would avoid it. Lots of big-city traffic, especially if you hit it during rush hour.

I would second visiting Waterton Lakes. I would recommend a reservation at the Waterton Township campground. It's a bit citified but a lot of the RV sites have hookups, it's right on the water, and then you can walk to town for dinner or interesting little shops.

If you can spend a day there, there is a great commercial boat ride on Upper Waterton Lake from town back south into Glacier NP that is really scenic.

Speaking of wind, when it's up you may catch some of the adventuresome locals paragliding over Upper Waterton Lake.

If you take the western route, Montana HY 17 (highway 6 in Canada,) there is a neat old log customs station.

Lots of old threads here on do's and don'ts for both Canadian customs-- and returning back to the US.
Len n Jeanne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2019, 11:17 AM   #12
Ready-to-Travel
 
pmclemore's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,676
If I remember correctly, we used the Chief Mountain route and made a slight detour to Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump.

Worth the trip.

Pat
__________________
--------------------------------------
Somebody, please, point me to the road.

AIR 3987
TAC VA-2
WBCCI 4596
pmclemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2019, 04:15 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
gypsydad's Avatar

 
2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Austin (winter) Lincoln MT (summer) , Texas & Montana
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,591
We go up every year from both East and West Glacier into the Banff area and Jasper. Like many places up there, very crowded July/Aug time frame so getting a "first come" type camp site is more difficult...takes some effort. We like Waterton and that's a great place to camp just outside town, but it can get pretty windy, as was mentioned. Still, very nice. Calgary..yep, very busy traffic wise. In Banff, there are several campgrounds; my advise is find one and stay put. you can visit all the lakes and key attractions without driving too far, except if you want to go see the ice fields..that's reason to plan on moving up to that area to camp.

I shouldn't mention this, but we found Canmore to be extremely nice place to visit; not as many tourists, lots of great resturants, and campgrounds in the area that were not too expensive, like Three Sisters and Wapiti. We have stayed in Banff area many times when we can get in, but these others are not too far a drive if you can't get something closer to Banff.

We have also stayed at that KOA you mentioned...if you can get into St. Marys or Many Glacier, you will find a more rich camping experience for sure...just no hook ups. Hope you enjoy the trip! Perhaps we will see you somewhere along the way!
__________________
Empty Nesters; Gypsies on the road!
2017 28' Twin Flying Cloud
2017 F250 King Ranch, 4X4, Blue-Ox WDH
Summer in Lincoln, MT- Winter in Austin, TX
gypsydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2019, 05:34 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Piggy Bank's Avatar
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,377
Thanks for all of the advice.

I think we will take the more scenic western route into Banff. We have reservations at Lake Louise for 5 nights, so will heed advice and stay put and venture out for our day to day.
__________________

__________________

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Banff and Glacier trip gypsydad On The Road... 3 07-24-2018 07:25 AM
Trip to Glacier and Banff 1965 mustang On The Road... 17 08-06-2016 02:36 PM
Need help with road trip from Oregon through ID, MT, WY, & Banff Canada Chad-sarah On The Road... 14 11-17-2011 10:22 AM
Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada neil ervin On The Road... 4 02-13-2010 05:52 PM
Glacier/Jasper/Banff trip pics jordandvm On The Road... 16 06-28-2005 08:56 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.