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  1. #1

    Default Seattle to Banff, Glacier Natl, Park to Seattle

    We are thinking about road trip in September of 2022 with a start in either Seattle or Vancouver and doing a big loop through Banf, Jasper,
    Glacier, and back to the Origen.
    What is the most scenic route, West to East, or East to West.
    Time is not a factor. Would two weeks be enough?

    Thanks Very Much

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    655

    Default Canadian Road Trips are amazing!

    Howdy, and welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Two weeks is a good amount of time, and since you're doing a loop, you'll have both directions covered, regardless of how you do it.

    First off, we have to assume that the Canadian border will be open for tourists next month; the COVID situation is anything but certain right now. What I would do (and this is just my opinion): starting from Seattle, head to Vancouver, then drive east on the TCH (Trans Canada Highway 1). You'll pass through three Canadian National Parks before you get to Banff: Mt Revelstoke, (Canadian) Glacier, and Yoho, all right along your line of travel. Banff is amazing, the Icefields Parkway will take you north to Jasper, and from there, you can make your way south to Lethbridge and one more Canadian National Park--Waterton Lakes--which is the sister park to U.S. Glacier National Park, just across the border. From Glacier, head back west to Seattle.

    Late September will be cold in the Rockies; should be a good time for fall color at the higher elevations (especially the aspens!). With a little planning, this could be a most memorable road trip! I have several posts in my blog that focus on the Canadian Rockies, with maps, sample itineraries, and some beautiful photos. If you'd like to check them out, start with this one:

    Canadian Road Trips: Rolling through the Rockies

    Other folks on the forum will probably have additional suggestions, but this should get you started. Check back with any questions!

    Happy Trails!

    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,135

    Default It's All Gorgeous

    To be perfectly honest, there will be relatively few choices of which roads to drive since there are very few roads connecting the dots of your trip., but I don't know of any non-scenic roads in the areas you'll be traveling through. Also rather than thinking of this trip in east-west terms, since you'll essentially be going in a circle think of it in terms of clockwise and counter-clockwise. And finally, Seattle is not in Oregon and there's no need to go anywhere near Oregon unless you're planning on a drive along the Columbia River.

    BUT, while Canada is set to open its borders to US travelers on September 7th, the US policy on allowing travelers into the US from Canada, even US citizens, remains in flux. Indeed, any current policy by any country is subject to change as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to rage. At a minimum, I wouldn't even consider trying to cross the border in either direction without a complete vaccination record and a positive antibody test and a recent (within a few days) negative test for the virus itself. Thus I'd suggest that you have a backup plan for a RoadTrip entirely within the US so that you don't have to cancel airlines, car rentals, and lodging at the last minute and eat the costs and/or deposits.

    With all that said, and looking at making the drive in a clockwise direction, you'd leave thee Seattle area on I-5 northbound. If you want to visit Vancouver, then just stay on the main highways 'til you get there. If you want to avoid Vancouver, leave I-5 at Bellingham and take WA-539/BC-13 to the Trans-Canada Highway, Rte. 1 (TC-1) to Hope BC. From there it's either stay on the Trans-Canada (scenic but longer and slower) or BC-3/BC-5 (toll) to Kamloops. Thence stay on BC-5 north to Tęte Jaune Cache and TC-16 to Jasper. Next turn southward on AB-93 to Lake Louise and TC-1 (again) through Banff to Calgary. Next is AB-2/US-89 south to St.Mary MT and Going to the Sun Road through Glacier National Park to West Glacier MT. From there back to Seattle you'll again have to choose between scenic but slower US-2 or the faster but more mundane US-93/MT-28/MT-135/I-90. You can, of course, simply reverse these directions to go in a counter-clockwise direction.

    Given the nature of the roads and the fact that you'll need a day to get to Seattle and a day to get home from there, I'd say that you have roughly a week that you will need to devote to travel (no matter how scenic) and that any other time you can devote to this trip will be spent in awe of nature's beauty.

    AZbuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,127

    Default

    I believe this trip is in September 2022, not this year. Who knows what the situation will be then?

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I believe this trip is in September 2022, not this year. Who knows what the situation will be then?
    That is what the title says :)

    On the other posting, though - those from the US are already being allowed into Canada, and as long as that is the case they can't not allow them to return.

    What hasn't been allowed (yet) is Canadians driving into the US (though they have been able to fly most, if not all, of this time, and then have their car transported across the border, pick it up and drive wherever they want to go).

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