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Crazy & Possible?

Wv
Destination Expert
for West Virginia
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2,138 posts
66 reviews
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Crazy & Possible?

We will be spending a week in Glacier NP and wondered if we should take 2 days just to drive the icefields parkway? I know it is LONG and it would be a drive/stop for photo op only trip up, spend the night, return. Is this crazy? I know it will be about a 10 hour trip so hiking is out of the question. Is it worth it? Our Canadian passport card expires and we thought as long as we were so close, we'd maybe go ahead and get a "taste" of the area.

Hull
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1. Re: Crazy & Possible?

If you are close, then yes, definitely worth the drive (rated in the top 10 Nat Geo).

It will mean you will be back though...

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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2. Re: Crazy & Possible?

Assuming you mean the Canadian Glacier NP in BC (as opposed to the American one in Montana), the raw driving time to Jasper is only about 5.5 hours, of which perhaps 3.5 are on the Icefields Parkway proper. So if you got an early start and allowed a whole day in each direction, you'd certainly have time for sightseeing stops and maybe even a short hike.

Wv
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for West Virginia
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3. Re: Crazy & Possible?

Acheson...that's what we're afraid of....but we wanted to get a taste of it ahead of time. We have heard that if you want driving scenery...do the icefields parkway. My sister is no longer mobile for hiking, so we thought we'd check it out and see if it is something she could enjoy next year as a "car trip" but the main reason is selfish...we just want to experience it.

And Tweed, we DO mean Glacier in Montana. Google says short of 9 hours...to Jasper, spend the night, return...with a few photo ops each way. That's a HUGE amount of car time, I know, and we love short hikes.

This is our Glacier trip, so I hate to shorten it so much that we need to return there as well.

Thanks for your input.

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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for Glacier National Park
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4. Re: Crazy & Possible?

I would not drive that far. Save it for another time when you can spend more time in the Canadian Rockies.You will have plenty of wonderful scenery driving Going To The Sun Rd. Also do Looking Glass Highway on the east side of the park.I will travel to Canadian Rockies fo the first time next week and we will spend 10 days there. We will then head down to Many Glacier where we will spend another 4 days.

Wv
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for West Virginia
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5. Re: Crazy & Possible?

Ok...now we're think 2 nights in Banff....decisions, decisions.....! We'd drive to Jasper and back one day, I think, and explore around Banff with the time left.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Crazy & Possible?

I'd do the 9 hrs to Jasper, spend one night, then return to Banff for a second night then back to the US. Then you will have time to actually stop and see a few things when you drive back down from Jasper.

One 9-hr driving day is doable if there are no kids in the car.

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Lake Louise
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7. Re: Crazy & Possible?

If you're pondering doing this crazy thing, yes it's possible!!

I would recommend taking one full day to drive Highway 22, to Highway 40 to Banff. It's the scenic and direct way to Banff. But it takes longer.

Spend one night in Banff then do what Vancouverite6 has suggested. Take one day to drive to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway. Drive slow. Take all day. Pack a picnic. Spend the night in Jasper.

Next day start early, drive the Icefields Parkway again - and try and squeeze in a photo stop at Lake Louise. If we're on the "crazy" program then add in a "bonus drive" to the Best of Yoho: Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake.

Return to Banff to collapse.

Wv
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for West Virginia
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8. Re: Crazy & Possible?

Thanks for the suggestions. Still on the fence of what we're doing exactly....but I will definitely post a trip report after whatever it is! :) There is just so much beauty in US...never mind Canadian Rockies....we love mountains and waterfalls. No kids in the car...just a couple of "seniors". Three summers ago we were hiking 25 miles a day, but we have gotten so out of shape...6 would probably be taxing for us....of course, the hiking is supposed to be for Montana Glacier and the "driving tour" for Canada.

Wv
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for West Virginia
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9. Re: Crazy & Possible?

Is the Gondola ride up Banff (or is there one in Jasper too?) worth the time and money or can you see as much driving on your own?

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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10. Re: Crazy & Possible?

The one in Jasper is the Jasper Tramway. www.jaspertramway.com Both are worthwhile, similar but different. ;-) If you don't hike much anymore, taking a gondola is a great way to get up into the high alpine. This is different from what you will see driving, since all the roads are in either the montane or subalpine ecosystems (i.e. treeline and below). Do one or both, just pick a day with decent weather.

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