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Old 11-23-2014, 08:36 AM   #1
denandannie
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Travel to Alberta Canada

From Glacier NP in Montana, we are considering going north to visit some of the national parks in Alberta, Canada. What travel, RVing advice along with pros & cons of traveling in Canada can our members offer me?
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
Montana4two
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We are native Albertans. Would suggest you go to Calgary .mif you are here in July, you must go to the Calgary Stampede. then head West to take in Banff. From there go North on the ice fields highway to Jasper. Make sure you see the Jasper Park Lodge, Athabasca Falls, and the Jasper sky tram. You can then go East to Edmonton, where you should check out West Edmonton Mall, the River Valley, and depending on the time of year you plan to be there, take in a festival, especially the Fringe, which is in the middle of August. After that, go south to Calgary again, and maybe have a side trip to Drumheller, the Tyrell museum for a dinosaur fix.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Everything in Canada is more expensive than in the US so get as much here as you can including fuel. While I'm on the topic of fuel, keep an eye on your gage and know how far it is to the next fuel stop. At one of our planned stops, the only gas station in town had burned down a few weeks before and the next town was 50 miles. Depending on where you are in Canada, wildlife can be abundant so keep a sharp eye out on the edges of the road. After all, hitting a 1200 lb moose will ruin his and your day. Make sure everyone has their passport as you will need them for both trips across the border. Also have proof that any pets you bring are current on their shots. Make sure your credit card does the currency exchange rate for you and doesn't charge. Some charge, some don't. Same thing goes for ATM / Debit cards.

Lastly, if you plan on taking a firearm, check their laws carefully. You can get a temporary license to bring in most rifles or shotguns (but not all), however handguns are pretty much out of the question.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:44 AM   #4
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Start your Canadian part of the trip in Waterton Park. It is the Canadian side of Glacier. Great RV Park right on the lake and beneath the Price of Wales Hotel. In Waterton, Banff, and Jasper, the Provincial Parks all have campgrounds. An annual pass will probably be your best buy. The Northern Rockies provide some great scenery. Jim
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:09 PM   #5
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In addition to all the input all I would stress is about trying to bring rifles and hand guns in to Canada. If you have a rifle or shot gun you can complete the appropriate paper work and approvals prior to arriving at the border. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to bring a hand gun in to Canada. If you try to bring a gun in to Canada and don't declare it and if they catch you they will charge you with smuggling restricted weapons in to Canada and your trip will be ruined.

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Old 11-23-2014, 01:21 PM   #6
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Fuel, alcohol and smokes are more expensive. However, we find that regular everyday food is about the same as where we are now (Arizona). Two things will help. Alberta has no sales tax, and the Canadian dollar has taken quite a dive against the American dollar, currently around 87cents, so that will offset some of the higher costs. It is not expected to rebound anytime soon. Also be aware that a medical marijuana permit is not valid in Alberta, in fact, I believe not in any province
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:11 PM   #8
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There is a great campground in Jasper NP is the one at Whistler. It also is pretty close to the town. It has full hookups, I believe.
If you go to Edmonton, it can be cold. We were there about 20 some years ago in July and it was blowing, raining, and temps in the 40s.
Not to offend the previous poster about Edmonton Mall, but it is big for Alberta, but not so big for a USA city. However, that was 20 years ago when we were there - maybe it is bigger now.
The CG is Banff (several actually) are nice, but I think only one has hookups. And you must reserve way in advance to get in. By the way, there is a mountain railroad tunnel that goes into and around a mountain and I guess the last car can see the engine on the other side or some such.
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:56 AM   #9
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Keep in mind that Alberta is the oil capital on Canada, and fuel is much less there than in other Provinces. So fuel up before you take a side trip into BC!!
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:55 AM   #10
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Tom, here are some facts on West Edmonton Mall. It has grown quite a bit in the last 20 years;
Worlds largest indoor roller coaster, world largest indoor waterpark, worlds largest indoor lake, worlds largest wave pool, worlds largest indoor amusement park. The mall covers 48 city blocks with over 800 stores
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:05 AM   #11
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July and August are peak tourist and rv travel months in Alberta and British Columbia, so book your reservations very early especially in the Provincial and National Parks. If your planning to come to Calgary during July for the Calgary Stampede book your rv park reservation now, as July is an extremely popular tourist timeframe. If you are an outdoor person and like to hike in the National Parks or wilderness areas carry bear spray. Alberta and BC National Parks and especially wilderness areas have significant populations of grizzly and black bears and Cougars (mountain lions). Park Wardens always post warnings on hiking trails if there are bear dangers. I believe Border Security consider mace and bear spray a prohibited item, but you can buy bear spray in Canada. Our fuel prices are higher than many States in the USA, however I have travelled through California and I found our fuel prices are similar. At the present time the Canadian dollar is approximately 15% lower than the American dollar, so that is an advantage for you. If you plan to exchange American currency for Canadian do it at Currency Exchange places as some retailers will do the exchange at par and you will lose the 15% advantage. There are a lot of small cities and towns in Alberta and BC so fuel and accommodations should not be an issue, however carry extra fuel when travelling through wilderness areas. When there is risk of no fuel stops there are usually signs advising you. I live in Calgary and have travelled Alberta and BC, so if you have questions I'm willing to help.

Calgary's population - 1.2 million
Edmonton population - close to 1 million
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:09 PM   #12
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Where you travel in any part of the country depends on what your interests are and how many stops you want to make along the way.

There are two entry points into Alberta from the state of Montana, one at Coutts on Highway 15 and one at Carway on Highway 89. No visit to this part of the country would be complete without a visit to Glacier National Park and particularly the "Going to the Sun" highway, you can access this wonder of construction from either the West or East end of the park, there are camping areas near both entrances but you "cannot" take a trailer over this road and pass. Absolutely worth the visit.

From Glacier I would enter Alberta at Coutts and make my first stop at "Writing on Stone Provincial Park and Heritage site" - http://travelalberta.com/Places%20to...al%20Park.aspx - If you have any interest in the history of Native Americans in particular the Blackfoot and Shoshone this is a must stop, the information center is grand and the hoodoo's are a natural wonder. The area is also home to the largest remaining native grasslands in Canada and perhaps North America.

From there travel on to Waterton National Park, this is an extension of Glacier National Park established in conjunction with the US and Canadian Governments. There are 3 campgrounds in the area, one within the townsite and two within a short drive of the park entrance. You will be required to purchase a pass for visits to our National Parks as in the USA.

Again if First Nations history is of interest you should head north from Waterton to Fort McLeod and visit "Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump" world heritage site. It is the largest preserved site of it's kind in North America - http://www.history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin/ Even if your interests are not of early history this site is worth the visit.

Calgary, well what can I say, the Stampede is unique in it's size and grandeur but not for everyone, the rest of Calgary is just another city (sorry to the natives but I lived there for many years) So head west and visit Banff and Lake Louise, then head north on the Glacier Parkway and visit Jasper and area. You can head east from Jasper to Edmonton and if "BIG" malls are your thing then visit West Edmonton Mall, otherwise you will just see another city (yup lived here too). Go South from Edmonton and make a stop in Drumheller if you are into really old things like Dinosaurs and the like.

Nothing North of Edmonton except sandy oil and destruction.

Now if you decide to venture into British Columbia, then that is a whole "nother" story and adventure I won't go into.

Don't bring a handgun with you as has already been mentioned, you will not be allowed to take it with you, unless you plan to hunt why bring a gun of any kind, we still use bows and arrows up here in the frozen north. (Yup I have hunted all my life and do own a handgun)

Most importantly come and meet some of your neighbors, you might even like some of us and do bring lots of money we are a developing country still and need the help.....Have a wonderful trip.


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