Suggest route from Glacier NP to Banff NP?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by WhicheverAnyWayCan, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Trying to decide between taking route from NF (USA) campground near Glacier NP getting to Banff NP in Canada. Camping at East Glacier Village Park, MT so it is on Route 2.

    Option 1: Leaving Rt 2 heading west on Rt2 then 93 north entering Canada border then pass by Radium Hot Spring (Any recommended place to visit or onto to Banff?) to Banff NP. 365 miles

    Option 2: East on Rt 2 and join Rt 464 then Rt 505 before hitting Rt 22 northbound to Transcanada Rt1 to Banff? 321 miles

    Option 1 is longer than option 2 but is #1 more speculating? I got a chance to visit Banff NP in 2016 but it was a short visit as I left Toad Rock motorcycle campground and had to wait almost a hour for ferry ride. Passed through Revelstoke getting to Banff. By the time I got to Banff, it was almost 5pm. This time I'd like to get to Banff by 2-3pm allowing some time to check area out.

    Thought?? Thanks!
    #1
  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,212
    hmmmm, i know what you're hinting at.

    cross at Chief Mountain, Waterton Lakes, Cowboy Trail, Pincher Creek, and onward north for a little gravel adventure. some beautiful country, for sure.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #2
    Lycan1 likes this.
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,212
    agree, been through there a few times, and actually think it's a better stretch than the Icefields. almost no tourist traffic, license plates are all Alberta. gorgeous country you have there, and on a side note, i couldn't stop for a photo without Alberta folks also stopping to make sure i was ok, some Alberta nice right there, for sure.
    #3
  4. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    R1200GS and damn! That road looks sick! Lets get the route info to me! :clap
    #4
  5. MCMXCIVRS

    MCMXCIVRS Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,674
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    From the two routes you've outlined, I'd go with the hwy 22 option as its a much nicer ride. It's an open landscape with great vistas and has far less traffic then the hwy 93 up to Radium. It can be windy at times though at the southern stretches.

    Of course as mentioned, if you want a bit more adventure, the hwy 40 - Smith Dorien (Spray Lakes road) into Canmore then out to Banff would be the best option. You might not be able to make your timeline for Bannf sightseeing though. You didn't note the dates for this planned trip. Hwy 40 from SR532 up to Kananaskis will still be closed until mid June.
    #5
  6. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,109
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    As noted, some of the roads are seasonally closed until late June. If you are going after that though and want to ride roads in Southern Alberta that few "tourists" see here is a route from the Chief Mountain border crossing to Banff. There is gas in Blairmore or Coleman, at the junction of the Forestry Trunk Road and HWY 40, and in Canmore and Banff. Range should not be an issue. I added a section of gravel south of Coleman that is arguably as scenic as the Forestry Trunks Road and Smith Dorien. If that is too much, you can just head for Coleman on pavement from Chief Mountain. Are you camping or staying in motels? If camping, there are a number of great provincial sites along the route. Also, you should spend a minimum of two days to go from Chief Mountain to Banff to fully appreciate the country through which this route takes you. Cheers, and enjoy your trip!

    Attached Files:

    #6
    Lycan1 and MGV8 like this.
  7. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,183
    Location:
    Canoe BC
    Hey Thanks for that. I was searching around for routes this summer when the Misses and I take our camping trip. Planning on base camping at Waterton for a few days of hiking and exploring with the Sidecar, then up to Kananaskis for a few days. Can you suggest a good base camp ground central to there. Doesn't have to be one of the busy ones, or are they all busy? We'll be self contained with the truck and camper. The little woman doesn't do the tent thing any more.:D
    @WhicheverAnyWayCan Plan an extra day or two in this area, so much to see that you miss by just riding through.
    #7
  8. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    645
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Hey Brian:
    John and I rode up the Kannanaskis Trail from Coleman to Canmore last August. There are a number of nice looking campgrounds on the southern end of that route that looked pretty sweet. I have the waypoints for them if you want them. All would be suitable for a base camp with your truck and trailer. We camped at Island Lake Campground right at the Crowsnest Pass and almost got blown away by the wind. We also were kept awake by passing trains all night. Next time through there we'll ride a bit further and stop at one of the other campgrounds.
    Cheers, Wayne
    #8
    MGV8 likes this.
  9. grashopper

    grashopper Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    Enderby, BC.
    You also have a couple of different options at the beginning out of East Glacier that are sweet.

    1. Rt49 and Rt89 north to St.Mary, these are some of the best twisties I have found anywhere. Then onto Rt17 and cross into Canada at Chief Mountain like the other inmates say.

    2. Rt2 west to West Glacier and then Going to the Sun road ( Logan's Pass) to St Mary. That's a spectacular road but once again will be closed till maybe late June or so.
    #9
  10. Rossland Rider

    Rossland Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    289
    Location:
    Kootenays, BC
    You are getting great advice. Just watch out for the learner drivers between Calgary and Banff. Easily identified by the red licence plates
    :lol3
    Have fun
    #10
    250senuf and WhicheverAnyWayCan like this.
  11. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,183
    Location:
    Canoe BC
    Thanks Lycan Payne lake looks good but I think the misses has the town site in mind. I was looking for advice closer to the Canmore end or along 40. I know I'm kinda highjacking here but useful info to all.
    #11
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  12. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,708
    Location:
    NW AB
    Errr, that's actually the Forestry Trunk Road from Coleman.
    Carry on.
    #12
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  13. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    645
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Yes, I guess that's what it's called in Google Earth. However, on my other paper maps and in the GPS the route has a number of names which change along the route. (Range Road 43a, Township Road 101a, Range Road 40a, etc.) I saw a number of signposts along the way that called it the Kannanaskis Route or Trail, but didn't recall any signs that called it the Forestry Trunk Rd. It can be confusing. At any rate it's the main road north out of Coleman and it's fairly hard to miss.
    #13
    MGV8 and Lycan1 like this.
  14. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Thanks to all who contributed.. look like I'll be adding few days in between Glacier NP and Banff NP. Not a problem for me. No time limit. Plan to camp a lot along the way.

    MGV8, no worries! You helped added more information and thanks for that! ;-)
    #14
    Lycan1 likes this.
  15. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,183
    Location:
    Canoe BC
    Yes I know the windy part. A buddy and I camped there years ago and went into town for a few beers. Came back and the tent was gone. Found it at the end of the campsite. Some one had tied it to a tree. :lol3
    #15
    Lycan1 and WhicheverAnyWayCan like this.
  16. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,183
    Location:
    Canoe BC
    Like all places on this wonderful planet there is more to see in a square inch than you can imagine. Glad you have the time.
    #16
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.