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Old 01-12-2019, 12:27 PM   #1
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Summer trip planning help

We live near Sacramento calif and are planning a 5 to 6 week trip to Calgary this July. Will be in Calgary for a 7 rally and 3 days on our own. The bride wants to spend a couple of days at Glacier N. P. and some time around Banff and Lake Louise. Thoughts on places to stop going and returning? Some good Parks and campgrounds to stay in.
Thanks for your help
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
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Glacier is a difficult place to navigate with a Motorhome only. The Road to the Sun is pretty much not an option for a Motorhome. Assuming you have a Toad...enjoy the park. The same is pretty much true for Banff and Jasper.

Enjoy the trip...The Canadian Rockies are totally awesome in comparison to the Rockies in the States...in my opinion of course!
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:58 PM   #3
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Are you asking about Glacier in Canada or in the U.S.?

In U.S. Glacier we've stayed in the park at Apgar C.G. with our 40' MH. I'd also recommend that you take in Jasper when visiting Banff and Lake Louise. Again, we stayed in the park at Jasper at Whistler C.G.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:13 AM   #4
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Summer trip planning help

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Originally Posted by old golfer guy View Post
We live near Sacramento calif and are planning a 5 to 6 week trip to Calgary this July. Will be in Calgary for a 7 rally and 3 days on our own. The bride wants to spend a couple of days at Glacier N. P. and some time around Banff and Lake Louise. Thoughts on places to stop going and returning? Some good Parks and campgrounds to stay in.

Thanks for your help


A real treat is Waterton National Park in S/w Alberta. Co-park to Glacier in Montana. Beautiful scenery and not overly crowded.
Lewis and Clark caverns in Montana are a fun stop. Thereís a nice RV park at the enterance.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rlott2k View Post
A real treat is Waterton National Park in S/w Alberta. Co-park to Glacier in Montana. Beautiful scenery and not overly crowded.
Lewis and Clark caverns in Montana are a fun stop. Thereís a nice RV park at the enterance.
ditto on Waterton.... there are a few campgrounds around there. It's a definite must see. To make it easy, might I suggest staying on the east side of Glacier NP in St Mary; there are only 2 public CGs there, either is fine.

And as someone said, you will need a toad if you expect to sightsee.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:57 PM   #6
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Old Golfer Guy, being from Cameron Park, I won't try to steer you wrong!!!
You will need reservations for Glacier and most places in Canada for anytime in July.
Glacier has free vans that will furnish trips over Going to the Sun Highway that are the best way to see the sights. We took the first van out, got off at the top and hiked the Highline back down, where we picked up a returning van back to the camp ground. Apgar is a good choice for RV parking.
Lake Louise is an absolute zoo around the 4th of July - as is Jasper.
Go to the Alaska thread on this forum for more Canada info.
Have fun.....
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:32 AM   #7
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In Glacier we have done and would highly recommend using the shuttle buses that run very frequently on the Going to the Sun Road - as per Blazing Zipp mentioned these vans We stayed in our 37ft MH, no toad in St Mary's CG in August couple of years ago on a first come first served basis (knew there was some boondocking locations just outside on the west we could utilize which we did night before). Our schedules change as we travel, based on what interests us longer/shorter in some locations more so than others, so for us we rarely if ever reserve. We had an awesome 4 days covering quite a bit of the park (we are not big hikers, but do enjoy short hikes of interest). St Mary's CG is a short walk over the bridge to the visitor centre to get a shuttle.

Waterton, we were last at just before the fires and it truly was a fantastic visit, which we have done a half dozen times over the years being Albertans. However, there was a major fire which we are led to believe caused a lot of damage, so might be worth double/checking on how things are today there compared to prior. Just saying, and we love the "Peace Parks" as they are affectionately known.

We have only stayed at Lake Louise CG once, and the trains immediately behind, for us were so noisy all night long we only ended up staying one of our pre-booked nights being unable to sleep. Now they also have a huge dry overspill place off the main Hwy for those not able to get in the CG's due to high demand = again just mentioning for you to consider researching into further.

Hypothetically, and to each their own depending on time available and how long you want to explore each but 3 days is way too little to do both Glacier/Waterton & Banff/Lake Louise areas together. If you are Calgary based initially, then maybe head out to Canmore/Banff & Lake Louise for those 3 days.

If however you have a lot more time to enjoy this gorgeous part of the world, do one of two big loops maybe??? = If we were starting at Glacier (3 days), we'd then do Waterton (1or2nights), head up towards Pincher Creek (Walmart there for some groceries), then for us once we hit the Crowsnest Pass we'd head up on the Cowboy Trail then through Hwy 40 (over 2 or 3 days) = Kananaskis Country/Peter Lougheed PP/Spray Lakes all the way to Canmore which is a beautiful little town to explore along the River especially! Also great views of the 3 sisters range = Faith, Hope & Charity. From there you are close to the gate into Banff National Park (2 nights) Lake Louise vicinity inc Johnston Falls/Canyon and other desirables (min of 2/3 nights).

From there if you have the time, maybe head up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper (lots of beautiful stops enrolee), and cut back across east to Edmonton (Huge Mall!) then south back to Calgary, maybe experiencing slightly east returning, Drumheller Dinosaurs and walking on the moon feeling landscape.

OR Another option, especially if you love some of the most gorgeous lakes and waterfalls .........

East side Glacier National Park then up to Waterton National Park, then onto the Crowsnest Pass HWY 3 heading west. Have brief stops at Lundbreck Falls?, Sparwood Huge Truck?, Fernie O/N maybe and explore town/riverwalks. Next up explore Fort Steele Heritage Town as you head further up Hwy 95 to Golden (so far you would have covered about 366 miles 7hrs driving only from Glacier NP East Side to Golden). From here you would head east on the TransCanada Hwy 16 towards Calgary, going through Yoho National Park (833ft Takakkaw Falls & Wapta Falls), Emerald Lake, Lake Louise (Moraine Lake nearby). From this juncture if time permitted you could either head up the Icefields Parkway HWY 93 towards Jasper checking out Peyto Lake enroute, or go direct east still towards Banff, checking out Johnston Canyon & Falls, Two Jack Lake, Lake Minnewanka, Banff Townsite, then Canmore River/DT and on to West City Limits Calgary. This whole loop without Jasper section from St Mary's Glacier would be approx 10hrs drive time 500miles. Alternatively you could also head south towards Bragg Creek, just prior to City Limits (Pretty area to K' Country and Elbow Falls etc) exiting Calgary on the South side. Going from Lake Louise to Jasper is about 3 half hours 150miles.

Hope the above gives you some ideas/options. FWIW, we rarely book anything in advance, but equally our personalities aren't phased that we wouldn't find somewhere to stay.

We hope you enjoy our country and our home base area as much as we've had the pleasure over the years of enjoying yours.

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Old 01-15-2019, 01:03 PM   #8
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I'll take a different direction: south of Calgary, in Nanton you will find the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, where they have some exhibits of the venerable Lancaster bomber from WWII.


Going farther into the past - northeast of Calgary is Drumheller, home of the Royal Tyrell Museum, one of the best dinosaur museums in the world!


If you're into helping the local economies by leaving your money behind, head north to Edmonton and the West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America, larger than the Mall of America!
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:41 PM   #9
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I agree with the others. If you are already in Calgary, but only have 3 days, just do a loop through Banff, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse Pass, Field, and on toward Kamloops. And be sure to stop at the Spiral Tunnels Overlook on the west side of the pass.

Then head home through the incredible Okanagan Valley (US-BC Highway 97) with its fruit orchards, vineyards, wineries, and gorgeous lakes. You won't regret the drive through some of the most beautiful parts of BC, even if you don't have time to really enjoy it. It will just make you want to go back sooner than later!

Save Glacier-Waterton NPs for another trip or go there on your way to the rally, ie., not as part of your 3-day post rally tour.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:55 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the info. I guess I did not state our plans properly. We will leave Ca towards Glacier N P and want to see both sides of the park, then to Calgary for 8 days for a FMCA rally. After that off to Banff and then the O. valley. Already we can't get into the N. P. campgrounds. Do you have any campgrounds around Banff to try or will they all be booked too? After Calgary planning about 14 days back to Ca.
Thanks
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