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Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

Sydney, Australia
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Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

Will be driving from Vancouver, BC to the east side of GNP (Many Glacier area) in July 2014. Plan to spend 2-3 days there before driving the Going to the Sun Rd, a couple of days in West GNP before heading across to Couer D'Alene. A total of 4-5 days at GNP.

Which is the best route from Vancouver to Many Glacier? Was thinking Hwy 3. How many days should we take to do this? Suggested itinerary/stopoffs/places to stay, as we would like the drive across itself to be part of the experience. We also have young children, so taking too long to get to GNP might get to us!

Whitefish, Montana
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for Glacier National Park
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1. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

I'll leave the out of country routing to the regular Canadian posters.

Boat rides in Many Glacier and the other major lakes are popular with the kids.

Not sure how old your kids are so this is more generic.

This is a super easy loop trail in Many Glacier

glacierhikers.com/swiftcurrent-lake-trail.ht…

Waterfall hikes tend to keep kids attention but you will need to be aware of the hazards with water and waterfalls in Glacier Park.

www.glacierhikers.com/st-mary.html

Lots of potential for wildlife viewing in Many Glacier. Early in the day or late in the day tends to be best but that is not always easy thing to do with little kids.

montana slow hiker

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

Route 3 would definitely be the route to go if you want to drive through Canada. Sorry I can't give you information on where to stop as I have never made the drive from Vancouver, but people rave about the Kelowna and Osoyoos area.

I might suggest you consider crossing the border into Washington and driving south down Interstate 5 and then west on Hwy 2 into the GNP area. I don't know if this would be a longer or shorter route, but I do think it would be the less expensive option and just as scenic. Gas, food and lodging will be much cheaper in the US as compared to Canada.

Spokane, Washington
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3. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

route 3 is not the fastest route. Reading your post, I am not certain what is more important: scenery vs. convenience/time.

Here is a detailed "fastest route" from YVR to Many Glacer:

1. YVR to Spokane or Cour d'Alene(CDA), from DT YVR hwy 99 to I5 to I 405 (bypass DT Seattle) to I 90. In ideal driving condition (little border wait, no traffic in YVR/Seattle, minimal breaks), you could arrive Spokane DT under 7 hours (CDA add 35 min.). Lots of lodging options, rest stops along the way.

Scenic Highlights - Snoqualmie Pass in Cascades and Columbia Gorge (at Vantage, WA)

Also, I 90 will offer views of CDA lake. I love CDA and its downtown/lake front area, but it pales comparing to GNP.

2. Spokane to West Glacier - under 5 hours. Nice drive, 2 mountain passes (July 4th, Lookout) on I 90, and exit I 90 at St. Regis, MT. follow the local hwy through Bitteroot moutain range than along the Flathead lake.

Note: Lodging option passing Kellog, ID (on I 90) until Kalispell, MT is very limited.

3. West Glacier to Many Glacier via GTSR, about 90 minutes.

Google is clocking this as < 13 hours drive. If Banff is on your Itinerary, TransCanada route to Calgary then South to Many Glacier will be the fastest.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

Thank you all for the input so far.

We have three young children (age range from 3-9yrs). Although scenery is important, time is a factor as well and we would like a scenic drive without having to stop frequently. We actually live in Australia and are coming over for a few weeks. There is a work conference in CDA, and after that, we will drive back to Vancouver to fly back to Oz. So instead of driving from Vancouver to GNP via CDA, we were hoping to do a loop, as we would be returning from GNP to Vancouver anyway via CDA.

Thanks also for the info on hikes for small children. They look great. Any other tips would be appreciated. We previously lived in Denver, CO, and from there, we've done Rocky Mountain NP, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Arches/Moab. Once we've ticked off GNP, then only Yosemite to go!

Whitefish, Montana
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5. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

This is a kid friendly hike with the potential for mountain goats.

www.glacierhikers.com/hidden-lake.html

The snow is gone now but will be back shortly.

montana slow hiker

Spokane, Washington
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for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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6. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

Getting to interstate 90 in Washington and then heading east definitely the fastest route. Scenery ok, nothing like Canada route but faster and safer routing.

Liverpool
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480 posts
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7. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

We went from Vancouver to West Glacier last year, though we stayed for a few days near Kelowna on the way, and did the rest in one day, crossing the border at Creston. Took an hour to cross the border, and you 'lose' an hour crossing a time zone, so it was a pretty long day.

It depends where you've been before, but going via Banff and Calgary isn't going to be a much longer journey than the most direct route, and it's a lot more interesting.

8. Re: Driving from Vancouver, BC to Glacier National Park.

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