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  1. Default St. Louis to Edmonton, AB

    I am hoping to go from St. Louis to Edmonton, Canada. A friend ended up in a bad situation up there and I would like to see him before too late.

    Plan on leaving in early May, have about 16-18 days to make it there, stay 2 nights there and head back. I donít know if itís possible, donít know what I would need to enter Canada (passport, drivers license and ?). I am expecting that snow period would most likely be over. Driving a sports coupe.

    Prefer scenic route, going and coming, plan on staying in motels. At 74+, not going to be camping or hiking. Your comments, suggestions are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,236

    Default A Pair to Start With

    St. Louis to Edmonton is right around 1800 miles by the most direct route, so it can be done in a relatively workmanlike but still relaxed four days one way. You seem to have plenty of time, with roughly 2Ĺ to 3 weeks to both have a nice RoadTrip as well as spend a bit more time with your friend. Crossing the Canadian border is usually very straightforward. Your Driver's License should suffice as proof of identity, but if you have your passport handy you might as well take it along.

    As to routes, you have several options and so taking a different one each way should definitely be in the cards. Slightly longer than the most direct route would be to head north from Grand Forks ND to Winnipeg, Manitoba and explore some of the lakes and National Parks in the area north of there before resuming the Trans Canada Highway to Edmonton.

    The other main route would be to go by way of Kansas City and Lincoln NB to follow I-80. US-30 and/or US-34 along the Platte River, the old Oregon Trail. Continuing on I-80 to Rawlins WY and picking up US-387/US-26 would take you to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks before continuing along the eastern side of the Rockies to Edmonton. This route would be about 400 miles longer than the shortest one possible, and so you would need to take at least 5 days for it. But it would perhaps be the most scenic and historical of the routes available to you.

    I have described both routes from St. Louis to Edmonton, but of course you could just reverse one. If either of those appeals to you let us know, especially what you liked or didn't like about the suggestion. That way we can iterate to something you'd really enjoy as well as offer you other stops along the route(s) you end up choosing.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,224

    Default

    Passport is pretty much required these days. You may be able to get into Canada without it, but you will have a problem trying to get back across into the US.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    St. Louis to Edmonton is right around 1800 miles by the most direct route, so it can be done in a relatively workmanlike but still relaxed four days one way. You seem to have plenty of time, with roughly 2Ĺ to 3 weeks to both have a nice RoadTrip as well as spend a bit more time with your friend. Crossing the Canadian border is usually very straightforward. Your Driver's License should suffice as proof of identity, but if you have your passport handy you might as well take it along.

    As to routes, you have several options and so taking a different one each way should definitely be in the cards. Slightly longer than the most direct route would be to head north from Grand Forks ND to Winnipeg, Manitoba and explore some of the lakes and National Parks in the area north of there before resuming the Trans Canada Highway to Edmonton.

    The other main route would be to go by way of Kansas City and Lincoln NB to follow I-80. US-30 and/or US-34 along the Platte River, the old Oregon Trail. Continuing on I-80 to Rawlins WY and picking up US-387/US-26 would take you to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks before continuing along the eastern side of the Rockies to Edmonton. This route would be about 400 miles longer than the shortest one possible, and so you would need to take at least 5 days for it. But it would perhaps be the most scenic and historical of the routes available to you.

    I have described both routes from St. Louis to Edmonton, but of course you could just reverse one. If either of those appeals to you let us know, especially what you liked or didn't like about the suggestion. That way we can iterate to something you'd really enjoy as well as offer you other stops along the route(s) you end up choosing.

    AZBuck
    Thank you ! I like the idea of the longer way back.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    Thank you ! I like the idea of the longer way back.
    Ok, have a little more info on planned trip and need advice. If I head from my home in Wildwood, Mo (suburb of St. Louis), through Kansas City and into Nebraska, direct map shows me going on 1-80 to Rawlins, WY. When and where do I join the Oregon trail? Any town names I could put on my GPS to lead me to it?

    Will be driving about 500 miles the first day, fewer miles and hopefully, more scenic spots to enjoy the next few days.

    Leaving around April 21st, and hoping to get up to Edmonton around the end of April, the 30th. Return will be the shortest route.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,236

    Default The Oregon Trail, Then and Now

    When the Oregon Trail was actively in use as a transcontinental route, it was not much more than some wagon ruts across the prairie. Starting out from Kansas City, in Nebraska it pretty much followed the Platte River which provided both flat ground and water for the livestock. Today that route is the same as used by I-80 west from Lincoln NB. Between Grand Island and Ogallala, US-30 runs parallel to I-80 and will let you get down to 'ground level' so as to see some of the landmarks and towns.

    After Ogallala, US-26 follows the route of the old trail northwest from Ogallala NB through Scottsbluff NB to Casper WY. US-25 continues to Moran WY for access to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. April could be the best of times or the worst of times. Tourists will not have shown up yet but some of the roads might be closed due to weather. My own experience, in a late October, was what I would wish for you. I had Old Faithful to myself, literally!

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,813

    Default

    When I did the camping threads for RTA, a few years back, I did Oregon Trail as well. With that particular trail, I included quite a few of the still-visible portions of the trail, and historic monuments. Access that information here. The bold print items in that list are the historic sites; campgrounds (which you may not need) are not bolded. You'll also note that I included Pony Express Stations in Nebraska in the historic sites.

    Another thought for your return trip might be Jasper and Banff National Parks in Alberta, Canada. The Icefields Parkway is a gorgeous drive and you'll find yourself stopping to take it all in.


    Donna

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    When the Oregon Trail was actively in use as a transcontinental route, it was not much more than some wagon ruts across the prairie. Starting out from Kansas City, in Nebraska it pretty much followed the Platte River which provided both flat ground and water for the livestock. Today that route is the same as used by I-80 west from Lincoln NB. Between Grand Island and Ogallala, US-30 runs parallel to I-80 and will let you get down to 'ground level' so as to see some of the landmarks and towns.

    After Ogallala, US-26 follows the route of the old trail northwest from Ogallala NB through Scottsbluff NB to Casper WY. US-25 continues to Moran WY for access to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. April could be the best of times or the worst of times. Tourists will not have shown up yet but some of the roads might be closed due to weather. My own experience, in a late October, was what I would wish for you. I had Old Faithful to myself, literally!

    AZBuck
    Thank you! A bit concerned, my current 2 door rear wheeled car (A 2014 Porsche Cayman) is not the best of running into snow or ice. I am hoping that the odds might be lower by end of April.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    When I did the camping threads for RTA, a few years back, I did Oregon Trail as well. With that particular trail, I included quite a few of the still-visible portions of the trail, and historic monuments. Access that information here. The bold print items in that list are the historic sites; campgrounds (which you may not need) are not bolded. You'll also note that I included Pony Express Stations in Nebraska in the historic sites.

    Another thought for your return trip might be Jasper and Banff National Parks in Alberta, Canada. The Icefields Parkway is a gorgeous drive and you'll find yourself stopping to take it all in.


    Donna
    Hope to do the return trip as you suggested!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,206

    Default Combine the two?

    Since you are looking at May, have you thought of combining this trip with your planned trip to AK? It could allow you to spend a little more time with your friend.

    Benefits would be that you would avoid the most crowded time in AK - June > Aug - and most of the wildlife will have just emerged from winter, showing off their new offsprings. A delight to behold.

    You could drive from Edmonton to Jasper, and a most scenic drive onto Dawson Creek (start of the AK Hwy). Then onto Ft St John and Ft Nelson, Muncho Lake (spectacular) and Watson Lake, etc.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Since you are looking at May, have you thought of combining this trip with your planned trip to AK? It could allow you to spend a little more time with your friend.

    Benefits would be that you would avoid the most crowded time in AK - June > Aug - and most of the wildlife will have just emerged from winter, showing off their new offsprings. A delight to behold.

    You could drive from Edmonton to Jasper, and a most scenic drive onto Dawson Creek (start of the AK Hwy). Then onto Ft St John and Ft Nelson, Muncho Lake (spectacular) and Watson Lake, etc.

    Lifey
    Yes, that seems a good idea but I am unsure of road conditions going to Alaska in that time of year. Realistically, I must leave home on the 23rd of April, be back home by May 15th at the latest. Not sure what weather and road conditions I find.

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