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Old 05-30-2015, 02:16 PM   #1
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Best route from Niagra Falls to Banff and Jasper

We are planning a trip from Niagra Falls to Banff and Jasper National parks and the Canadian Rockies starting on August 1. Has anyone made this trip and if so, what is the best route. We'd like to use the Trans Canadian Highway. Are there a lot of campgrounds along the way? Any other information or suggestions that would be helpful, we would appreciate receiving. We'll be towing a 30' travel trailer. Thank you.
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:37 PM   #2
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First issue: Canadian fuel prices are much higher than US, so factor that into your plans. Second issue: from Niagara Falls the best route west (in the US) is I-90/I-80 which goes straight though Chicago. The problem with that is there are toll booths about every 10 miles and they cost a lot (especially if you're towing a trailer). Traffic is a nightmare on top of that. I'd drive 100 extra miles to avoid Chicago.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:12 PM   #3
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There are several places in Northern Ontario that have very few gas stations. I always carry a 5 gal can of gas. In the summer there are a lot of CG open (many are provincial parks. We always plan on driving about 500 kilometers a day and plan our CG stops the day before. The northern route has a lot less hill but also has less communities and CG available. It will almost take as long to leave Ontario as it will to reach BC from Ontario. There are many CG along the TC. We enjoy the Meadowlark CG in Brandon Man. There is a vary nice restaurant with in walk distance from the CG. Also if in Calgary do not stay at the CG beside the Olympic park (sites were small and overpriced).
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:15 PM   #4
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Also if in Calgary do not stay at the CG beside the Olympic park (sites were small and overpriced).

X2 to that. Drive another 30kms to Cochrane and stay there
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Momma Tac View Post
We are planning a trip from Niagra Falls to Banff and Jasper National parks and the Canadian Rockies starting on August 1. Has anyone made this trip and if so, what is the best route. We'd like to use the Trans Canadian Highway. Are there a lot of campgrounds along the way? Any other information or suggestions that would be helpful, we would appreciate receiving. We'll be towing a 30' travel trailer. Thank you.

We went there last year . . . in the spring. If you haven't been, make sure you add Glacier & Waterton National Parks . . . awesome. If you're hooked on Canadian route, go for it. We took I90 from Boston and saw much along the way. Our first night was near Niagara Falls. You would need about a month or so to see what we saw at the beginning (Boston-Jasper) of our 5 month adventure to Alaska. Go to my website: levesqueadventures.com to visit some of the things we saw and did along the way. Enjoy! I believe I've named many of the great campgrounds we stayed at within the website.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:51 PM   #6
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I will leave Seattle so I am going to NY so I am also interested in this route
and places to visit!!!



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Old 05-31-2015, 04:48 PM   #7
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I will leave Seattle so I am going to NY so I am also interested in this route
and places to visit!!!



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From Seattle, go north up I5 and cross the boarder at Sumas. We crossed here last year heading south to WA and found it a much quieter border point. I'd then head north and find a nice small CG around Kelowna for a few days. There are plenty of them with FHU if needed. Some located on small farms or vineyards. Head up through Vernon and over to Golden, then Lake Louise. There is a Parks Canada campground there with FHU but beware you also need a park pass which will add to the cost significantly (approx $20 Cdn per day or $140 for an annual pass which is good for all Parks Canada). From Lake Louise, travel north along the Icefields Parkway, stopping to see the glacier and take a ride on it in one of the specially adapted buses. There is also a new glass walkway that is really worthy of a visit. Glacier Skywalk - New in Jasper National Park

After a few days in Jasper head back south along Hwy 22 to Waterton National Park. If you bought the annual pass it will get you in to there too. There is a campground right in the park but you'll need to book in advance.

After Waterton, travel east along Hwy 3 towards Medicine Hat and Cypress Hills. After that you're in Saskatchewan where you can head back south of the border or continue on the trans Canada Highway to Ontario.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:53 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info looking at Atlas now!!!!




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Old 05-31-2015, 08:32 PM   #9
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Go & enjoy

Don't fret about gas prices, tolls etc. Just go & enjoy. Take the road along the north side of Lk Superior & stay at Neys Provincial Park. One of the most scenic rides in North America! You'll be glad you'll you did. Have fun!




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Old 06-01-2015, 08:21 AM   #10
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If you are taking the Trans Canada, one consideration to avoid a long lonely stretch from Thunder Bay to Kenora is to turn onto Hwy 11 at Shabaqua, just west of Thunder By. You will go through Atikokan, Fort Frances, Nestor Falls, Sioux Narrows and then to Kenora, far more interesting and not that much further.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:55 AM   #11
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With our dollar approx 80 Cents to $ USD, gas prices, campgrounds, etc will be very close in comparison to the US side. Come visit, enjoy and above all have a good time.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:40 PM   #12
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I have just finished this trip today, if you want fast stay on the Interstates, if you want scenery go up to the southern shores of Lake Superior to Munising from the Sarnia crossing then keep on that Northern route through Fargo N.D to Medora and go through the Roosevelt park, best $20.00 you will ever spend, stay on that through Havre Montana to Kalispell then up through the Glacier National park to Calagry where you will be one hour from Banff. Make sure you go up to Jasper and take the cable car to the top of the mountain. Lots of campgrounds pick up a Woodalls they list most of them.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:49 AM   #13
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We have driven across the country several times (live in the West with grandkids in the East). Avoid Chicago - traffic is a nightmare. We wanted to stay off the Interstates and took Highway 2 along the border. It takes you into all the small towns along the way and some of the coffee break stops are interesting, where you can meet the locals along the way. But the rail line follows HWY 2 and it seemed that every night we'd wake a few times as the train whistles sounded like they were coming right through the RV. LOL
The road from Banff to Jasper is not to be missed.
Happy Trails

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Old 06-03-2015, 10:53 AM   #14
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That is the route we just took, very enjoyable, ear plugs always work. Did the Chicago a few years back, loved the city, but the traffic was too much, plus the scenery is nicer up higher.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:16 PM   #15
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We are headed to Banff from glacier NP 1st of August. Found that the Canadian's are now charging a reservation of $7.50 to $8.50 just to make the reservation. I'd sure suggest advance reservations in banff. We are staying a week and will have to move sites two times and that was with reservations made in May.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:55 PM   #16
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We are headed to Banff from glacier NP 1st of August. Found that the Canadian's are now charging a reservation of $7.50 to $8.50 just to make the reservation. I'd sure suggest advance reservations in banff. We are staying a week and will have to move sites two times and that was with reservations made in May.
That first weekend is a stat holiday (Heritage Day) in Alberta so yes, reservations would be well advised. Parks Canada appear to charge a reservation fee of $11 Cdn per visit and Alberta Provincial Parks appear to charge $12.5 Cdn per reservation. I'm not aware of any private campgrounds that charge reservation fees. You also need to consider the park fees in the Nation Parks (about $20 per day or annual pass for $140 Cdn.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:28 AM   #17
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The reason the parks are charging a reservation fee, too many campers would book every weekend for the whole camping season and then not show if the weather was bad.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:14 AM   #18
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Just another idea. We always go out west via I 75 N form here. When we get into the UP of Michigan we turn west on #2 Hwy to Hwy #41 where we head north to Marquette, MI. We go through Marquette, stop at the Michigamme Shores Campground for the night, continue on to Hwy #28 which takes us to Hwy #2. We follow #2 all the way out to Shelby Montana where we get on Hwy#15 north Back into Canada at Sweetgrass/Coutts. Now there are a couple of ways to get over to Waterton National Park, where we stay about 6 miles north of the park gates at the Waterton Springs Campground. We usually go west at Hwy 4 and 501 which isn't far from the border. Over to #2 Hwy to #5 Hwy to the campground. It's more or less a county road but it's paved and pretty good. From there you can go up to Pincher Creek Creek, get on #3 Hwy and over to the Cowboy Trail(hwy 22) and follow that up to 22x to Hwy #1 to Banff and up to Jasper from there. We've taken this route many times going and coming. There are lots of towns and gas stations along #2 in the US. I run diesel and no problems. We take 6 or 7 days to make the trip, because we can. We usually go for up to 2.5/3 months every other year. Years ago we went the Chicago way and got caught up in traffic at Chicago for over an hour due to traffic and the toll booths. Never again. We know where we 're going to stop every day without making reservations, because we get in early in the afternoon to each campground. When we were a lot younger and still working, the trip was three days with 3 kids. Just another pea for the pot, as they say.
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:09 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone for the good information. We are fully retired and all we have is "time" so we plan to do a lot of sight seeing along the way and take several weeks to do it. Momma Tac
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:18 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone for the good information. We are fully retired and all we have is "time" so we plan to do a lot of sight seeing along the way and take several weeks to do it. Momma Tac
From a Canadian comedy tv show theme tune; "It's a great big place, full of nothing but space".
Not much in the way of crowds. People are VERY polite and right now your green back is worth about $1.25 cdn so our higher charges are offset by that and in your favor.
Hope you have a great trip north of the boarder - we don't bite and we are house trained. Lol
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