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Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

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Newcastle, Australia
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Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Hi,

We are planning to travel from Rapid City to Lake Louise towards the end of August or possibly the first week in September. We have 6 days to spend.

Not having done this type of trip before, I was hoping that someone can advise us on what to see along the way and where to stop overnight on the way.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

According to Google Maps (which is reliable for most of Western Canada, but I don't know about within the US), it's a 16 hour drive from Rapid City to Lake Louise. Is that how you were intending to get there? If so, are you planning to take a rental car?

Canada
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2. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Hmm interesting question...are you going to Rapid City for the bike rally?

I have done this trip before and its pretty boring for the most part. Wyoming is empty and eastern Montana not much better. The shortest route will take you through Sheridan and Billings on I-90 and then you can cut across on Hwy 87 and 89 to Great Falls. From GF to Calgary on I-15 and Hwy #2 is about 5-6 hours and then another 2 hours roughly to Lake Louise.

The Battle of Little BigHorn, near Billings is an interesting spot. Very nice little museum, good lectures from the Parks Service and the battlefield itself.

I suppose the logical stopover would be Great Falls, MT unless you want to push on into the edge of Glacier National Park. Great Falls has a good selection of hotels and restaurants and the Lewis and Clarke museum on the banks of the Missouri is also worth a visit.

Newcastle, Australia
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3. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Hi

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, we will be in a hire car that we hired out of Portland OR and after LL we would be heading back west through Kamloops and Vancouver before crossing back into the USA and returning to Portland.

However, as Australians visiting this part of the world, we aren't sure which is the best way to go and what to see along the way.

We did look at a stop in Great Falls (because its about halfway, give or take a bit) and I am still doing research to work out the details.

The Battle of Little Big Horn site sounds interesting as does the Lewis and Clark Museum. Is the museum in Great Falls or Billings?

Any other suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks for your help

However, any tips or advice is appreciated.

Canada
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4. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

The museum is in Great Falls, the battlefield is east of Billings. Well signed from 1-90.

If you do the route I laid out its a very easy drive on a quiet divided highway for the most part (except the shortcut from Billings to Great Falls.)

I have done Billings to my home (just outside Calgary in one day but its a long haul. Better by far to make an early start from Rapid City and get the "dull" part over as quickly as possible.

...and its not really dull, just very empty. Rather like parts of Australia :)

I assume you have clarified with the car rental company that it is OK to take the car through Canada?

Edited: 8:05 pm, February 26, 2013
Newcastle, Australia
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5. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Thanks Africandaisy.

I have not yet booked the vehicle but will check out if there are restrictions on going into Canada.

I take your point about the dull boring bit and agree. There are long stretches here that go for hours without anything in sight!!! So we will look forward to visiting the Battlefield and Museum to break things up a bit.

While the long drive does not worry me (I drive 12 hour shifts here) I think a stop in Great Falls would give the other half a bit of respite from the drive.

Any suggestions on where to stay in GF?

Being a one night stop over, a centrally located motel with advice on where to find a good restaurants etc. would also be appreciated.

Canada
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6. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Last time I was there...summer 2012. I stayed at the Staybridge Suites. Its on the banks of the Missouri and well situated for a few restaurants. There is also a decent Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express with good accessibility to the Interstates.

Its a small but interesting city. Mostly it caters to Canadians coming to shop so its got a lot of hotels :)

Banff, Canada
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7. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Perhaps you might ask about Great Falls on the Great Falls pages of TA? On the Lake Louise pages, you're relatively unlikely to encounter people who are familiar with the places you're asking about. If you have any questionsa bout Lake Louise, though, this is the place!

Calgary, Canada
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8. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Oh dear, does this mean I can't recommend the Giant Springs in Great Falls now? ;-)

Banff, Canada
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9. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

Go for it, C_W! I should have known that you'd be well informed :-). I'll just admit, for full disclosure, that my knowledge of Great Falls is limited to the mention in the John Denver song!

10. Re: Travel from Rapid City SD to Lake Louise in August

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