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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are planning a trip to Banff and Jasper next summer. I want to to the Going to the Sun Highway across Glacier and then head north. Looking at crossing north of Whitefish, MT then avoiding Calgary and heading to Banff and Jasper, then maybe heading towards Vancouver. I am tentatively planning for end of June, early July. Any route suggestions? I'm not afraid of a little dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I guess the other thing is not totally sold on Banff and Jasper. Would be open to other National or Providential Parks.
 

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Depends on how long you have.

Glacier Nat'l park is excellent and spans the border ....mind the weather tho ...instant snow and sleet even in June

You want to stay west in the mountains as you head north, the main routes want to take you onto the prairie - heat in the valleys in BC can be searing so be prepared for extremes.

Jasper and Banff are zoos that time of year but the Bow Valley Parkway is breathtaking heading north.
Bear Paw Bakery/Cafe is worth the effort in Jasper. Right across from the Railway Stn and just superb wraps etc. Rated one of the best in the world and line ups attest to it.

Lake Louse is a zoo and best avoided but Moraine Lake is gorgeous, not crowded and a boat ride on it worth the time. There are cable car trips as well that are easily accessible.

If you are continuing on the Yellowhead mind fuel - some stations are weekend or seasonal even on the main highway and it stretched the Wee solo....kid required a dad rescure with our spare fuel.

Muncho Lake Campground the Alaska Highway
Muncho Lake Park is fabulous and you should try for the Cassiar HWY and Hyder/Stewart.
At Hyder you just touch S Alaska and it's beautiful - the ride into Steward/Hyder is breath taking.
Again mind fuel on the Cassiar
Some pics from kid and I in 2015
https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries/bc-trip-with-kenz

Mind animals the whole way = we lost count of bears - lots of Dahl sheep the colour of the road,
One rider ended his trip that way.

More pics from different trip in the area - not by mycycle
https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries/alberta-bc-yukon-2014

If you can stretch it and the weather is cooperative hitting the Kenai Peninsula and Valdez is just fabulous. Take a day to do the Lulubelle out of Valdez - highlight of our trip..

Coming back south make sure you catch 99 - one of the nicest roads the whole triip.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We are planning on 2 weeks. We can do Glacier NP on our second day from home. I don't want to do huge days, but 300 + mile days would be fine.
How long was your trip and what was your average day?
Thanks a lot for the tips.
 

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My wife and I are planning a trip to Banff and Jasper next summer. I want to to the Going to the Sun Highway across Glacier and then head north. Looking at crossing north of Whitefish, MT then avoiding Calgary and heading to Banff and Jasper, then maybe heading towards Vancouver. I am tentatively planning for end of June, early July. Any route suggestions? I'm not afraid of a little dirt.
That whole area is stunning, look at days 4-6 in this trip report. Definitely do the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper.

Sonic Springs
 

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Waterton lake national park in Alberta is a nice place to spend a night. Beautiful little town in the mountains and not as busy as jasper and banff. Use to live in Calgary and much preferred it to Banff and Jasper, so much that the wife and I were married there.
Next I would take highway 22( the cowboy trail) north to Longview Alberta then head west to highway 40 through kananaskis park. This has been rated as one of the best roads to ride a motorcycle on in North America. This would take you all the way up to highway 1 trans Canada highway. Which would take you to Banff.
A side trip you could take from here is before you get to Longview on highway 22 is to take highway 533 at chain lakes east to Nanton Alberta to see the Nanton bomber command museum of Canada. They have a nice Lancaster bomber there.
From Banff to Jasper I would take the Icefield parkway highway 93. Again rated as one of the best roads in North America for a motorcycle. You can stop at the ice field and go out on the glacier and they even have a hotel there. I road this road at the end of august and temps dipped to around 0 degrees Celsius because of the elevation.
I have ridden these roads a lot but never get bored with the views. Can be busy in summer , but if ridden during the week should not be to bad. Also weather could be a factor because of the elevation on both highway 40 and 93.
If you have any questions let me know.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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We are planning on 2 weeks. We can do Glacier NP on our second day from home. I don't want to do huge days, but 300 + mile days would be fine.
How long was your trip and what was your average day?
Thanks a lot for the tips.
We were three weeks but that was out of Toronto and included 5 days to get home ( we flew the bikes out ). We were 22 days in total ....due to weather and being a little ahead of schedule we got home 2 days early. We also had a full rest day in Prince Rupert - I think it took the kid that long to get warm ( as I said take layers ) ....we went the same time you are planning...maybe a tad earlier.

We diverted over to Vancouver Island via The Inside Passage Ferry from Prince Rupert and then rode down ( not a lot to see on the north end ) but the middle west coast is superb.
The road to Port Alberni one of the best of the trip but you need to catch a quiet time tho I suppose you are not focused on riding twists hard.
Scenery is breathtaking.

This could be part of the trip - you catch 99 - as a distance reference Vancouver to Lilloet is an easy day - we got out of Vancouver at noon ( kid was chasing gloves ) ...I got into Lilloet at 6 ....kid got very lost ( understandable ...I missed the turn too and he wanted to play hooligan on one of the best roads EVAH ) and finally surfaced around 10 pm at night 80 km south. One very worried dad for a few hours.


Lots of info here.

Maps of Vancouver Island ? Vancouver Island News, Events, Travel, Accommodation, Adventure, Vacations

Pacific Rim | Vancouver Island Vacation Guide

You've got just enough time to do the Kenai and I'd take that over Banff and Jasper any day but you have to be weather wary for the Kenai and have an alternative. It's 2300 miles or so from Glacier to Anchorage -
https://goo.gl/maps/e3Xa53MNYcD2
not a lot of margin on 300 mile days but you have long daylight hours too. You would then retrace and cut over on the Cassiar to head south.

You can also take a superb ferry down from the Kenai. If the weather is right Valdez/Kenai will be the highlight of your trip. The hard guess is booking a ferry ahead of time.

At the very least you have lots of time for the Cassiar and Steward/Hyder ...there is a natural loop in BC up through Banff and Jasper then up the Yellowhead - beleive me you will never regret that ride in Hyder/Steward if the weather behaves.



We did this one by car



http://goo.gl/maps/mBPbb

You could ride up as far as Hyder/Steward ....assess your time and the weather. Then come back down and maybe do Vancouver Island if the Kenai/Valdez is too far.

Kid and I averaged 525 KM a day- that's just about bang on for you. The car trip averaged much longer days but two drivers and the downside of Alaska is the distances. You can take the Marine Highway all the way down from the Kenai and get to the inaccessible ports along the way.



You could slice out chunks of this

14 Day Driving / Motorcycle Tour: Anchorage to Prince Rupert

Road Trip Anyone?



Route map for the fourteen day trip from Anchorage to Prince Rupert
If you've driven to Interior Alaska, and are looking for different views on the way back home, the ferry provides excellent opportunities to access the coastal communities of the Inside Passage. Traveling on the ferry from Skagway to Prince Rupert will save you nearly 1,000 miles of driving as you relax and enjoy the scenery. On this two-week tour, drive along the Glenn Highway, a National Scenic Byway, and the Taylor & Top of the World Highway, an Alaska Scenic Byway, before continuing through Southeast Alaska on the only marine route designated as a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road. This itinerary can also be completed in reverse, board the ferry in Prince Rupert and head north on your Alaska adventure.
Alaska Marine Highway System - 14 Day Driving / Motorcycle Tour: Anchorage to Prince Rupert

At the very least get to Hyder/Steward then you can say you hit Alaska :laugh2:

and laugh at the snarky border crossing ..



this is why you have to be critter careful....perfect camo

 

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You have been given lots of good suggestions and advice. I live in Calgary and ride this area all the time.
You said you were not afraid of a little gravel/dirt so......

I would suggest that instead of #22 north to Longview in Alberta, you take #40 north from Coleman. 22 runs in a valley on the eastern slopes. Very pretty though. 40 runs parallel to 22 but between mountain ranges. It connects up with the road running west from Longview and you can continue through the Kananaskis area which is my favorite for scenery. 40 is good gravel from Coleman to junction with 541 west of Longview and then it is paved. Instead of going all the way to #1, I would cut across on the Smith Dorian Trail (742) to Canmore. This is gravel but a good road. It drops you into Canmore and #1 and you can continue to Banff.

If you don't want to do the Alaska Hiway/Cassiar Hiway thing there is lots of nice riding in southern BC. If you only have 2 weeks from Wyoming, I would think that you may be pressed for time to do the Alcan route. However, 93 from Lake Louise to Jasper is spectacular so I would not miss that. Lots of people run it both directions (ie up and back rather than looping back through BC) because it is a significantly different perspective.

If you can't do the Alcan thing then then riding the southern BC area, over to Vancouver, and then back to Wyoming via WA, and OR would be a great alternative (IMO).
Vancouver Island has some very nice areas but it is limited. Factor in very expensive ferry rides to and from (plus lost time) and it is an area I avoid now, having done it several times.

Once you decide the general time frame and area, let me know and I can send you more detailed routing and GPS files if you want.

Whatever you decide, you will have a great trip.

\Rod
 

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I would suggest that instead of #22 north to Longview in Alberta, you take #40 north from Coleman. 22 runs in a valley on the eastern slopes. Very pretty though. 40 runs parallel to 22 but between mountain ranges. It connects up with the road running west from Longview and you can continue through the Kananaskis area which is my favorite for scenery. 40 is good gravel from Coleman to junction with 541 west of Longview and then it is paved. Instead of going all the way to #1, I would cut across on the Smith Dorian Trail (742) to Canmore. This is gravel but a good road. It drops you into Canmore and #1 and you can continue to Banff
.

+1 on this route you will not find much better!! Your idea of going from Jasper to Vancouver is excellent you can come in through Whistler.

Edit. all national parks are free in 2017 to celebrate 150 years you can order your free park pass through Parks Canada website
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow! Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Have looked at a few pictures along the routes. They all look amazing. I would love to make it to Alaska, but don't think will make it this time. I'm the type of person that likes to get off the beaten path, so will look into the dirt roads. I don't really care if we make it into Vancouver, but want to come back into the States around there to go through North Cascades National Park in Washington. I might take you up on your GPS points drrod.
 

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As mentioned above, the Stewart/Hyder road is awesome! When you get to Hyder if you continue straight through town and ride a decent dirt road for ....15 (?) miles you drive right up to an awesome glacier.

If you can ride any part of the Cassier hwy it is worth the time; bear and moose sightings will become commonplace.... 400 miles or so and you hit a junction that connects to hwy 1. Taking a right will lead you to the sign forest in Watson Lake.

Meziadin Jct gas station should be in operation by now, that and the other gas stations along the way make it an easy ride for a strom...providing they are open.

Vancouver is a madhouse, but once you get through (if you survive...) the 99 is a beautiful road.
 

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I agree - you would be pushed to do Alaska but you do have time to reach Hyder/Stewart via Glacier, as your northern point then work your back down.

To a large degree how you move around Glacier which is enormous determines which side of the Rockies makes the most sense tho it looks like picking up 40 is possible from any exit.
Then Banff, Bow River and Jasper.

After that it's north if you are trying for Hyder its two not arduous days to Hyder ( 600 miles or so )

After that tho...you have to retrace half of that to Prince George then down to Liiloet ....despite the amount of territory ...there simply are no roads
or you take the ferry from Prince Rupert down the Inside Passage to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island

That's really your decision point if you are doing Hyder ....which way to get south



Taking the Inside Passage ferry is 15 hours ...about $600 Cdn for you two and your bike
https://www.themilepost.com/cruising/ferries/bc-ferries
and we just napped in the nice seats .....it's an alternative if you want a break from riding and get good way south .

Relaxing trip Prince Rupert to Port Hardy”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 23 October 2010
I took the ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy in September. It's an early start to the day, but it's nice to watch the sky gradually lighten up. The boat sailed along in very tranquil waters, often almost flat. I spotted a few whales, which was really fun and there are announcements at various points of interest. This is a gentle 15 hour journey, where the coastline changes gradually. You will see a lot of forested mountains which reach down into the sea. It's beautiful, but not wildly exciting - which was OK by me, it's nice to relax. I had an excellent seat, facing straight out onto the side of the boat (this was in ordinary seating just outside the Aurora lounge - a position I can recommend). There is a useful canteen, with reasonable food (bit expensive, particularly the vegetarian breakfast) and a fancier restaurant which I didn't use. There's a gift shop, which sells the usual things (including books, since you might finish yours with all the hours on the boat). Two films were shown during the day, but I was happy to just watch the world go by and take photos from inside and on deck. I travelled on the Northern Expedition, which felt like a nice modern boat and I would recommend this journey.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g181772-d184078-r84548600-BC_Ferries-Sidney_Victoria_Capital_Regional_District_Vancouver_Island_British_Colu.html#
If you do the ferry ...then figure an easy day to get to Tofino - the road across is simply too much fun ...then Namaimo and another ferry to the mainland.

Other wise you retrace for a day to Prince George and head south on 97 to 99 ....99 is simply superb.

I'd guess either way is about 10 days into your trip to end in Vancouver.

If you skip Hyder - you cut out two days.

From your comments....the Cassiar and Muncho Lake are going to add too much.....my son and I made the same decision on the motorcycles. Partner and I did do it as part of our Alaska trek ..but that was 5 weeks.

Skipping Hyder as well you've got lovely areas to explore and could even take 20 to Bella Coola and take a Ferry from there to Port Hardy ....the downsides of ferries is the need to book ahead.
We were a day ahead of schedule getting to our Inside Passage ferry but frankly we were ready for the break as kid had a very wet and cold ride the last couple of hundred KM to Prince Rupert - ( forgot his rain pants and his gloves were not water proof ...he was not a happy camper ).

A lot of riding in BC is weather dependent ....we got pretty lucky- we had high heat in the valleys ( frustrating ...you can SEE snow but you are cooking in your gear ) but dry except for the one day coming into Prince Rupert down from Hyder...others got drowned for days on end ....friend who tours the area for weeks on end every year got stuck two years in a row with a flat in Hyder and weeks of rain

It's far less unpredictable inland and south but then riding in heat is no fun either.....better than rain tho.

You could easily even plan to come from Japser to Valemount and ride in the Kamloops and Revelstoke area which I don't know at all..... I'd sure like another trip out there but events are conspiring against it.
 
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