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This is the trip of national parks and incredible Rocky Mountain wonder. You’ll cover some serious miles, but also have the opportunity to play, adventure and relax in the mountains of Alberta, Wyoming and Montana. Please note that this itinerary requires payment of the US Driving Fee.
3063km / 1903mi
Start / End
Calgary / Calgary

Route - 3063 km / 1903 mi

Day Location Distance Duration
01 Calgary to Waterton Park 272 km / 169 mi Approx. 2 hours 50 minutes
02 Waterton Park
03 --
04 Wateron Park to Helena, Montana 397 km / 247 mi Approx. 4 hours 15 minutes
05 Helena, Montana to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 363 km / 226 mi Approx. 4 hours 15 minutes
06 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
07 --
08 --
09 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming to Missoula, Montana 503 km / 313 mi Approx. 5 hours 20 minutes
10 Missoula, Montana to Glacier, Montana 362 km / 225 mi Approx. 3 hours 40 minutes
11 Glacier Montana
12 --
13 Glacier, Montana to Banff, Alberta 463 km / 288 mi Approx. 4 hours 50 minutes
14 Banff, Alberta
15 --
16 Banff to Jasper 288 km / 179 mi Approx. 3 hours 33 minutes
17 Jasper, Alberta
18 --
19 Jasper to Lake Louise 232 km / 144 mi Approx. 3 hours
20 --
21 Lake Louise to Calgary 183 km / 114 mi Approx. 2 hours

Trip Details

The silent prairies meet the peace of the Rocky Mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park. The lake crosses the border into the United States, forming Waterton Glacier International Peace Park. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plan your outdoor adventures – from hiking, windsurfing and boating, you won’t be bored. The hamlet of Waterton has a year-round population of about 100 and has options for picking up food or dining out.

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How will you play today? A hike to Vimy Peak offers incredible views of Waterton Lake and the town. This 10 km (6.21 mi) trek is considered difficult so pack and dress appropriately. National Geographic listed the Crypt Lake Trail as one of the top 20 most thrilling hiking trails. It’s a 17 km (10.7 mi) return trip for the hiker who can embrace the challenge and doesn’t mind working up a bit of a sweat. You’re rewarded with a tranquil rest at the top. We recommend checking out the Parks Canada website to scope out what trails and hikes are open during your visit here.

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Leaving the magic of Waterton today you’re heading to the United States and stopping in Helena, Montana for the night. You’re halfway between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park here.

Helena was founded as a gold camp during the gold rush in the late 1800s and is Montana’s capital city. It’s a place where you can enjoy the food, drink and the warm hospitality so many travellers from all over the world soak up along their adventure.

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Today you’ll be greeted by Yellowstone National Park. Hello wildlife paradise and land of all things awe-inspiring.

Yellowstone National Park was officially designated as a national park in 1872 and is an incredible visit. There are lots of camping options here – including first-come first-serve camping at Mammoth Campground and others where you can make reservations.

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Choose your own adventure – Yellowstone National Park is 3,500 square miles of one of nature’s greatest outdoor playgrounds.

Maybe you’d like to head to the largest hot spring in Yellowstone, The Grand Prismatic Spring. It’s 370 feet in diameter and offers earthy colours as it steams. A truly beautiful sight. Another incredible visit is Old Faithful Geyser and another hot spring, the Morning Glory Pool. Head to the Lamar Valley and watch the wildlife including bison, wolf packs, eagles and bears.

CanaDream recommends planning out your three days here ahead of time so you can make the most of this incredible place. Allow time to be caught up in the inevitable bear, moose or bison jam as you travel the park's roadways.

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You're city-bound today for a one-night stop on your way to Glacier National Park. Welcome to Missoula, Montana, a city made for the adventurer.

Nestled in the Northern Rockies of Montana, Missoula has a lot to offer the visitor.  Many spend their time on one of the three rivers that run through the city either kayaking, tubing or fishing. A thriving shopping and dining scene, you’ll have no problem finding some good eats and entertainment in Missoula after a day on the road.

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Welcome to Montana’s Rocky Mountains and Glacier National Park, home to the "Going to the Sun" Road, one of the USA's most iconic scenic drives. The busiest period in this park is when the road is open to through traffic from around the end of June to early September.

A great way to begin your adventure here is to check in with the visitor centre to get the local flavor of the area and check out what’s been going on in the park. There are over 700 miles of hiking trails here – so grab a map and plan out your next few days. If you’d like a chilled-out day, consider spending some time at Lake McDonald.

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If you're in the park during peak visitor season, leave your RV camp side and take a cruise along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, either on the Park shuttle or on a Red Bus tour.

The park shuttle operates from late June to early September, stopping at many points of interest and trails along the way. Some day hike ideas in this area include the Garden Wall, Highline Trail and Hidden Lake Hanging Garden. Consider camping at Saint Mary Lake’s northern shore. Spend another night at Many Glacier. Take in the diverse wildlife and hike some more – Bullhead Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel are two favourties.

Lake fishing is permitted year-round at Glacier National Park, some limitations apply so check with authorities before casting your line.

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Your endless mountain adventure continues on the Canadian side of the border in Banff National Park - with incredible sights, rich history and vibrant mountain town vibes.

Relax in the Banff Hot Springs or set out on a day hike to explore the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

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Looking for the perfect picnic spot and mountain stroll? Lake Minnewanka is a great option for a day hike and wander.

If you’d like to experience the magic of a waterfall, consider a trip to Johnston Canyon and feel thundering waterfalls following a short 1.6km walk to the upper falls.

If you’re hiked-out and your body is craving some TLC, Banff offers world-renowned hotels and spas where you can relax, be pampered or simply sit back and enjoy a cocktail. The town of Banff also serves up great local food and drink that will surely keep you satisfied and entertained. We’ve partnered with lots of local business so check out what’s offered on our CanaDream Club app.

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This is a drive you just might not want to end with endless photo opportunities and wildlife sightings. Leave yourself a full day to get to Jasper. Some of our favourite places to stop along the way include Peyto Lake and Athabasca Falls.

Another incredible stop along the Icefields Parkway is the Columbia Icefield. Be sure to pick up a map of the Parkway before you travel - it has detailed information about the 'must-see' attractions along the way.

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Your mountain holiday continues in the alpine town of Jasper, Alberta. Visit the limestone canyon and waterfalls of Maligne Canyon and the popular Maligne Lake.

Check out local tours and operators if you’d like to get a local’s take on what to do and be sure to check out our CanaDream partners for deals. Perhaps yoga, rock climbing or rafting is peaking your curiosity – all activities at your fingertips here in Jasper.

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Heading back down the awe-inspiring Icefields Parkway, you’ll arrive in Lake Louise, an an incredible emerald-coloured glacier-fed lake with an irresistible view.

You could picnic all day here, or pop into the Chateau Fairmont Lake Louise and treat yourself. Want another waterfall? Consider a hike to Bow Glacier Falls near Peyto Lake. Begin at Bow Lake on the Icefields Parkway and hike to the source of the Bow River, which runs all the way into downtown Calgary.

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The final stretch of your epic Rocky Mountain holiday is today. Leaving the handsome mountains of Alberta, you’re heading east to Calgary, where it all began. This country-city offers everything from beer halls to fine dining, theatre and entertainment and great shopping.

End your adventure at the top of the Calgary Tower and take in the moments you’ve gathered on this magical holiday. And don’t forget to check out our CanaDream Club app so you can take advantage of partner deals on activities and experiences in the city.

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Other Itineraries in Alberta

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