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Old 05-23-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
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Smile Best road from Kalispell to Banff

Looking for the best road to go from West Glacier park to Banff Canada. I see where you can go up the West side of the mountians or the east side. wondering which is the best way. We'll be pulling a 34 ft TT with a 2015 Ram diesel.
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Old 05-23-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
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Well if you want some scenery, you could go up the east side, past the entrance to Waterton National Park on Hwy #6. Go up 6 to Pincher Creek. Turn Left(West) to #22 Hwy.. I run it with a 35ft 5er pulled by a 1 ton dually. Turn right(north),. You'll be in the foothills and go to 22x, turn left(west) and follow 22x back to 22 to Hwy1A, turn left (West) and onto Banff. Good highway all the way.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:28 AM   #3
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I also like going by highway 93/95 but fuel is more expensive in BC and the hills from Radium to highway are bigger
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:19 PM   #4
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IMO...DO NOT take hiway 22 in Alberta!! Unless you like rolling the dice with your drive.. That area is very well known for wind gusts up to 160 km/h (100 mph) and more than one RVer has been blown out of control and taken a ride in the ditch..

From Kalispell you could go up 93 all the way thru Radium Hot Springs.. It's in BC and the taxes are a little higher there.. Or you can take 93 north to Hiway 3 and then go east to #2 in Alberta and up through Calgary.. It's a little longer, but the gas is cheaper and it's 4 lane from Fort MacLeod north... And there isn't the wind factor..

Or you could go south out of Kalispell to Missoula, then across to Helena, then north to Great Falls and up to Calgary.. This is the route we've gone with the trailer due to better tax rules coming back into Alberta and being Albertan.. If you didn't have the TT, the Road to the Sun would be alot quicker, but trailers aren't allowed on it..
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:30 PM   #5
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glen1971, Living there you would now about the winds. Every 2 years we stay at Waterton Springs Campground and have experienced the high winds. We'll be staying there, again, next year, if the world doesn't crack and we fall in. I have to say tho', Hwy 22 has never had a high wind when we travel on it and we do that when we leave the Waterton area around July 12th or so. We travel up 22 to Rocky Mountain House and then into the mountains on Hwy 11. We vary camping at The Big Horn dam as we did for 3 weeks last summer and Saunders with our 2 oldest kids who live in Edmonton.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:34 PM   #6
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I've also got a couple of friends that work up 22 about 30 km north of Hiway 3 and they try and avoid it all costs.. Especially during the weekends.. The traffic is nuts and there are those few that have to pass everyone on a double solid doing 140 km/h... There's been a lot of close calls and bad accidents on it...

One mechanic I work with avoids and takes Hiway 3 to the 2 and then up and he lives in Sundre (just off Hiway 22)...

I'm not saying it is bad every day, but all it takes is one bad windy stretch or some loser that has to be the first one to the stop sign and your day can be wrecked...
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:04 PM   #7
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I have to most definitely agree with "glen1971" 's suggestion to go the Missoula , Great Falls, Calgary to Banff route! I-15 is divided highway as is the continuation to Calgary. Much safer route and has cheap Montana gas (no sales tax) and relatively cheap Alberta gas. The other routes will take you double the time to drive, are twisty, windy roads with a lot of gas guzzling hills to deal with. You will be white knuckling it all the way on those roads! Enjoy the prairie scenery and places to visit via I-15 route. Save the mountain scenery for when you get to Banff. In any event be safe.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:02 PM   #8
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We're headed to Banff from Glacier NP later this year too & we were planning to use the #2 up to the 540 then cut across to the 22 so that we can stop at the Bar U Ranch.

Is the 22 okay north of the 540 or are the winds/traffic still going to be an issue?

Is the Bar U ranch worth a stop or should we skip it & stay on the #2 all the way into Calgary?

Thanks for your thoughts & tips.
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:09 AM   #9
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I have travelled from Calgary to Kalispell many times and never had a problem with the wind or traffic on the 22, either north or south bound. On occasions I have been known to drive around the bottom of GNP through to Browning and then cross the boarder just south of Cardston after driving from Browning to Babb along Duck Lake Road. I then travel north up Hwy 2. Driving through Calgary to Cochrane is a pain at the wrong time of day but now they have opened the ring road (201) to the east of the city the traffic runs very smoothly and it is only a few extra kms. Leave the 201 at either Hwy 1 or 1a and stop at Bow River Campground, Cochrane. There are no decent campground in the immediate vicinity of Calgary. In fact, they are an embarrassment. The Cochrane CG is right by the Bow River and all FHU. From there it is a short hop to Banff.
Cheapest place for diesel in AB is at the Tim Hortons, Blairmore near the Crowsnest Pass (if you come from Kalispell via Eureka) or Fort MacLeod (Extra Foods)if coming via Browning and Cardston. Driving time from either direction is about 6 hours and there is only about 20kms difference. I'm heading the opposite direction in a couple of weeks to stay at Polson.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty59 View Post
We're headed to Banff from Glacier NP later this year too & we were planning to use the #2 up to the 540 then cut across to the 22 so that we can stop at the Bar U Ranch.

Is the 22 okay north of the 540 or are the winds/traffic still going to be an issue?

Is the Bar U ranch worth a stop or should we skip it & stay on the #2 all the way into Calgary?

Thanks for your thoughts & tips.
You should be fine on that stretch.. The traffic will still be a bit heavier, but that is unavoidable the closer you get to Calgary. Not sure your route and time frame, but if you cross at Chief Mountain, a stop in at Waterton should definitely be on your list..
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