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Spokane to Banff/Canmore-best route/exchanging money?

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Lagro, Indiana
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Spokane to Banff/Canmore-best route/exchanging money?

We are flying into Spokane and covering about 1/2-2/3 the distance from Spokane to Banff/Canmore the 1st day. Could someone tell me the best route to take to get there in a timely manner and have a good place to spend the 1st night? I saw on the Banff forum that Highway 93 was the most direct route, but I'm not seeing Hwy. 93 going out of Spokane on an Atlas Washington state map. Also, after crossing into Canada, where would be a good place (bank?) to exchange money as soon as possible?

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Spokane to Banff/Canmore-best route/exchanging money?

I'd say you basically have a couple of choices. The fastest route is probably east from Spokane on I-90 to Coeur d'Alene then north on US 95 to the border, thence BC 95/93 north into Kootenay and Banff parks. Cranbrook BC could be your stop point/cash exchange. (Although, I'd just use Canadian ATMs and not bother with exchanging US currency - you can spend US currency everywhere and/or just bring it back with you.)

A slower (but IMO more scenic) route would be north from Spokane on US 2 / WA 211 / WA 20 / WA 31 / BC 6 to Nelson (very cute town) then BC 6/23 north to Revelstoke NP, then the TCH east into Banff. Nelson could be a stopping point, or maybe even Revelstoke, depending on when you get away from Spokane. This route is probably 2-3 hours longer overall than the first, but very scenic as you travel along the upper Columbia River lakes through the Kootenays.

Lagro, Indiana
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2. Re: Spokane to Banff/Canmore-best route/exchanging money?

Ibgardyloo, thank you so much for the quick response. We have no maps yet other than Washington state and what we got online, so this is very helpful.

Spokane, Washington
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for Spokane, Chelan
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3. Re: Spokane to Banff/Canmore-best route/exchanging money?

IBG gave you some good advice.

Most people go highway 95 to 93 at Radium hot springs, in fact it's a destination in itself. It's the most direct route.to Banff. That route is also very scenic, you can't go wrong.

You might also want to ask that question on the Idaho forum.

Collie

Rockies BC
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4. Re: Spokane to Banff/Canmore-best route/exchanging money?

Re money, pls use Canadian. Not sure if that's what distanceswimmer meant - get Cdn $ out of the ATMs? There are about 1/2 doz banks in downtown Cranbrook - take the turn off at 9th ave which doubles back to Baker Street, on Baker you will find the Royal Bank of Canada, Hongkong Bank, CIBC Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, & the Bank of Montreal, as well as the credit union, all of them have ATM's & at least 1 of them should be compatible with your bank card. On the highway (the "Strip") through town, at 6th (there is a traffic light & a KFC) is the Bank of Nova Scotia, also with an ATM. you could spend the night in Cranbrook but Fairmont Hot Springs or Radium Hot Springs is much nicer.

5. Re: Spokane to Banff/Canmore-best route/exchanging money?

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