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Old 11-17-2017, 02:52 PM   #1
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Canadian Rockies more beautiful than Alaska

There, I said it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

I lived in Alaska for two years in the past. Kodiak and Juneau. This Summer we drove our Forester MBS all over Alaska. Got on Trip Adviser and took every road suggested under the thread "Most Beautiful Roads in Alaska". The trip totaled just over 10,000 miles and 11 weeks. Came back home to Oregon via the Canadian Rockies including the Icefields Parkway which lies between Banff and Jasper. We had also done this area last year. After a direct comparison on during the same trip, The Canadian Rockies are more beautiful.

Of course Alaska is beautiful, but it's a different kind of beauty. It is often massively expansive. The view goes on forever and the mountains nearly reach the sky. Makes my west coast volcanic peaks like Mt Shasta and Mt Rainier look small by comparison and they are over 14,000 feet!

But the Canadian Rockies are a completely different kind of beauty. They too are towering (above 13,000 feet) the road runs right along and right through them. They are truly IN YOUR FACE most of the time. It is a very concentrated beauty, you can't get away from it. And the geology is unusually reversed with older mountains being pushed above the younger ones (or something like that...) so the unique, crazy twisting rock formations of the cliffs are just incredible.

Heading north from Banff, the route just keeps getting more and more stunning. Every time you say "It can't possibly get any more beautiful than this" it does! The farther north you go, the more fantastic it gets, until the route ends at Jasper.

BTW, a worthwhile side trip is Drumheller, Alberta, east of Calgary. One of the best dinosaur areas on earth, and tremendous history of coal mining.

I have been to 39 countries and lived in five while serving my country. Beautiful places like New Zealand, Switzerland, the Italian Alps, etc. I am a loyal American veteran and served in Iraq and Afghanistan and love my country. But if it's scenic beauty you're after, The Canadian Rockies is the place to go! It beats them all.

https://icefieldsparkway.com/
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:33 PM   #2
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Every place is different and looked at with different eyes, I like Alaska. Canada is beautiful too, I always enjoy seeing home after a long trip. I enjoyed driving through Canada and looking at all the great places, all the pretty places. Buying things in Canada was not cheap like diesel and food was not. Lucky I didnít buy much food and diesel.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:01 AM   #3
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When is the best starting time to enter Canada from Montana for a trip to Alaska?
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:30 PM   #4
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When is the best starting time to enter Canada from Montana for a trip to Alaska?
This really is going to depend on the type of spring we're having. For the last couple of years I would have said you could enter late April - early May. You also need to factor in that many campgrounds here do not have their services switched on until the Victoria Day long weekend, which in 2018 is May 19 - 21st.

On a separate note, I have always found it easier to cross in to or out of Montana at one of the more quiet locations. That will depend on where in MT you are coming from. Normally if I'm heading to the left side I cross near Eureka, just north of Kalispell.

From there is is a short drive to a nice full service CG in Kimberley (Riverside). That places you on the BC side of the Rockies but a pleasant, scenic drive and one which you can cross over to the AB side of the Rockies at Radium Hot Springs.

If you're on the right hand side of MT there is a quick crossing point just south of Cardston, AB. That will take you to the QEII highway and north to Calgary. I would avoid looking for somewhere to stay at Calgary if I was you. There is a nice location (Bow Rivers Edge CG) in Cochrane just NW or about an hour further north of Cochrane you can find Coyote Creek Golf & RV Resort, Sundre. That has FHU available at that time of year and if not the holiday weekend, there would be no need to book in advance.

If staying at Cochrane you would then be able to drive to Banff - about an hour away and up to Lake Louise. From there, the Icefield Parkway is a very scenic drive up to Jasper with stops on the way for the Athabasca glacier tour.

If you're going from the far right of MT, the crossing just north of Havre was quick and easy for us coming home this summer. That leads you up to Medicine Hat and then NW to Calgary.


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Old 04-06-2018, 02:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bob5560g View Post
There, I said it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

I lived in Alaska for two years in the past. Kodiak and Juneau. This Summer we drove our Forester MBS all over Alaska. Got on Trip Adviser and took every road suggested under the thread "Most Beautiful Roads in Alaska". The trip totaled just over 10,000 miles and 11 weeks. Came back home to Oregon via the Canadian Rockies including the Icefields Parkway which lies between Banff and Jasper. We had also done this area last year. After a direct comparison on during the same trip, The Canadian Rockies are more beautiful.

Of course Alaska is beautiful, but it's a different kind of beauty. It is often massively expansive. The view goes on forever and the mountains nearly reach the sky. Makes my west coast volcanic peaks like Mt Shasta and Mt Rainier look small by comparison and they are over 14,000 feet!

But the Canadian Rockies are a completely different kind of beauty. They too are towering (above 13,000 feet) the road runs right along and right through them. They are truly IN YOUR FACE most of the time. It is a very concentrated beauty, you can't get away from it. And the geology is unusually reversed with older mountains being pushed above the younger ones (or something like that...) so the unique, crazy twisting rock formations of the cliffs are just incredible.

Heading north from Banff, the route just keeps getting more and more stunning. Every time you say "It can't possibly get any more beautiful than this" it does! The farther north you go, the more fantastic it gets, until the route ends at Jasper.

BTW, a worthwhile side trip is Drumheller, Alberta, east of Calgary. One of the best dinosaur areas on earth, and tremendous history of coal mining.

I have been to 39 countries and lived in five while serving my country. Beautiful places like New Zealand, Switzerland, the Italian Alps, etc. I am a loyal American veteran and served in Iraq and Afghanistan and love my country. But if it's scenic beauty you're after, The Canadian Rockies is the place to go! It beats them all.

https://icefieldsparkway.com/

Sorry...didn't mean to send as a PM

Thanks, that's very kind of you to say. Sometimes you take for granted whats in your own backyard so its nice to get someone else's perspective. Tat being said, I think the Oregon Coast is the most amazing place I've ever seen. I could really see myself living in Canon Beach.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:04 PM   #6
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Haven't been to Alaska, but you are right, the Canadian Rockies are beautiful, and so are the Buttes of Montana, and so are the Badlands in Alberta, and so is the Grand Canyon, and so is..., wow...so many nice things to see, glad we're going camping soon!
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