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Old 12-15-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
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Recomended routes from Missoula to Prince Rupert

Currently, I'm planning to drive from Washington to Missoula Montana for Xmas, then departing from there for the ferry in Prince Rupert. Looking at the map, it looks like there are a lot of possible routes, and I'm open to recommendations, but I'm a bit unsure about which routes include high mountain passes, which might end up being closed. Hwy 95 to 93 through Banff and Jasper might be pretty spectacular though, and I would guess they keep it open all winter. If you have a prefered route, I'd like to hear about it. Thanks......................
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:12 PM   #2
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We were up there in September 2015. It was beautiful, http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...rta-15413.html.

We crossed into Canada on 93 in Idaho and then went over the pass at Radium Hot Springs. Then up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper then back across a pass on 16 to get to 5 and south towards home.

You may want to consider going east from Missoula and taking I15 to Calgary. It may save you some back and forth over the passes.

Hope you have a safe trip.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:42 PM   #3
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Will you be in a hurry to get to Prince Rupert, or do you have extra days to kill and want to see some spectacular mountains? Your goal in the trip will go a long way to determining which route you take. I've driven the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper a few times in the summer, but never in the winter. It would be spectacular, but you could be delayed a few days if a big storm comes through.

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Old 12-16-2016, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveTOaks View Post
Will you be in a hurry to get to Prince Rupert, or do you have extra days to kill and want to see some spectacular mountains? Your goal in the trip will go a long way to determining which route you take. I've driven the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper a few times in the summer, but never in the winter. It would be spectacular, but you could be delayed a few days if a big storm comes through.

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Old 12-16-2016, 10:54 AM   #5
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Will you be in a hurry to get to Prince Rupert, or do you have extra days to kill and want to see some spectacular mountains? Steve
I'm on my way back to work. Due to Alaska's financial challanges (low oil prices have caused huge budget cuts) there is only one ferry out of Prince Rupert the entire month of Jan. That means I'll have about a week to make the drive of about 1200 miles through B.C. If I miss that ferry, I'll have to drive all the way to Skagway, then take two more ferrys South, not an inexpensive or quick trip. So, what would be an easy two day drive in summer could end up being a challange in winter if I get held up by roads or passes that are closed. Looking at the map though it looks like 93 through Banff and Jasper and Hwy 16 to Prince Rupert are major highways and probably well maintained. I'm leaning towards that route, but Im open to ideas if anyone thinks there is a better way.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
Currently, I'm planning to drive from Washington to Missoula Montana for Xmas, then departing from there for the ferry in Prince Rupert. Looking at the map, it looks like there are a lot of possible routes, and I'm open to recommendations, but I'm a bit unsure about which routes include high mountain passes, which might end up being closed. Hwy 95 to 93 through Banff and Jasper might be pretty spectacular though, and I would guess they keep it open all winter. If you have a prefered route, I'd like to hear about it. Thanks......................
Ok, here is my $0.02. As has been said Hwy 95 to 93 is truly spectacular summer or winter. The road is well maintained because of places like Kimberley, Fairmont Hot Springs and Radium. If there is a storm or lots of snow I would not recommend it if you are an a fixed timetable. In good weather go for it! you won't regret it.

If the weather is bad than Hwy 97 to 5 via Kelowna, Vernon to Kamloops is a much safer route. While is not as scenic, it is still a great drive. You might be tempted to cut across to Hwy 5 via 97C but in bad weather that's a mistake. the connector has a higher elevation than the Coquihalla. I drive this route anytime I head to Edmonton.

An excellent resource for up-to-date road conditions is DriveBC and https://511.alberta.ca/. They are great tool to show what to expect an the days you are traveling.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:36 PM   #7
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Thanks Darryl, that is EXACTLY the information I'm looking for. My map would have you believe that 97c is one of the largest all weather highways in B.C. but perhaps not. So, if I decide to pass on 93 through Jasper, would working my way West to 97 be a reliable option? If so, would 3 be a good way to get there from Idaho or Montana? Thanks again........
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:04 PM   #8
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Thanks Darryl, that is EXACTLY the information I'm looking for. My map would have you believe that 97c is one of the largest all weather highways in B.C. but perhaps not. So, if I decide to pass on 93 through Jasper, would working my way West to 97 be a reliable option? If so, would 3 be a good way to get there from Idaho or Montana? Thanks again........
I think that working your way over to 97 would be a good bet for bad weather or you just want an easy drive. It is all reliant on what the weather is like. Like I said in good weather you are golden with any route you choose. Th clarify about 97C, It is a excellent road. It is 4 lanes twined all the way with a speed limit of 110 km/h. It can however be sketchy when the weather is bad. For example when you first start on 97C you are greeted with a 26 km 8% grade hill which often has reduced viability and can be slick. Again this is for poor conditions.

Unfortunately when it comes to getting to 97 I can't give you too much info. I have never ventured across the border there. I know a few people that know more about the US side that I can ask and I can get back to you about that unless someone beats me too it. I think if you took I95 to Spokane and then 395 to Grand Forks you should be fine. I do not know what 395 is like to drive though. You would be fine traveling along Hwy 3 though where ever you wanted to cross.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:38 AM   #9
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Thanks Darryl, I'm glad to hear that Hwy 3 is a good option. So, my first choice will be 93 through Banff, I haven't been there since my first motorcycle trip to Alaska 20 years ago, and never in winter. If it looks like bad weather, I'll probably find a way over to 97,and if I pass through Kelowna and your around, I'll buy you a beer. Thanks for the help, there's nothing like local knowledge. Are you active on any nearby repeaters?.............
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:59 AM   #10
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I crossed in winter at 93 (more nasty conditions) as well as 95N to 3 (more mild). I worked outside of Thompson Falls and heading from Kalispell 2W through Libby to 95N was good winter travel. That corridor of the Kootenai/Yak area was known as a banana belt, lush with hemlock and steep Cabinet Mountains
That may be a good option for crossing to connect with 3.

Eastport / Kingsgate – ezbordercrossing.com

Road Conditions – ezbordercrossing.com
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