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  1. Default MN to Glacier NP to Banff/Jasper NP

    Hi All,
    Well, I've been scouring forums, staring at maps and I'm dizzyier! Suggestions would be much appreciated!
    My family of four is heading west from 7/7-7/22. Would you tell me how you would divide your trip once you reach Glacier? We will be camping 90% of the time in a small 13' scamp. We would probably like to grab a hotel for a night in the middle to shower and do laundry. We don't use hookups. We enjoy hiking, seeing the sites and just hanging around camp. How far north would you go and where would you spend most of your time? Any campgrounds you would reccomend? We don't have to see it allll. We'd probably prefer to have more time to enjoy the places we stop at, but I don't think we want to miss the Canadian side. Is it real busy in the Banff/Jasper area this time of year? By busy I mean does it feel touristy? How about a driving route and where to cross the border?
    I know that was a lot of questions but I would appreciate any input.
    Thank you so much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With about 2 weeks I think you should have plenty of time to enjoy the major parks and sites, like Glacier, Banff, Jasper, Icefields Parkway, etc, although its going to be up to you to figure out the pace that fits you best. There are certainly several other parks in this area that you could also add in, especially on the Canadian Side.

    I will note that if all you are looking for is a shower and laundry, most of the time, you shouldn't need to get a hotel. Many campgrounds offer these facilities, especially if you look into state and provincial parks, and of course, the vast majority of private campgrounds do too.

    For a route, I'd head across I-94 to Glendive, MT, stopping at Teddy Roosevelt NP along the way, then take MT-200 across to Glacier. I did that in reverse a number of years ago and it was a decent drive. The campground at Teddy would be about a perfect halfway point, if you're trying to make the drive in 2 long days. I've also stayed at Makoshika SP near Glendive and remember it being nice. When you get to MT, make sure to stop at the visitors center, as one of their travel books includes a directory of every public campsite in the state, including many that are just out of the way spots like boat landing where camping is allowed, that you'd never otherwise know about.

    Going into Canada, I've crossed right within Glacier/Waterton Lakes NP, and it was a relatively quiet crossing, that would likely make sense for your trip.

    Coming back, I'd probably head across via Edmonton, Saskatoon, and then head south at Winnipeg. However, if you're looking for something a little more on the unique scale, you could consider crossing via the International Peace Garden near Dunseith, ND.

  3. #3


    Where in Minnesota are you starting?

  4. Default

    Thanks for the welcome Michael, and the info. I'll definately keep an eye out for the MT camp site book. After talking with my husband tonight it sounds like the west end of 94 in ND is a mess due to the pipe line. He just drove through and said he wouldn't do it again even if it saved us two hours.
    Thanks again for all the tips.

    Charlie- we're starting just N. of the twin cities.

    Does any one have any preferences on campgrounds or areas from GNP up to JNP? I'd hate to be just a stones throw away from somewhere amazing, (I don't doubt it all is) and not know it.
    Thanks again.

  5. #5


    Leaving from Minneapolis, I-94 across North Dakota is the best route. Along the way, you might enjoy a visit to Makoshika State Park near Glendive, MT. There are some nice badlands and some dinosaur stuff. The badlands at Theodore Roosevelt are very colorful - moreso than the more famous Badlands of South Dakota. At Medora, North Dakota, there is a very good outdoor musical show performed in a outdoor amphitheatre.

    It appears the most efficient route to Banff/Jasper would be to visit Waterton Lakes Nat'l Park in Canada and then pick up Highway 6 to Highway 3 to Highway 22 to Canada 1 which would take you in to Banff. Be prepared for traveling across a very sparsely populated area along Highway 22 - make sure you have plenty of gas.

    When we visited Banff/Jasper in early June, it was crowded but not to the point of diminishing the enjoyment of the trip.

    If time allows, you might consider finding your way back to Minnesota via I-90 rather than I-94. It would add a couple of hundred miles to your trip but would allow you to see the Black Hills and Badlands Nat'l Park. If you should decide to go this way, be sure and visit Wall Drug in Wall, SD. Wall is just outside of Badlands Nat'l Park and the kids would get a real kick out of it.

    Have A Great Trip!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'm curious what his issue with I-94 was? I drove through last year and had no problems at all. The biggest issue is that it can be very tough to find any available hotel rooms, but I didn't notice any impact on the roads.

    I'm also not sure what detour would be better. US-2 or any of the other state highways are likely going to be impacted more than I-94.

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