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Border crossing in Portal

Adirondack, New York
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3,934 posts
90 reviews
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Border crossing in Portal

I'll be driving next week from Jamestown to Moose Jaw and it looks like Portal is the town where we cross to Canada. Can anyone tell me more about this crossing? The best time, lines, etc.

I know we need passports and we do have them. I don't think we can bring any fruit but how about for our personal consumption what we carry in a cooler? Any experience while crossing to Canada in Portal? Thanks

Minot, North Dakota
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752 posts
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1. Re: Border crossing in Portal

The only questions I "remember" off hand were:

Do you have any firearms?

Do you have any cigarettes?

Where are you going? For how long? They keep asking that to see if they trip you up.

Malebird

Adirondack, New York
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3,934 posts
90 reviews
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2. Re: Border crossing in Portal

Thank you NDSnowbirds,

I often cross the border in NY state to Montreal and looks like these are all the same questions. Is the Portal crossing small and less traveled or should we expect a long line?

Bemidji, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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3. Re: Border crossing in Portal

Your trip may be different but when we went through Portal, we pulled up to the (only) open land and the guy there asked us some questions and waved us through. No lines, no wait, no harassment. Getting back to the US may be more difficult and you may be questioned more there too.

Adirondack, New York
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3,934 posts
90 reviews
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4. Re: Border crossing in Portal

Thank you, RM-MN. This is a really helpful information. At this point I don't know which way we are returning. Maybe we going cross the border somewhere between British Columbia and WA or Quebec and NY.

Minot, North Dakota
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752 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Border crossing in Portal

If your going to the Canadian Rockies your gonna love it. We did that several years back and it was one of the most scenic trips we have ever taken. We ride motorcycles so we look for scenic rides always.

Portal is not busy at all. And when we came back into the states we crossed in at Cranbrook area.

Malebird

Bemidji, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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2,639 posts
18 reviews
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6. Re: Border crossing in Portal

I prefer crossing back to the US at small town (or no town at all) crossings. They aren't faster and may be slower, but the people there seem to be friendlier. I think they can sense if you belong in the US or not based on how you answer and how friendly you are to them.

Adirondack, New York
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3,934 posts
90 reviews
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7. Re: Border crossing in Portal

Thank you again. Your information is very helpful. I'm driving to Alaska for 2 months so it is now time to get ready.

Adirondack, New York
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3,934 posts
90 reviews
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8. Re: Border crossing in Portal

We are back from our 2 month long trip to Alaska and want to report that are border crossing in Portal went very smoothly. There were no lines. We were only one car. No harassment and a very official but nice person waved us through. Getting back and crossing border to Montana was another story. For us it was again a very smooth transition but a few cars in front of us were there for a long period and their trunks were checked. Three motorcycles went quickly too. There were about 5 cars and 3 motorcycles but it took about 25 minutes before we got through. Not a big deal. We didn't have any citrus fruits and grapes were OK to bring with us.

Thanks for all your previous help,

Places

Adirondack, New York
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3,934 posts
90 reviews
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9. Re: Border crossing in Portal

NDSnowbirds, since you ride motorcycles and always look for scenic routes then how about planning a trip to Alaska along Alaska Highway. I'll be more than happy to share my personal experiences with you. We saw many motorcycles during our trip.

Minot, North Dakota
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752 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Border crossing in Portal

Won't be doing Alaska, I'm afraid. It's an "age" think at this point. We should have done it years back. We did talk to two guys fron NJ that had been up there about the same time as you. Both riding Harleys, one was a trike (red) and the other had a sidecar (black). Now if you saw those two guys then this would indeed be a small world.

Thanks for the offer anyway

Malebird