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Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

Atlanta, Georgia
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Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

In the planning stages of a early June 2014 vacation. Trip will be 10-14 days...still working on details. Trying to decide on this Seattle through Canada, then Montana ending in Portland is the best itinerary. Also considering, a Canada only with Vancouver to the Rockies, or considering adding the Seattle not the Oregon piece? Then wondering if throwing the Glacier Park is worth the additional drive and if so what is there along the way to see or do from Calgary to GNP or GNP to Portland? Thank you for any advice!

Spokane, Washington
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1. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

You will be arriving and departing from different airports? I advise checking the airline prices first for various combination (eg arriving YVR -leaving SEA). Also one way rental car drop off across border could be very expensive (add $200?? for the rental). That may affect your decision.

Your emphasis should be in the Parks - Banff, Jasper and Glacier (IMO, no Glacier if GTTS road is not fully open). Minimize the driving. Also which cities you like to visit the most - YVR vs. SEA vs. Portland. (I personally would pick YVR as the top city).

Tacoma, Washington
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2. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

Seattle and Portland arent that far apart. It would be silly to incur the one way rental costs. which city is the cheaper airfare + rental car option.

As for the itinerary...10 days wont be enough

3 days driving to the parks from SEA/PDX

3 days in each of the 3 parks. you have no time to explore the cities and other sites on the drive.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

Thank you for replying. Yes, I checked multiple flight costs in researching the itinerary. Most of the flights were almost identical in cost, with the exception of flying out of Portland, which was only $100 total more for the 3 of us. I haven't yet checked car rental prices yet, I only looked into crossing the border and if I rented in the states, would I have to return in the states.

As for the cities, I visited Seattle briefly a few years ago, but spent most of my time in the Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, and the Washington coast. We also were able to do some whale watching off of Anacortes, while we there. We didn't get to spend any time in Vancouver, liked we had planned because the length of the trip wasn't long enough. You say you would chose YVR over the other cities...what sites would you say are a must? I was thinking of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Grouse Mountain? If I chose Portland, was thinking of Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Gorge, Mount St. Helens??? Then the drive from Glacier Park to Seattle or Portland, can you tell me about this drive? Thank you again for your input.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

@Dan P

So do you think a Canada itinerary is more reasonable, if time is an issue and if so which sounds like the better trip from your experience...Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies and back? or fly into Calgary and do all 3 parks or just stay state side and chose Portland/Seattle/Vancouver trip? Two adults and one 13 yr only. Thanks for your time.

Spokane, Washington
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5. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

Ann: I agree with Dan P., fly to YVR, leave via Calgary (or vice versa). You'll have least amount of driving and can spend quality time in Banff and Jasper, with possible side trip to Glacier. RE YVR/Portland attracations, you may know TA has rankings of attractions for each city, those are good resources.

From Portland, the drive to nearest Glacier entrance is about 10+ hours (80% on interstate), 13+ hours to Banff. The drive would not be difficult, and quite scenic for the most part, but no comparison to Banff/Jasper's NP roadways or Glacier's Going to The Sun Road. BTW YVR to Banff is 10+ hours.

Clarify your family's priority for the trip: Beautiful, exotic metropolitans, or beautiful exotic National Parks; however, a 3 cities, 3 parks grand tour in stated time frame is too ambitious IMO.

Tacoma, Washington
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6. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

Calgary is much closer than Vancouver.

If you fly into Calgary you could do all 3 where you spend 5 days in Jasper/Banff then 3 days in Glacier (East side)

If you just stuck with Canada in the 10 days I think you could do a few days in Vancouver then drive To Banff and Jasper. I think Calgary would be much easier.

One way international car rentals are going to be expensive. Another option if you want to do Vancouver is you fly there, spend 3 days there, then take Amtrak train/bus to Seattle and then rent a car.

You couls also do Portland and then just travel to Glacier and back.3 days in Portland, 3 days driving, 4 days in Glacier.

As for the drive to Glacier.....there are a couple of different routes The most direct is I-90 into Montana and then before you get to issoula there is a short cut route you will take to flathead lake then to Kalispell. An alternate route is once in Idaho you take US 2 through northern Idaho then there are 2 different drives you can take to Kalispell/Whitefish From Portland you would drive through the Gorge on I-84 then go into Washington to Pasco then diagonally up to near Spokane to meet up with I-90 The alternate longer route follows the Lewis and Clark trail where you take I-84 then to Lewsiton, Id then on US 12 to Missoula then up to Kalispell.

From Portland therer are a few things you can see....Columbia gorge, with a slight alteration of the route you could see Palouse Falls befroe you get to Spokane. In Idaho you have Mountains your are driving through. In Washington you can take US 2 route instead of I-5 which takes you by Grand Coulee dam and through Wenatchee and Leavenworth.

I can't speak about the BC side of the route. The last time I did Vancouver was over 10 years ago.

Liverpool
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7. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

I've thought of something like your itinerary and visited most of the places you mention, though not all on the same trip. Some thoughts.

Going to the Sun Road in Glacier will surely not be open in early June, so I wouldn't go out of my way for that. In fact I'm sure I've read somewhere that Lake Louise is frozen till the second week in June, so you might want check out conditions in general in the Rockies.

We've often done free one-way car rental drop-offs between Calgary and Vancouver through a UK firm called Canadian Affair. Check them out on the Canada forums. They are mainly for UK residents, but I think they have done this for others. I presume it's viable because lots of us want to do this as a one-way trip, and I've often been given a car with Alberta plates at Vancouver airport. Presumably there is some imbalance between the numbers going in either direction, so if you were happy to do the less popular one you are actually doing them a favour!

I would support what others have said, and restrict yourself to Canada. I think the Glacier to Portland stretch of your route would be the least interesting. Vancouver, Okanagan, Banff, Icefields Parkway, Jasper, Vancouver (or Calgary) is worth 14 days of anyone's time.

Check out the Alberta and BC forums. They speak of little else!

Cleveland, Ohio
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8. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

I want to jump in on this topic too. I am planning a similar trip July 2014. What to do Portland and to Glacier. Have spent a few days in Seattle prior but so far looks like my best air is into Seattle so may need to start my loop there.

We are interested in scenery and wildlife, with some short hikes.

Any suggested ideas are welcomed.

9. Re: Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, Glacier Park to Portland

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