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Thread: Canadian Rockies & Glacier National Park

  1. #1
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    Canadian Rockies & Glacier National Park

    I'm heading west from northern Minnesota this Friday (9/1/17). Planning to travel the Trans-Canada highway from Winnipeg to Calgary. From there heading to Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper via the Icefields Parkway. Will head south again from there to the west side of Glacier National Park. By the end of the week we will be heading east across the plains of eastern Montana and North Dakota for home. Will be gone a total of 9 days and will ride 2600 miles round-trip. I have ridden through these areas a few of times before but it was on the way to Alaska and didn't have the time to do anything other than enjoy the scenery. This trip will be different. My wife will be on the back of our K1600GTL. We will be taking the time to really enjoy what this area has to offer tourists like us. If anyone has any recommendations regarding routes, lodging, campsites, great places to eat, points of interest, etc., please let me know. I'd appreciate it.

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    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum! Sounds like a nice trip. Take some pictures and post them when you get time.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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    Banff and Jasper can be "seen" by riding through them, and you can say you've been there. I recommend finding a place in each park to use as a base camp and do some exploring on your feet.

    Also, you'll want to check the road status. There's a lot of forest fires up there and some roads are closed that you might be planning to take. The Trans Canada 1 was closed in one location the last time I checked.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Brace yourself for smoke, a great deal of smoke. Avoid Hwy 83 that runs along the east side of Flathead Lake thru Seeley Lake, or at least check to see if it is still in heavy smoke.

    KOA on the west side of Glacier NP is good. They fill-up so a reservation is a good idea.

    The Echo Lake Cafe at Bigfork (north end of Flathead Lake) is very good.

    The Lincoln area has a couple of active fires but Hwy 200, Rogers Pass and Flesher Pass are open. Rode it yesterday. If you ride Flesher Pass, then wave as you pass our place.
    Kevin Huddy
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  5. #5
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Banff and Jasper may still be busy when you are there, so you may want to secure lodgings ahead of your intended arrival. In Jasper, we usually camp in the Whistlers campground just on the south edge of town. Lots to do and see in both national parks. From Jasper the ride up to Malign lake is very nice as is the trip to Miette Hot springs. And of course south along the parkway, Sunwapta falls and Atabasca Falls are spectacular. Be sure you fill up at either Jasper or Lake Louise before heading out on the parkway. There is only one gas stop along the route and it is pricey for regular grade only. Obviously lake Louise is a must see, a ride just to the west to Takakkaw Falls is worth the time. In Banff, the Banff Springs Hotel castle is worth a tour and it's an easy walk down to Bow falls from there. Both towns have gondola rides that will take you up to a mountain top view point, you can opt to hike up Sulfur Mt in Banff. A good soak in the hot pool is your reward after you come back down.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
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    The smoke in Revelstoke and the way back to the border crossing at Blaine was so full of smoke, I couldn't see the other side of the Fraser river.

    Then it moved south into Washington. Ugh.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    In the past few hours the smoke here NW of Helena became very dense. There is a new fire along the Continental Divide in the Lincoln area. We've been in smoke for going on two months.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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    Registered User CABNFVR's Avatar
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    Not sure if you'll see this in time but from Banff to Lake Louise take 1A, not 93 . 1A parallels 93 and is a 2 lane higher up the mountain. Hwy 93 is a beautiful 4 lane but 1A beats it for views. 1A will drop you into Lake Louise and back on the Icefields Parkway.

    In Glacier, stop at Two Dogs (why do you ask?). Two Dogs restaurant and Rising Sun motel are a perfect stopover in the park. Walk to food from your room, walk to St Mary's lake.

    Enjoy !!
    Last edited by CABNFVR; 08-29-2017 at 11:14 AM.
    "Have BMW. Will Travel"

  9. #9
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CABNFVR View Post
    Not sure if you'll see this in time but from Banff to Lake Louise take 1A, not 93 . 1A parallels 93 and is a 2 lane higher up the mountain. Hwy 93 is a beautiful 4 lane but 1A beats it for views. 1A will drop you into Lake Louise and back on the Icefields Parkway.

    In Glacier, stop at Two Dogs (why do you ask?). Two Dogs restaurant and Rising Sun motel are a perfect stopover in the park. Walk to food from your room, walk to St Mary's lake.

    Enjoy !!
    The 1A is a nice alternative to Highway 1 which is the road it parallels. Highway 93 is the road from Castle Junction south past Radium Hot Springs and on down to Cranbrook. North from Lake Louise, Highway 93 is the Icefields Parkway.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  10. #10
    Don't forget to consider snow at the higher elevations. When I was in Glacier last year (Sept), the Going To The Sun Road was closed due to snow, and then Top Of The World was getting snow so we had to drive around it instead of over it (if that is your route).

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    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Things may change over the next couple of weeks, but right now Western and West central Montana should be avoided. Cities and towns throughout are reporting unhealthy air conditions. It is ugly and getting worse.
    Kevin Huddy
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    What I've heard is the Canadian government doesn't have the forest fire fighting resources we have in the lower 48. The plan is to let the fires continue till the rains come in the fall.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
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  13. #13
    Registered User CABNFVR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmxcivrs View Post
    The 1A is a nice alternative to Highway 1 which is the road it parallels. Highway 93 is the road from Castle Junction south past Radium Hot Springs and on down to Cranbrook. North from Lake Louise, Highway 93 is the Icefields Parkway.
    Thanks for the correction, 1A. Working from 20 year ago memory has it's risk. Sadly I even linked the map and missed that.
    "Have BMW. Will Travel"

  14. #14
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    The confusion is due to the map showing highway 93 doubling up with hwy 1 between the north and south sections. There are no such actual designations on the road itself. Not sure why the map would show that.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  15. #15
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daboo View Post
    What I've heard is the Canadian government doesn't have the forest fire fighting resources we have in the lower 48. The plan is to let the fires continue till the rains come in the fall.

    Chris
    Not aware of this at all. In the province west of where I live, (British Columbia) over 100 fires are actively being worked: http://globalnews.ca/news/3585284/b-...-the-province/

    I live in Alberta and am unaware of any financial constraints here either. There are a lot of fires burning this year due to the unprecedented record breaking hot and dry weather in the western part of Canada - and they do contribute to smoke that then travels with the prevailing air currents.
    Ken Dittrick
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