Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: RVing in Canada and Alaska: Travel time?
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 > Travel time?

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TxGearhead

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Posted: 02/12/18 02:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thinking about a trip to Banff. I'm dreaming up a quick trip from Houston to Glacier NP in my cabover. Banff could be an added leg on my Glacier NP trip. Looking at Google maps they are showing about 11 hours driving time from St. Mary Montana, up HWY 2 to Calgary, then Banff and Golden, then back down to Kalispell. Is that accurate? This will be a fast trip, not particularly wanting to see everything. Probably just 1 overnight somewhere around Banff or Golden. Call it a scouting trip. To avoid the worst of the tourist season, I will try to do this during shoulder season of this fall or next spring.
Thanks for any input..
edit add...would crossing the mountains on 93 from Castle Junction to Radium Hot Springs be more scenic than Lake Louise?

* This post was edited 02/12/18 03:06pm by TxGearhead *


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guidry

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Posted: 02/12/18 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not familiar with that route, however, a general rule of thumb is to calculate 50 miles for each hour. This has been pretty accurate for many RV'ers. Hope that helps.

ppine

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Posted: 02/12/18 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fall or spring is not the right time to be in northern Montana or Alberta, especially if you are from the South. A lot places will be closed and you may encounter snow at any time. Fall is better than spring because at least the roads will have a better chance of being open.

I remember living in Colorado in the 1980s. I planned a Memorial Day trip to Grand Lake which is the largest natural lake in the state at around 6,800 feet. I came over a rise and was amazed to see that it was still frozen solid.

GordonThree

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Posted: 02/12/18 04:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Crossing from St Mary's isn't very scenic. That part of Alberta is much like Eastern Montana, basically flat plains.

The drive from Calgary into eastern Banff is amazing however. If I'm not mistaken that's the parks main and most grand entrance. Your highway winds around getting closer to the park and the Canadian Rockies just grow and grow.

Radium hot springs is a big swimming pool with a fancy name, nothing to get excited about unfortunately.

The western side of Banff (and Montana) is much more mountainous. As I recall some impressive grades winding through smaller towns. I drove this route coming south, so most of the grades were downhill for me.

If you have time to do both, it won't be disappointing. Driving from Banff to Lake Louise is HIGHLY recommended. Lake Louise and her sister Lake Moraine are two of the most picturesque lakes in the world.

You shouldn't have any trouble visiting in September. I wouldn't visit in the spring, there will be lots of snow and all the lakes will be frozen. Glacier's signature Going to the Sun road isn't even open until July.

This area is one you kinda have to visit during tourist season, and it's worth it.


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gbopp

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Posted: 02/12/18 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take the distance from google maps and divide it by the speed you usually drive.
That will give you a more realistic driving time.

ScottG

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Posted: 02/12/18 04:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are pretty efficient at traveling but can never do better than to avg about 50~55 mph (even though I'm going faster).


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TxGearhead

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Posted: 02/12/18 04:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not considering Radium a destination, just does the scenery shortcutting from Castle Junction on 93 out weigh the scenery of Lake Louise. Sounds like Lake Louise is a must see which was my original thinking.
622 miles divided by 65 mph = 9.5 hours. Probably not.
Fall is my preference.
The St. Mary scenery..my plan is to take US287 from SE Texas to Choteau MT and see Glacier NP. I'll be right there at Carway. But I'm open to other crossings.

TxGearhead

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Posted: 02/12/18 04:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

We are pretty efficient at traveling but can never do better than to avg about 50~55 mph (even though I'm going faster).

Same here.

BB_TX

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Posted: 02/12/18 05:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree with the avg speeds. Figuring in stops for food, fuel, restroom you will average 55 or maybe slightly more when traveling interstates or similar type highways. Unless you are one to run 70-75 you might get a little more. But less than 55 getting off on lesser highways and going thru towns with lower speed limits and traffic lights. Then you can decide how many hours per day you want to travel and get a pretty good idea of how long it will take to get between Point A and point B.

GordonThree

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Posted: 02/12/18 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Speed limits in Canada and especially Banff park are low. Something to keep in mind.

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