Banff National Park in July

Discussion in 'Americas' started by sonarman, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. sonarman

    sonarman Been here awhile

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    My wife and I are leaving SF bay area July 12 and heading to Banff, AB via Bend Or, Spokane, WA and Cranbrook BC.
    Return plans are not made but will come back via Montana.
    Any recommendations on places or things to see?
    First trip this long riding two up.
    #1
  2. bESS

    bESS Been here awhile

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    Sonarman:

    I think you should ride Highway 40, through the Kananaskis.

    http://www.kananaskis.com/

    It is an unbelievable scenic, and less traveled route and this highway is only open a few months of the year due to extreme snow. It is also the highest road in Canada through Highwood Pass

    http://canmore.canmorealberta.ca/005thp03.html

    between Longview and Canmore. Head north into Banff and then up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper

    On your way south, stay at Fairmont Hot Springs and soak in the outdoor hot springs

    bob
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  3. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    My wife and I rode up to Banff from northern Idaho a few years ago. You only need a night there, then ride up to Jasper on the Icefield Parkway (around 175 miles).....it's really incredible! Stay at Jasper. Since you'll be coming this far, you shouldn't miss it! The town is a tiny version of Banff, not so touristy.

    On the way back we stayed the night at Radium Hot springs and visited the hot springs there. It's a very nice and large facility. Or, on your return trip, take highway 40 as sonarman suggested and route yourself down to Waterton National Park and Glacier National Park. You've got to ride the "Going to the Sun highway." Please read my trip report below for more info....Selkirk Loop & the Canadian Rockies. It doesn't include Glacier, but we've been there and it's definitely worth riding. Don't miss the side trip to Many Glacier (turn at Babb)

    Have great ride !
    #3
  4. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    From Banff, like others have said, the Icefields parkway is awesome. Don't miss it. Take the glacier tour, it's a good time.
    Lake Louise is one of those places, worth the stop.
    If Glacier National Park is on your radar, the Going to the Sun road is mighty.

    The biggest thing I can recommend is, bring patience. Mid July will be full blown tourist season, motor-homes and tour buses galore.
    Also, it'll be colder than you think July should be.

    Enjoy the ride!




    Charlie
    #4
  5. sonarman

    sonarman Been here awhile

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    Thanks for information I will change some plans based on your suggestions.
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  6. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    A couple of variations. How much time are you allowing for your trip.

    If you are using 97 to Bend, Cascade Lakes route parrallels 97 between Crater Lake and Bend.
    395 is a good straight thru route from CA to Spokane. Lots of variety. Big two lane.

    Bearing east from Bend you could explore the Fossil Bed area. Shaniko, Mitchel, Spray, etc. Nice riding and a fossil museum on 207 (I think) I use 207 to get to Hermiston. Very scenic. Desert cattle lands.

    From Hermiston you can follow the south side of the Columbia to Hwy 12. 12 is a good scenic road from Montana to I-5. Very nice road.
    Left at 12 will take you to Pasco. Sort of a Mexican town in WA. At the Lewis Street exit (off 12) Left into town for truck taco stands or turn rt/north toward Kahlotus. This is a rural paved farm road along a ridge top thru farm lands. It is better going south, but still a fav of mine. At Kahlotus turn rt toward Washtucna. You can visit Palouse Falls along this route. Just a few miles to the south. At Washtucna you will tee at a hwy 26 ( a major two lane), don't turn, go straight across onto the tiny paved road. It looks like a driveway service road. This will take you straight north to Ritzvill on I-90. Zoom right into Spokane.

    You can access Palouse Falls from hwy 12 also. At Starbuck. Tiny town with really big fishing shop.
    there are a couple places to bear north off 12. You will probably end up on 195 ties into I-90 at Spokane.

    If you don't have business there try to skirt Spokane. The largest population area in the inner NorthWest. Spokane - CdA- Sandpoint is dense with people. South and west ot Spokane or east of CdA the population thins dramatically, more people to the north of I-90 thru here and no fast roads going north. Traffic lights galore.

    I use hwy 20 - 31 north of spokane to go to Canada. rural and tiny border station. After crossing into Canada the road tees. Rt to Creston, left to Sumas and Nelson. Nelson is a fun town to visit. Lots of walk around shopping, ice cream parlors, tea shops, etc. North of Creston is one of BC's best bike roads. north to the free ferry and cross to Nelson to north ot Kaslo and around the Selkirk Loop (google it) You can get north to Banff from here via rural pavement. Gorgeous area, nice roads.

    +1 on route 40 in Alberta and north out of Banff and Many Glaciers in MT. Babb, MT has a big steak house.
    this would be a good route south then make a route thru MT or ID.

    Hwy 93 from the south Bitteroot valley to Craters of the Moon is very scenic. Love Dillon MT, big sky country.

    :You could work in the Great Basin area on the way to SF. South from Mt Home ID to Eureka NV and west on hwy 50 is a very good route out of ID.

    Dillon south on I-15 into ID. East toward the Wy border thru Driggs, Tetonia, Swan Valley, Snowville to Wendover the the Salt Flats. West on 50

    And on and on. Anyway that is a few ideas to roll around.
    #6
  7. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Been here awhile

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    +1 on the Tourist, but you might consider Route 25 north out of Davenport Wa. from Hwy 2 all the way to the Maple Leaf border...

    Keeps you out of any traffic fracas
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  8. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

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    Traffic through Banff to Jasper isn't too bad if you get going nice and early.
    The rental motorhomes and tour busses aren't on the road before 9 or 10 a.m.

    The Bow Valley Parkway is nice but slow (speed limit).
    #8
  9. 1upNORTH

    1upNORTH Adventurer

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    Be sure to check road conditions before you leave. Currently every road into Banff is closed due to extreme flooding, wash outs, bridge outs, mud slides, and debris
    #9
  10. sonarman

    sonarman Been here awhile

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    We are allowing about 16 days for the trip. 4 days or so visiting a niece in Caroline, AB. Then head south with so particular location. Just going where ever. Would like to come back through Montana.
    #10
  11. kevin2735

    kevin2735 Been here awhile

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    :thumb:thumb

    Ditto on those suggestions. When I landed in Jasper in the last week of August I ran into rain and snow at certain elevations.
    #11
  12. mlyamkaw

    mlyamkaw Drill Baby Drill

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    Are you talking hwy 40 South of Banff, or North headed to Hinton/Jasper? I am looking at that as a possible route to Jasper, then ride the Icefields Parkway south from Jasper to Banff, leaving tomorrow.
    Thanks
    #12
  13. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

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    40 through Kananaskis got hit hard by the floods last week.
    I heard that it's closed from the village South.

    Many sections were washed out so I'm not sure how quickly they're going to
    get fixed. The transcan to Banff and the icefields parkway is OK.
    #13
  14. Truenorth2005

    Truenorth2005 Been here awhile

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    Hi Sonarman

    If your going to Montana I would recommend "Going to the Sun Road", "Beartooth Highway" and "Cheif Joesph Scenic Hwy". Some of the best rides in Montana/Wyoming. Check out Red Lodge, Mt. Neat little town. If you are down there I would tend to stay out of Yellowstone as the traffic will be really slow moving at this time of year. As for southern BC, as mentioned by others the area north from Creston through Nelson, Kaslo, Nakusp is some of the best riding in western Canada, just plan on taking some time for riding ferries and stopping in small towns. Beautiful but don't plan on big mile days.
    #14
  15. DP-WU

    DP-WU Adventurer

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    GTTSR is a beautiful and very scenic ride, but generally pretty slow due to tourist traffic.

    I can second the suggestion about riding through the BC interior. SOme of the nicest riding I've done is in there. New Denver, Kaslo, Nakusp, Balfour, etc is beautiful country, good tarmac, and relatively light traffic. Highly recommended.
    #15
  16. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Been here awhile

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    FYI the Keller ferry on Hwy 21 is closed for construction, in case you thought of going that way.
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  17. mlyamkaw

    mlyamkaw Drill Baby Drill

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    We took Cache Creek Road out of Nespelem as always. Great twisty road that drops down to 21. Then we went up 21 to Brdige Creek Road for the first time. That was a nice surprise. 20 something miles of twisty mountain roads that drops you to the Gifford Ferry. :clap From there we headed north on 25 towards the border. Did a loop through Icefields to Jasper, then south from Hinton on 40 to Nordegg. That was open. We tried 40 south just past Canmore, but as mentioned earlier, was closed due to recent flooding.
    #17
  18. Shizoku

    Shizoku Been here awhile

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