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  1. Default Montana-Canada road trip-please help!!!!!

    Hi all, my wife and I (Irish) are planning to spend about 3 weeks in the USA this August. We're pretty keen to spend part of the trip in Montana, maybe visit Glacier National park, stay on a ranch for a few days, hiking, horseriding etc. Would appreciate any advice on "must see" places and "must do" activities in this region.

    We'd like to get to see some of Canada also, is this achievable in the timeframe?

    Apologies for being so vague about our plans but we really are at the very early planning stage.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you plan on going to Canada, make sure the car rental company will permit that. I can just about guarantee if you want a one-way rental, you cannot drop off a US rental car in Canada.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just in Time

    Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There have been recent predictions that, due to global climate change, Glacier National Park will have no more glaciers in as little as 10 years from now. So this is a trip you don't want to put off for too much longer. The big 'must sees in Glacier is Going to the Sun Road along St Mary's Lake and over the Continental Divide. Depending on where you're starting and ending your trip, you can certainly see some of the Canadian Rockies as well. Some places you should be looking at include the Crow's Nest Highway, Calgary, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, and then looping back down into the US through northern Idaho. As glc notes, you probably won't find a car hire firm that will let you pick up a car in the US and leave it in Canada, but as long as you return to the US, you should be alright. Just be sure that they know your intentions to drive through Canada and give you paperwork (and insurance) that will expedite your border crossing.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ontario Canada

    Default Suggestions

    This may not be what you had in mind; however, just giving some ideas of a very scenic route that is easily done in 3 weeks
    (total driving time 40-50 hrs - but of course add on a lot for driving slowly through mountains & scenic national parks):

    Flight (return trip) to CALGARY, Alberta, Canada
    Rental vehicles can be taken into the States, no problem, just advise them of your plans when booking.

    Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (which includes the town of Banff & Lake Louise) - 85 miles west of Calgary
    Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada (continuation on westward from Banff NP) - 50 miles west of Banff
    Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada - 125 miles west of Yoho
    Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada - 125 miles southwest of Revelstoke - very scenic logging town - Okanagen Valley fruit orchards, fertile desert landscape
    Penticton, British Columbia, Canada - 40 miles south of Kelowna - beautiful Okanagen Valley
    Spokane, Washington, USA - 250 miles from Penticton

    to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA (you could make a stopover in Helena, Montana if looking for a larger city enroute) or find a dude ranch for a stopover??
    Billings, Montana
    Great Falls, Montana
    Glacier National Park, Montana
    and back to Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  5. Default

    Hi folks, thanks for your advice.
    We've decided want to fly in to one of the major cities direct from Ireland, spend a few days there and then drive to Montana over the course of maybe a week. Can anyone suggest any good road trips (Chicago, San Fra, Denver, Vancouver, Calgary?).
    We'll spend the rest of our time in Montana and the surrounding region. As I said, we want to see the Glacier National Park but aside from that we really are a bit clueless about that whole region, it's just a part of the America we think we'd like. We're into the outdoors, hiking, swimming, etc.
    Would appreciate any info from people who might be familiar with the area (must see and must do things, suggested itineraries, etc).
    Many thanks in advance for your help!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default What about Syv's suggestion?

    I think it would make a great trip.

    I suppose it's best for you to figure out what city your starting from first before we start throwing out more ideas. A thorough list of all the ideas of places to see from just one city would take a long time. From all those choices, it would be almost endless.

    This A-Z list of things to do in Montana should give you some ideas of things to see there. If you go here, you can get links to the same type of list for other states. This would give you an idea of what's out there and might help you determine which city you'd like to start/end at.

    When people are confused about where they want to go, I think it's often best to start with good paper maps and look them over, marking things that intrigue you. Usually, a general idea of what areas you want to visit most will reveal itself. You might also just poke around these forums and read about various trips people have taken.

    Don't neglect our other resources here (check out green bar at top of page). This page has lots of good road trip reports you might review. You might especially enjoy this one about Montana by Peter.

    Hope this helps. Happy planning and keep asking questions!

  7. Default

    Hello again from Ireland, thanks for all your help folks, we're gradually getting an itinerary together now. We think we're going to fly to Vancouver from Ireland, rent a car and drive to Calgary and then on to Montana, We'll spend a few days around Glacier National Park and then head for Missoula where we'll fly to San Francisco for a few days before heading home. Are there any rental companies that would allow this (pick up Vancouver, drop off Missoula)? We would welcome any other suggestions from any of you that are familiar with the region. We are very flexible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks Again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Highly Unlikely

    I really doubt that you will be able to rent in Vancouver and drop your car off in Missoula. One way trips across the border are usually tough to find even if you are dealing with to major cities (say Vancouver and Seattle), but to try and rent in Vancouver and then drop in a small city like Missoula, it just doesn't sound very promising. Certainly, shop around to see if its an option, I just don't think I'd like the odds.

    I think you'll be better off either flying into Seattle to start your trip, or go From Vancouver to Montana first, and then finish in Calgary for your flight to San Francisco.

  9. Default Driving heads up

    Limerick: just to give you the heads up, driving distances here are nothing like Europe or the UK......lots of miles between major destinations, I only say this as we have had friends come from the UK and couldn't believe we would drive from Calgary to Vancouver in one day............distance is approximately 1000 KMs...........

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