Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-03-2011, 09:17 AM   #1
Junior Member
DOTLDaddy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 16
If you could only go to one, Glacier or Banff . . .

. . . . . which would it be?

We have narrowed down our "big" trip for next Summer, and it's either going to be Glacier Nat Park (Montana), or Banff Nat Park (Alberta). My wife and I both love mountain scenery, and they both look like excellent choices. I doubt we will have time to do both.

If any of you have been to both areas, perhaps you could tell me how they compare.

Walter & Garland - Camp Canine Caretakers
DOTLDaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-03-2011, 09:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
Tom-NC's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Carolina Campers
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Murphy, NC, USA
Posts: 1,073
We have been to both areas and they are both beautiful, however we like Glacier National Park the best.

My idea would be do Glacier Park this year and do Bannf and Lake Luoise next year as they are bioth great trips. Yosemite is also a great place to visit in the mountains however go in from the eastern side.


2014 Winnebago Adventurer 35P,Ford F-53, V-10
2011 Ford Escape,2000 Roadmaster Tow Dolly
"Have a Great Day, Enjoy RVing."
Tom-NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 10:14 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 36
We did both last summer. The thing about Glacier is the weather. Not very predictable. Can be unpleasant. For example, we didn't get to go over the Going to the Sun road because it was still snowed in--on the 4th of July. On the east side, the wind can be ferocious and long-lasting. The hiking can be more demanding. Not a lot of amenities. Poor cell phone service. Still, gorgeous scenery.

Banff weather was downright pleasant. Scenery was gorgeous. Wildlife was abundant. And there were many more amenities. Hot springs, canoe rentals, restaurants, etc. The two experiences are so different. My two girls loved Banff. They did not feel the same way about Glacier.

So, what kind of experience do you want to have? That's what it comes down to.

If you want to have an "out of country" experience, consider staying for a few nights in Waterton. Close to Glacier but with a Switzerland kind of feel. Windy though. Very windy.
Grant Lasson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: STETTLER
Posts: 288
I live in Alberta and have been to both. Both are different, Going to the Sun is MC or sportscar road. A nice loop trip would be up the east side rockies, Banff, Lake Louise, and back south on the west side rockies. Summer stops on Lake Koocanusa are great (both US & Canadian side). Eureka Mn. is a joy for artsy stuff - look at Amish furniture. Good camping and beach-warm clear water.
POPPASMURF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Anacortes, WA (Stick & Brick)
Posts: 2,639

If you're on Medicare, like so many of us, don't forget the extra cost of travelling medical insurance for Canada.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and ex-RVers.
frankdamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
Senior Member
powerboatr's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: North East Texas
Posts: 3,742
i am biased
i loved banff
the dear lodge is awesome and the moose just take your breath away as they walk up to you ,,,,,
USN Retired, Life time member of the DAV.
Enjoying the 2008 Damon Tuscany 4056, no your eyes are fine, there are really 6 slides
2016 Expedition Toad on Hauler flat bed
powerboatr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
Senior Member
GaryKD's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wellington, Florida
Posts: 12,533
Hi DOTLDaddy,
Glacier is my choice. Don't go until early August. By that time the entire park should be open.
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
Nobody Knows Your Coach Like Somebody Who Owns One Just Like Yours
GaryKD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
Senior Member
docj's Avatar
Official iRV2 Sponsor
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4,062
As you continue to read responses to your question you will probably realize that there is no clear "winner". How can one objectively decide which of these beautiful parks is the best? Remember you aren't really even talking about two parks, but four, since with Glacier comes Waterton and with Banff comes Jasper. How do you decide if having high tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton is better than having lunch at the Fairmont at Lake Louise looking overlooking the glaciers (we've done both)? All the parks have their unique aspects; trying to "rank order" them is something few will agree on.
Joel Weiss--WiFiRanger RV Ambassador
RVParkReviews administrator
2000 40' Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton CAT C-12
docj is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 02:40 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 982
The 17July opening of Sun road in Glacier was a near record and not typical - June is more typical

However, the real question is, do you prefer a more rustic or a slightly more cosmopolitan setting if both are in equally extreme eye candy landscapes?

Glacier is more "rustic" and tends towards hiking (even including Waterton which is also a must) while

Banff/Jasper (can be equally "rustic" but) due to the very upscale town of Banff it can also be quite a bit more trendy and cosmopolitan. Banff/Louise/Jasper are connected by the Icefields Parkway which makes this area significantly larger than Glacier thus offering even more unbelievable vistas. (Get a reservation to enter Lake O'Hara - only a hundred or so folks a day allowed - if you are a real beauty/hiker nut, there is no equal to Lake O'Hara).

So, if you like to make 'smores on a campfire after a hike you'll really like Glacier and appreciate it's pure natural beauty. If you need a Godiva laced espresso while shopping for Coach after a hike (or tram ride or hot spring soak) you'll need to go to Banff/Jasper. Banff simply has a town full of cosmopolitan while Glacier is more "destination oriented" with rustic "park cosmo" only at the Great Railroad Lodges throughout the park.

Me? I love them both for very different reasons. They do not compare except for the spectacular scenery at both. It boils down to what YOU like to do at places like these. PS you'll need to buy a Parcs Canada pass (the US pass won't work in Canada) to access the parks - even Waterton, the Canadian side of The International Peace Park - up there.

I spent 4 weeks in Glacier/Waterton this fall. Did Banff/Louise/Yoho/Jasper for many many weeks in prior years.
ottffss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 6,322
Perhaps you can do Glacier Nat'l Park this year and at the same time, from the east side of Glacier, it is a very easy, short pleasant drive to Waterton in Canada for a day trip - or two. Then you can get a taste of both. Although the whole parkway from Banff to Jasper is gorgeous - and a MUST at some point, we really like Jasper the best. The hiking is so varied and the "western-type" town is very laid back. August/Sept. would be our choice for any of the area. Sept. is best. Have fun planning!
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 05:14 PM   #11
Senior Member
UFO Pilot's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 4,928
Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
Making the Journey in our Destination

UFO Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 154
Lots of incredible perspective in the posts so far. I'm going to add a different dimension to help you continue to round out your decision.

In my experience, the farther north you head, the more moisture you're going to find. We've done your trip multiple times going as far north as the town of Jasper and each time we've encountered more instances of rain and in some years, an unbearable amount of mosquitoes.

Therefore, while both locations are fantastic, I would highly recommend Glacier Nat'l Park in the US if you can only choose one next year.

Have fun planning your trip!
Stumblefoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 02:22 PM   #13
Senior Member
Ray,IN's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 13,897
We liked Glacier/Waterton parks better. We have stayed on both sides of Glacier. The West side is more commercial, the East side is rustic, with very few commercial business'. We saw a lot of bears on the East side in late August.

Originally Posted by powerboatr View Post
i am biased
i loved banff
the dear lodge is awesome and the moose just take your breath away as they walk up to you ,,,,,
There is a recent news report of a deputy sheriff having to shoot a moose that was being hand-fed in an Alaska trailer park. It stomped a school boy attempting to feed it lettuce. . Raw numbers show there are many more attacks on humans by moose than by bears.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
Ray,IN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 03:07 PM   #14
Senior Member
UFO Pilot's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 4,928
We stayed at Tunnel Mountain Campground Village II in Banff. An incredible place, it was great to see the wildlife that came thru the Park every morning and evening. I had to remind my grandson that although they appeared to be tame, they were in fact wild animals and they could kill or maim if cornered or felt danger.

Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
Making the Journey in our Destination

UFO Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote

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
Pensacola to Glacier & beyond Floridafran Navigation, Routes & Roads 14 04-06-2011 02:19 PM
headed west from eastern PA to Glacier johnboy2 Navigation, Routes & Roads 4 05-29-2010 02:30 PM
Glacier Bay KW 5th Wheel Discussion 1 08-24-2007 05:29 AM
Glacier NP GOOD news! SeeTheUSA Just Conversation 1 08-01-2007 05:26 AM
Glacier NP and Waterton JMroadie Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 7 05-17-2007 07:31 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.